Unsolicited Advice for Bob Barr

I’ve only been an occassional contributor on TPW since Steve Gordon took over the site a few months ago. Partly to give Steve room to make things his own, and partly because I haven’t been as excited as I usually am about what’s going on. The promised Bloomberg or Unity ‘08 independent ticket hasn’t materialized and it’s looking to be another year of the two major candidates capturing more than 95% of the vote.

But this possibile Bob Barr candidacy is interesting. I probably wouldn’t vote for Mr. Barr personally, but I do hope that the Libertarians have the good sense to nominate him.

Frankly, I’m starting to worry. Bob Barr is an opportunity to double the size of the party and possibly top a million votes for the first time ever. I hope they take it and I plan to be watching every minute on C-SPAN.

But I’ve got this sinking feeling that the ticket coming out of the convention will be Ruwart/Kubby or Root/Phillies or something like that. All great people and good candidates, but all are probably doomed to join Marrou, Badnarik, and Bergland as the latest members of the 400,000 vote or less club.

So here is a bit of totally unsolicitied advice for Congressman Barr’s campaign from a completely outside perspective…

First off, if you’re running for President - announce it already! The convention is in just a couple of weeks, and if you’re doing this half-way it might come back to bite you Fred Thompson style.

Line-up as many party figures as you can to endorse you and pull the trigger on this thing right away. Like it or not, you’re still quite new to the Libertarian Party by most standards… and anything less than full commitment to the race will smell funny to delegates.

Next, tell people what a Bob Barr campaign is going to look like.

The virtual duplication of the Ron Paul campaign website is the best thing that you could have done so far… but now you’ve got to really use it. Current fundraising seems to be quite a bit behind what was initially expected as I remember the first graphic was of a bar that lead to $250,000. If that was the goal before you would agree to announce… let people know that and create some urgency to donate.

In that scenario, your best bet now would be to lower the goal to $100,000 and put a clear marker at the end: “Bob Declares His Candidacy!” or something along those lines. And then work like mad to make sure you hit that number inside the next week.

The current goals like “professional staff” and “office setup” are completely uninspiring and create absolutely no urgency to donate. Libertarians don’t care about paying for your staff and office… particularly not with the limited resources available and fresh memories of Badnarik for Congress.

Put concrete stuff on there. A $10,000 goal to do all the yard signs. A $25,000 goal to rent a campaign bus, gas it up, and cover it with logos. A $50,000 goal to buy cable TV ads in certain states. Or a radio campaign. Or other meat and potatoes campaign activities that will directly translate to votes and more donations.

If there’s anything you can do to earn an endorsement from Ron Paul… or even just portray an association with him… do it. Do you have any pictures of the two of you together? Quotes of nice things he’s said about you?

If you have ANY of that, it should be on the front page of the website… right next to the donation graphic. Or incorporated into it.

If not Ron Paul, what about his son or other notable Ron Paul associates? The more ties you can produce with Ron Paul, the better your odds of winning the nomination and the more money you’ll bring in. Period.

But the most important piece of advice is still this: don’t be Alan Keyes. Don’t get me wrong, you’re doing a lot better than Alan Keyes. You’re on the LNC for starters. That ought to count for something.

But Keyes sort of decided to run and explored it and announced an announcement at a later date and all the stuff major candidates usually do while they’re warming up. And it got him beat 3-1 at the Constitution Party convention. If fairness, Chuck Baldwin toyed with the idea of running as well… but he’s a former VP nominee and an established figure in that party. Keyes wasn’t. And neither is Bob Barr.

As a relative newcomer, you have to show a level of dedication above and beyond the other candidates. And that doesn’t include being coy about whether or not you’re actually going to run. Or trying to save face by never formally announcing and hoping that they just nominate you anyway.

Not to drag this point out—if you’re running then declare already. And don’t look back.

Anyway, those are just a few things that I would like to suggest to Bob Barr and his campaign. But I’m not really in a position to offer more than outside advice… so take it for what it’s worth.

I would be curious - what do the readers of this site think of the Barr campaign thus far? Am I way off the mark?

106 Responses to “Unsolicited Advice for Bob Barr”

  1. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Austin,

    You advice to Barr seems good. But I am wondering about the analysis behind this comment:

    “Bob Barr is an opportunity to double the size of the party and possibly top a million votes for the first time ever.”

    In my estimation, every candidate presents that opportunity - if we all work hard enough.

    But history doesn’t support, in my opinion, the idea that an ex-Republican congressman whose record was fairly lackluster (when it wasn’t simply awful) and whose style is noncommittal and uninspiring, can be any sort of breakthrough candidate for us. This (electoral breakthrough) is certainly not what happened when, in 1988, the LP ran an inspiring, committed ex-Republican congressman with a great record. I’m not sure what Barr supporters think is really different this year than in 1988.

  2. James Says:

    Thread jack:

    Is that what Mary Ruwart really looks like in that ad to the right? Why does it not look like any other picture I have seen of her?

  3. Susan Hogarth Says:

    James,

    Here are some pics I took of Mary at the LPNC convention a few weekends ago:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/hogarth/MaryRuwart08

  4. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Susan,

    Fair enough point… but I think Bob Barr has far more name recognition that Congressman Paul did in 1988. If you say Bob Barr to regular people, particularly Republicans, they kinda-sorta know the name already. That alone will make it easier for him to get media attention.

    Since some Republicans seem unhappy voting for Senator McCain, I also feel that there is a slice of voters open to picking a recognizable former Republican running as a third party option.

    Bottom-line… he won’t do worse. And he could do substantially better… maybe 800,000 - 2,000,000 votes better than any of the other options.

  5. David F. Nolan Says:

    I have mixed feelings about Barr as a potential candidate (see article linked below) but I sincerely believe he has all but “missed the boat” in terms of declaring his candidacy. It’s one thing to form an Exploratory Committee 50 days before the date the Libertarian nominee will be chosen; it’s another to delay an additional month (and counting) before actually taking the plunge. It really reeks of “I’m not going to actually declare unless I’m sure I can win.” And that’s just not an assurance anyone can provide. If Barr wants the nomination he will have to compete for it by debating the other contenders, with the full understanding that his chances of victory are well under 50-50. And the longer he delays, the weaker he looks.

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article3445.html

  6. Mike Theodore Says:

    Honestly, I think at first glance, the site is professional. Moving bar, picture of candidate, graphics. This is better than early announced candidates. But I dig deeper and am disappointed. The issues page is thin. I could type this thing drunk after 48 hours of no sleeping and still come out smelling presidential. Three pages that are vague and leave him to much wiggle room. I think the average American stumbling upon it will not be convinced. The vague word of “freedom” isn’t going to do it. Give the people something to go behind, and they will.

  7. Steve Perkins Says:

    I’ll be quick, since I only have about a 10 minute window of opportunity before this thread drifts off to the same subject matter as every other thread (i.e. personal feuds, kiddie porn, ass jokes, etc)...

    I agree entirely with the Fred Thompson comparison. I’m a Georgia native, living in Barr’s old congressional district, and the “exploratory committee” would not be attracting or holding my interest if I weren’t already interested to begin with. I signed up as a volunteer, specifying that I will be a delegate at the Denver convention, and have heard nothing from anybody. They’ve only put out a couple of generic emails, and there’s no sign at all as to whether Barr will make his decision one way or the other prior to Denver. Fundraising jumped like a shot to the $50k mark, but has stalled out there because nobody knows if he’s really a candidate or not… and it’s hard to get people to open their wallets in a substantial way for a “possible” campaign.

    I still think Barr is the best possible option for the LP this year, and am ready to jump in with great enthusiasm the moment he announces. However, it’s really getting close to “shit or get off the pot” time, folks.

  8. G.E. Says:

    Austin, I respect you greatly, but I don’t know why we should listen to a Republican McKeynes supporter about which candidate we should nominate. What are your principles? Obviously, a Keynsian, warmongering, “I don’t know much about economics,” anti-First Amendment, semi-illiterate, red-face drunken bank fraudster with a drug-addicted sugar-momma meets your criteria for support, and thus Barr seems great by example. But we hate murder and theft, so we hate McKeynes and Barr. Your advice is not needed. Thanks.

  9. John Campbell Says:

    Instead of nominating a candidate who tries to be like Ron Paul, why don’t we (Libertarians) just nominate Ron Paul? I would much rather have a true Libertarian with a stellar record, than a recent convert with an authoritarian voting record.

    Ron Paul always leaves the door open a tiny bit, and everything else he does seems to be because his supporters wanted it. That’s the reason he gives for running in the Republican primary and for not dropping out. He probably needs some political cover to avoid looking like he planned it all along.

    Maybe he’s sitting in that wood paneled office of his, wondering when his supporters are going to demand that he run as a Libertarian.

  10. disinter Says:

    Good advice.

  11. Freelancer Says:

    Austin Nice of you to drop in. :)

  12. Steve Perkins Says:

    Paul is not running for LP nomination, and the constant chatter about this puzzles me. People criticize Barr because he’s only been interested in the Libertarian nomination for a short while, and has a background as a Republican. Ron Paul isn’t interested in the Libertarian nomination AT ALL, and in fact is CURRENTLY a Republican. Paul brings spending earmarks home to his district, and Libertarians don’t say a peep. Barr stops short of backing heroin legalization nationwide as of tomorrow morning, and is demonized for it as insincere.

    I like and respect both Paul and Barr, but this double-standard strikes me as a cult of personality thing.

  13. Mike Theodore Says:

    Steve, i think cult of personality is the only thing running this party right now. Where has the idealism gone?

  14. Brian Miller Says:

    If you say Bob Barr to regular people, particularly Republicans, they kinda-sorta know the name already.

    Indeed.

    For instance, when I go out to campaign for Libertarian candidates in the LGBT community, the most frequent response is “isn’t that the guy who co-sponsored the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act?”

    Not all recognition is good recognition.

  15. John Campbell Says:

    There is no way you can argue that Ron Paul’s and Bob Barr’s records are equally (in)consistant. I’ve watched 20 year old Ron Paul videos, and if you close your eyes you would swear they were recorded yesterday. Try that with Bob Barr.

    Given the choice between a Republican with libertarian beliefs and a Libertarian with Republican beliefs, I’ll choose the former every time.

    As for this “Cult of Personality” meme that I keep reading over and over, consider this. Most voters don’t vote for ideologies, they vote for candidates. Show me a $6 million dollar money bomb or a Saturday morning sign waving party for Bob Barr and I might reconsider.

  16. Reform Party Member /Don Lake Says:

    Confessional: I have flirted with Libertarian principles for decades, but refuse to ‘call back’ after years of ‘blind dates’, much less getting around to buying the promise ring…..

    Confessional: I do not care for ANY Democan or Republicrat running a site called TPW. Sounds like just an other establishment lie! And I thot Cassidy, the Republican office holder, was quite mediocre as a founder/ webmaster of the site! To me, TPW survived and thrived IN SPITE of Austin. He just does not do enough for non Libertarian and non Conservative groups! [A complain which is justifiably repeated with Stephen Gordon, whom at least is not a Dem or GOP!]

    Having said that, I thot his blog was balanced, even tempered, and logical!

  17. Mike Theodore Says:

    “Indeed.

    For instance, when I go out to campaign for Libertarian candidates in the LGBT community, the most frequent response is “isn’t that the guy who co-sponsored the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act?”

    Not all recognition is good recognition.”

    He’s not popular at all within the community. His recent video saying marriage is not the governments business could have been a buoy. But that disappeared. Whoever runs his youtube page said, “It actually had a typo in the splash page, and our video crew is having some issues re-editing. ”
    I don’t buy it. I doubt his sincerity to give us marriage rights. He’s not forthright with it, and hides it. Most candidates barely mention gay rights. Guess it’s “icky” to them. Gravel and Phillies are very detailed on their policies, and don’t hesitate to say them. I’m waiting for someone to question Barr on these rights. Someone trying to create a second GOP…Hard to trust on LGBT issues.

  18. Eric Dondero Says:

    Bob Barr’s vote total is more likely to be in the 4 to 5 million range. He’s already polling 4% in Zogby. The expected number of voters this year will be in the 130 million range.

    That translates to well over 5 million for a 4% vote getter.

    That would push the Libertarian Party into the category of a “minor-major party.” They’d sort of be like the Liberal Party of England, not nearly as big as Labor or the Tories, but much larger than all other minor parties in the UK.

  19. Eric Dondero Says:

    Bob Barr is a lot more of a popular figure amongst libertarian-leaning Republicans than Ron Paul. He doesn’t have nearly the amount of baggage that Paul has on foreign policy issues. I know of countless libertarian-leaning Republicans (many of whom hang out at Little Green Footballs, HotAir.com, RedState and Race42008.com) who would never support Paul strictly because of his views on foreign policy, but are now openly talking of voting for Barr.

  20. Eric Dondero Says:

    David Nolan seems to forget, David Bergland, the LP’s 1984 Presidential nominee, declared his intentions to run for the nomination in the lobby of the Convention Hotel the first day of the event. So, Barr delaying is not without precedent in the LP.

  21. David F. Nolan Says:

    Dondero: The situation with Bergland in ‘84 was different. We thought we had a candidate (Gene Burns) who dropped out shortly before the convention, and Bergland then jumped in. Barr is trying to have it both ways, by “sorta” announcing 50 days out, but holding off on ACTUALLY announcing until he thinks he is a shoo-in. Which he isn’t, and never will be.

  22. John Lowell Says:

    “First off, if you’re running for President - announce it already! The convention is in just a couple of weeks, and if you’re doing this half-way it might come back to bite you Fred Thompson style.”

    Yup. I was favorably disposed toward Barr but his pussy-footing has caused me to reconsider. He had my vote several weeks back, now he’d have to reconvince me and I’d consider that unlikely actually.

  23. Midwestern Independent Says:

    I think there’s a tiny chance Ron Paul will keep running after the convention, if his supporters demand it. Chuck Baldwin would probably have no problem stepping aside for him and letting the Constitution Party endorse him (and use some of their ballot lines). I hope the LP might be willing to do the same.

    The fact is that Ron Paul has never completely shut the door on a third party bid. The most telling sign is that he still dodges the question a bit instead of an outright No, and his interview with Tim Russert last winter where he said he wanted “wiggle room” can’t be forgotten. It’s also a fact that there hasn’t yet been a real organized push (even among Paul supporters) to demand a third party or independent run. If there were, I can almost guarantee the man would give it a good deal of thought.

    We need a letter writing campaign, ballot drive, or something to measure support for a third party campaign. I refuse to believe Ron Paul would hold firm to rejecting it if he were coaxed. I’m also not willing to totally give up on a non-Republican run by Ron Paul and having him on the ballot in November. A candidate like him comes along once in a generation. There is also a more fertile field than ever with both parties weakened by infighting. Let’s be realistic: Ron Paul is the only one who could run as a third party candidate with a chance to make it into the debates and earn millions of votes. Anyone who supports the idea of a third party run for Ron Paul must let him know. I intend to send off a letter this weekend to that effect, and I encourage others to do likewise.

  24. Mike Theodore Says:

    Midwestern Independent, That “wiggle room” was a while ago. But he has said that he definitely will not run as a third party candidate recently.
    My take, it had to end sometime. We all knew it. We also knew it was a set date. Time to move on, support his actions in congress.

  25. Midwestern Independent Says:

    I haven’t heard him say that. I only hear “no intentions” and “no plans” in recent interviews, the same hazy answers he always gives. The only place where a no was given was in the post Super Tuesday e-mail sent by the campaign. And I’ve heard it all but confirmed that Paul himself didn’t write it.

  26. Stefan Says:

    Eric, agree with you about the 4-5 million vote potential. Did you notice libertarian Republicans Walter B Jones and J.B. Lawson have won their primaries in NC resoundingly? Just goes to show what can be achieved under the banner of your ex-boss :-)

    Apropo Barr, he is probably waiting for a specific moment to announce his candidacy. I do think he should debate the other candidates at the next debate, e.g. he should be a formal candidate by then. He may also be able to raise his funding efforts considerably once he announces.

  27. JT Says:

    Susan: “I’m not sure what Barr supporters think is really different this year than in 1988.”

    Were there an army of pissed-off Republicans hating the party’s nominee in 1988? Was there a pointless foreign war costing hundreds of billions of $ and thousands of American lives going on in 1988? Was there a virtually tied Democratic nomination race going on in 1988, with millions of of each candidate’s supporters vowing not to support the other candidate in the general election?

    John: “Instead of nominating a candidate who tries to be like Ron Paul, why don’t we (Libertarians) just nominate Ron Paul?”

    Great idea. Then when Ron Paul rejects the nomination, Libertarians can look like the biggest jackasses in America. Look, if he hasn’t said he’d accept the nomination by now, he won’t. GET OVER IT.

    David: “Barr is trying to have it both ways, by “sorta” announcing 50 days out, but holding off on ACTUALLY announcing until he thinks he is a shoo-in. Which he isn’t, and never will be.”

    Agreed.

  28. Mike Theodore Says:

    Laying down the law JT. Lovin’ it.

  29. Jason Gatties Says:

    Don’t remember seeing that Austin is supporting any Republican candidate. I mean, some may assume all republicans fall in line, but perhaps Austin hasn’t. I wouldn’t “assume” anything, but thats just me.

    He wrote a fine opinion piece. I suppose being a soccer fan & supporter of Fulham FC, that means on my blog I shouldn’t discuss Manchester United. I think otherwise.

    I probably lost everyone here, but GREAT post Austin!

  30. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    David Nolan and others are hitting the key point here:

    Barr doesn’t want to be embarrassed, and for good reason. He has a resume. He has name recognition. He has Beltway gravitas. He is not going to risk all that seeking some podunk third party’s nomination unless he knows deep down in his gut that it will be a coronation, a walkover, a first-ballot victory with an all-party sockhop and Kum Ba Ya singing festival to follow.

    And the fact is that is simply not going to happen.

    He might be able to pull out the nomination, but he won’t do it on one ballot.

    He’ll be asked hard and embarrassing questions, and he’ll be forced to either come out born-again Libertarian on issues he’d really rather not talk about at all, or else he’ll bleed delegate votes with every non-answer.

    If he gets the nomination, he’ll have to get it by wading through an ass-deep river of political blood, much of it his own.

    I understand (although I don’t agree with) the argument that we should trip over ourselves to hand him the nomination on a silver platter … but facts are facts. We aren’t going to do that. You don’t have to like it. It’s reality whether you like it or not.

    In a full month of “exploring,” complete with Faux “News” media, etc., he’s only raised about $50k. He’s already been eclipsed as a topic of discussion within the party. He’s polling at 4% now, which translates to the usual LP 1/2 of 1% by November.

    He’s got plenty of room for a credible “folks, this just doesn’t look like my year, the interest and money isn’t there, maybe next time.” He’s an idiot if he doesn’t leap at that opportunity in the next week. And I don’t think he’s an idiot.

  31. NewFederalist Says:

    I agree with Jason. Austin… you are missed. This site has gone downhill since you pulled out. Great post! Barr will never satisfy the many Libertarians who fear success.

  32. Robert Milnes Says:

    Stefan, “I do think he should debate the other candidates at the next debate…”. I don’t think there are any more. I called for the LNC to sponsor one. Nothing. I did hear some scuttlebut that there might be a debate at the beginning of the convention. That is a good idea.

  33. Robert Milnes Says:

    “I am against the LP, so I favor the worst candidates that have a chance at the nomination. The LP is a dysfunctional organization that is a bane to liberty.” Carl Milsted.

  34. Mike Theodore Says:

    What are you getting at, Robert?

  35. Ross Says:

    The expansion of the part depends on the common sense, devotion, and hard work of its members more than anything else. Gravel and Barr offer it about equal notoriety, but the MSM is going to downplay any LP candidate. These two will get brief mentions, but that’s the best anyone can hope for.

    It would be a mistake to nominate Barr if for no other reason than his voting for the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq.

  36. Robert Milnes Says:

    I do not agree with Milsted in this instance, but I certainly sympathize with the strong feelings here. Libertarians now have 2 theoreticians who agree a plurality involving libertarians is possible. They don’t seem to understand or care. I am astounded; That my campaign calling for a try at actually winning, verifying ideas previously described Milsted & backed up by a Cato study & precedented Progressive party 1912, is getting nowhere fast. I guess if it isn’t pure, it is unworthy. Libertarians=self defeating behavior.

  37. Austin Cassidy Says:

    G.E. - Fair enough, I can completely understand. Although I would add that I don’t support Alan Keyes, if that was your suggestion. The man is an opportunist and a clown… and he’s running for President to keep his name in the public and pay off past debts. I’d even called him out on that on this blog in the past.

    Don Lake - You’re quite right… I was a mediocre webmaster. This site has improved greatly since Steve Gordon took over and I’m finding it to be a much more interesting read, personally. And the traffic is up by about 900% - so they must be doing something right. :)

  38. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Jason - Actually, I have stated in the past I was supporting Senator McCain over Huckabee and Romney for the GOP nod. In general, he’s probably the closest to my principles on the broad array of issues out there. I absolutely don’t agree with him about everything, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

    The final field isn’t set yet - so we’ll have to wait and see. I had really hoped for a competitive 3 or 4 way election this year to make things interesting. But it looks more like a re-run of 2000.

  39. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Eric - He’s polling 4% now, which doesn’t mean much. Badnarik was polling in the mid single digits in some states prior to the 2004 election… but by the end of it he didn’t even top 0.75% in any state at all.

    I still think Barr could hit 1 million… but that’s based more on past results for Nader, not poll numbers. Barr is well known enough to scrape together some protest votes. If he gets the nomination, I think the wisest move would be to campaign hard in states where McCain or Obama is already a lock. The swing state strategy doesn’t work, because the wasted vote argument is so much more powerful there.

    But run some TV ads in Utah, Montana, or Vermont and he could get 4-5% of the vote there.

  40. Bill Woolsey Says:

    What is the difference between this year and 1988? You must be kidding.

    In 1988, Reagan was finishing his second term. Inflation had fallen and the economy had recovered. The U.S., was, more or less, at peace.

    Regan was quite popular. His vice President was seeking election.

    Today, Bush is finishing his second term, and is one of the most unpopular Presidents in modern times. McCain seeks to replacing, promising to continue the unpopular no-win war forever.

    Both inflation and unemployment are rising. The economic situation is troubling.

    I think the opportunity for the LP is much better.

  41. Mike Theodore Says:

    Bill, You forget that blind ideals on the Democratic side might fool the voting majority.

  42. Justin Grover Says:

    Not to repeat myself, but Mr. Barr is on the record being fairly strong (now) in the pro-rights arena re: gay rights.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=twzme6btHxg

    (This wasn’t Pepe’s first interview, but it wasn’t far from it. . . )

    Again, I’m not endorsing Mr. Barr.

  43. Jason Gatties Says:

    Well I stand corrected Austin. I must have missed that. I just know someone said something about you supporting McCain and I didn’t remember you ever posting that here. At least I think I read that in the comments here, my eyes may be playing tricks on me and I’m too lazy to go back to see for sure if that was indeed a comment in this post.

    Either way, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  44. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Well, her we go again . . . I guess the vote count is everything. I will suggest again, that if Hillary (or Obama) is on the losing end for the Democrats, we should get either of them. They are sure to get us the votes!

    People forget, that Mary was a FIJA board member, is fairly well known in the alternative health, and nutritional supplement community, and promoted well could potentially get a few hundred thousand votes there.

    But let’s face it, if the candidate isn’t all that libertarian, the vote total isn’t going to matter. In 4 years, those “Barr” votes will be just as likely to go somewhere else (if not more so) as back to the LP.

  45. RagsterLives Says:

    We need to get off of the Ron Paul bandwagon. While his points are liked, people are turned off by his speaking and debating abilities. The Libertarian Party really has a chance this year to make some headway into the two big box parties. If we are to succeed to advance any libertarian ideas, we need someone who looks good on camera, can get media attention, can speak well, get libertarian ideas across, and is a good debater. That really only leaves two candidates. Barr and Root. Let’s make this an election in which we gain seats in Congress, legislatures, and shoot to really win the Presidency. We need candidates that can pull from Democrats and Republicans alike. Let’s not sabotage our chances!

  46. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. James Says:
      May 6th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Thread jack:

    Is that what Mary Ruwart really looks like in that ad to the right? Why does it not look like any other picture I have seen of her?

    This is the type of photo you get when they are studio/professionally done.

    I actually think it is similar to some of her other “professionally” done photos, albeit that she is older now, and naturally looks a little older now.

  47. Allen Hacker Says:

    Austin,

    An old Sufi reminder:

    - We are not dogs, content to lick the hands of masters;
    - Nor are we cats, destined to live in fear;
    - We are human beings:
    - We dream, We aspire, We pursue, We build.

    And a caution from Richard Bach, writing in ‘Illusions’:

    - Argue for your limitations, and they are yours.

    0

  48. Yank Says:

    Thread jack, Mary Ruwart is a good piece of ass. No bubble butt but good.

  49. Sean Scallon Says:

    Strip everything away about persons concerns or complaints about Bob Barr and realize it comes down to one thing: Does the LP want to have an impact on the national election this year, in which case they would nominate Barr or Root. Or do they wish to be pure, which in this case they would nominate Phillies or Ruwart. That’s what the delegates have to decide upon.

    At least if you go with pure you better go with Phillies.Ruwart and Kubby are disasters waiting to happen, especially Ruwart.

  50. Yank Says:

    Allen,

    An ass sex primer:

    - We are not dog ass, content to lick the hands of masters;
    - Nor are we cat ass destined to live in fear;
    - We are human beings:
    - We dream, We aspire, We pursue, We get ass.

    And a caution from Richard Bach, writing in ‘Illusions’:

    - Argue for your ass needs, and they are yours.

    ASS

  51. Andy Says:

    “But history doesn’t support, in my opinion, the idea that an ex-Republican congressman whose record was fairly lackluster (when it wasn’t simply awful) and whose style is noncommittal and uninspiring, can be any sort of breakthrough candidate for us. This (electoral breakthrough) is certainly not what happened when, in 1988, the LP ran an inspiring, committed ex-Republican congressman with a great record. I’m not sure what Barr supporters think is really different this year than in 1988.”

    I’ve been following Congressman Ron Paul since 1996. I’ve read lots of Ron Paul’s articles and speeches. I’ve seen Ron Paul speak in person 4 times. I had diner with Ron Paul once. I know quite a bit about Congressman Ron Paul, and (former) Congressman Bob Barr, YOU ARE NO RON PAUL!

  52. Andy Says:

    “But history doesn’t support, in my opinion, the idea that an ex-Republican congressman whose record was fairly lackluster (when it wasn’t simply awful) and whose style is noncommittal and uninspiring, can be any sort of breakthrough candidate for us. This (electoral breakthrough) is certainly not what happened when, in 1988, the LP ran an inspiring, committed ex-Republican congressman with a great record. I’m not sure what Barr supporters think is really different this year than in 1988.”

    There was no internet (like it is today) in 1988. A big part of Ron Paul’s success this time around came because of the internet.

  53. Andy Says:

    As much as I’d like to see the LP have as high a profile candidate as possible, I’m skeptical about Bob Barr. I think that he’s in this “exploritory” mode because he wants to be able to announce late and then waltz into the convention with the hope that a majority of the delegates will be so enamoured by his “celebrity” status that they won’t notice his flaws and lack of substance and he’ll win the nomination without having done hardly anything to earn it and without having his flaws exposed.

  54. Michael Seebeck Says:

    First of all, close the book on Dr. Paul running LP. The LP National Bylaws state that a candidate, to be nominated, must express interest in accepting the nomination. He has openly declined to do so, so his nomination would not be conformance with the national bylaws.

    Second, Milnes, you ignoranus (but I repeat myself), there is a Presidential debate set for 7PM on the Saturday of the convention (May 24). If you didn’t even know when the debate is, whether you are going to be there or not, then why are you even running?

    Third, for Eric “libertarian-leaning Republicans (many of whom hang out at Little Green Footballs, HotAir.com, RedState and Race42008.com) who would never support Paul strictly because of his views on foreign policy,” Dunderhead, we libertarians call them neoconliberals. Just like you. We also call them idiots. Just like you. But again, I repeat myself…

    Fourth, if Barr continues this exploring any more he might find Atlantis, the Lost Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and who really killed JFK and RFK before he actually announces. He realizes he needs to be an actual, real candidate to get in the aforementioned debate, right?

  55. Allen Hacker Says:

    Michael,

    “ignoranus” -bwaaaahahahaha!

    And I was thinking Yank was a boring ass.

    Turns out he’s just second fiddle!

    0

  56. Andy Says:

    “Michael Seebeck Says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 1:28 am
    First of all, close the book on Dr. Paul running LP. The LP National Bylaws state that a candidate, to be nominated, must express interest in accepting the nomination. He has openly declined to do so, so his nomination would not be conformance with the national bylaws.”

    I know that Ron Paul is not seeking the LP nomination. I was just making the point that Bob Barr is not as good as Ron Paul.

  57. Yank Says:

    J F K got ass.

  58. Stefan Says:

    Thomas,
    can you confidently speak for the whole LP in your current view of Barr? Reality check, he has endorsed Badnarik in 2004 and joined officially in 2006, and not only recently, so he is no opportunist that joined the LP just to have a platform on which to run a presidential campaign. Also, if that were so, he would have announced his candidacy long time ago and campaigned.
    I think he announced the explatory committee as he was asked by some LP people, there has been strong interest and this is probably what persuaded him. He is doing this process cautiously to test the waters with some radical LP members and I am thinking he is addressing various crowds and introducing the LP to them. A politician should campaign for new votes, not retaining or only for the “old votes”. You have to interact with people to see where the needs are and to devise a well thought out strategy, and cannot only dictate to them how they should think and vote.

    About his raising of money, yes it is not mind blowing, but which other candidate has a comparable ticker on their website to see in real time how much they have raised??? In the primaries of both parties ONLY Ron paul had it, as a novum and it is quite a risk to do. The highest trees often catches the most wind…

    I did not get the impression he is an arrogant person that says the nomination belongs to him as he was a congressmen. I never got that impression, it could be that some of his supporters think so, but not he himself. He has done a lot for the LP during the past two years and you have to give him credit for that. Also before joining the LP he has worked actively witht he ACLU to promote civil liberties, get the Patriot Act repealed etc. You can see some congressional hearding on CSPAN about this. He has done this of own conviction, not any political post. The LP represents to him what the GOP used to represent and still preach at times, but not adhere. This is his sincere conviction. Maybe you should reserve judgement on him only after you have met him personally and had a chance to speak over issues. This is after all a very libertarian sign of openness, as Mary Ruwart also propogates.

    I do think regional areas and environment also plays a role to how you tend. A libertarian from Massachucetts would be different than a libertarian from Texas, for instance, and one from Alabama could be different from one in New York. One should in terms of electrocal success look at those states that represent the “average” American the best to see with which central issues you will have the most success. Ultimately many people vote in terms of people they already know or has some name recognition and on a few issues. There would be no time to go into all details of Libertarian party policy and about the details there are also difference among Libertarians. Rather focus on basic issues in agreement. With smaller government, there would be automatically more freedom and there would be closer. IMHO there should be an interaction, the LP should also have the opneness to take good aspects of more recent politicians that joined the LP, for instance Gravel also makes some good points with regard to direct democracy and the LP could see how such issues could be integrated into the party platform in order to enrich and broaden the appeal.

  59. Stefan Says:

    Yank, everybody has ass here, except you…and if you have, we want to haunt your ass down so that you do not write about the tiring issue again. Please this is a board for serious politican discussion, not for clowns. Go to the circus for that.

  60. Bill Woolsey Says:

    I think Barr is the best candidate for the LP.

    Dondero/Rittberg’s “endorsement” of him is counterproductive,
    at least for me.

    If neo-con hawks would vote for Barr, then there must be something
    wrong with him.

    Assuming Barr sticks with his “I think going into Iraq was a mistake and staying there was a mistake.” And “we should start withdrawing and removing our security blanket on the Iraqi regime.” It is OK by me.

    If he can turn hawks away from the war, great.

    But I think that his greatest appeal will be for those who already turned against the war. That is, the great majority of the American people. Not those of us who were fanatically against the war in Iraq from the start (like me.) But those who supported the war and now have come to their senses.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stefan,

    You write:

    “Thomas, can you confidently speak for the whole LP in your current view of Barr?”

    I defy you to name a single time that I’ve EVER claimed to “speak for the whole LP.” My opinions are clearly my opinions and ONLY my opinions.

    “Reality check, he has endorsed Badnarik in 2004 and joined officially in 2006, and not only recently, so he is no opportunist that joined the LP just to have a platform on which to run a presidential campaign.”

    Nor have I suggested that he is such an opportunist.

    “Also, if that were so, he would have announced his candidacy long time ago and campaigned.”

    He campaigned for more than a year before announcing his “exploratory committee.” You don’t think he was tearing ass around the country speaking at every LP event that would have him for no reason at all, do you? And, for the record, no, I’m not putting him down for that. Smart way of doing things. But let’s not pretend it was anything but what it was. He was running for the presidential nomination without taking the risk of announcing that he was running for the presidential nomination … and the reaction obviously convinced him that there might be some “there” there.

    “I did not get the impression he is an arrogant person that says the nomination belongs to him as he was a congressmen. I never got that impression, it could be that some of his supporters think so, but not he himself.”

    Nor have I suggested that he thinks any such thing. What I’ve suggested is that he does have political capital to protect, and that I don’t believe he’ll throw that political capital down on the table in a longshot bet. He’ll only actually throw in for the nomination if he really believes it’s a sure thing … and it’s not going to be a sure thing.

    “He has done a lot for the LP during the past two years and you have to give him credit for that.”

    Never said otherwise, although I could argue the point of who was doing what for whom in some respects.

    “Maybe you should reserve judgement on him only after you have met him personally and had a chance to speak over issues.”

    What makes you think that I haven’t met him personally and had a chance to speak over issues? In point of fact I have met him twice, had one extended conversation with him, followed the Q&A at his appearances closely, and have discussed certain aspects of his embryonic campaign in depth with members of his staff. And as I have stated before, I was actually quite excited about the prospect of him running until he started playing this Mario Cuomo routine.

    I don’t dislike Barr. Matter of fact, I’d bet I like Barr as well or better than at least half the members of the LP do. If he had been willing to get in, throw down, publicly make the Big Ideological Break with the conservatives and tell a good “road to Damascus” story, I’d have been pleased as punch to support him. Instead, he screwed around and now he can’t get the nomination without a bloodbath. I don’t think he wants a bloodbath for himself or for the party, and I give him credit for being smart enough to see what’s what.

  62. Doremus Jessup Says:

    so has Borat officially endorsed Bob Barr yet? Cultural learnings for make benefit of glorious nation of Kazahkstan enjoys eating cheese with the former congressman:
    http://www.chbn.com/Clip.aspx?key=8BF2D6BFC8CACD0C

  63. Eric Dondero Says:

    Mr. Woolsey, I’m curious. Do you think the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein dead and buried? Or would you rather see him still in power ruling Iraq, with his two greaseball sons Uday and Qusay ready to take over the reigns for another 40 or 50 years when Daddy croaked?

    You cannot escape this fundamental question. If you oppose the War in Iraq, you are essentially siding with Saddam Hussein and Uday and Qusay. You are putting yourself in alliance with the Hitler of our time, one of the most murderous, totalitarian thugs in the history of the human race.

    Are you Pro or Anti-Saddan Mr. Woolsey?

  64. Eric Dondero Says:

    Mr. Woolsey, I’m curious. Do you think the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein dead and buried? Or would you rather see him still in power ruling Iraq, with his two greaseball sons Uday and Qusay ready to take over the reigns for another 40 or 50 years when Daddy croaked?

    You cannot escape this fundamental question. If you oppose the War in Iraq, you are essentially siding with Saddam Hussein and Uday and Qusay. You are putting yourself in alliance with the Hitler of our time, one of the most murderous, totalitarian thugs in the history of the human race.

    Are you Pro or Anti-Saddam Mr. Woolsey?

  65. Eric Dondero Says:

    And Michael Seeback, real libertarians like those who hang out at Little Green Footballs, RedState, HotAir, Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugs, ect… call fake libertarians like you “NEWBIES” or LEFTWING LIBERALS MASQUERADING AS LIBERTARIANS.”

    I’ve got 26 years of hardcore activism for the Libertarian Party and the overall libertarian movement bub, including a sting on the Libertarian National Committee, as State Sec. for the Libertarian Party of Florida, and as an LP candidate for State Legislature.

    DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A REAL LIBERTARIAN YOU FUCKING FASCIST SLIME

  66. Eric Dondero Says:

    Sean Scanlon is right. Kubby and Phillies are low vote totals save the embarrassment. Mary Ruwart is low vote total with the risk of a huge ever-lasting embarrassment for the Libertarian Party. The Party risks forever being associated with Child Sex and Kiddie Porn.

    The LP came awfully close to this dissaster in 1985 when Ruwart’s mentor David Bergland published a two page article advocating outreach to NAMBLA. Fortunately, the media back then could care less about the LP. So, it was quickly forgotten about.

    All that will be drummed up again, and pulled out in a general election campaign with Ruwart as Party standardbearer.

    It will make Jamie Kirchik and the New Republican slam piece on Ron Paul’s racist Newsletters look like a picnic.

  67. Eric Dondero Says:

    Is Tom Knapp mathematically challenged?

    He admits that Bob Barr is polling 4% in Zogby, than goes on to say that that would translate to the “usual” .5% for LP Presidential candidates.

    NEWSFLASH!! The expected vote total for this year’s election is over 130 million. 4% of 130 million is about 3 million votes (roughly). Now that’s the baseline for Barr. He’s polling 4% right now, having not even announced.

    With some campaigning we’re likely to see that go up to 6 or 7%. That translates to 5 to 6 million votes.

    Now, Ed Clark got 920,000 votes in 1980. I dare say, 5 to 6 million would be a significant improvement over that.

  68. Eric Dondero Says:

    Stefan, this is the first I’ve heard that Al Lawson is a “Ron Paul Republican.” I’ll look into it. But the only thing I heard about the guy before the election was an endorsement I saw for him from the very Moderate Republican group - Log Cabin Clubs. They’re hardly a bastion of Ron Paul types, given Paul’s explicit homophobia.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Quoth Eric Dondero:

    “Is Tom Knapp mathematically challenged? He admits that Bob Barr is polling 4% in Zogby, than goes on to say that that would translate to the ‘usual’ .5% for LP Presidential candidates.”

    You’re right. I may have been a little high on that estimate. Michael Badnarik was polling higher than 4% (he was polling 5%) in New Mexico in 2004, much closer to the election (August as opposed to late April), and in November he only pulled 0.3% of the vote.

    Given the longer distance ‘til the election (the closer the election gets, the more third party candidates lose as “wasted vote” worries kick in), and given Barr’s poor polling performance v. Badnarik, the numbers seem to indicate that Barr would perform more like 0.25% than 0.5% in November.

  70. JT Says:

    Eric: “Is Tom Knapp mathematically challenged?

    He admits that Bob Barr is polling 4% in Zogby, than goes on to say that that would translate to the “usual” .5% for LP Presidential candidates.

    NEWSFLASH!! The expected vote total for this year’s election is over 130 million. 4% of 130 million is about 3 million votes (roughly). Now that’s the baseline for Barr. He’s polling 4% right now, having not even announced.”

    The real question is: Are you historically challenged?

    Other Libertarian presidential nominees have polled above 1% six months before the election. The problem is that when the election actually gets here, a lot of those votes disappear. The intense media focus on the race between the two major party candidates makes many people feel like they just can’t “waste their vote” on a third party candidate. Thus, the polls six months out aren’t indicative of the final results. That’s what Knapp was getting at, I believe.

  71. Eric Dondero Says:

    And Ross Perot was polling 15% in the polls in 1992 going into the final weeks of the race and ended up with 19% of the overall vote.

    Bob Barr would be on an entirely different plain than Losertarian Michael Badnarik. It’s insulting to even put the two names in the same sentence.

    Badnarik was an unemployed Anarchist who dropped out of college, and couldn’t keep a wife or a job.

    Bob Barr is a former 4-term United States Congressman.

    To compare the two is simply insane.

    Barr even has Perot’s former Manager Russ Vearny now managing his campaign.

    If you know Vearny, you know he would not be involved in a race of a 500,000 vote total candidate. These guys are dead serious.

    I’d say there’s even an outside chance Barr could pull Ross Perot type vote totals in the 10 to 20 million range if he’s the nominee.

    And given the current political discontent with Obama and even McCain, an outside side that he could even with the Presidency.

  72. Eric Dondero Says:

    Laughable, my good friend Tom Knapp cites a rinky dink statewide poll for New Mexico in comparison to Zogby.

    Tom, couldn’t you come up with better evidence than that?

    Gallup maybe? NBC/WSJ perhaps? WaPo?

    Really, no offense intended to the good folks of New Mexico, but the Albuquerque News Journal is not the most “distinguished” of polling firms in the US.

  73. The Democratic Republican Says:

    Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 7:37 am
    Stefan,

    You write:

    “Thomas, can you confidently speak for the whole LP in your current view of Barr?”

    I defy you to name a single time that I’ve EVER claimed to “speak for the whole LP.” My opinions are clearly my opinions and ONLY my opinions.

    Actually, Tom, you did say “we” won’t do this, referring to the LP nomination, in your first post on this thread. I, too, was irritated by it. Unless you meant multiple personalities or something.

    Dondero: There is no “Liberal” party in the UK. There is a “Liberal Democrat” party. But now there is an LP UK. I have lived there and can tell you that we should support that fledgling party as much as we can.

    Last thought: I think it’s unfortunate that Barr and Root have come to represent the “pragmatist” wing and Kubby and Ruwart have come to represent the fundamentalists. While I’m sure the latter is accurate, and I strongly support Barr, those two aren’t really what I have in mind when I speak about pragmatism.

    My interest in pragmatism is in how principle meets practice. Things like: what would a libertarian mayor do about economic development? What about land use policy? What about allowing utility rates to be increased to pay for transmission grid expansion? In other words, all of the questions that have to be answered when the ideal libertarian solutions aren’t available or feasible.

  74. Eric Dondero Says:

    JT you’re right. The polls 6 months out are not indicative. I would fully expect a former 4-term US Congressman running on a ticket of a Party with near 50 state ballot status, to do significantly better than 4%.

    The guy is not even announced yet, and he’s already at 4%.

    I’d say that would double post-LP Convention upon his nomination.

    If he breaks into the double digits, watch for a Ross Perot effect to kick in. He’ll instantly be the darling of the liberal media, cause they will sense that he’ll take away votes from McCain, and help to elect Obama.

    I think Barr could reach a take off point, where anything is possible after that. Even him surpassing McCain, and maybe even being elected to the White House as the Perot of 2008.

    (Note - He’s far more stable, level headed and less kooky than Perot, which gives him an enormous opportunity to actually win this thing.)

  75. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Eric,

    The poll in which Badnarik pulled 5% of the statewide vote in New Mexico in August of 2004 (twice—before and after a visit and ad campaign, although the crosstab composition changed) was not conducted by the Albuquerque News Journal, it was conducted by Rasmussen, one of the most respected polling firms in the US —and one which I seem to recall you comparing favorably to Zogby in the past.

    You note that Ross Perot was polling 15% late in the 1992 race, at a time WHEN HE HAD DROPPED OUT OF THE FRIGGINRACE, and came back to get 19%. What you fail to mention is that earlier in the year—April or May, I believe—he was polling at 38% and looked like the possible winner.

    Third party candidates poll stronger earlier on. Their polling goes downward as the election gets closer, as the race tightens between the major party candidates, as those major party candidates bring their bigger warchests into action, and as the “wasted vote” concern gets played like the string section of a symphony orchestra. That’s a bankable historical fact …

    ... and it’s as true this year as any other. The GOP’s anti-McCain grumblers who were ready to bolt their party in March are ALREADY falling back into line and waving the “if we don’t support McCain, the wrong lizard might win” flag. If Barr is only polling at 4% during his media honeymoon, it’s simply not supportable on the basis of the historical data to assume that he’ll be polling as much as 1/4th that well by late October after the major parties have pulled out all the stops.

  76. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    DR,

    You write:

    “Actually, Tom, you did say ‘we’ won’t do this, referring to the LP nomination, in your first post on this thread. I, too, was irritated by it. Unless you meant multiple personalities or something.”

    What I wrote was:

    I understand (although I don’t agree with) the argument that we should trip over ourselves to hand him the nomination on a silver platter … but facts are facts. We aren’t going to do that. You don’t have to like it. It’s reality whether you like it or not.

    Read it carefully. I was not purporting to “speak for” the party. I was making a factual claim about the party. We do not, for the most part, do Kum Ba Ya coronations, and the indications are that we won’t do one this year. That’s just an observable fact.

  77. Mike Theodore Says:

    “DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A REAL LIBERTARIAN YOU FUCKING FASCIST SLIME

    Eric, your a Republican. I’m not saying this just because of the obvious GOP tone of your posts. You’ve said it yourself. You have said in the past that you are a proud Republican who continuously votes for the Repbublican canidate. Now you seem to tag along with the LP on the side simply to try and infiltrate it with Republican ideals and make it a second GOP party. You come in here and try to tell everyone that all “dedicated” libertarians hold Republican ideologies. God damnit, Eric. We’re a THIRD party. We don’t have to conform to the failed policies of one of the two parties. We all mutually hold the simple idea of freedom and liberty in our hearts. Except, oddly, you. How in the hell can you call yourself a “REAL LIBERTARIAN” while seemingly campaigning against what they all hold dear? Jesus Christ, Dondero. What in the sweet hell are you talking about?

  78. Sean Scallon Says:

    Gee Mr. Rittberg I thought we hated each other? Thanks for the compliment.

    I think you would agree it’s just common sense. I listened to Ruwart’s explanation of hew views on child porn and she use the standard LP boilerplate: “If we make child porn into a business then the problem goes away, just like drugs and alcohol.” It’s about as amoral a statement as I ever heard and it doesn’t matter how many times she explains herself or her own personal oppostion to child porn, which I’m sure is sincere. The voters are going to put two and two together with their own quick method and conclude she is not fit the hold the Oval Office and view the LP as a collection of sick freaks. No doubt Chuck Baldwin would love to see Mary Ruwart become the LP nominee and will set up collection points for all the defectors streaming his way.

    By the way Mr. Rittberg, I thought Iran’s leader was the Hitler of our Time. Or was it Syria’s leader? Or Kim Jong Il? What about Musharaff in Pakistan who’s country houses Osama bin Laden? Robert Mugabe is doing some pretty sick stuff in Zimbabwe. Is he not a Hitler? Why are we not invading Zimbabwe to liberate its people from his evil clutches? Hmmm? How many Hitlers can one world have and how many countries do you want to occupy in order to prevent them from popping up? Not even Wayne Allyn Root believes that neocon garbage anymore and smartly so. If he wins the LP nomination it’s because he ditched trying to be McCain’s twin brother. You might try doing the same thing too if you really are interested in having libertarians play a role in the GOP instead of muddying the waters with a discredited ideology that has nothing to do with freedom and has everything to do with big government.

  79. Eric Dondero Says:

    Goddam right I’m a Republican, and a proud one at that. JUST LIKE THE TWO FOUNDERS OF OUR MODERN LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT DANA ROHRABACHER AND BARRY GOLDWATER.

    Or, are you too much of a Newbie to our libertarian movement to realize that?

  80. Eric Dondero Says:

    No Scanlon, the Hitler of our time was Saddam Hussein. All the others including Bin Laden are just Saddam Hussein wannabees.

    There was no more evil a human being in the entire World since Pol Pot than Saddam Hussein.

    You should read up on the guy. He was even a blatant Hitler worshipper.

  81. Eric Dondero Says:

    Hey Mike Theodore, I have some news for you…

    THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY IS A SECOND PARTY TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    The LP was founded by the friggin’ Colorado Chairman of the Young Republicans for gosh sakes.

    Every single LP Presidential candidate in history save one, has been a former or current member of the Republican Party.

    Every elected Libertarian to a State Legislator in Alaska, New Hampshire, Vermont and Michigan since 1980 has served as a Member of the “Republican Caucus.”

  82. The Democratic Republican Says:

    Tom Knapp:

    It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. But please remember your linguistic hairsplitting the next time a linguistic “realist” tries to explain why there is no “United States” or why “Washington” doesn’t actually do anything because it is a fictive entity. “We” is a fictive entity and you used it pretty straightforwardly to explain why “we” do or don’t do certain things. You say that what “we” do is an observable fact, but I would say it is quite presumptive to say that your interpretation of the outcomes of an event is an objective statement of what “we” are doing.

    The easier explanation, of course, is that you were speaking on behalf of the party—or at the very least, speaking to the culture and behaviors of the party, which is not too different (seeing as “the party” is also a fictive entity).

  83. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    DR,

    If using the word “we” made my intent or the meaning of my comment unclear, I apologize—as a writer, I am well aware that if the reader doesn’t understand what the writer is trying to convey, that’s nobody’s fault but the writer’s.

    So, let me make myself abundantly clear: Unless I explicitly state otherwise, I am never speaking on behalf of anyone but myself. If I make a factual claim as to the characteristics of a collective entity, that claim is my (hopefully reasonably informed) opinion, not a claim that I’ve got some access to said entity’s collective subconscious.

    I am a member of the Libertarian Party. There are other members of the LP. It is reasonable, under certain circumstances, to characterize myself and those other members as “we,” and to make factual assertions concerning said grouping, which is what I was trying to do. “We have not ever elected a member of our party to the US House of Representatives.” “We only got ballot access in 48 states last time.” “We don’t generally do coronations.”

    And so on, and so forth.

  84. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Speaking of ballot access… is anyone else starting to find this graphic worrisome?

    http://www.lp.org/index_ba08.html

    For those of you who’ve been watching the LP on the national level for some time - is this about average for this time of year? Or are we behind?

  85. Andy Says:

    Susan, that chart LP ballot access chart is not even close to being up to date. There are several active LP petition drives and lots more signatures have been collected than is recognized on that chart.

  86. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    Eric, I will politely ask that you NEVER EVER refer to my husband as a slime or a fascist again—or at least until you have the damn decency to actually become a Libertarian both by membership and in spirit.

    As for Barr.

    He’d better hop to it. It took their office over a month to respond to my email that I send the day after the Heartland announcement. That isn’t even close to professional. They also promised that they’d answer some of the burning questions out there about his past legislation and current positions. I’ve already stated my concern so I won’t repeat myself, but at this rate I expect to see a video shortly before election Day—the November one that is.

    Either act like you’re serious or let us know you’re dropping. This suspense is doing no favors.

  87. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    Eric Dondero Says:
    May 7th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    *No Scanlon, the Hitler of our time was Saddam Hussein. All the others including Bin Laden are just Saddam Hussein wannabees.

    There was no more evil a human being in the entire World since Pol Pot than Saddam Hussein.

    You should read up on the guy. He was even a blatant Hitler worshipper.*

    Actually, Eric, Saddam was a Stalin worshiper. And Stalin was the USA’s ally.

    Every elected Libertarian to a State Legislator in Alaska, New Hampshire, Vermont and Michigan since 1980 has served as a Member of the “Republican Caucus.”

    Except for Steve Villancourt (sp) of NH.

    But your argument that the LP is and should be the republicans bitch MIGHT be why our vote totals have been so small over the years. Perception means a lot in politics. And not everybody comes to the LP from the republican party. I didn’t. I came to the LP because of Carter’s excessive militarism. The “Carter Doctrine” was the final straw.

    I am not the least bit excited about the Barr campaign, such as it is. I haven’t seen much of it, about as much as I’ve seen of the Kubby campaign. Which is to say not much at all.

    I am excited about the possibility of a Gravel campaign, however. Gravel IS campaigning for the nomination, and not just to the LP choir. Gravel has been speaking all over the country to all sorts of groups.

    And with sooo many lefty types getting tired of Obama and Hillary’s “do anything in the quest for power” campaigns, an enegized LP could do better than ever.

    PEACE
    Steve

  88. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Gee Dondero, while your supposed 26 years of libertarian experience was busy bitching about the man who fired you, I was busy trying to help put the county LP affiliate you are/were living in back together. For someone who supposedly wants what is best for the LP, you sure were AWOL in that effort!

    So you served on the LNC, on the Florida LP ExCom, and was a candidate. Big freaking deal. I was a double Lights of Liberty Triathlete, served on the Colorado ExCom, various county ExComm posts in two states, during which I coordinated a television outreach to 135K people on $250, and was a candidate that saved my constituents $46M in defeating a bond measure.

    But that doesn’t matter, dumbass. It doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the same fight. It’s McArthur in one theater and Eisenhower in another. It’s too bad you can’t see that obvious truth.

    And don’t even begin to lecture anyone about “newbie” status. For your alleged 26 years experience, you sure don’t seem to know shit about libertarianism, ESPECIALLY when it comes to defense. And you call me a fascist? Dud (not dude), that’s pathetic!

    I judge by results and actions and pricnicples. You, sir,—and I use that term VERY loosely!—are 0 for 3 in that department as of late.

    I’d be amused at this if it was actually something rising to the level of pathetic…

  89. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Relax, Allen. :)

    “Ignoranus” is a Seebeck Original that indicates an ingorant person has their head up their #2 hole. Other Seebeck Originals include “e-byss” (that place emails disappear into when they neither bounce or get delivered!), and “neoconliberal”, which admittedly is a term redundant in itself.

    Milnes and Dondero are merely court jesters, and they deserve the heckler veto.

    Do I have the asnwers to it all? Nope. But I do have a very sensitive BS meter, and it has only 4 settings: no BS, some BS, all BS, and TILT. It tend to be accurate.

    (BTW, Allen, I know you well enough to know you don’t BS people, so please don’t think I was referring to you, because I wasn’t. In the past I thought otherwise (around 2005), but I admit I was clearly wrong.)

  90. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Easy, Lid honey. It’s just Dondero. No sense getting riled up over him.

    You don’t see it, but I’m laughing at him over my keyboard.

  91. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    Yes but has it reached the “evil witch” cackle stage yet or is it merely bemused giggling? and aside from that, I don’t take well to you being called a “slime”.

  92. Michael Seebeck Says:

    More like eye-rolling, head-shaking, amused sighing and chuckling…

    I can see why you’d not like him calling me slime, but it’s what he’s familiar with…and when in doubt, he goes back to what he knows…see the other recent threads and you’ll see what I mean.

  93. Mike Theodore Says:

    One Seebeck. Two Seebeck’s?! Woo! Why are you two on different computers?

  94. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Different locations, different computers, Mike. :)

    And yes, we are a LP tag team, but we won’t be taking on Glen Jacobs and Sean Morely anytime soon (except maybe for lunch).

  95. Allen Hacker Says:

    Right, Michael,

    No problem. I was complimenting your wit over Yank’s rut. Rut? He wishes.

    0

  96. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Allen,

    Ah, OK, I get it. LOL :)

  97. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    Yeah, Allen, that’s dangerous talk around a guy like that.

    discreetly hiding a whip behind me in case Yank comes around

  98. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Well, now we know Lidia is the CA delegation whip in Denver! ROFL!

    And Yank should stay clear. Lidia’s ass is mine and only mine! (and vice versa!) :D

  99. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    The question is, will I use it (the whip, d’uh) impartially? I won’t touch the rest of that in public…

  100. Mike Theodore Says:

    wow. XXX site here.

  101. Michael Seebeck Says:

    ROFLMAO!

  102. Sean Scallon Says:

    A man scared of a puffed up buffoon like Saddam Hussein would be scared of his own shadow. Too bad too many U.S. troops had to die because of the cowards who masquerade and call themelves “conservatives” or “libertarians”.

  103. Tom Says:

    To the person who asked, the difference between now and when Paul ran for president in 1988 is huge. In 1988 the country was in the middle of the Reagan boom and the conservative party was united. This year is much closer in resemblance to 1992 when the economy was in recession and the republican base was becoming disillusioned with Bush I and Perot broke through.

    On a different note, even though the majority of the base for Barr might be described as the more conservative libertarian leaning Republicans, I’m finding it much easier to talk to Obama people than McCain people into possibly switching over to a vote for Barr. The Obama people I know remember Barr from his appearance on the Bullshit episode on the Patriot Act; so there’s a passing familiarity on the other side as well. When it comes to the issues, I find that Obama people are far more interested in talking about real change whereas McCain people are largely stead-fast one issue voters that are not going to budge. When I articulate the differences between what Obama and Barr plan to do and what it will mean I’m finding that Obama’s ideas are not as popular as what it is he represents. And what he represents has been relatively easy to deconstruct and present an alternative that appeals to every individual’s common sense. Barr is a crucial peace to this though. He is the only candidate that will get that conservative base and the libertarian party needs that base if it ever plans on becoming a serious opposition party. If the libertarian party fails to nominate Barr then unfortunately they are truly hopeless. The window of opportunity is right now. Get that 5%-8% in the general, take the Federal funding, and watch the momentum build around you to 2012 and 2016. If you’re really serious about making a real difference in government through the libertarian party this is it. Shit or get off the pot.

  104. Alex Peak Says:

    I disagree with Barr on the drug war. He supports it very strongly at the state level, whereas I agree with Dr. Paul that the states should do away with their laws on drug use.

    I disagree with Barr on immigration. He supports non-market (i.e. unnatural, or government-based) regulations on immigration, whereas I believe such regulations simply distort the market and hurt the economy, while helping no one (except maybe labour unions).

    I disagree with Barr on the USA PATRIOT Act. He believes it’s okay to vote for it as long as you also vote to sun-set some of its more egregious aspects.

  105. Alex Peak Says:

    [I accidentally hit submit before finishing, or even deciding whether I wanted to actually post this. Oh well. I guess I’ll continue…]

    Whereas I have no problem with him voting for the sun-set provisions, if you know from the start that it’s a bad bill, then it’s your responsibility to do what Ron Paul did: vote against it. Mr. Barr did not fulfill that responsibility.

    I disagree with Barr on abortion. (At least, I’m told he’s in favour of regulating it. If that is incorrect, I apologise to him.) I, on the other hand, agree with Harry Browne that a war on abortion will fail so miserably, within five years of starting such a war, even men will be having abortions.

    I disagree with Barr on taxation. Ideally, I’d like to see all taxes abolished. But failing that, the second-best option is that put forward by Root: place a tax on the states and give them the responsibility of collecting. Mr. Barr, on the other hand, wants to focus on the FairTax, which I believe can be very detrimental to the libertarian movement.

    I don’t like how Mr. Barr still, from time to time, uses the term “conservative” with a positive connotation. Libertarianism is it’s own unique ideology that finds flaws with both liberalism and conservatism. Notice that my last sentence does not alienate liberals or conservatives, because when one hears that you question both sides, the liberals and conservatives are both more willing to listen and consider respectfully your objections. But when you favour one term over the other, you immediately push away voters from the side whose term you are not using. Whereas Browne was able to get votes from both the Democrats and the Republicans, I fear Barr will only be able to get votes from Republicans.

    This is, in a nutshell, why I fear Barr. If he makes a few minor changes, he would be an amazing candidate. But until then, I remain afraid.

    Respectfully,
    Alex Peak

  106. Yank Says:

    What about both Seebecks’s assess? 2 4 1!

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