Update on the Vast Right Wing (within the LP) Conspiracy

In case anyone missed this gem, Robert Stacy McCain is now referring to Bob Barr as an underdog in the Libertarian Party presidential race.

Former Rep. Bob Barr will be an “underdog” for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination going into this week’s convention in Denver, the ex-Republican’s campaign manager said Monday.

“We definitely don’t expect to win it on the first ballot,” said Russ Verney, the Barr manager who shepherded Ross Perot’s third-party bids in 1992 and 1996. “The other [Libertarian] candidates have been out there recruiting delegates for over a year. Bob just declared his candidacy last week, so he’s definitely the underdog.”

Although he’s been covering the possibility of a Barr presidential bid from the genesis of the movement, McCain seems to be trying to differentiate himself from other reporters covering the race:

However, with a few exceptions — including David Weigel, a writer for the libertarian journal Reason — political reporters have not examined the challenges Barr will face in Denver.

In the mean time, Barr critic Tom Knapp has announced that he is running for a seat on the LP’s Judicial Committee. Among other powers, the Judicial Committee has the power to:

A [presidential or vice presidential] candidate’s nomination may be suspended by a 3/4 vote of the entire membership of the National Committee at a meeting. That candidate’s nomination shall then be declared null and void unless the suspended candidate appeals the suspension to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notification of suspension. The resolution of suspension must state the specific reasons for suspension and must be signed by each member of the National Committee agreeing thereto. The Judicial Committee shall meet and act on this appeal within 30 days and before the election.

Along with a lot of Barr supporters, both Knapp and McCain will be traveling in the same vehicle to Denver. What is to be discussed on that long ride will likely prove very interesting to those who follow internal LP rumors and conspiracy theories.

17 Responses to “Update on the Vast Right Wing (within the LP) Conspiracy”

  1. Gordon was a prick Says:

    Cut the shit, Cory. The only thing McCain and Knapp will talk about are booze, broads and Barr. Fucking drunks.

  2. Kenny Says:

    Knapp and McCain will not conspire in front of a bunch of Barr supporters on the way to Denver. This looks like more scaremongering and smearing by Cory.

  3. Devious David Says:

    If Barr doesn’t get the nomination, who wants to bet that Knapp will have to find a ride home?

  4. Stefan Says:

    There is indeed a conspiracy against Barr, and there is also a conspiracy to change the party platform from 06 to 04 to keep both Barr and Root out (just read Knapp’s
    website, he is an anarchist and wrote with open hostility…whereas he reported earlier in an article how trustworthy his son found Barr to be). One wonders how Root would feel about a 04 platform…

    Funny thing is these people do no research about Gravel or write about him. I mean he very recently only jumped into the ring. There seems to be a “fast leftwing anarchist” conspiracy to nominate anyone but Barr. I think Ron Paul and others know very well about all the factions in the LP and they must also not feel comfortable with a social liberal stance (strongly pro-choice, outspoken atheist, libertine etc.), which is one major reason why he probably decided not to accept the Lp nomination.

    If the LP wants to go to the route towards leftwing anarchism, good, let them do it. I think (hope) quite a few will then break from the party with Barr and run as Ron Paul Independents or another third party. It would be my wish that Barr would run for congress as an Independent or another third party banner int hat case. Let the LP with a Kubby or Phillies make a hash of it and get 0,5%.-0.9% ...they will then die a certain earth over time. Ventura will also not run under any anarchist tending platform as senator for the LP. He is now more libertarian than before but referred to the Lp as anarchists in a platform, so he is also waiting to see. If the LP blew it, they have only themselves to blame, not the media, not any conspiracy etc. and the CP will outperform them, even if they may have less ballot access. Barr could also theoretically hook up with the CP, change their platform (more economic liberal, less protectionist) and Baldwin could step aside as presidential candidate and they can have a Barr-Baldwin ticket, which most RP supporters would back and arrange ballot access in the maximum number of states.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stefan,

    You seem to think that I have some personal animosity for Barr. I don’t—as a matter of fact, I find him a charming and cordial individual, and as you mention he passes the “kid test” (they won’t have anything to do with someone who puts out a fakish vibe).

    Do I support a candidate other than Barr for the nomination? Yes, I do.

    Do I believe that what I consider a “hostile takeover” of the party is in process? Yes, I do (but I could be wrong).

    Am I going to fight for my candidate and against other candidates, and to shape the LP in the way that I believe it should be shaped rather than the way others might want to shape it? You bet your ass.

    On the other hand, I’ve occasionally written complimentary things about Barr because I believe those things … and frankly, supporter of another candidate or not, I was positive and excited about the possibility of a Barr candidacy until it became clear that that candidacy was not going to be.

    My main bitch with Barr is that instead of running a strong “road to Damascus” campaign, he’s trying to remain anchored in, and ex post facto justify, things that he should be abandoning, denouncing, and holding himself out as an example of the epiphanous rejection of.

    I look forward to meeting Robert Stacy McCain on the road to Denver. Maybe he’ll be wearing a Kubby 2008 button by the time we get there. I doubt it, just like I doubt that I’ll be wearing a Barr 2008 button. A lot of people I know and respect (or don’t know and default to respect for) support Barr. Outside the narrow context of the fight at hand, I don’t consider them enemies.

    Look, guys: I was for Tompkins in 1996 and Gorman in 2000, but supported and volunteered for Browne as the nominee. I supported Russo in 2004, but worked for the Badnarik campaign post-nomination. I support Kubby or Ruwart in 2008, but intend to support my party’s nominee—enthusiastically if possible, pro forma if necessary. There are very few things (withdrawing and endorsing one of the major party candidates would be the biggie) that could move me from that position.

    With respect to the Judicial Committee … in order for a decision relating to the presidential campaign to even GET to the Judicial Committee, it would have to first get through the LNC. I am aware of only one petition to remove a nominee (in 1992), and the LNC did not sustain that attempt, meaning it never got to the Judicial Committee.

    The Judicial Committee can’t remove a candidate—it can only sustain or overturn the LNC’s decision to do so. My frequent criticisms of the LNC notwithstanding, my only grounds for voting to overturn such a decision by the LNC would be if it was taken in violation of the bylaws (e.g. passed with less than 3/4 approval, passed without cause, not formalized in writing as required), or if credible evidence was presented that it was taken corruptly (i.e. audio/video of LNC members accepting brown paper bags stuffed with cash and agreeing to axe the nominee).

    This year’s nominee will be our tenth. To the best of my knowledge, the LNC has considered removing a candidate once, and decided not to that time. If you think I’m trying to get on the Judicial Committee in order to torpedo a Barr presidential campaign, you’re waaaaaaay further out in conspiracy theory land than I am with my “hostile takeover” stuff.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    And by the way guys … lighten up.

    If I had my druthers, TPW wouldn’t have changed hands … but it did, and that’s the way it is.

    A joke about me and RSM plotting to take over the world is just that … a joke. I’m not sure Shane (or whoever wrote it) should seek a career in standup, but why make the room tougher than it has to be?

  7. NewFederalist Says:

    Yeah, let Michael Emerling Cloud do the stand up stuff!

  8. Alex Peak Says:

    Stefan writes,

    “There is indeed a conspiracy against Barr, and there is also a conspiracy to change the party platform from 06 to 04 to keep both Barr and Root out (just read Knapp’s website, he is an anarchist and wrote with open hostility…whereas he reported earlier in an article how trustworthy his son found Barr to be). One wonders how Root would feel about a 04 platform…”

    Wow. Conspiracy theorists are so out there.

    There is no “conspiracy” against Barr, there’s an open movement of libertarians who want to make sure that we actually nominate a libertarian as our standard-bearer, and Barr appears to many of us as being even less-libertarian than Gravel.

    I personally will accept any of the following: Kubby, Smith, Ruwart, Phillies, and Root.

    There is also no “conspiracy” to restore the 2004 platform, but rather an open movement to restore the 2004 platform as a first step in the formation of the 2008 platform. Of course, accurately understood, this does not mean that the movement necessarily wants to see the 2004 platform become the 2008 platform; instead, this movement holds that the 2004 platform is a better jumping-board for the formation of a 2008 platform that everyone can support than is the 2006 platform.

    Adoption of the 2004 platform would absolutely not force out Barr or Root. First, the 2004 platform is a minarchist platform, not an anarchist platform. Second, the Restore ‘04 movement was founded by a minarchist, not an anarchist. Third, the Restore ‘04 movement advocates simply restoring the 2004 platform as a first step in the formation of the 2008 platform, which even the members of Restore ‘04 will tell you will probably end up not looking very similar to the 2004 platform even if it is restored as a first step. Moreover, the Restore ‘04 movement is organised so that those who would not agree with everything in the 2004 platform (e.g. Root, Barr, Milnes, Holtz) are free to alter whatever they do not like about the 2004 platform (in the same way we’ll be able to alter any aspect of the 2006 platform we do not like if Restore ‘04 is not enacted). Thus, there is absolutely nothing in the Restore ‘04 proposal with which Root, Barr, Milnes, or Holtz can disagree.

    “Funny thing is these people do no research about Gravel or write about him.”

    More incorrect theories. I was one of the first to state, when Gravel switched his affiliation, that he was not deserving of the LP nomination, and that he should become more libertarian first.

    The only difference between Gravel and Barr is that Gravel, who is slightly more libertarian than Barr, has no shot at getting the nomination.

    “There seems to be a ‘fast leftwing anarchist’ conspiracy to nominate anyone but Barr.”

    I don’t know of any anarchist who supports Barr, Gravel, Imperato, or Milnes.

    All libertarians are left-wingers. By that I mean all libertarians would have found themselves sitting on the far left-wing of the French parliament, along with Bastiat. As far as I’m concerned, small government is on the left and big government is on the right. Gravel, thus, is slightly to the right of libertarianism, just like Jefferson was slightly to the right of libertarianism. (If Jefferson has simply rejected slavery, and freed his slaves, he would have fallen within the libertarian tent. All Gravel has to do to fall into the libertarian tent is to oppose universal healthcare and the U.N. His support for universal healthcare vouchers and the U.N. is the main reason he falls slightly to the right of libertarianism, just outside of the libertarian tent. (Gravel has other problems as well, but I believe it’s his healthcare proposal that is the biggest problem. Another problem is his national initiative thing. But libertarianism is a big tent, and deviation from the plum-line is acceptable.) Ron Paul is to the left of both Gravel and Jeffersonm, and therefore appears under the libertarian tent.)

    “I think Ron Paul and others know very well about all the factions in the LP and they must also not feel comfortable with a social liberal stance (strongly pro-choice, outspoken atheist, libertine etc.), which is one major reason why he probably decided not to accept the Lp nomination.”

    Ron Paul is a social liberal. He’s certainly no conservative.

    Atheism has nothing to do with left v. right. One can be an atheist and fall anywhere on the spectrum, from far left (anarchism) to far right (fascism). Christians (true Christians), on the other hand, are always on the far left. Jesus, for example, was an anarchist.

    “If the LP wants to go to the route towards leftwing anarchism, good, let them do it. I think (hope) quite a few will then break from the party with Barr and run as Ron Paul Independents or another third party.”

    You hope that quite a few of us anarchists break from the Libertarian party if Barr gets the nomination and become “Ron Paul Independents”?

    Last semester, I started a group on campus called Towson Students for Ron Paul. We had three anarchists active in the organisation, and four or five minarchists active in the organisation. We had many people on the mailing list, but unfortunately they didn’t show up to meetings. (Herding cats is so hard.)

    There was also an anarchist who had been in the Campus Greens, although over the past year he’s been drifting toward geolibertarian anarchism. I almost convinced him to register Republican so as to vote in the Maryland primaries. Unfortunately, he didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of registering Republican (I don’t blame him). So, we almost had four anarchists working on campus to promote Ron Paul.

    I can guarantee you that if Bob Barr does get the nomination of the LP, I will write-in “Ron Paul” on election day. But as for your hope that we leave the Libertarian Party, don’t hold your breath. I will remain registered as a Libertarian while writing in “Ron Paul.”

    I believe it would be a mistake to split into yet another party.

    “It would be my wish that Barr would run for congress as an Independent or another third party banner int hat case.”

    Whereas I absolutely don’t want him getting the LP nomination for president until he actually becomes a libertarian (like Ron Paul), that doesn’t mean I want to see Mr. Barr leaving the party.

    “Let the LP with a Kubby or Phillies make a hash of it and get 0,5%.-0.9% ...they will then die a certain earth over time.”

    Well, if either Kubby or Phillies gets the nomination, I’ll vote Libertarian.

    If either Barr or Gravel get the nomination, I’ll vote Ron Paul.

    A Barr nomination has the real potential to kill the party.

    “Ventura will also not run under any anarchist tending platform as senator for the LP.”

    Define “anarchist-tending.” All libertarians could be described as “anarchist-tending.” Even Barr and Gravel could be described as “anarchist-tending.”

    “He is now more libertarian than before but referred to the Lp as anarchists in a platform, so he is also waiting to see.”

    In which of Ventura’s platforms has he referred to the Libertarian Party incorrectly as “anarchists”?

    “If the LP blew it, they have only themselves to blame, not the media, not any conspiracy etc. and the CP will outperform them, even if they may have less ballot access.”

    Yes, if we make the mistake of nominating someone like Barr (who will scare away Ron Paul supports), we will certainly get less votes than the CP.

    “Barr could also theoretically hook up with the CP, change their platform (more economic liberal, less protectionist) and Baldwin could step aside as presidential candidate and they can have a Barr-Baldwin ticket, which most RP supporters would back and arrange ballot access in the maximum number of states.”

    With Barr more or less saying that Ron Paul is a moron for supporting a time-table, why would us Paulites want Barr?

    With Barr more or less saying to Hannity that it would be insane to decriminalise heroin or cocain, why would us Paulites want Barr?

    With Barr trying to rationalise, instead of apologise for, his two votes in favour of the Patriot Act, why would us Paulites want Barr?

    We were willing to overlook Paul’s incorrect position on immigration. Why would we overlook the many, many incorrect positions of Mr. Barr?

    Sincerely,
    Alex Peak

  9. Alex Peak Says:

    My first choice for the LP presidential nomination remains Ron Paul. Nothing would please me more than to see us just going ahead and nominating Ron Paul whether he likes it or not. :)

  10. Rolf Lindgren Says:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a conspiracy.

  11. disinter Says:

    Go Knapp! I hope the judicial committee does over-rule the Barr hijacking if the retard caucus succeeds.

  12. texpat Says:

    The Judicial Committee has no business overruling a Barr nomination unless Barr clearly advocates anti-libertarian policies after being nominated. When Barr thinks that it is imprudent to advocate ultimate LP goals in this election (like shutting down the DEA), he should at least advocate incremental goals (like not prosecuting drug users, and pardoning all non-violent drug offenders).

  13. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    disinter and texpat,

    Try again. The Judicial Committee CAN’T overrule a Barr nomination. All it can do is confirm or overturn a decision of the national committee to remove whoever the nominee is, if such a decision occurs and is appealed.

  14. Hugh Jass Says:

    Should we dare risk nominating a non-libertarian, so that when he has little electoral success, the Reformers will finally shut up? Of should we nominate a true libertarian that will most likely get more votes than the non-libertarian would, but have the Reformers whining for the next four years about how we should have nominated the non-libertarian?

  15. john Says:

    If the LP ever wants to make an actual difference in the American political system its going to have to bite the bullet and nominate a guy like Barr. Anyone who thinks any of the other candidates (even Gravel) has the chance of getting 1/10th or even 1/20th of the exposure Barr could get for the LP doesn’t understand American politics. The choice between Barr and the alternatives is a choice between the LP mattering or not. What a shame it would be if they passed this kind of opportunity.

  16. Bill Woolsey Says:

    Barr has said that he opposed the Federal War on Drugs. I think
    that means closing down the DEA as well as repealing Federal laws
    against drugs.

    He opposes federal legislation that would preempt state legislation
    allowing for the legal possession and distribution of drugs. Off hand,
    I tend to think of such laws in incrementalist form. Some Federal
    scheme to permit stores to sell some drugs to adults. This would
    preempt state banks on sale, use or possession. At least, that
    is the way the current Supreme Court would see it, I expect.
    Anyway, Barr would oppose this.

    Barr does not argue that each state should repeal its laws against
    pocession and distrubtion of drugs. He has said that he, as a voter
    in his state (GA.) wouldn’t vote to end the prohibition on crack and
    heroin. It is clear for the context of that statement that he would
    rather not discuss the best policy for states on the drug issue. (He
    certainly isn’t claiming that state only enforcement is great because
    it will be able to finally cause harmful drugs to disappear from society.)
    He has made some statements that suggest that one day, this decision
    would move from the states to the people. (Paul, by contrast, does
    espress his private view that government shouldn’t regulate what
    people put into their bodies.)

    Barr is running on exactly the Paul program in terms of what the
    President should do regarding the war on drugs. Federal government
    out, states do as they choose. Barr is avoiding the issue of what
    states should do in his opinion more than Paul. When pressed, Barr
    will say that he wouldn’t vote to legalize at least some drugs. Paul
    has suggested that he would.

    At least, that is the way I see it.

    In my opinion, an “anti-libertarian” position is one that expands government and further restricts liberty. So, if drugs were legal
    today, proposing that they be prohibited would be unacceptable.
    Failure to advocate that prohibition end is not anti-libertarian.

    Gravel advocates using general tax revenue to provide free health
    care to everyone. In other words, people will pay for their health
    tax as part of the national sales tax and get the health care that
    the government wants to give them. This is a massive increase
    in govenrment.

    As far as I know, Barr is not advocated any increase in government
    in any area. Well, he proposes that the
    Federal govenrment allow state governments to restrict (or totally
    ban) abortions. Like Ron Paul, except he isn’t taking a position on
    taht issue that such bans are very good thing.

    The problems with Barr is that he is not advocating various decreases in
    government and expansions of liberty that many libertarians believe are
    desirable.

    At least the best I can tell.

  17. George Dance Says:

    I’m amazed how similar the Libertarian and Republican parties’ reactions are to the threat of suddenly gaining new members. Leaving the rhetoric aside, there doesn’t seem a damn’s worth of difference between them.

    That said, off the top of my head I can think of no one better suited to be on the Judicial Committee than Mr. Knapp.

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