Ron Paul invites Chuck Baldwin to press conference

Chuck Baldwin and Ron Paul will be at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Sept. 9 for a join press conference. Here are the details:

Ron Paul Press Conference
Ron Paul has invited Chuck Baldwin to a press conference outlining the positions voters should look for when choosing a presidential candidate.
Date: Wednesday, 9/10/08
Time: 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: National Press Club, D.C.

47 thoughts on “Ron Paul invites Chuck Baldwin to press conference

  1. Steve LaBianca

    As I said in another thread, with the exception of the free trade stance, Baldwin and Paul are much closer in their positions than Paul and Barr.

    I still think that Dr. Paul should refrain from endorsing either Barr or Baldwin, but I think that by showcasing Chuck Baldwin, it gives him a definite boost.

  2. Trent Hill Post author

    I doubt Paul will endorse anyone, but the timing IS suspiscious isnt it? RIGHT after the RNC?

    I think it’ll likely just be Ron Paul saying how good of a candidate Chuck Baldwin is,without any formal endorsement. Hell, Barr may be invited too–I dunno.

  3. Steven R Linnabary

    For some reason, the Barr campaign does not list all appearances.

    I was with Bob Barr last weekend at the Islamic Society of North America convention which was attended by 30,000 muslims. Barr did speak to the attendees and those of us working the booth were thanked profusely by the attendees. A lot of goodwill was created by our being there.

    The ISNA organizers also invited Obama and McCain. The other candidates were in Columbus that weekend but did not come. Obama spoke at a suburban high school and McCain bought OSU football jerseys at a gift shop (in fairness, OSU football is the local religion). Palin and Biden were also in town at the same time.

    Two observations:
    1. I cannot fathom Baldwin speaking to a similar group. Baldwin is simply too Christo-centric to appeal to other faith followers.
    2. Barr needs to do a better job of publicizing what he is doing and tooting his horn after he has done it.

    PEACE
    Steve

  4. Mike Gillis

    Probably not very much. He’s unopposed for his seat in Congress and I doubt they were going to put him as chair of any committee anyway.

    After refusing to endorse McCain publicly more than once, I can’t imagine there’s much bridge left to burn.

    If only Kucinich had these kind of balls.

  5. G.E.

    Mike – There’s still a lot they can do to Paul. The Congress could, for example, refuse to seat him. This happened to a Socialist in the 1920s. The GOP could shut him out entirely, too. Right now, they’re letting him keep the status he has in exchange for not taking things with Baldwin/Barr any further.

  6. Sivarticus

    Bob Barr is also going to be at this press conference. Look at the events page on his website for 9/10/2008. This could be big.

    I hope Ron Paul endorses both Barr and Baldwin. My fantasy is that they would both step aside in a shock decision for him to run as both a Libertarian and CP candidate. That’s 99.9% impossible though. Ah well, here’s to hoping he’s mad enough at how the GOP treated him the last few days to showcase Barr and Baldwin as alternatives to McBama.

  7. Mike Gillis

    I can’t imagine that Congress would be able to openly get away with doing to Paul what they did to Socialist Victor Berger back in the ’20s.

    I imagine they’re going to shun him as best they can for the foreseeable future.

    But endorsing a third party candidate, even a dual endorsement, might cause a backlash, but no one that I can see hurting Paul until at least 2010, where I can see the neocons pouring money into a primary opponent.

  8. Sivarticus

    They’ve gone after the Doctor before. Bush campaigned for a primary opponent of his when he was Governor of Texas. And I think they tried to gerrymander him out of his district not too many years ago as well. Realistically, Ron Paul could probably only serve several more terms due to his age.

    I don’t think there’s much they could do to him if he unleashes third party endorsements.

  9. G.E.

    2010, where I can see the neocons pouring money into a primary opponent.

    They’ve done that before. Doesn’t work. As inept as his national campaign staff was, Paul and his core group know how to win congressional elections. He might be the only man in history (?) to win three elections for Congress as a non-incumbent. In 1996, when he made his return to Congress, Gingrich, Bush, etc. supported the DEMOCRAT, who switched parties and joined the GOP primary.

  10. G.E.

    Paul won with 70% of the vote against a neocon in 2008.

    But what the Republicans can and will do is try to deny him his share of the spoils from taxpayer plunder. As you know, Paul votes against the spending bills, but then fights for his district’s fair share once the pork is being sliced.

  11. Jared

    Ron Paul’s pork is something that has always bothered me. I know how pork works (it’s already spent money, yadda, yadda, yadda).

    Why should certain corporations in his district get a handout while others don’t?

    Why should a principled company who refuses to ask a handout be exploited by their local competitor who has no problems asking for one? Ron Paul is obliging the unprincipled companies and individuals in his district.
    He’s pretty much telling them “What you are doing is wrong, but here is someone elses money taken at gunpoint.”

    It applies to funding for highways and roads as well (even though that is constitutional). You are only destroying the opportunities for private roads.

    I really like Ron Paul, and I’d vote for him again but some things he does are really irritating. Endorsing Don Young? Earmarks? Know-Nothing immigration policy?

  12. Jared

    I forgot to add:

    The only earmark he should support is one that returns money back to all the taxpayers of his district directly.

  13. johncjackson

    BTW, Barr should consider locking Root up somewhere and keep him from doing interviews.

    His Reason interview about his $1 million challenge to Obama over their grades at Columbia and his race-baiting really makes him look like a complete asshole.

  14. Mike Gillis

    What did Root say, exactly?

    And is this why Root’s name isn’t even included on the official Barr ’08 l0go?

  15. johncjackson

    Paul supposedly invited Barr, Baldwin, Nader, McKinney. I think Baldwin is just the only one to accept so far..and I guess now Barr has as well.

  16. johncjackson

    Barr wants to wager $1 million that he had better Grades at Columbia. He says that no one at Columbia has ever heard of Barack Obama but that EVERYONE knows Root ( I recall reading news stories disputing this). Obama was probably smoking pot in his dorm or doing “Black power stuff” instead of going to class. Root had a B+ average and good LSATs but was told not to apply to harvard law. Obama only got in because he is black. Root says that Obama must have only hung out with black kids, but admits he only associated with white students. Root was discriminated against because he’s a White SOB Son of Butcher, blah blah.

    http://www.reason.com/convention2008/show/128633.html

  17. Mike Gillis

    Ooh. I have an idea. An unlikely, but wonderful idea.

    That Paul is leaving the Republican Party after this election and leaving the Republican caucus to become an independent and urges voters to do the same.

    I doubt it. But that would be excellent.

  18. langa

    As much as I disliked most of the LP candidates (besides Kubby and Ruwart), I can’t imagine any of them (even the bizarre Christine Smith or the totally non-libertarian Mike Gravel) would have embarrassed the party to the extent that Root has, and we still have 2 months until the election. God help us.

  19. Fred Church Ortiz

    I think Texas makes a big deal out of party loyalty, such a move might be risky before the election.

  20. Trent Hill Post author

    I suspect Paul will just outline what he thinks voters should look for in candidates, showcasing Baldwin and Barr.

  21. Lance Brown

    I’ll give Ron Paul credit for one thing: his capacity for inspiring false hope is tremendous. He’s like our own little Obama in that way, I suppose.

    Anyone else see how he leaned away from being called “a libertarian” on Colbert last night?

    It’s amazing how one man can both do more to advance the freedom movement than anyone else and do more to hinder it than anyone else at the same time.

  22. langa

    Lance – When asked if he was a libertarian, he said “Yes, I believe in liberty, like a lot of people do.”

    How, exactly, does that “hinder” the freedom movement?

  23. Lance Brown

    langa,

    I didn’t say that that statement hinders the freedom movement. (You mischaracterized his answer, BTW, which I deal with at the end.) What I said was that Ron Paul advances and hinders the freedom movement at the same time. If you want to know how Ron Paul managed to hinder the freedom movement while saying what he said…

    …the biggest way is that he encourages people to work within the GOP for change, which is worse than a waste of time

    …he also advertises the GOP with every single time he makes news – at the very least, implying that the GOP is a better vehicle for liberty than the Dems, and implying that working within the GOP is ethical, and that the organization is worthy of support and respect, etc.. In reality, the GOP is one of the two organizations most responsible for harming people and taking our country in the wrong direction, with Ron Paul in or not. (More to the point: with Ron Paul in it, because that’s where he wants to be.)

    …he sucks away money and support (in titanic amounts) from other parties and organizations that are working to do the right thing for freedom – which, in part, means stopping/slowing/defeating the GOP (which Ron Paul supports). Again, every time RP does “good” in the news (including when he answered Colbert’s question the way he did), he diverts potential support away from actual vehicles for liberty, and into his lost cause for change from within the GOP.

    …he further perpetuates the problematic presumption that libertarian is a form of conservative.

    Those are the broad strokes of how Ron Paul undermines the freedom movement with every word he utters and every appearance he makes.

    Specifically, though, when Colbert asked him if he was a libertarian, Paul did what he very often does, which is to put some distance between himself and the word “libertarian” (never mind the Libertarian Party, which he often acts like is just a weird dream he had once).

    And you somewhat misquoted, and thereby mischaracterized, Ron’s answer to Colbert:

    Colbert: Now, um, uh…speaking of – you’re a libertarian.

    Paul hesitates.

    Colbert: …OK?

    Paul {reluctant, shifts eyes}: …Yeah…I believe in- I believe in liberty, {waves hand around} I th- a lot of people do.

    The way you put it it sounds like he answered in effect: “Yes, I’m a libertarian – one who believes in liberty. There are a lot of people who are libertarians.” When really it was more to the effect of: “Well, I don’t really like it when you call it that, but I do believe in liberty. A lot of people – not just ‘libertarians’ – do.”

    It was one of his more subtle efforts, but it very much fit with what I’ve noticed in lots of interviews with him. Which is that when labeled a “libertarian”, he tries to get away from the word and defines himself in a way that avoids the word. And when asked about his LP past or ties or loyalty, he brushes it off and underlines his intent to stay in the GOP. I’m sure some Paul fans can find interviews that contradict this, but I know that most of the times I see him confronted with the “l-word”, he does something to step back from it. (Not “liberty” – he loves “liberty”. But add an -arian to it, and Ron Paul has a conflict of interest.)

    Since the Libertarian Party is probably the country’s last best hope for freedom through the electoral process, and the GOP is probably the LP’s biggest obstacle to success, Ron Paul, being the anointed hero of the freedom movement, does considerable damage every time he does something to shift the pivot in someone’s mind away from “libertarian” and the LP and toward “true conservative” or “yeah…I believe in liberty” and the GOP.

    Come to think of it, given the math above, I wonder if that means that Ron Paul is the LP’s biggest obstacle to success? 😉

    Who knows, maybe he’ll redeem himself at this press conference. I suppose it’s possible.

    Legally, is he in a position to drop any serious cash on the prez candidates he’s inviting to this thing? That seems like one possible reason for gathering them at this time – to say that the Campaign for Liberty is going to pump some dough into the minor party and independent campaigns for the presidency, or something like that. But I’m probably in false hope land. After all, Paul wouldn’t want to imperial any of his committee memberships in Congress. God forbid – because then he wouldn’t be able to protect us from all the bad laws. And that‘s been going so great for the past 20 years…

  24. langa

    Maybe the reason he shies away from the word “libertarian” is because he doesn’t want to be associated with what the LP has become, with the “moderate conservative” wing, the “moderate liberal” wing, etc. Say what you want about Ron Paul, but there’s clearly nothing “moderate” about the guy.

    As far as working within the GOP, I’m skeptical of that strategy too, but what do you expect him to do? He already tried to do it through the LP, and failed miserably. In fact, the hard truth is that pretty much all the LP has done (electorally, at least) is fail miserably.

    You say that the LP “is probably the country’s last best hope for freedom through the electoral process”, but where’s the evidence for that? When has the LP ever even come close to changing anything through the electoral process?

    So, Ron Paul has obviously decided to try a new approach, by trying to build a coalition of conservatives and libertarians, and the best way to do that is obviously through the GOP (the Barr campaign’s effort to bring conservatives into the LP certainly isn’t working). Again, I’m skeptical of the strategy, but it’s worth a shot.

    What do we have to lose? The massive amounts of money that you claim that Ron Paul’s campaign has siphoned away from the LP? Where was all this money during the Badnarik campaign, or the Harry Browne campaigns? Surely you can’t blame their failure on Ron Paul, can you?

    The constant libertarian digs at Ron Paul remind me of the old bit on “Seinfeld”, where Jerry would date a new girl every week. He would always keep looking until he found some small thing that he could criticize, and then he would use that as an excuse to break up with her.

    Then he would always complain that there were no girls worth committing to. He never seemed to consider the possible that maybe he couldn’t make a relationship last because he didn’t really want to be in a relationship. He just wanted a scapegoat to criticize and use to deflect attention from his own shortcomings.

  25. G.E.

    Lance – Paul said, unprovoked, that people needed to spread the ideas of liberty NOT JUST through the GOP, but the LP, the CP, and the Dems, etc.

  26. Lance Brown

    G.E.,

    Goody for him.

    langa,

    Ron Paul shies away from “libertarian” because he doesn’t want to seem moderate? I can’t even make sense of that enough to debate it.

    As far as working within the GOP, I’m skeptical of that strategy too, but what do you expect him to do?

    At this point, I expect him to be a giant distraction for freedom-minded folks from now until a couple decades after his death. Think Barry Goldwater, but with the Internet.

    But what he should have done is to take his 20+ million dollars and make a balls-out prez run, either as the LP candidate, or as an independent. And no, he didn’t try that already. There’s no comparison between what a RP ’08 run would have been and what his ’88 run was. First of all, there’s the matter of an extra $20 million dollars, and probably another $20 million easy if he had decided to keep going. Secondly, there’s the fact that both the Ron Paul movement and the LP are 20 years more mature, and more known, and more respected. There’s the fact that since 88, Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura and Ralph Nader have shown folks that there’s still independent electoral power to be flexed in the US. There’s the Internet. There’s the hunger for change that wasn’t raging like this in ’88. There’s the anti-war issue that didn’t exist in 88…

    Sadly, I could go on, and on, about how much more potential for change an outsider Ron Paul run could have had this time around. He could have taken all the political “legitimacy” he has built up by being in the GOP and running in their primaries, etc., and transferred it to where it belongs – outside the two-party system.

    And in the future, instead of using Ross Perot or Ralph Nader as a measure of successful modern independent runs for the presidency, people would use Ron Paul.

    Instead, this election is going to suck. Ron Paul was one of the few people with the power to prevent that, and he sold it out for some committee seats. He could have made history instead.

    And I’m not skeptical about working within the GOP to bring about positive change. I’m totally certain about it. It won’t work. The GOP is soooo much stronger than any of its components, and that includes Ron Paul (who, frankly, the GOP has brushed off like a stinky fly, and done so easily). He hasn’t changed it for the better in the past 20 years, and he won’t do it in the next 20 either.

    You say that the LP “is probably the country’s last best hope for freedom through the electoral process”, but where’s the evidence for that?

    It’s everywhere else in the electoral process, that’s where. Show me an alternative “last best hope for freedom” somewhere in the U.S. electoral system. It ain’t the GOP or the Dems. It ain’t the CP, or the Reform Party. It ain’t Ralph Nader. And, my apologies to misguided rebels everywhere, but it ain’t the Boston Tea Party (which, at the very least, is too little, too late.)

    Other contenders? The Green Party? Even if it could be considered a “hope for freedom”, it has not had a great past decade or so – thanks in large part to the left’s “Ron Paul”, Ralph Nader, who fractured and confused and continues to distract the “progressive” movement. Kinda like a certain someone has done (and will continue to do) for a certain other movement.

    So, Ron Paul has obviously decided to try a new approach, by trying to build a coalition of conservatives and libertarians,

    What’s new about that approach?

    and the best way to do that is obviously through the GOP

    There are a few things I can think of where the best way to do them is through the GOP, but none of them are good things. If they were good things, the GOP would crush them or otherwise render them moot.

    I think Ron Paul acolytes learned the wrong thing by the Nevada GOP convention upset thing. I think it made them think they can upset the GOP’s apple cart to a significant degree. But what really happened is the GOP just suspended the game and changed the rules…and unless I missed something, all of Ron Paul’s campaign upsets and delegates and hooha and somesuch amounted to all of nothing at the GOP convention. Not even a tiny speedbump. Not even an off-hour speech for Ron. Nothing.

    Nothing.

    What do we have to lose?

    What don’t we have to lose?

    The massive amounts of money that you claim that Ron Paul’s campaign has siphoned away from the LP?

    Wrong. I claimed he siphoned it away from “other parties and organizations who are working to do the right thing for freedom”. A.k.a, the rest of the freedom movement, and the people within it.

    Where was all this money during the Badnarik campaign, or the Harry Browne campaigns?

    Most of it was in people’s pockets/bank accounts, I assume (particularly circa 2004). The rest was in the coffers of the aforementioned freedom movement organizations. And in 2000, a bunch of it was probably in Ralph Nader’s campaign.

    Surely you can’t blame their failure on Ron Paul, can you?

    Actually, it’s pretty easy to share some of their failure with Ron Paul. Did he help their campaigns in any way? He certainly could have helped, a lot. Did he? At all?

    The constant libertarian digs at Ron Paul remind me of the old bit on “Seinfeld”, where Jerry would date a new girl every week. He would always keep looking until he found some small thing that he could criticize, and then he would use that as an excuse to break up with her.

    Then he would always complain that there were no girls worth committing to. He never seemed to consider the possible that maybe he couldn’t make a relationship last because he didn’t really want to be in a relationship. He just wanted a scapegoat to criticize and use to deflect attention from his own shortcomings.

    Well, you’ve got the wrong Jerry here. I love to hope and root for renegades, underdogs, and champions for freedom. I even rooted for Ralph Nader in 2000, even though I didn’t support his platform. I rooted for Perot in ’92, though I ended up voting for Clinton. I also rooted for Jerry Brown earlier in ’92, again, not so much because I though he was perfect, but because he was kicking the establishment’s ass and freaking them out. I was ready to quit my job and go work for his campaign, when he exhausted himself and fell behind. I’m a big fan of Jesse Ventura, though he self-admittedly is not a strict libertarian, and though I grew up thinking he was one of the biggest jackasses in public life (when he was a wrestler and commentator.)

    The point being that I am heavily, heavily predisposed to support someone like Ron Paul. And prior to his presidential campaign, I pretty much really liked him, despite the fact that he is part of one of the two main organizations responsible for destroying our country.

    But he has simply pissed away such a tremendous amount of potential in this campaign that I have a hard time respecting him now. (It’s possible he could win back some respect with his fantabulous announcement on Wednesday.) And now he’s devoting himself to continuing on as an agent for change within the GOP, and his slavish followers are largely going to go along with that notion. But again – he hasn’t changed the GOP for the better in the past 20 years. The past 20 years contains so many disgusting acts from Congress that Ron Paul was powerless to affect that it makes me sad to think about it. And it makes me even sadder to think that Paul has decided that going back in there for some more rounds of futility is the best use of the rest of his life. When instead, he could change the world.

    It would be fine if it wasn’t for his followers. I shudder to think how many new people registered Republican for Ron Paul. Or how many young folks who are excited about Paul are translating that into excitement for a better-GOP pipedream.

    It bears repeating, that Ron Paul could have run a $40 million Libertarian or independent run for president. Are there really folks who think what he chose to do was better? Really?

  27. Lance Brown

    He could have won, you know. He could have gotten in the debates, risen to Perot-’92 polling levels (i.e., polling even with the other two), and actually won.

  28. Fred Church Ortiz

    The LP would be better candidate for the last best hope for freedom if it didn’t implode in on itself every few election cycles. One can argue to death with people that twist the rules and marginalize eachother for the sake of the own agendas in the LP, or they can do the exact same thing in the major parties and maybe win an election or two at the same time.

  29. Fred Church Ortiz

    He could have won, you know. He could have gotten in the debates, risen to Perot-’92 polling levels (i.e., polling even with the other two), and actually won.

    I agree. If he pulls double-digits in MT or LA I’ll probably cry myself to sleep for a week.

  30. G.E.

    He could have won, you know. He could have gotten in the debates, risen to Perot-’92 polling levels (i.e., polling even with the other two), and actually won.

    Who? Robert Milnes?

  31. langa

    “He could have won, you know. He could have gotten in the debates, risen to Perot-’92 polling levels (i.e., polling even with the other two), and actually won.”

    Lance, I stopped believing that the LP (or any other 3rd party) could win a presidential election back around the same time you were voting for Slick Willie. Even Perot, who had way more resources than Ron Paul could ever dream of, failed to crack 20%. And your other examples of “successful” 3rd party candidates, like Nader, couldn’t even get to 5%. Your claims about how this year is such a unique opportunity sound like they were pulled straight from an LP fundraising letter.

    Don’t get me wrong. I would have loved to see an independent or 3rd party run by Ron Paul this year. For one thing, it would have given me somebody to vote for besides Bob Barr. But if you really believe that it would have resulted in a victory, then you’re either the world’s biggest optimist or more delusional than Milnes.

  32. Spence

    Whatever your frustrations are with how Paul ended/continues his “campaign”, he never had a serious attitude about winning. I mean, the chance was there in our faces, but I don’t think he really had his heart into it. His campaign staff was horrible, the man, for all his deeds, is a horrible, horrible judge of character.

    He pulled in the disaffected, apathetic, those starving for liberty, rallying them into a newly united voting bloc. But he forgot about the mainstream. To all of you, and I know there are many here, that think, to hell with the sheeple, or whatever you call them, you’re damning us all. If Paul really wanted to court voters, he could have been a bit more pragmatic. The problem is he was too much of a shock to the system. It’s okay to do that in moderate amounts, but you can’t go out and say in the debates “I want to cut this this this and this” and leave it up to your spokesmen to mention that he didn’t mean immediately in a press article. That is precisely what he did.

    It doesn’t matter or not whether that was the right way of doing things or not. The simple fact as that alone scares people and would still be scaring people if he ran today. Plus, coupled with the wave of Ron Paul Republicans he’s generated, this was always the extension of his plan. Generally speaking, it’s a very practical idea, but I agree with Lance’s assessment. I think that once it is guaranteed we have some of his “heirs” in Congress, it might be time for him to step back into the sidelines. Whether he does or not though, it’s his own decision.

    The problem then is not whether or not he runs independent/libertarian or what, it’s how his supporters react. From what I can see, these people are so enamored with him that they rival only the cult of personality of Obama. That is a problem. You cannot be successful for freedom while holding on to every word Paul stutters.

    Let all the efforts it takes to undo the two party system begin- not just the GOP. Is this not how a free society is sposed to work? Practice strategy while you still can and we’re all screwed. If the same system that can put a stranglehold on your information, tell you what to do, think, and eat, who to have sex with can also make you a dissident, then there’s still room to fight in it.

    Taking back the GOP is as practical an idea as any and as of now, since the LP and CP don’t have their acts together, is still the best vehicle, whether you like it or not. There is simply no excuse why the LP and CP can’t build bases. They are failing cause they are taking that same “holier than thou” approach most radicals do. Wait for the world to fail, say I told you so, and come embrace liberty.

    The LP and the CP are doing the same thing RP is. But as RP actually has support, I think if you guys are going to shell out money to “educate” people rather than win and take back this country, then he’s as good as anybody to throw your dollars at. But having seen this incompetency prevail before, it might be wise for everyone to simply let the RP phenomenon die and take action themselves.

  33. Lance Brown

    langa,

    I didn’t say it would result in a victory, I said it could have.

    People can choose to take away whatever lesson they want from Ross Perot’s victory. Some people think it shows that even with all his high profile and all his money, he couldn’t win, not even an electoral vote. (And therefore anyone with less profile and/or money is all the more screwed.) But I think that view requires some major willful ignorance – ignorance of how badly Ross Perot sabotaged his own chances in ’92, and what a seriously flawed candidate he was. The real lesson of Perot ’92 is that he showed that someone with enough media profile and money can achieve near-parity with the major party candidates in a presidential campaign. And from that position, they could win. I mean, do people really think Perot lost in ’92 because the system is rigged somehow, or there were dirty dealings? He lost mostly because he fucked up his campaign to a collossal degree – including, notably, dropping out of the race. And still he got the highest outsider vote total since TR – a former president.

    Also, FWIW, I didn’t say Ralph Nader’s campaign was successful. I said it was used as a measure of successful modern independent runs – and it is. The media measures outsider campaigns by three main measuring sticks – Nader 2000, Perot ’92, and Jesse Ventura. The Barr campaign for example is generally being measured with the Nader stick, a.k.a. the “spoiler” stick. (Where “success” equals making your nearest ideological competitor lose.)

    What I personally gave Nader 2000 credit for was showing folks that there is still outsider muscle to be flexed in the electoral system. He did do that. He got lots of young folks excited, he made the media and the Dems nervous, and he (albeit fleetingly) raised the profile of the Greens, who previously had little to no national profile. He basically did all the stuff Ron Paul did this time around, but from the outside. (And he didn’t punk out like Paul did.)

    Your claims about how this year is such a unique opportunity sound like they were pulled straight from an LP fundraising letter.

    That may be, but claims that Ron Paul’s ’88 run provides reliable evidence of how a Paul ’08 run would have gone are simply foolish. How many times was Paul invited on to the Colbert Report in ’88? How many RP Meetup groups were there then? How many GOP fundraising records had he broken? How many Youtube videos were circulating out there? And how much did his ’88 campaign spend?

    I may well be the world’s biggest optimist – though if I was, I would probably have real hope left for Ron Paul, which I don’t. (Or for the GOP, which I really, really, really don’t.) But it’s really just simple political math. Perot proved that it is in fact possible to achieve campaign parity, and from that position, to have a real chance to win. The issue then becomes finding people who have the right ingredients to rise past the various hurdles between here and campaign parity. Will they then have enough power and momentum to pull it off? There’s no way to know in advance. (Was anyone predicting in ’07 that Paul would have a $20+ million campaign in ’08?) But is it possible for the right formula to be achieved? I think clearly it is. And a true renegade presidential candidate would do their best to play it out. (Committee seats be damned!)

    It’s funny, you say I’m either the world’s biggest optimist or delusional, and yet you’re sitting here waiting to see what future wonders Ron Paul can manifest inside the GOP. That’s a bit like the black hole calling the kettle black.

  34. Lance Brown

    BTW (reading Spence’s post which was posted while I was writing), I agree that the LP at present might not have been the best place for Paul to jump to, had he jumped. He probably would have been better off being officially an independent, though I bet many or most CP and LP affiliates would have endorsed him. Which frankly presents its own problems for those parties, similar to Nader and the Greens, but for Paul himself it probably would have been smartest.

    I also don’t see why he couldn’t have run as an independent, while simultaneously running as a Republican for congress, and still have started the Campaign for Liberty, now and for after the election. Seems like that covers all bases…but maybe I’m missing something.

    Also, FWIW, my initial determination that the LP is the country’s last best hope for freedom through the electoral process came in 2000 – and I’ll be the first to admit that the LP isn’t at its best in 2008. (Currently, I’m especially saddened about the apparent reverse progress in terms of national ballot access.) But I also don’t see any other comers for the “last best hope” title. And frankly, the LP could be both cleaned up and powered back up in a pretty short time period, and probably will be within a cycle or two. When the time is right, getting the membership numbers back up to peak levels and beyond will come pretty easily.

  35. langa

    Lance, you’re trying to put words in my mouth. I never said anything about Ron Paul working any “future wonders” in the GOP. I just said that his GOP strategy has already produced better results than the LP has in 30 years.

    You say:

    “How many times was Paul invited on to the Colbert Report in ‘88? How many RP Meetup groups were there then? How many GOP fundraising records had he broken? How many Youtube videos were circulating out there? And how much did his ‘88 campaign spend?”

    But you’re missing the point. If he had stayed with the LP, none of those things would have happened in ’08 either. It was the exposure that he got in the GOP primary that got him all that media attention. His performances in the debates did more to spread the philosophy of liberty to the masses than the LP has ever done.

    For example, I live in Barr’s old district, where he would probably still be getting elected every 2 years if it weren’t for the gerrymander that took place. People here still like him. Yet I haven’t seen a single yard sign or bumper sticker or anything. By contrast, during the primaries, there were Ron Paul signs all over the place.

    I doubt most people here even know Barr is running. 3rd parties are totally ignored by the vast majority of voters. Even if they are aware of them, they would never vote for them for fear of “wasting their vote”. That doesn’t mean 3rd parties serve no purpose, but it does mean their chances of electoral success are basically zero.

  36. darolew

    The LP isn’t a very viable option to give liberty a political voice. Neither is reforming the GOP. At this point in time, there are no viable options, and that isn’t likely to change soon. It’s no reason to stop trying, but one has to be realistic.

    On Ron Paul, he might have pulled 10-20% in a presidential election, but I highly doubt he could have done better. Remember that all the special interests and MSM would be against him. His ballot access would have likely been attacked. After the race, he would have been marginalized. Instead, Paul is trying to build a movement larger than himself and he’s doing it the best way he knows how — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The “Ron Paul” Republicans, the LP, and (certain factions of) the CP are fellow travelers as far as I see it, not competitors. [/IMO]

  37. Crazy_Redneck

    “…he sucks away money and support (in titanic amounts) from other parties and organizations that are working to do the right thing for freedom”

    Why does everyone ALWAYS want to assume that my money and support BELONG to anyone? Eat a sack of crap.

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