The Jack News: ‘Adam Kokesh’s Presidential Campaign Promise Is That He’ll Abolish The Federal Government’

Excerpt from an article at The Jack News which is part of a series on possible 2020 LP Presidential candidates. The other would be candidates profiled so far are Tom Campbell, Mary Ruwart, Bill Weld, Justin Amash, Steve Kerbel, Jeffrey Miron and Larry Sharpe, with one more as yet unnamed person to be added tomorrow.

Controversial anarchist and civil-disobedience activist Adam Kokesh has already announced his intention to seek the 2020 Libertarian Party nomination.

He’s running on a platform of abolishing the federal government by decree as his first, only, and last presidential action. Whether or not the president would even have the power to do such a thing is pretty dubious, but Kokesh waves away such constitutional concerns as irrelevant.

Full article

396 thoughts on “The Jack News: ‘Adam Kokesh’s Presidential Campaign Promise Is That He’ll Abolish The Federal Government’

  1. Andy

    Is that unnamed person IPR’s own Warren Redlich? I saw something about this in a comment on Jack News.

  2. George Dance

    It should be noted that the “libertarian Libertarian” who ran a write-in POTUS campaign in 2016 on a platform of abolishing the U.S. government was credited (according to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News) with a grand total of 8 votes nationwide.

  3. Andy

    Once again George, nobody knows how many write in votes Darryl Perry got because a lot of states either do not count them. or they count them and release the totals only if the candidate, or their supporters, jump through some hoops to have them counted, and Perry jumped in the race as a write in after it was too late to jump through the hoops necessary to have his write in votes counted in most states.

    Perry’s write in campaign started late, and received little coverage, so I doubt he got many votes, but he likely got more than you mentioned, because most states never counted or tallied them.

  4. Andy

    I have a video interview which I conducted with Adam Kokesh back in September which I have been unable to post online. Hopefully I will be able to get this online at some point in the not too distant future.

  5. Chuck Moulton

    I have a few:

    1) You ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican in New Mexico. Why not as a Libertarian? Have you permanently converted from Republican to Libertarian, or do you plan to switch back and forth?

    2) Your #1 fan Andy points out you have embraced the positions of Hoppe and are as a result anti-immigrant. Is that an accurate summary of your immigration position? If not, what is your position on immigration?

  6. dL

    2) Your #1 fan Andy points out you have embraced the positions of Hoppe and are as a result anti-immigrant. Is that an accurate summary of your immigration position? If not, what is your position on immigration?

    The best I can ascertain, Kokesh more or less holds the Friedman position on immigration. That is, illegal immigration is a good thing, but legal immigration is a bad thing.

  7. Andy

    More irrational and idiotic comments from Chuck Moulton.

    I like Adam Kokesh, but I never said I was his #1 fan.

    I did talk to Adam about Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and a bunch of other stuff (he did a two day event, and I went to both days, plus I had diner with him and some other people both days). Adam said he agrees with Hoppe’s concept of private property covenant communities in an anarcho-capitalist society, and he also agrees with Hoppe about decentralization, but he does not agree with Hoppe about how immigration should be handled right now, as in Adam is still hanging on to the “open borders” in our present reality position, which is unfortunate, in my opinion, as I do not consider “open borders” into a democratic welfare state with forced association laws and public property to be a legitimate libertarian position.

    I had a brief back-and-forth mini-debate with Adam about immigration, as I brought up that the United Nations Population Replacement Agenda was being pushed by Marxists and globalists to flood the country with people who, statistically speaking, get on welfare and use public resources at a super-majority rate, and who, after obtaining citizenship, vote in super-majority numbers for expanding the welfare state and enacting more gun control laws. Adam gave what I believe was a weak response by saying something to the effect of, “Well, if more people who don’t believe in freedom are coming here, this just means they are leaving other countries and making those countries more free.” I started to respond by pointing out world population statistics, and that there are a lot more people who live in countries that have cultures that are more hostile to liberty and who have no tradition of limiting government power, and that many of these people are poor, and for them, coming here and getting on welfare would be a big life improvement. but we got interrupted and did not get to continue this discussion.

    So the left libertarians and cosmotarian “Beltway” crowd like Chuckie boy can be happy that Adam is still embracing the “open borders” position.

    I do not agree with Adam’s stance, as my position. Which is not “anti-immigrants”, in spite of the lies from leftists and cosmotarian “Beltway” butt kissers is that the only way that so called “open borders” can work (as in not be destructive and actually lead to more conflict and more government) is if you completely abolished the state and had a private property anarchist society, which does not mean “open borders” as there’d still be private property borders, and immigration/migration would be regulated by private property owners. Since we do not live in a private property anarchist society, and the state exists, I think that the state should have an immigration policy that is not destructive to the interests and liberty of the people who are “citizens” of said state, as in the state’s policy should not overwhelm or displace the native population, nor should it invite people who hold Marxist or theocratic views, or who are going to burden society by becoming welfare leeches, or who are known criminals, or who carry communicable diseases. This does not mean no immigrants, it just means weeding out, at least as much as possible, immigrants who bring a negative value.

    If we lived in an anarcho-capitalist society, I believe that the market would do a good job of “regulating” immigration as most property owners would not want their property values to go down by inviting destructive people onto it, and through freedom of association, people could associate, or not associate, with whoever they wanted, for whatever reason. So under such a scenario, those who want lots of multi-culturalism could have it, and those who do not, would not have it forced on them.

    It should be pointed out that Adam’s presidential platform is to completely abolished the federal government, and to do so in as orderly and fair (when I say fair, I am talking about how to divide up assets currently held by the federal government, and how to liquidate programs like Social Security and still pay out benefits to those dependent on it) a manner as possible. So Adam’s platform is actually bypassing a lot of political issues like immigration. Adam said that if his platform was enacted, the 50 state’s would still exist, as would all of the county and city/town governments. He hopes to inspire people to dismantle state and local governments as well, but since he is running for a federal office, this would be left to the people in the various state’s and localities. So basically, all issues under Adam’s platform would be decided at the state or local level.

    If Adam were elected President, and if his platform were enacted (both are unlikely, but the same can be said about any Libertarian Party candidate), immigration would go back to the states, as would every other issue. Under such a scenario, I would want to live in a state that did not invite hordes of Marxists, theocrats, welfare seekers, criminals, and people with communicable diseases, but, as I said above, if we lived in a private property anarchist-capitalist society, the market would accomplish this.

    So although I disagree with Adam for still holding the “open borders” into a democratic welfare state forced association position (which is what advocating for “open borders” under out present conditions is), I can still get behind his platform, as Adam is kicking all issues back to the state or local level since his focus is to abolish the federal government. Also, I am not a “throw the baby out with the bathwater guy,” so I cam still support candidates with whom I have some disagreement (and I could probably find something to disagree with everyone).

  8. Andy

    Oh, and as for Adam having run in the Republican primaries for US House in New Mexico in 2010, he said that he did that because he was inspired by Ron Paul, but he has had nothing to do with the Republican Party since then, and he thinks that the Republican Party is too corrupt of an organization for it to have any real change taking place in the direction of liberty.

    Also, Adam said that he does not expect to win the White House in 2020. He said that his goal is to build momentum for the idea of abolishing the federal government, and to spread the idea of decentralization. He would obviously like to point more people to anarcho-capitalism, but he does not think that everyone is going to embrace it, so for those who will not embrace anarcho-capitalism, he thinks he can sell a lot of them on the concept of decentralization. He said that He thinks it will probably take 3 or 4 presidential elections for this platform to have a chance to win, and he is willing to keep running after 2020, but he is also willing g to pass the baton on to somebody else if another candidate emerges in future elections who embraces this platform, and who he believes is a better messenger for it than himself.

  9. robert capozzi

    aj: Adam having run in the Republican primaries for US House in New Mexico in 2010,

    me: Does this qualify as a “shiny badge”? 😉

  10. paulie

    I could be wrong, but I think having actually held an office, not losing in a primary or even getting a duopoly party nomination in a non-competitive race in a district heavily dominated by the other half of the duopoly, qualifies as a shiny badge. Does anyone have any other questions to suggest for Kokesh?

  11. Andy

    Idiotic comment from Tom Knapp. Mass immigration into a democratic welfare state with forced association and public property is in no way a libertarian position. It is actually a position that is held by Marxists and New World Order globalists.

  12. Libertydave

    Andy, you are still claiming that closed borders is a libertarian position then answer my question.

    Your position on closed borders is a violation of my freedom of association. By closing the border you are telling me who I am allowed to associate with and who I can’t associate with. How can you telling me who I am allowed to associate with be a libertarian position?

  13. Andy

    A lot of stuff was covered in my video interview with Kokesh. Unfortunately, I did not get to ask all of the questions I was intending to ask on camera, but a lot of stuff did get covered. I can’t find the wire that goes from the camera to the computer, which is the main reason I have been able to post the interview online. I need to make it to a Best Buy and after I do that I will probably get it online.

  14. Andy

    Robert, Adam lost when he ran in the Republican primaries in 2010, so I would not call that a Shiny Badge.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    Question: Besides the completely ridiculous premise of your campaign and your utter lack of experience, do you think that being associated with a conspiracy theorist and holder of Trumpian and fascist immigration views such as Andy would be a detriment on your already futile question for the presidency?

  16. paulie

    I don’t think Adam knows Andy enough to be “associated with” and I doubt he knows Andy’s views in enough detail to judge that characterization of them. While I have no problem asking pointed questions, I also want them not to come off as so unreasonably hostile so as to leave the whole set unanswered.

    If we extrapolate more generally I already got the general idea that some people want me to ask him about immigration. Since he wants to dissolve the US, I think I may ask him about how that would play out in regards to movement between former US states… would a person from Louisiana visiting a relative in Connecticut have to apply for a travel visa? Will there be roundups of “illegal” native born Californians who cross into Nevada and Arizona without permission? Will New Jerseyans caught in NYC without a work permit be held in the Tombs, Rikers, or a new prison camp on Staten Island? Will citizens of Indiana and Wisconsin commuting to jobs in Chicago have to cross international border checkpoints and how much will that delay their commute?

  17. paulie

    So it seems AK was a former Shiny Badge Aspirant?

    Former and current. He ran for Congress, now running for “not President.”

  18. paulie

    Unfortunately, I did not get to ask all of the questions I was intending to ask on camera

    Ask them now and I will ask them in print.

  19. robert capozzi

    pk,

    Yes, he’s running for not president but he doesn’t expect to win, iirc. In this sense, he’s not really an “aspirant,” but a sideshow act of some sort. Vermin Supreme seems to be the model, but the difference is that VS is amusing.

  20. paulie

    I don’t think he expected to win a seat in Congress either. After all he was not exactly an establishment Republican, and even if he had made it out of the primary, it was a heavily Democratic district. Still is, as far as I know.

    I’m mildly curious about the k in pk though – k is not anywhere near f on the keyboard. Oddly spelled kannoli? 5th letter of Frankel?

  21. paulie

    Andy, you are still claiming that closed borders is a libertarian position then answer my question.

    Your position on closed borders is a violation of my freedom of association. By closing the border you are telling me who I am allowed to associate with and who I can’t associate with. How can you telling me who I am allowed to associate with be a libertarian position?

  22. paulie

    Here’s my list of questions so far. Let me know of any additions or suggested language. I’ll probably send them to the campaign tomorrow.

    JW1 revised) What do you think the last LP presidential campaign, or the last several, should have done differently/better? Do you think LP convention delegates tend to use the wrong criteria in evaluating candidates? Do you think they have learned their lesson on this, as a whole? Or, is it a matter of who shows up, and do you believe that you can out-organize other campaigns in turning out enough supporters to the convention to capture the nomination?

    JW2 revised) Do you plan to appeal to so-called pragmatic Libertarians, and if so, how?

    CM 1) You ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican in New Mexico. Why not as a Libertarian? Have you permanently converted from Republican to Libertarian, or do you plan to switch back and forth?

    CM 2 revised) In previous IPR comments Andy Jacobs (whom you talked to in Columbus, video interview to be published later) points out you have embraced some positions of Hans H. Hoppe.

    Corollary 1: To what extent do you agree or disagree with Hoppe’s immigration views?

    Corollary 2: What is your position on immigration?

    Corollary 3: Are there any positions of Hoppe or the so-called alt right which you find to be repulsive and worthy of condemnation and dissociation?

    Corollary 4: Do you believe that associating libertarianism with the alt right is a big problem for the party and/or movement?

    Corollary 5: Suppose the federal government actually is dissolved. Do you anticipate problems such as those which occur with international immigration and trade now happening between states? e.g: would a person from Louisiana visiting a relative in Connecticut have to apply for a travel visa? Will there be roundups of “illegal” native born Californians who cross into Nevada and Arizona without permission? Will New Jerseyans caught in NYC without a work permit be held in the Tombs, Rikers, or a new prison camp on Staten Island? Will citizens of Indiana and Wisconsin commuting to jobs in Chicago have to cross international border checkpoints and how much will that delay their commute?

    Will we see former US states slapping each other with trade tariffs and quotas? Will we see gun confiscation up north and theocracy down south?

    XX1) Does the President have the power to dissolve the federal government? If yes, what would be the legal/constitutional mechanism for doing so? If not, is this a problem for your campaign?

    Xx2) During the fallout from the controversy over your breakup with Marcy and one or more other then campaign staffers quitting at the same time, you wrote that you had some problems with a personally authoritarian leadership style that you learned in the military and that you were working on this problem. Do you believe you have made significant progress on that? Are you getting along well with your current staff and significant other if any? Do you anticipate more issues with staff shakeups going forward?

    XX3) Have you made any attempt at creating broadcast-length (30 second and 1 minute) youtube ads that your supporters could pay to put on the air if they chose to? If not, do you have any plans for doing so?

    Xx4) How closely do you plan on cooperating (or not) in sharing your campaign data and lists with the LNC and/or state and local LPs, during or after the campaign?

    Xx5) As additional candidates join the race, how closely do you intend to work with them in setting up joint forums/debates? Will you debate only certain candidates or any who will debate you? If the former, what criteria will you use to choose which ones you will or won’t share the stage with?

    How about general election debates – who will or won’t you debate from the other parties and independents? Do you have a strategy to get invited to the main debates with the Republican and Democratic nominees? If not, do you have a strategy to gain maximum publicity from those debates?

    Xx6) Do you plan on seeking or accepting the nomination of any party besides the LP? Will you support whoever wins the LP nomination, only yourself if you win, or do you have specific criteria on who you will or won’t support if it is not you – if so, what are they? If you are unhappy with the LP nominee, will you seek or accept any ballot lines that you can still get for yourself at that point?

    Xx7) Have you made much in the way of an attempt of getting on to not specifically libertarian shows on broadcast radio and/or TV? Is this something you plan on doing as part of your campaign stops going forward? How about submitting editorials to daily and weekly and college publications around the country?

    Xx8) Given that LP nominates P and VP candidates separately, but P candidates sometimes endorse VP candidates for the nomination, do you plan on working as a “team” with a candidate for the VP nomination? Just let the delegates choose whoever they wish with no meddling from you if you are the P candidate? Would there be some plausible VP candidates you would have a problem being on the same ticket with? If you do not get the P nomination, will you run for the VP nomination as sometimes happens with candidates who do not get the P nomination? These questions suppose that the bylaw will not change which allows these offices to be voted on separately. What do you think of amending the bylaws to make the ticket one which is voted on jointly? Are you in favor or opposed to this change and is it important to you?

    xx9) Tell us a few things that are not generally known about you, especially anything that may come us a surprise to people.

    xx10) Other than dissolving the federal government, will you campaign on any specific issues?

    TLI 1 revised) Do you believe lack of experience in lower office will be a problem in running for (not) president? Or do you see it as a more of a plus? Why or why not?

    TLI 2 revised) What do you think of so-called “conspiracy theories”? Do you believe in some yourself? Are you open-minded about them? Do you plan on making them campaign themes or will you try to avoid talking about them? Do you see association with conspiracy theories and theorists to be detrimental to the public image of the party and your campaign, or do you see them as a fertile recruiting ground for new supporters?

  23. Tony From Long Island

    Question: How much money do you realistically hope to raise and if you qualify, would you accept matching funds? Would any money you raise be used for television advertising?

  24. Krzysztof Lesiak

    Speaking of Warren Redlich, I would like to endorse Warren Redlich for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

  25. Krzysztof Lesiak

    Questions for Kokesh:

    1) You met 2018 LP Illinois lt governor candidate David Earl WIlliams III before the 2016 election at an event in northern Illinois. Would you consider David Earl Williams III as a possible VP candidate?

    2) What are your thoughts on the Constitution Party?

  26. Andy

    Robert, there is nothing wrong with a person who is good on issues/philosophy seeking to get elected, as in seeking a “Shiny Badge”, and this includes those who do it under the Republican (or for that matter, the Democratic) label. If Adam would have been elected to the US House as a Republican back in 2010, it would have been a good thing, so long as his record in Congree was within the libertarian quadrant.

    My problem with the Shiny Badge Caucus in the LP is not so much the Shiny Badges, but the fact that these people throw principles (and everything else) under the bus in seeking out Shiny Badge holders.

    Holding a Shiny Badge and/or having some kind of fancy sounding resume can be a nice plus for a candidate, but this is not more important than philosophy, issue stances, political strategy, ability to communicate and sell a message, and character (Does a candidate have a record of keeping their word? Are they truly dedicated to the cause of liberty? Do they have a record of lying? Etc. .).

  27. robert capozzi

    aj: good on issues/philosophy

    me: It’s probably most important. What constitutes “good” is the question, ultimately. How NAPsters define “good” excludes most liberty lovers. They are like Opus Dei is to the Catholic community.

  28. Andy

    Yes, I suppose how you define “good” could vary from person to person, but is the general consensus among the greater libertarian community that Shiny Badges holders Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, and Bill Weld, were decent representatives of libertarianism? I would say no, especially post campaign, by which point their flaws were more obvious.

    This is not to say that there is a perfect candidate (there probably is not) who is going to please everyone in the greater libertarian community (not likely to happen), but when there are large numbers of people in the libertarian community expressing doubt that a Libertarian Party candidate should even be regarded as being a libertarian, this is a good sign that there is something seriously wrong with that candidate. If one can run through a list of issues where a candidate is clearly not libertarian, and if they show disloyalty to the libertarian movement, there is a good chance that said candidate was never really a libertarian and was just using libertarians.

  29. robert capozzi

    aj: decent representatives of libertarianism?

    me: A concept that doesn’t work for me. Roderick Long might be considered a decent rep for an ideology, but he’d likely be an awful candidate. These are different roles.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Being a decent representative of libertarianism is not sufficient to make a good candidate.

    But being a decent representative of libertarianism is the bare bottom baseline necessity for being worth running as a candidate at all.

    If the candidate is not a decent representative of libertarianism, there’s no point in running that candidate for office under the label “libertarian.” It’s public masturbation at best and false advertising at worst, neither of which are good prep work for later candidates.

  31. Andy

    Like I said above, Adam Kokesh’s platform is to dissolve the federal government. If he were able to achieve this lofty goal (which he thinks would be unlikely to happen happen for 3 or 4 presidential election cycles, because he thinks it will take at least that long for the idea to become popular enough to win), all issues, including immigration, would go back to the states, which means that the people in some states may chose to put up immigration/migration barriers. Adam would have no control over what the state governments did after he abolished the federal government, but he is hoping to inspire people to run for office on the platform of abolishing state governments as well. He would ultimately like to see a voluntary anarcho-capitalist society, but his platform is only focusing on shutting down the federal government in as fair and orderly manner as possible.

    Adam says that his platform bypasses all political issues because he is just focusing on removing one layer of government from people’s lives. All issues go back to the state or local level under his platform.

    Also, just to be clear, I am not working on his campaign. I have only met Adam three times, all of which were at events, and although I did speak to him for awhile, I am not representing him, nor do we necessarily agree on everything. I am glad that he is in the race, and I may support him for the nomination in 2020, but that is a long time from now so it is hard to say for sure. I would have to see who else declares that they are running for the nomination before I could say for sure who I will support.

    I drove to a Best Buy yesterday to see about getting a wire for that camera so I can upload that interview, but unfortunately the store was closed. I will try to get it up soon.

  32. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Yes, well, it all depends on what the word means to you. If it means NAPster, then, sure, Bergland was probably the model L candidate.

    If L means lessarchist, then I would say the last 3 campaigns were helpful in putting forth a reasonably credible third way to voters, that third way being neither left nor right and liberty maximizing, all things considered.

  33. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    October 16, 2017 at 18:59
    Being a decent representative of libertarianism is not sufficient to make a good candidate.

    But being a decent representative of libertarianism is the bare bottom baseline necessity for being worth running as a candidate at all.

    If the candidate is not a decent representative of libertarianism, there’s no point in running that candidate for office under the label ‘libertarian.’ It’s public masturbation at best and false advertising at worst, neither of which are good prep work for later candidates.”

    I agree with Tom here.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    A minute ago, wanting the candidate to decently represent libertarianism didn’t “work” for you.

    Then it started “working” for certain meanings of “represent libertarianism.”

    Seems to me like you just want to fight over what libertarianism means, preferably in a way that lets you call people names if you think it’s possible that they disagree with you. Sorry, not buying today.

  35. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Fight, no. I do, however, challenge the cult of NAPsterism. 😉

    But, yes, a candidate is not a rep for ideas, per se. S/he is on a job interview, offering a skill set and an approach to problem solving to voters. Occasionally, a candidate may allude to his or her core beliefs, although those are put out in a general, non-specific manner.

    Mostly, his or her philosophy shines through the candidate rather than making very specific philosophical pronouncements or grandiose policy prescriptions (AK’s abolishing the federal government by decree certainly qualifies!).

  36. Anthony Dlugos

    “S/he is on a job interview, offering a skill set and an approach to problem solving to voters. Occasionally, a candidate may allude to his or her core beliefs, although those are put out in a general, non-specific manner.

    Mostly, his or her philosophy shines through the candidate rather than making very specific philosophical pronouncements or grandiose policy prescriptions …”

    Bottle this thought and release it as a virus inside the room at the 2018 Convention.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ah, so RC and AD want the LP to continue living in a fantasy world in which “good” candidates do exactly the opposite of what real-world winning candidates do (99.9% of what Republican and Democratic candidates talk about are 1) policy proposals and 2) philosophical orientation).

    OK, that explains quite a bit.

  38. paulie

    Last call for questions today.

    Andy, you mentioned you had questions you did not get to on video – how about if we ask them in print?

  39. Anthony Dlugos

    “Ah, so RC and AD want the LP to continue living in a fantasy world in which “good” candidates do exactly the opposite of what real-world winning candidates do (99.9% of what Republican and Democratic candidates talk about are 1) policy proposals and 2) philosophical orientation).”

    There must be a reason why Republican and Democratic candidates intuitively understand there is a pecking order to the public offices in this country, such that newbies in those parties start with state and local offices and work their way up (or take a shot at a top-level office only in the rare exceptions where they come to the public sector with significant private sector experience, while on the other hand Libertarians, especially of the NAP dogma variety think, “now that I understand the NAP, I think I can be governor of, e.g., Georgia. Ignore my resume, or lack thereof.”

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    So there must be a reason why Republican and Democratic candidates don’t do in your imagination what Republican and Democratic candidates actually do in real life. Mkay …

  41. Anthony Dlugos

    I think what they do is much closer to what RC and I think they do than what you are suggesting.

  42. robert capozzi

    tk,

    With a few exceptions, candidates first establish their credentials. They talk about their track record. They talk about their vision, which is often very amorphous like “Hope and Change” or “Make America Great Again.” They advocate tweaks to the current configuration.

    It’s true that as a campaign moves along, they don’t need to talk about their credentials nearly as much as they do in the early phases. They’ve been vetted, as they say.

    Making decrees about abolishing the government sounds like the beginning of the second volume of Unabomber’s manifesto. As a NAPster in recovery, I see the humor of such a position, just as I find Vermin Supreme to be delightful.

    If you want to be taken seriously, it strikes me that the first order of business is to be serious in one’s presentation.

  43. paulie

    There must be a reason why Republican and Democratic candidates intuitively understand there is a pecking order to the public offices in this country, such that newbies in those parties start with state and local offices and work their way up (or take a shot at a top-level office only in the rare exceptions where they come to the public sector with significant private sector experience, while on the other hand Libertarians, especially of the NAP dogma variety think, “now that I understand the NAP, I think I can be governor of, e.g., Georgia. Ignore my resume, or lack thereof.”

    It’s not so much that. It’s that some LP candidates want to make sure the LP is on the ballot for the largest possible number of voters, and maximizes its chances of media coverage and voters looking the LP up since we are on their ballot. In some cases it’s a matter of ballot retention. In others, it’s that the issues they care about are not really addressed at the local level where they may actually have a non-trivial shot at winning. For many of them they have no actual interest in holding office, especially on some local level dealing with crap they may not even care about; they just want to get libertarian ideas to the public and serve the party by helping to fill the ballot.

    Of course, lots of libertarians do run for local office, and a few win, while many do not. Most of the ones that run for higher offices realize that their chance of winning is slim to none, so their resume is not as important there. A few actually are delusional and start to “get high off their own supply” thinking they can win.

    I worked on a campaign for a guy who ran for Congress and seriously though he could win. Of course, he got the typical LP result. That same year I also worked on the campaign of a guy who ran for Governor; he was much more realistic and was mostly focused on denying a Republican he had a well-grounded personal beef with the victory, but the Republican won anyway. The gubernatorial campaign did give him lots of statewide and local media coverage all over the state and an opportunity to bring up issues and get in the debates. In fact, establishment party candidates complimented him and told him he changed their minds on some things just by debating him. I’m glad he ran, even though he didn’t come close to winning and didn’t even meet his secondary goal of beating the spread. The other guy, unfortunately, I think could have done a lot more good if his campaign goals/expectations had been more realistic.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I am defending neither Kokesh’s platform nor his credentials (defending those is HIS job and the job of his supporters).

    But the fact remains that when you look at Congress, a lot of its members don’t have lower-office political resumes and a lot of those members were elected, at least the first time, on the basis of going out and preaching specific platforms.

    My congressman during my formative political years in Missouri was Mel Hancock, whose background was a few years of military service and a career in sales (starting with farm equipment, then insurance, then his own bank security equipment leasing company). He started a taxpayer advocacy organization with very specific goals. He ran for US Senate and lost the GOP primary. He ran for lieutenant governor and lost the GOP primary. He ran for US House of Representatives and won the seat.

    While Congress is pretty lawyer-heavy, a lot more of its members than you might think did not start out on city council, then go to the state legislature, before getting elected to Congress. They made names for themselves in their areas by campaigning on specific policy proposals (term limits, abortion, etc.) and got elected.

    You’re trying to make this into a credentials vs. purity test matter, and the fact is that you’re all fucked up on both sides of that equation. In the real world, real candidates get elected to real offices by taking real stands on real issues and convincing people that they’ll get real things done. The idea that if a Libertarian will just put on the right suit and tie and get the right resume he or she will magically become a credible candidate is, in a word, bullshit. It bears zero relation to reality.

  45. Anthony Dlugos

    “My congressman during my formative political years in Missouri was Mel Hancock, whose background was a few years of military service and a career in sales (starting with farm equipment, then insurance, then his own bank security equipment leasing company). He started a taxpayer advocacy organization with very specific goals.”

    Frankly, that sounds like a decent resume, even if it is without a law degree, and I don’t even know how many of our candidates even have that much.

    I’d also suggest there is an inverse relationship between resume such as it is and NAP dogmatism, vis a vi LP candidates for office.

  46. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, good point. Maintaining ballot access makes sense as a motive for some L candidacies. If that’s the goal, then probably the most effective approach would be to position the campaign for maximum vote-getting, not as a NAP symposium.

  47. Anthony Dlugos

    I do agree with paulie that many…most?…of the LP candidates running for offices they are not qualified for are level-headed blokes who are aware that can’t win and are doing it for ballot access.

    I also agree with RC in his implication that maximum vote-getting and NAP symposia are diametrically opposed goals.

    But again…the more NAP dogmatic do not argue that its okay to run an educational, “pure” campaign in a particular race, given that ballot access may be the top goal …they attack resumes in public office as a matter of principle, calling it a “shiny badge,” and implying no resume is better than any indication of a NAP sin.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I’ll gladly stipulate that most Libertarians who seek public office do not meet your “credentials/resume” criteria.

    For the most part, I agree that those criteria are desirable. They’re things I look for in a Libertarian candidate. Right after I look to see if that candidate is a libertarian*, because that comes first. Without that, the whole thing is pointless regardless of the guy’s resume, name recognition, etc.

    * For LP candidate purposes, “libertarian” means planning to run in a way that moves the LP toward its goals, as codified in its platform and Statement of Principles. Absent that intent/ability, the LP has no reason to support such a candidate or campaign.

  49. paulie

    I do agree with paulie that many…most?…of the LP candidates running for offices they are not qualified for are level-headed blokes who are aware that can’t win and are doing it for ballot access.

    I think their primary motivation is to talk about their ideas to the largest possible audience. If they tried to do so outside the context of a political campaign it would be less likely they could get as many people to listen/read/watch/engage. Ballot access is an issue but only in some races in some states. The bigger issue for most candidates is to gain a platform to discuss their perspectives on the issues they care about, change some minds, gather a few new activist recruits, donors and future candidates for the party, open some people up to the larger libertarian perspective which they may then explore whether or not they join the party, maybe even get some of the people they run against – including those eventually elected – to come over a little in their direction on some issues.

    Resume is not the top concern as far as that goes; their chances of actually being elected are subatomic and in most cases they would be more than a little lost in the world of actually governing or legislating if they somehow got elected. Most of them would be happy to step aside for a person with a better resume who has the same ideas they do if such a person were available, legally qualified and willing to run.

    they attack resumes in public office as a matter of principle

    There’s no such principle that I know of. If someone they deem sufficiently ideologically libertarian happens to have had a “shiny badge”, say Ron Paul, all the better. But a “shiny badge” is not in itself a good reason to nominate someone if their change to libertarian ideas looks too incomplete, insincere and/or appears to be temporary, say in the cases of Bob Barr or Bill Weld.

  50. Anthony Dlugos

    tk,

    “They’re things I look for in a Libertarian candidate. Right after I look to see if that candidate is a libertarian*, because that comes first. Without that, the whole thing is pointless regardless of the guy’s resume, name recognition, etc.”

    Fair enough. I’m the reverse. I look at the resume first. Because without that, the whole thing is pointless, regardless of the guy’s philosophical bona fides. Because, as paulie pointed out above, a philosophically sound libertarian would be “lost in the world of actually governing or legislating if they somehow got elected. ”

    If I’m running an NFL football team, I don’t care how well some kid understands a spread offense on an intellectual level, if he hasn’t played football before, he’s useless to me. I’ll take the kid who played college football in a totally different system and teach him the spread, if I have to make a choice.

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    “The bigger issue for most candidates is to gain a platform to discuss their perspectives on the issues they care about, change some minds, gather a few new activist recruits, donors and future candidates for the party, open some people up to the larger libertarian perspective which they may then explore whether or not they join the party, maybe even get some of the people they run against – including those eventually elected – to come over a little in their direction on some issues.

    Resume is not the top concern as far as that goes; their chances of actually being elected are subatomic…”

    I concur that that first paragraph is a good estimation of why many, many Libertarians run for office, and that resumes are not necessary for those purposes. However, those are bugs that need to be worked out of our system, not features to accept as givens on a permanent basis.

  52. Tony From Long Island

    TK – the problem with your criteria is that there is a huge difference between, say . . . Darryl Perry and Gov. Johnson. If you don’t want to use Gov. Johnson, just replace his name with anyone who doesn’t want to abolish the federal government.

    BTW, I have posted two new tunes, one of which you might like 🙂
    https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I look at the resume first. Because without that, the whole thing is pointless,”

    Well, you can say that all you like. But when you talk to a guy who actually got his resume-less self appointed to federal office, and his resume-less wife actually elected to local office, that guy is disinclined to give a whole lot of weight to it. The problem with your theory is that it’s not just falsifiable, it’s been falsified.

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    Yes, there is a huge difference between Darryl W. Perry and Gary Johnson.

    Perry is a libertarian who offered to run a libertarian campaign, but without much of a resume.

    Johnson’s resume included growing state spending and state debt faster as governor of New Mexico than Barack Obama grew national spending and national debt as POTUS, asking the state legislature to let him execute 13-year-olds, trying to fire state officials who declined to award lucratic contracts to his construction company, getting held in contempt by the state supreme court for attempting to rule by decree, and having been the second LP presidential candidate in a row whose background included a public divorce scandal after getting caught fucking around on his wife. So yeah, I guess he had Darryl beat on resume. But not on being a libertarian or being willing to run a libertarian campaign.

  55. Anthony Dlugos

    I guess we’d have to talk the specifics of a particular candidate at this point. Because maybe you thought I thought the resume of Mel Hancock, for example, was insufficient for a US House seat, when I never would argue that. That’s a good resume, IMHO.

    On the other hand, Kokesh for…US President? come on.

  56. Andy

    When I found out about the Libertarian Party back in 1996 after stumbling upon the Libertarian National Convention on C-SPAN and hearing Harry Browne, I did not give a damn that Browne had not held an elected office, I liked his message and I thought that his delivery was good, and this was all that was important to me. If anything, I considered the fact that Browne had not held elected office before to be a good thing, because it meant that he was not a career politician, as even back then I knew that career politicians had created the mess within government.

    A lot of the population does not care that much, if at all, about Shiny Badges. Yeah, some people do, but these are also people who are the most likely to vote for Democrats or Republicans, and these are people who won’t vote for Libertarians no matter who the Libertarian Party runs.

    If a supposedly “unqualified” Libertarian were to get into office and became so overwhelmed that they did not know what to do, there are plenty of libertarian think tanks and educational organizations, as well as individuals that they could call for advice.

    I remember Rand Paul saying that when he was a kid he went to see his dad in Congresz, and that he was shocked and appalled by the behavior of some of the other Congressman, as some of them showed up to vote on bills while drunk, and that a lot of them had not even read the bills before they voted on them, and they were just voting how other people told them to vote without putting much (if any) thought into it. I bet all of these members of Congress to which Rand Paul was referring had Shiny Badge credentials that Anthony thinks are so important.

  57. Anthony Dlugos

    “When I found out about the Libertarian Party back in 1996 after stumbling upon the Libertarian National Convention on C-SPAN and hearing Harry Browne, I did not give a damn that Browne had not held an elected office…”

    That’s as far as I read.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, Andy, but no sane candidate would do anything to try and appeal to you. Not saying they would turn down your vote, but to say they wouldn’t go out of their way for the “Sandy Hook Was Staged” portion of the electorate is the understatement of the century.

  58. Tony From Long Island

    Andy, I don’t think you read his comment correctly. He said no candidate would go out of their way to appeal directly to YOU because they are not courting the conspiracy nut bag vote. . . . . . . If they are, then we really have problems. . . .

  59. Tony From Long Island

    Andy

    A lot of the population does not care that much, if at all, about Shiny Badges. Yeah, some people do, but these are also people who are the most likely to vote for Democrats or Republicans,

    So, you mean 95% of the population? . . . .

  60. Anthony Dlugos

    “So, you mean 95% of the population? . . . .”

    haha.

    This is another predilection of the more dogmatist/purist/radicals: anyone not voting is a closet anarchist ready to vote for a catastrophically unqualified nobody who’s going to pull the plug on the federal government one Day Uno and let everyone contract out for their own police/defense services. Citizens upset with the their current choices are begging for a Perry/Coley administration. lol

    This, despite the fact that polling is quite clear that non-voters don’t think that much differently than voters. At least not as differently as some would have you believe.

  61. Andy

    Tony, over half the population does not even vote, and out of those who do vote, some of them are holding their nose and voting for whom they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.

    The percent of the population who put Shiny Badge credential worshiping above everything else is not as high as Anthony and Tony are making it out to be.

  62. Andy

    I would not expect all non-voters to vote for Libertarians if they did vote, nor do I think that all non-voters are anarchists, however, numerous surveys, as well as my own anecdotal evidence, indicates that libertarians do better among independents and non-voters, and that some of the people who do not vote are anarchists (some are just lazy or disinterested in politics, or are two busy, or prefer to be led around by other people, or feel that they have nobody to vote for, or that the system is too corrupt, or do not vote for some other reason).

  63. Tony From Long Island

    Andy might have a point . . . what shiny badge does Donald Trump have? Look at the disaster he’s been . . .

    Multiple bankruptcies? Badge!
    Terrible business practices? Badge!
    Childlike behavior? Badge!
    Every characteristic of narcissism listed In the DSM-V? Badge!
    No Friggin clue about any policy? Badge!
    Absolute lack of empathy? Badge!
    Golden Toilet to take a dump in (and assuming everyone else has one)? Badge!!
    Lack of even a shred of Presidential Leadership? Badge!!

    I could go on of course . . . .

    See, as people hold office, they get to be evaluated for whether or not they are the opposite of Donald Trump.

    Please . . . .PELASE . . . don’t talk about Hillary now . . . don’t be predictable.

  64. Anthony Dlugos

    “…as well as my own anecdotal evidence…”

    Anecdotal evidence that would surely fit in a Stephen King horror novel.

  65. Tony From Long Island

    Andy

    however, numerous surveys, as well as my own anecdotal evidence, indicates that libertarians do better among independents and non-voters

    OK . . you are making SOME sense here . . . . continue . . .

    and that some of the people who do not vote are anarchists

    I am going to guess that your definition of “some” is quite different than most.

  66. Anthony Dlugos

    “I am going to guess that your definition of “some” is quite different than most.”

    haha. understatement of the thread.

    not sure why we have to pay attention to nonvoters anyway. I sold BMW’s for a while. I never bothered trying to sell them to bike-riding commuters living in the city.

  67. Tony From Long Island

    Well, I am ok with trying to convince non-voters that it is in their best interest to vote – regardless of who they vote for. I actually have done that recently. . . . . .A guy I see very day used to joke about the campaign and Trump and boast that he never voted . . . . . he’s DEFINITELY voting now . . . and not for Republicans.

    I have a feeling that Trump might have that effect on many people – and maybe “some” anarchists too!

  68. Andy

    If fancy credentials/Shiny Badges are so important, how come Ralph Nader did almost as well in the 2000 presidential election, as Johnson/Weld, two former governors, did in the 2016 election? The circumstances surrounding the 2000 election were a lot more difficult for minor party and independent candidates than the circumstances surrounding the 2016 election. Nader had to contend with another high profile minor party candidate in Pat Buchanan, while Johnson did not have to contend with any high profile minor party or independent candidates (Jill Stein does not count as having been high profile). Nader did not even qualify for all 50 state ballots, as I think he was on around 44-46 plus DC, while Johnson/Weld were on in all 50 state’s plus DC. Nader never held elected office, and he did not run a big business empire like Donald Trump or Ross Perot, yet he did about as well in terms of percent of the vote as Johnson/Weld did.

  69. Andy

    Trump had never held office before, but he was /is a billionaire and a celebrity. Money and name recognition can go a long way.

  70. Andy

    The amount of anecdotal evidence that I have is pretty high, given the unusually high number of people whom I shaved talked politics with both in person and online.

  71. robert capozzi

    aj: how come Ralph Nader did almost as well in the 2000 presidential election, as Johnson/Weld, two former governors, did in the 2016 election?

    me: Good question. I would say that decades spent as a high-profile consumer advocate is a Shiny Badge. Similarlly, a high-profile real estate developer and reality TV show is also Shiny Badge material. Both unconventional ones, to be sure.

    It’s important to recognize these are exceptions to the rule, not the rule.

    I would also suggest that if DJT continues to fail as badly as he has, or — if as is increasingly likely — the economy and markets experience a significant downturn in the next 3 years: The Shiny Badge “requirement” with increase. Putting an inexperienced knucklehead con-artist in the WH was a profoundly bad idea, the history books will say.

  72. robert capozzi

    aj: a lot of them had not even read the bills before they voted on them, and they were just voting how other people told them to vote without putting much (if any) thought into it.

    me: Ever actually read a bill? They are often deeply opaque and filled with legalistic jargon. Reading summaries probably make more sense, actually, and delegate legal and technical research to staff.

  73. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “: Good question. I would say that decades spent as a high-profile consumer advocate is a Shiny Badge. Similarlly, a high-profile real estate developer and reality TV show is also Shiny Badge material. Both unconventional ones, to be sure.”

    Yeah, but was Nader’s status as a consumer advocate as impressive a Shiny Badge as a presidential ticket with two former governors on it? I would say no.

    Also, like I pointed out above, Nader ran under more difficult conditions than what Johnson/Weld ran under. He was also on less ballots than Johnson/Weld, and he had to contend with a high profile third party candidate in Pat Buchanan, who was the Reform Party nominee in 2000.

    The fact that Johnson/Weld did about the same percent of the vote as Nader did does not speak well of the Johnson/Weld ticket.

    “I would also suggest that if DJT continues to fail as badly as he has, or — if as is increasingly likely — the economy and markets experience a significant downturn in the next 3 years: The Shiny Badge “requirement” with increase. Putting an inexperienced knucklehead con-artist in the WH was a profoundly bad idea, the history books will say.”

    The same could have been said about George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and they both had fancy political credentials.

  74. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    We may be watching a different movie, then, because the gaffes coming out of the Trump Administration and from Trump’s twitter account dwarf those of W and BHO. He’s a national embarrassment, far worse than his predecessors.

    As for Nader doing better the GJ, it may be he was a better candidate. He was a long-standing national figure. GJ was not. Also, I suspect many voted strongly AGAINST Trump and Hillary, thinking the other would be a catastrophe. W and Gore were not widely perceived as poor candidates as Trump and Hillary.

    IOW, I suspect defensive voting was a bigger motive in 2016 than in previous years.

  75. Tony From Long Island

    Robert Capozzi

    Putting an inexperienced knucklehead con-artist in the WH was a profoundly bad idea, the history books will say.

    Exactly

    Andy:

    The same could have been said about George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and they both had fancy political credentials.

    NO! That is not an equivalent! Stop with the nonsense. Comparing DJT to ANYONE is profoundly stupid. You are so fully indoctrinated that you can’t see the forest for the trees. There is no one in the same league as DJT when it comes to terrible presidents. Nixon might end up close, but DJT puts him to shame.

    When you use your old talking point of “they are all bad unless they are 100% libertarian and want to dismantle the entire government” you are showing very myopic thinking. Allowing someone without a shred of empathy in his being to be in such a powerful position is dangerously terrible. His rubes fell for his con and we all suffer the consequences.

    I can’t believe it has come to this. I have to defend George W. Bush. *sigh*

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    While Trump is unique in certain respects, I’d say that at least SOME of the perceptions have less to do with his behavior and more with the way we perceive things now versus the way we perceived them in, to take one of your examples, 2000 (Bush v. Gore).

    In 2000, if a president or presidential candidate said something weird and stupid, it was probably a question of:

    1) Whether there was a mic or a reporter nearby;

    2) Whether it got noticed and reported on, in a newspaper or on the evening news; and then

    3) Whether people emailed each other or posted their opinion on any number of discrete small discussion forums.

    In 2017, if Donald Trump says something weird and stupid, there’s a good chance he does so by instantaneously beaming it to his 40 million Twitter followers. He’s basically always speaking into a hot mic in front of every reporter in the country and in front of more than 1 in 10 regular Americans, all of whom can instantly comment on it to their entire social circle via one or both of two forums with literally billions of users (Twitter and Facebook).

    In the past, a story started small and over time it either did or didn’t “grow legs” and walk into the popular consciousness.

    These days, the stories start with legs that carry them a long way in a short time.

  77. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Yes, there’s something to what you say. DJT’s gaffes are so easy to see because of technological change. Predecessors of his made gaffes that were not seen or seen as quickly.

    Still, my view is that the combination of inexperience, ignorance, and pretty severe mental illness make DJT a disaster waiting to happen. We may well muddle through like we have with more experienced, much more informed, and less crazy presidents, but that is more about luck and checks and balances.

    Scott Adams may be right about Trump…that his deeply imbued power of positive thinking will somehow prevail to heal the nation’s woes in some mystical, unseeable, unconscious way. I remain skeptical.

  78. Tony From Long Island

    TK makes a valid point about the way Trump can communicate vs. back in 2000.

    However, without Twitter, DJT would just say even more ridiculous crap directly to the “fake news” reporters than he already does. He would still be a daily shite storm. He would still lack a shred of empathy and decency (reminds me of someone . . . . ).

    Twitter and direct communication is not the sole reason why Trump is a disaster waiting to happy. It’s just a more convenient one.

  79. paulie

    Yeah, but was Nader’s status as a consumer advocate as impressive a Shiny Badge as a presidential ticket with two former governors on it? I would say no.

    He was far better recognized and had built up a following over decades. I would say his name recognition is near 100%. I believe he also got more media coverage than Johnson ever did.

    The same could have been said about George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and they both had fancy political credentials.

    No, Trump is orders of magnitude crazy worse. By far the worst president ever in the US and I will be pleasantly surprised if he does not end up killing all of us. More apt comparisons to him are not past US presidents but infamous dictators, tyrants and madmen who have ruled other nations and brought them to ruin, except that none of them had the unique combination of a large nuclear arsenal and Trump’s level of insanity.

  80. paulie

    We may be watching a different movie, then, because the gaffes coming out of the Trump Administration and from Trump’s twitter account dwarf those of W and BHO. He’s a national embarrassment, far worse than his predecessors.

    I agree, but that’s putting it very, very mildly.

    As for Nader doing better the GJ, it may be he was a better candidate. He was a long-standing national figure. GJ was not. Also, I suspect many voted strongly AGAINST Trump and Hillary, thinking the other would be a catastrophe. W and Gore were not widely perceived as poor candidates as Trump and Hillary.

    IOW, I suspect defensive voting was a bigger motive in 2016 than in previous years.

    That is correct.

    Meanwhile no replies to any of the questions from Kokesh yet.

  81. Anthony Dlugos

    Meanwhile no replies to any of the questions from Kokesh yet.

    Don’t bother him with mundane policy questions. He is busy getting massages from low self-esteem women who feed him red m&m’s only, as he prepares to save the world on Inauguration Day by abolishing the gub’ment.

  82. Anthony Dlugos

    I won’t argue with the assembled intelligentsia here on the threat Trump presents to this country, its all spot on. As an aside, for me the most disturbing image from his presidency was his inaugural dance with his wife on Inauguration Day. A more loveless display, void of human emotion on both their parts, I have not seen in my life, and to me that makes him frighteningly dangerous.

    Whatever you want to say about Obama i probably would not disagree, but he clearly loved his wife, which means he was capable of connecting with other humans. Trump? Not so sure.

  83. robert capozzi

    I would say one thing that has surprised me about DJT: His EOs on Obamacare look pretty darned clever and effective. I think he’s been listening to RP2 on the matter.

    Assuming we all survive, Ls might learn from the DJT experience. Ideology is, of course, important, but knowing how to run a government is just as important. Not only did DJT have no clue, neither did Priebus or Bannon.

    Had GJ won, or if a L were to win in the coming decades, they need to understand how to get legislation passed. Voters tend to be practical people, and they are not going to hire a dentist to do open-heart surgery.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Hopefully we will nominate future presidential candidates who know even more than you want them to know.

    For example, candidates who know that it is not the job of the president to “get legislation passed.”

  85. Anthony Dlugos

    “Ideology is, of course, important, but knowing how to run a government is just as important. Not only did DJT have no clue, neither did Priebus or Bannon.

    Had GJ won, or if a L were to win in the coming decades, they need to understand how to get legislation passed.”

    100% correct.

    Gj’s philosophy was hardly doctrinaire libertarianism. It was his management style and his personal habits that was his greatest strengths. If elected, he surely would have done some things that would have disappointed even me, but he would not have staked his entire presidency dying on the hill where he makes sure no one is forced to bake a cake.

  86. Tony From Long Island

    RC <blockquote His EOs on Obamacare look pretty darned clever and effective.

    I think you added an “r” to PETTY.

    Pretty much all he has done is reverse anything President Obama was for. That’s not leadership. That’s petty childishness.

    I’ll let you all know how much my monthly premium is after the subsidy he refused to pay are gone. If my math is correct, it will be 10 times as much. Really darned clever. Effective too, if his goal was to bankrupt people and make them unable to afford health insurance. Anyone here volunteering to pay for my blood pressure meds?

  87. robert capozzi

    tk: For example, candidates who know that it is not the job of the president to “get legislation passed.”

    me: Oh? My understanding of how DC actually gets things done is that the President’s staff works with leadership to craft legislation that accomplishes agenda items, that various players can sign off on and vote for.

    Technically, of course, legislation is Congress’s job, but practically speaking major legislation is pre-negotiated with Administration leadership.

    TFLI,

    I was referring to the move to enable people to get health insurance from private associations and across state lines. If the news reports are correct, I see this as a critical pre-condition to right the ship of American health care.

  88. Thomas L. Knapp

    “My understanding of how DC actually gets things done is that the President’s staff works with leadership to craft legislation that accomplishes agenda items, that various players can sign off on and vote for.”

    Legislation is crafted neither by the president, nor by the president’s staff, nor by the “leadership” of anything. It’s crafted by congressional staff based on the broad goals given them by the “leadership” of Congress, who may or may not include anything that they’ve heard the president wants.

    Ultimately, the president’s role is to sign and execute the legislation, or to veto it and see if Congress wants to override him.

    Sure, he can lean on congresscritters to give him the legislation he wants or kill the legislation he doesn’t want. So can every lobbyist on K Street.

  89. Tony From Long Island

    my understanding is that there is nothing in the ACA that stopped people from getting insurance across state lines. I have no problem with it and hope it happens.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t think it was ACA itself that stopped people from getting insurance across state lines. It was pre-existing licensing law at the state level. Repealing ACA in its entirety wouldn’t change that. Congress would have to act under its authority to regulate interstate commerce.

  91. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Right.

    I guess it all depends on what is meant by “craft.” When you listen to Eine kleine Nachtmusik, was it crafted by Mozart, Leonard Bernstein, the NY Philharmonic, the sound engineers, or those who write the code?

    Trump has majorities in both chambers, and yet no significant legislation has passed. This despite their efforts to do so. Of course, this could change, and as a lessarchist I’m more interested in repealing laws than in passing them. Whether passing or repealing them, however, requires leadership, and while the lack of leadership could be placed on Ryan and McConnell, usually this sort of leadership comes from the White House, as I understand it.

    The sausage factory has many people leaning on the process. Being able to shape that process into something semi-coherent requires leadership skills.

    ____

    RP2 summarizes DJT’s executive order here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/12/exclusive-rand-paul-on-trump-healthcare-executive-action-congress-failed-time-to-act/

    This may not be fulfilling to those who dream of a stateless society, but this smallish technical move could prove quite liberating for millions.

  92. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    The problem with passing legislation isn’t really Trump. The GOP has a majority in the House, and a bare-bones majority in the Senate that:

    1) Doesn’t reach the 60-vote mark required to move bills out of debate and onto the floor; and

    2) Is vulnerable to as little as three or four Republican votes defecting. The ones who generally do, while they happen to be anti-Trump at the moment, have been “on the fence moderates” forever — McCain, Murkowski, Collins, King et al. Those guys have been frustrating GOP party-line efforts for decades.

    McConnell and Ryan do give Trump a hard time, but the simple fact is that Congress COULD put bills on his desk to sign or veto if they could get their shit together. Which they’ve seldom done since 1995, when the 1994 “Republican Revolution” put them in the driver’s seat and they suddenly found out that an R next to a name only means a party line vote when the outcome doesn’t matter because they were going to lose anyway.

  93. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Yes, I’m aware of the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. I suspect a lot of Trump voters THOUGHT the Master Negotiator would have been able to factor in procedural and institutional barriers to forge outside-the-box reforms. This has not been the case, I suspect in part because Trump hired badly. An RNC Chair as CoS sounded like a bad move to me at the time. He needed someone like Gingrich or some pol for that job.

    Now I tend to be a gridlock-is-good type, but an inexperienced lunatic in the WH can do GREAT damage to the body politic. I pray the damage he does is minimized.

    I think he’s probably damaged the outside possibility of growing a true third party movement, since after Trump, people will be even MORE gunshy about hiring non-pols for office, especially president. Trump is in many ways a third-party candidate. Voters may become even more risk averse than they are now, given the disaster that is the Trump Administration.

  94. dL

    If I’m running an NFL football team, I don’t care how well some kid understands a spread offense on an intellectual level, if he hasn’t played football before, he’s useless to me. I’ll take the kid who played college football in a totally different system and teach him the spread, if I have to make a choice.

    Not a particularly apt analogy given the NFL drafts largely on talent and potential, not resume.

  95. dL

    I’ll let you all know how much my monthly premium is after the subsidy he refused to pay are gone. If my math is correct, it will be 10 times as much. Really darned clever. Effective too, if his goal was to bankrupt people and make them unable to afford health insurance. Anyone here volunteering to pay for my blood pressure meds?

    ObamaCare quadrupled my competitive premiums. Thankfully, eating right and exercising aren’t taxed and regulated…yet.

  96. dL

    Whatever you want to say about Obama i probably would not disagree, but he clearly loved his wife, which means he was capable of connecting with other humans. Trump? Not so sure.

    He certainly was able to connect with other innocent human beings using drones as a delivery mechanism. Trump has already demonstrated the same empathy regardless of whether he loves his wife or not.

  97. dL

    Trump is in many ways a third-party candidate. Voters may become even more risk averse than they are now, given the disaster that is the Trump Administration.

    One wonders why Bob even bothers with third party politics. If he is not disparaging them for being outside the “overton window,” he is quick to saddle them w/ the failures of the major party candidates.

  98. robert capozzi

    dL,

    I vote L when the candidate at least makes the attempt to be serious. I have never voted for a non-L. So that’s my interest.

    Yes, I did find GJ’s budget plan to be a non-starter, but it wasn’t bad politics (i.e., it wasn’t Soapbox Lunatic material).

    Characterizing DJT as a 3rd party candidate was not my insight…I’ve heard it on MSM several times, and has some coherence for me. He has been a D and almost ran for prez on the Reform line.

    DJT being in effect a 3rd party candidate is not something I am happy about, since I happen to believe the country could use a viable 3rd party. In the aftermath of this Trumpian devastation, I fear that a third-party’s prospects have worsened.

    Of course, the NAPster jihad is more achieving about -life Paradise than about liberty maximization in the short- to intermediate term. Being viable in elections is not a consideration for the True Believers.

  99. Darcy G Richardson

    “In the aftermath of this Trumpian devastation, I fear that a third-party’s prospects have worsened.” — Robert Capozzi

    Bob is right. It pains me to say it, but I think the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 presidential election will prove to be pretty lean years for America’s third parties. We can already see the trend in some of the results from the special congressional and state legislative races held earlier this year.

    The 2016 presidential election was in many ways a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the country’s alternative parties — and, unfortunately, they failed to capitalize on it.

  100. Thane Eichenauer

    paulie> No, Trump is orders of magnitude crazy worse. By far the worst president ever in the US and I will be pleasantly surprised if he does not end up killing all of us. More apt comparisons to him are not past US presidents but infamous dictators, tyrants and madmen who have ruled other nations and brought them to ruin

    paulie, do you read the comments you type? According to Google an order of magnitude means “a class in a system of classification determined by size, each class being a number of times (usually ten) greater or smaller than the one before.” Crazier than John F. Kennedy that started the Vietnam war? Crazier than Lyndon B. Johnson that continued the Vietnam war? Crazier than Harry Truman that authorized dropping two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities because the Japanese government while prepared to surrender was not willing to unconditionally surrender?

    Crazier by an order of magnitude than those three? Really?!?

    Donald Trump is a number of times (usually ten) times crazy worse? Really?!?

    paulie> By far the worst president ever in the US

    Really?!?

    paulie> More apt comparisons to him are not past US presidents but infamous dictators, tyrants and madmen who have ruled other nations and brought them to ruin

    Am I living amid ruins and not noticed that fact? Am I hunting down squirrels and rats with a knife and cooking them on an open fire and haven’t realized that is what I am doing to fuel my corporeal form?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I am willing to posit that Donald Trump is not to be trusted. I am also willing to condemn his administration that has continued and even expanded US government occupation and bombing of Afghanistan and Syria. I am plenty willing to state that the continued taxation and borrowing for the manifold campaigns of US military deployment world wide has caused economic stagnation and harm to the people of the US of A (not to mention the dozens, hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of people that have been blown to bits and even killed by good old patriotic US bombs dropped by patriotic people called soldiers).

    I don’t dispute that Donald Trump, his supporters, his people under his direct employment and direction (not to mention non-direction) may well cause ruination of a great many places and peoples (in the future).

    BUT

    The ruination is largely in the future save for the many, many unfortunate folks that live in countries where the US military has been given the OK to run amok.

    paulie, your comments on Donald Trump sound, to my ears, much like the ongoing newscast by Rachel Maddow that predicts that Donald Trump is certain to cause mayhem to erupt (after these messages from our sponsor).

    paulie, what am I missing? I feel that I must be missing something large and obvious. Am I reading your comments incorrectly? Is there something in my interpretation subroutine that is malfunctioning?

  101. Thane Eichenauer

    Thomas L. Knapp> Oh, believe me, I am not defending Trump. Politically he seems to be pretty much business as usual, but he’s crazy as a shithouse rat.

    I will agree on the premise that 2017 US government is business as usual but I THINK I deviate from the usual and customary definition of crazy as a shithouse rat. Urban dictionary tells me that phrase means “Deranged, demented behavior that others deem similar to that of a rodent that dwells in a wood shithouse.”

    I assert that perhaps we need to (as Scott Adams seems to) look and understand Donald Trump from another perspective. As far as shithouse rats go I would imagine that a rat in a shithouse might not be deranged nor demented. It might be a place where a rat, for instance, could find warmth, moisture, food of a sort amid the offal, as well as protection from snow and rain. A shithouse rat might not be deranged and demented at all.

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    Thane,

    Unfortunately, Paulie has a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. So far, Trump isn’t even in (for example) Woodrow Wilson’s league, let alone the same ballpark, when it comes to bad presidents. He may get there, but he hasn’t yet.

    On the other hand, Trump clearly doesn’t live in the real world. He’s the kid who was born on third base and has now spent 70-odd years being told — and believing — he hit a triple. Sure, with daddy saving his ass multiple times and plenty of favors from politicians, he managed in fits and starts to turn a pile of money into a bigger pile of money with only what, four bankruptcies? Big whoop. Absent daddy’s backing, he’d never have been more than a small-time chiseler, maybe a three card monte street dealer or something. Decades of living in his fantasy world have made him a very dangerous man.

    Scott Adams on Trump was interesting four a couple of columns. That was what, a hundred columns ago?

  103. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    October 19, 2017 at 03:51
    Thane,

    Unfortunately, Paulie has a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. So far, Trump isn’t even in (for example) Woodrow Wilson’s league, let alone the same ballpark, when it comes to bad presidents. He may get there, but he hasn’t yet.”

    I agree with Tom and Thane here. Donald Trump has not even been in office long enough to be in the league of worst presidents like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush., Barack Obama, etc..,.

    Is it possible that Donald Trump could end up being the among the worst, or even be the worst, by the time he leaves office? Sure, it is possible, but it is too early to say.

    It is one thing to look at Donald Trump with a skeptical eye, but this is no reason to throw rational thought out the window and engage in hysterics.

  104. Thane Eichenauer

    Thomas L. Knapp> On the other hand, Trump clearly doesn’t live in the real world. [snip] Decades of living in his fantasy world have made him a very dangerous man.

    Donald Trump lives in his own world, as do we all. The challenge is understanding the world other people live in. He lives in the same country where 98% (plus or minus 4 percent) of US presidents are nearly certain to be dangerous to a great many people. As far as bases go by most peoples rule stick he has hit a home run by defeating all opponents and being elected President of the United States. What he does next differs in the nice or naughty check list as to whether inadvertently (or with intent) one contributes to killing only thousands (nice by comparison) or hundreds of thousands of people.

    As far as Scott Adams writing being interesting (or not), there may indeed be some mental programming I have that is missing from other folks brains that causes me to find value in his writing on Donald Trump and other topics while others say “meh”. His last article..

    “The North Korea Reframe”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/166503042966/the-north-korea-reframe

    seems to me to be an insightful piece. What say you?

    In any case I have coughed up $44.95 for a six month subscription that allows me to watch “YOUR WELCOME” by Michael Malice (1 video hour once a week on Wednesdays, 18 episodes so far). He was born in the then USSR. I am not certain that MM is any sort of antidote to a creeping invasion of Memes by Scott Adams (TM). He certainly doesn’t suffer fools gladly. I hope that I can learn something from him.

    http://www.compoundmedia.com/show/your-welcome-with-michael-malice/

    Lastly I pray forgiveness to Adam Kokesh and the God of Commenting that my recent comments seem to have rather little to do with either The Jack News or Adam Kokesh or his Campaign for Not President.

  105. Darcy G Richardson

    I’m with Paulie on this one. While it’s far too early to judge Trump’s presidency, his first nine months in office have been arguably more erratic than any of his predecessors.

    His reckless use of Twitter — boldly stating something and then completely reversing or contradicting himself a few hours later — is a classic example of a narcissist run amok. He obviously has very fragile self-esteem (a clinical mental disorder, by the way) and absolutely no self control, the worst traits one could possibly want in a person in his position.

    Hang onto your hats. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    Tweet, tweet.

  106. robert capozzi

    te: Crazier than John F. Kennedy that started the Vietnam war? Crazier than Lyndon B. Johnson that continued the Vietnam war? Crazier than Harry Truman that authorized dropping two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities because the Japanese government while prepared to surrender was not willing to unconditionally surrender?

    me: Yes, DJT comes across crazier. He has not made moves as counter-productive as these, to be sure. I refer to his grandiosity and narcissism, his bullying and his inarticulateness. All point to a very undisciplined mind.

  107. Thane Eichenauer

    Robert,
    Would you say that Donald J. Trump is (or comes across as) two times as crazy as John F. Kennedy?
    Would you say that Donald J. Trump is five times as crazy as Lyndon B. Johnson?
    Would you say that Donald J. Trump is ten times (an order of magnitude) as crazy as Harry S. Truman?

    As far as “his inarticulateness” goes I earnestly ask “Have you been taking indoctrination classes in The Resistance (co-sponsored by Rachel Maddow and the organization formerly known as The Clinton Foundation)?” Donald Trump managed to persuade a majority of people in 30 states to become the President. Does it make any sort of logical sense to claim that the man is inarticulate?

    Google definition of the word articulate: (of a person or a person’s words) having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently.
    “an articulate account of their experiences”
    synonyms: eloquent, fluent, effective, persuasive, lucid, expressive, silver-tongued;

  108. Tony From Long Island

    TK

    Unfortunately, Paulie has a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. So far, Trump isn’t even in (for example) Woodrow Wilson’s league, let alone the same ballpark, when it comes to bad presidents. He may get there, but he hasn’t yet.

    I guess it depends on how you define “bad” I put Drumpf in the same league as Buchanan, Harding & Nixon.

    I am not a fan of Woodrow Wilson by any means, but I have Trump pegged miles below him. Like I said, it depends on what your priorities are in how you define “bad.”

  109. Tony From Long Island

    I very much wanted to respond to Andy’s last post putting Lincoln and FDR in the same sentence as GWB, but I won’t take the bait. I’ve already heard his nonsense about Abraham Lincoln. As I said in my previous post, it depends on your definition of “bad.”

    Andy disagrees with most on the definition of REALITY, so that post was not a surprise.

    A Good laugh in the morning, though.

  110. robert capozzi

    te: Does it make any sort of logical sense to claim that the man is inarticulate?

    me: Yes. People were amused by a billionaire reality TV star who was using junior-high-style insults and running against a deeply corrupt, sleazy lawyer who was SO incompetent and sloppy that she didn’t even cover her tracks very well.

    It’s understandable that voters have grown tired of smooth, articulate, lawyer pols. It’s most unfortunate that they overreacted and picked a crazy person to be president.

  111. robert capozzi

    more…

    There is no multiple of crazy metric that I’m aware of. Most everyone is low-grade crazy in some way. Presidents generally mask their craziness better than others, although Nixon really started to show his in his waning days.

    This ability to mask is important since the job entails consequential and sometimes life-or-death decisions.

    Trump has been showing his craziness for all to see from Day One when he descended the escalator.

  112. paulie

    Crazier than John F. Kennedy that started the Vietnam war? Crazier than Lyndon B. Johnson that continued the Vietnam war? Crazier than Harry Truman that authorized dropping two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities because the Japanese government while prepared to surrender was not willing to unconditionally surrender?

    Crazier by an order of magnitude than those three? Really?!?

    Several orders of magnitude crazier than all of them combined. Incidentally, US involvement in Vietnam predated Kennedy.

    Donald Trump is a number of times (usually ten) times crazy worse? Really?!?

    Really, and it’s not just one order of magnitude. There is nothing in the history of the US to compare him to, and while some of the most infamous tyrants and madmen in world history may have been around Trump’s level of crazy, none of them had the kind of nuclear arsenal he commands, which puts him in a whole new class of dangerous crazy that we have never seen in the history of the world before.

    paulie> By far the worst president ever in the US

    Really?!?

    Absolutely. I can’t emphasize it enough.

  113. paulie

    Am I living amid ruins and not noticed that fact? Am I hunting down squirrels and rats with a knife and cooking them on an open fire and haven’t realized that is what I am doing to fuel my corporeal form?

    Not yet. But you’ll be lucky if you are even doing that much by the time Drumpf is done.

  114. paulie

    Now don’t get me wrong. I am willing to posit that Donald Trump is not to be trusted. I am also willing to condemn his administration that has continued and even expanded US government occupation and bombing of Afghanistan and Syria. I am plenty willing to state that the continued taxation and borrowing for the manifold campaigns of US military deployment world wide has caused economic stagnation and harm to the people of the US of A (not to mention the dozens, hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of people that have been blown to bits and even killed by good old patriotic US bombs dropped by patriotic people called soldiers).

    That’s barely even the tip of the iceberg.

  115. paulie

    I don’t dispute that Donald Trump, his supporters, his people under his direct employment and direction (not to mention non-direction) may well cause ruination of a great many places and peoples (in the future).

    Not just a great many – we are talking about all life on earth, except maybe the cockroach and some viruses and bacteria and the like.

    The ruination is largely in the future save for the many, many unfortunate folks that live in countries where the US military has been given the OK to run amok.

    A vastly increased risk of cataclysmic destruction isn’t of any less concern because the worst has not happened yet.

  116. paulie

    paulie, your comments on Donald Trump sound, to my ears, much like the ongoing newscast by Rachel Maddow that predicts that Donald Trump is certain to cause mayhem to erupt

    She and the rest of the MSNBC crew have come closest to exposing the reality of what is going with Trump out of the medium-sized and up US networks. But even MSNBC still gives the Cheeto Benito too much credit.

  117. Anthony Dlugos

    “dL
    October 18, 2017 at 17:20

    He certainly was able to connect with other innocent human beings using drones as a delivery mechanism. Trump has already demonstrated the same empathy regardless of whether he loves his wife or not.”

    Agreed, Obama is not without blood on his hands, but as several have pointed out in this thread, the potential for total catastrophe from Trump is far more concerning. As bad as Obama ‘s foreign policy was, it was within the realm of the politically acceptable, and we can all decry that.

    But no one had to contemplate potentially tackling Trump if he went for the nuclear football, which apparently has been discussed by people within the White House.

  118. paulie

    paulie, what am I missing?

    I’m guessing quite a bit, but the amount of time and energy I am willing to spend to try to explain it is very limited. Watching a lot of MSNBC is a good place to start, especially if you are not at least conversational in Russian.

    I feel that I must be missing something large and obvious. Am I reading your comments incorrectly?

    No, I’m pretty sure I made myself clear.

    Is there something in my interpretation subroutine that is malfunctioning?

    Perhaps, but again all I can say is wait and see. When he first took office I may have been one of the very few here who said he would be way worse than past US presidents, and now it looks like more people here are agreeing with me. I think that opinion will become more and more universal as time goes on, but at this point I am just hoping he doesn’t kill all of us.

  119. paulie

    I deviate from the usual and customary definition of crazy as a shithouse rat. Urban dictionary tells me that phrase means “Deranged, demented behavior that others deem similar to that of a rodent that dwells in a wood shithouse.” ….As far as shithouse rats go I would imagine that a rat in a shithouse might not be deranged nor demented. It might be a place where a rat, for instance, could find warmth, moisture, food of a sort amid the offal, as well as protection from snow and rain. A shithouse rat might not be deranged and demented at all.

    The reason that shithouse rats are crazy is because of the fumes from the fecal material which cause hallucinations and dementia. So it is with Trump, who never tires of sniffing his own shit, making him crazier than the craziest shithouse rat that is or has ever been.

  120. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie:

    When he first took office I may have been one of the very few here who said he would be way worse than past US presidents, and now it looks like more people here are agreeing with me.

    We were certainly a minority. I have been saying from the moment he descended that escalator (too out of shape to walk apparently).

  121. paulie

    Unfortunately, Paulie has a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    The people who know Trump the best like him the least. His own precinct was the only one he lost in the NY primary. I have known a lot of people who knew Doncheeto Trumpolini, and have met him a number of times myself. As far as this board goes you can call me the Trump whisperer. It’s not Trump Derangement Syndrome, it’s Trump Prescience Syndrome that comes from a deeper understanding of the Embodied Annoying Orange Emoji than others in this vicinity possess.

  122. Anthony Dlugos

    dL
    October 18, 2017 at 17:07

    “Not a particularly apt analogy given the NFL drafts largely on talent and potential, not resume.”

    Not resume? Not resume?

    No matter who the NFL team is, no matter how bad they are, they invariably draft players who have college football on their resume. Its such a given, no one has to bother mentioning it.

    Surely no bad NFL team, perhaps looking to install new offensive and/or defensive schemes, takes the position that their first order of business is to educate the public on these new schemes before they start drafting players with actual college experience, so its more important to draft people who while they may have never played football before, they do understand the theoretical applications of the schemes, and so they’ll put those people on the field and while their opponents are competing to win, they’ll be explaining to the assembled crowd these innovative new schemes. And don’t worry about it, because at this point the bad team does not need to be worried about winning.

  123. paulie

    Does it make any sort of logical sense to claim that the man is inarticulate?

    Does the pope shit at the Vatican? I got all the best words.

  124. paulie

    What he does next differs in the nice or naughty check list as to whether inadvertently (or with intent) one contributes to killing only thousands (nice by comparison) or hundreds of thousands of people.

    You forgot other probabilities such as millions or billions.

    Lastly I pray forgiveness to Adam Kokesh and the God of Commenting that my recent comments seem to have rather little to do with either The Jack News or Adam Kokesh or his Campaign for Not President.

    Forget about it.

  125. paulie

    Donald Trump has not even been in office long enough to be in the league of worst presidents like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush., Barack Obama, etc..,.

    Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt didn’t have nukes. FDR may have had them at the very end, I’ll have to reread the exact timeline but basically through most of his presidency at least he did not. LBJ, GWB and BHO were simply nowhere as crazy, aggressive and fragile to make the risk of them using those nukes nearly as high as it is with Trump.

    The Bencheeto Trumpolini allegedly said he wants to increase the US nuclear stockpile tenfold, prompting his own Secretary of State to call him a fucking moron. He constantly pushes North Korea to the brink of nuclear war, and has all by himself scuttled the Iran nuclear agreement when even his own administration says Iran is complying – in the process hurting the reputation of the US for making any kind of deal with anyone. And that’s just two the many things he is doing to fuck up this country and the world. Already he is talking about pulling networks off the air if he doesn’t like their coverage. What happens when some crisis gives him the power to actually do that?

    Is it possible that Donald Trump could end up being the among the worst, or even be the worst, by the time he leaves office? Sure, it is possible, but it is too early to say.

    Not just possible but very likely. His corruption is already way up there. How many foreign leaders has he insulted? War, or multiple wars, quite likley nuclear, looking very likely.

    It is one thing to look at Donald Trump with a skeptical eye, but this is no reason to throw rational thought out the window and engage in hysterics.

    I’m not; I leave that up to the president himself, who does enough of that for all of us.

  126. George Phillies

    Paulie, your comments on the current administration are unusually silly even for the current political situation, which is that most people commenting on current politics appear to have taken leave of reality. Supporters of each political cult appear to have marched into their own echo chamber and are unable to hear let alone understand what the other side is saying. Kokesh’s proposal is so silly as hardly to be worth the electrons to report on it; it is more silly than the Prohibition Party proposal.

  127. robert capozzi

    pf: I have known a lot of people who knew Doncheeto Trumpolini, and have met him a number of times myself.

    me: I’d like to hear more about your meetings with DJT.

  128. paulie

    Paulie, your comments on the current administration are unusually silly even for the current political situation, which is that most people commenting on current politics appear to have taken leave of reality.

    They are in fact right on the money as more and more people are beginning to realize. I’ll let you catch up at your own pace.

    Supporters of each political cult appear to have marched into their own echo chamber and are unable to hear let alone understand what the other side is saying.

    I don’t fall into that category. I talk to all kinds of people, read and watch and listen to opinions from all over the world and all kinds of different political perspectives – mainstream and extreme alike. I talk to lots of ordinary people on the street, of all political stripes. So one thing you should not accuse me of is failing to understand other people’s perspectives.

    I’ve spent non-trivial amounts of time with everyone from homeless people to billionaires and every level in between, been to 49 US states and about 20 countries, every state in Mexico, every province and territory in Canada except Nunnavut (which did not exist then), spent a year in the Bahamas, several months in Italy, my first seven years in Siberia, been all over Central America and the Caribbean, in over half of the 3,000 or so counties in the US, just about any town with over 10,000 people (and plenty with less) in the continental US, every mile of major interstates in the continental US… if you think I haven’t talked to thousands and thousands of Trump supporters, you would be completely wrong. I consume the pro-Trump propaganda too, ranging from Faux News to the people who call him the “God Emperor” and raise their hands nazi-style, with zero irony, proclaiming “Hail Trump.”

    So whatever you think of my opinion – it is not uninformed.

  129. paulie

    I’d like to hear more about your meetings with DJT.

    Sorry, I can’t talk about the details of a lot of things I did and people I met back then. It was a long time ago. I’ll just say he was a piece of shit back then, before he ever got involved in politics, and while it’s been a long time since I have seen him in the flesh, I know enough of him to say with plenty of confidence that he is an even bigger piece of shit now.

  130. dL

    Characterizing DJT as a 3rd party candidate was not my insight…I’ve heard it on MSM several times, and has some coherence for me. He has been a D and almost ran for prez on the Reform line.

    Well, that’s your problem…you watch too much television

  131. Anthony Dlugos

    oh, come on man. that’s one guy. and at least he was an athlete. not some guy yammering about “principled” athletic performance.

  132. Tony From Long Island

    George P:

    Paulie, your comments on the current administration are unusually silly even for the current political situation,

    If you can’t see any difference between DJT and anything we have seen before him, you might be too far gone to be saved. . . . . When You talk about “each political cult,” I hope you are also including the Libertarian Cult.

    If you reply with some variation of the “they are all bad . . . ” talking point, then you are screaming into YOUR own echo chamber.

    The resistance to DJT has absolutely nothing to do with political party or ideology. It’s not the party, it’s the PERSON.

  133. paulie

    Just checked email and still no replies to any of the interview questions. I don’t know if I’ll get them and if I do I don’t know when.

  134. paulie

    The resistance to DJT has absolutely nothing to do with political party or ideology. It’s not the party, it’s the PERSON.

    True to an extent. Republicans, and for some unfathomable reason a lot of Libertarians, have been more willing to make excuses for the crazy orange-colored man, but there are plenty of both moderate and conservative Republicans alike who are appalled by what he is doing to their party and this country alike, and I’m certainly not the only Libertarian who is more than sick of him already and worried about what he has yet to do.

  135. Anthony Dlugos

    “…and for some unfathomable reason a lot of Libertarians, have been more willing to make excuses for the crazy orange-colored man…

    In my opinion, its not unfathomable.

    As I mentioned at this site before, there are a lot of Libertarians who take “Party of Principle” and the principles themselves (as they see them) to a fanatical extreme. From whence the policy positions come is irrelevant. If the Der fuhrer himself were reanimated and landed a public office position in this country and proposed some policy that may or may not have actual libertarian effects but merely mentioned the “free market” or liberty in passing, we should jump on the chance to praise him for that, as a way of demonstrating how important principles are to us.

    Any concession to accounting for the fact that the policy pronouncements come from an untrustworthy cheeto and thus should be taken with a grain of salt or not trusted entirely is viewed as insufficiently dogmatic attention to “principle.”

  136. dL

    oh, come on man. that’s one guy. and at least he was an athlete. not some guy yammering about “principled” athletic performance.

    I said the NFL drafted on athletic talent and potential…i didn’t say the NFL drafted yammering mealy mouths. True, talented athletes who want to play in the NFL usually play college football. But not always. Of course, I would be remiss not point out that is in part a consequence of the 3-year eligibility rule collectively bargained. But the larger point is that the NFL will draft someone from TimBuckTu State over a power 5 football resume if the talent and potential of the prospect merits it.

  137. dL

    If the Der fuhrer himself were reanimated and landed a public office position in this country and proposed some policy that may or may not have actual libertarian effects but merely mentioned the “free market” or liberty in passing, we should jump on the chance to praise him for that, as a way of demonstrating how important principles are to us.

    That trait is more symptomatic of the respectable libertarian think tanks like Cato. They will overlook quite a bit if someone will just make a token effort to lip service “free markets.”

  138. Tony From Long Island

    dL

    True, talented athletes who want to play in the NFL usually play college football. But not always

    I can only think of two right now off the top of my head. One was a college basketball player (Antonio Gates) and the other was an Olympic hurdler (Renaldo Nehemiah). I’m sure there are others, but not many. So let’s say that 99.9% of NFL players play college football – NOT counting Kickers 🙂

  139. Anthony Dlugos

    “True, talented athletes who want to play in the NFL usually play college football. But not always…”

    If we want to further beat this analogy to death, at least when NFL teams draft extreme outliers, they STILL do so in an effort to win games. They don’t go and draft people with zilch in the way of football or athletic experience of any kind, and suggest that is intentional because the effort to win games is secondary or tertiary to describing how to win games, and until everyone understands this new way of winning games, trying to win games is pointless.

  140. dL

    They don’t go and draft people with zilch in the way of football or athletic experience of any kind, and suggest that is intentional because the effort to win games is secondary or tertiary to describing how to win games, and until everyone understands this new way of winning games, trying to win games is pointless.

    I said or suggested no such thing.

  141. Anthony Dlugos

    fair enough. obviously, we don’t agree here and in other areas, e.g., your comment on Cato, but I’ve turned over a new leaf to not argue so much on the internet. no need to beat a dead horse.

  142. paulie

    Can’t or won’t?

    Was he a client of yours?

    I’ve said as much as I am free to talk about. You can either take my word for it or not that he is a piece of human excrement. Unfortunately I will not be filling in any details.

  143. paulie

    If we want to further beat this analogy to death, at least when NFL teams draft extreme outliers, they STILL do so in an effort to win games. They don’t go and draft people with zilch in the way of football or athletic experience of any kind, and suggest that is intentional because the effort to win games is secondary or tertiary to describing how to win games, and until everyone understands this new way of winning games, trying to win games is pointless.

    If your high school team gets a chance to play against a pro team, your recruiting season isn’t going to put you in a position to win, no matter how well you recruit. So, if you are recruiting players with this game in mind, you’d have to ask yourself what you want to gain out of the game, since the chances of outright winning are not even worth mentioning.

  144. Anthony Dlugos

    we’re deliberately keeping ourselves a high school level team.

    There’s zero reason based on the data itself why shouldn’t have replaced one of the Demopublican options ALREADY. Its our own messaging/platform/goals/dogmas that are keeping us from winning. Its not a media blackout, its not the voters not being ready for a Libertarian message, its not ballot access. Its us, all us.

  145. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    They don’t go and draft people with zilch in the way of football or athletic experience of any kind, and suggest that is intentional because the effort to win games is secondary or tertiary to describing how to win games, and until everyone understands this new way of winning games, trying to win games is pointless.

    Contrary to your oft repeated assertion, some professional teams actually don’t try to win as a strategy for drafting better players in the future and setting themselves up for long term victory.

    Trust the process.

  146. Andy

    A party that does mot even control one local government board, only has four sitting state legislators, all of whom got elected under the banners of other political parties, who then switched after being elected, and that has never elected anyone to a seat in the US House of Representatives, is not a party that is even remotely close to being able to seriously contend for the office of President.

    Also, watering down the party’s message to the point where many people are even questioning if that message is still inline with the party’s stated principles defeats the purpose of the party even existing.

  147. Chuck Moulton

    I agree that Paulie suffers from Trump derangement syndrome.

    I’m no fan of Donald Trump. I think he is ill suited for the presidency — in part because his shoot from the hip style and escalation of insults are a poor match for someone with the ability to start wars. Even so, the notion that he is likely to start a nuclear war is absurd. He may be a little crazy, but he’s far from stupid. He cares about his legacy too much to reduce the country to rubble. Furthermore, even if we accept the presumption that he doesn’t love his wife (which seems dubious at best), he clearly loves his kids and wants to leave them a future.

    It is also ill-advised to constantly harp on Trump’s gaffes or potential for bad policies while failing to recognize his successes. I am thankful that he has cut regulation and wants to simplify the tax code.

  148. Chuck Moulton

    I should have also mentioned that Trump is not a one man show. He makes the final decisions; however, he is surrounded by trusted advisors who temper his volatility.

  149. Anthony Dlugos

    Chuck,

    Our electoral process does not have anything resembling a draft that gives the worst performing teams a leg up on the competition.

    In fact, it’s the exact opposite; it punishes the worst performing parties and rewards the best performing parties (by the metric of winning elections.)

  150. Anthony Dlugos

    “Also, watering down the party’s message to the point where many people are even questioning if that message is still inline with the party’s stated principles defeats the purpose of the party even existing.”

    Andy, don’t take this the wrong way, but you are the absolute least of my concerns in terms of party members concerned about the watering down of the message.

    In fact, getting you and people like you to see no reason for the party to exist anymore and flee is one of the effects I WANT to happen via watering down the message.

    There are many others I would be disappointed in losing, but that’s okay; one heavyweight donor writing one check could make up for 40 years of work done by the people I would be sad to see go.

  151. Chuck Moulton

    It can take several election cycles to get issue positions into the public consciousness and move public opinion. Only focusing on the current race is ill-advised short term thinking. Candidacies can set us up for future successes through utilitizing free media for public information activities and but building our lists of prospects (members, donors, activists) who can be leveraged in future campaigns.

    I do not favor shiny badge holding, flash in a pan candidates who do nothing to grow the party and actually run against our platform rather than with our platform. Doing so significantly hurts us long term.

    The single most important criteria for a LP candidate is that he is actually a libertarian running on libertarian positions. It is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition. Shiny badges are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for LP candidates. It is detrimental to run candidates who are not libertarians. It is not detrimental to run candidates who move the ball down the field eductaing the public and gathering prospects for the future, but do not fit shiny badge “qualifications” for offices no LP candidate was going to win anyway.

    As long as you keep beating the dead horse that we should nominate shiny badge holders who aren’t libertarians, you won’t get anywhere with the libertarians around here (or anywhere in the LP). A much better use of your time would be to identify and recruit shiny badge holders who are actually libertarians — rather than putting lipstick on pigs and trying to get delegates drunk and blind enough to think they are unicorns.

  152. Anthony Dlugos

    A) if they are a member of the Libertarian Party, they are a libertarian in the electoral arena, by definition. I’m not into finger pointing about who is and is not a libertarian. I AM into “watering down” the message enough to make some people feel uncomfortable about being in the party anymore. No offense intended.

    B) winning elections is all that matters. All decisions other than that rule arw negotiable

  153. Anthony Dlugos

    “A much better use of your time would be to identify and recruit shiny badge holders who are actually libertarians…”

    That’s an exercise in futility. How many members do we have? 20,000? We need millions. Our budget is smaller than my parents’ church budget here in northeast ohio.

    We have a serous product problem. No one is buying it. Until we change that, there’s no point in wasting time with attracting members.

  154. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlogos wrote:

    B) winning elections is all that matters. All decisions other than that rule arw negotiable

    That is exactly why you have zero credibility here or in the Libertarian Party. The LP was formed to further libertarian principles, not to throw libertarian principles into the garbage, drop your trousers, and bend over whenever you see a shiny badge. Good luck running Mitt Romney, Bernie Sanders, and Jeb Bush as LP candidates.

    I suggest you exit the Libertarian Party and join the Winning Party, where no one gives a damn about principles or policy as long as they keep winning. You and Charlie Sheen can have fun with that.

  155. Anthony Dlugos

    I’m not going anywhere. I know why the Libertarian Party was formed, and I’m not throwing Libertarian principles into the garbage. I’m throwing utopian anarchist pie-in-the-sky thinking in the garbage and holding onto the Libertarian principles.

    Given the lack of electoral success the LP has had lo’ these many decades, I take the zero credibility comment as a compliment.

  156. Chuck Moulton

    There is a big difference between on the one hand running a candidate who wants to reduce government and increase liberty but is not an anarchist and on the other hand running a candidate who wants to increase government and reduce liberty. You are emphatically on the record as embracing the latter, then when anyone calls you out on it you concoct a strawman of being the former, falsely claiming others are opposed to that. Your position is crystal clear.

    Like many philosohical anarchists, I regularly support libertarians who are not anarchists as LP nominees for office. Like every libertarian (including but not at all limited to anarchsists), I have never and will never support the authoritarians you want to poison the LP with — regardless of any shiny badges they may or may not hold.

    Keep throwing your shit at the wall if you want, but it’s never going to stick and we all find it quite disgusting.

  157. Thomas L. Knapp

    “No matter who the NFL team is, no matter how bad they are, they invariably draft players who have college football on their resume.”

    I guess you’re right, if by “invariably” you mean “except for the San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates and Darren Bennett), the Phoenix Cardinals (Eric Swann), the Philadelphia Eagles (Vince Papale), the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ray Seals), and maybe some other teams who drafted players with no college football experience whatsoever.”

  158. dL

    Our electoral process does not have anything resembling a draft that gives the worst performing teams a leg up on the competition.

    In fact, it’s the exact opposite; it punishes the worst performing parties and rewards the best performing parties (by the metric of winning elections.)

    I concur with that. However, that only reinforces why professional sports is a bad analogy for a winner take all politics.

  159. dL

    Even so, the notion that he is likely to start a nuclear war is absurd.

    My reading of twentieth century American history would classify the absoluteness of that statement as absurd. The United States has used nuclear weapons against civilian populations and came razor thin close to precipice of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crises(if the American generals had their way, there would have been one). If there were a country to start one, it would be the United States.

  160. dL

    It is also ill-advised to constantly harp on Trump’s gaffes or potential for bad policies while failing to recognize his successes. I am thankful that he has cut regulation and wants to simplify the tax code.

    I disagree with that statement. I would bring up the old specter of Augusto Pinochet to point out there is nothing good that follows by associating economic liberalization with right wing authoritarianism.

  161. dL

    I’m throwing utopian anarchist pie-in-the-sky thinking in the garbage and holding onto the Libertarian principles.

    I don’t know what anarchist pie-in-the-sky thinking means, but I’m guessing it’s a euphemism for principled libertarianism.

  162. robert capozzi

    dL: Well, that’s your problem…you watch too much television

    me: Ha! How much do you prescribe, Dr. dL? Is this your informed professional opinion of what is optimal TV watching?

    (Actually, I don’t own a TV, btw. I stream news programs.)

  163. dL

    me: Ha! How much do you prescribe, Dr. dL? Is this your informed professional opinion of what is optimal TV watching?

    I can only give advice re: optimal consumption of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Zero.

    (Actually, I don’t own a TV, btw. I stream news programs.)

    The modern television is a device for viewing streamed content

  164. robert capozzi

    dL, well, thanks for the advice. Do you have a reason for “zero”?

    I find watching MSNBC and Fox interesting, and well done. I don’t agree with either much, but they represent alternative perspectives to mine. And they don’t embarrass me like, say, LewRockwell.com does.

  165. Deran

    Imo Trump isn’t far from being mayor of crazytown. And Trump and the Reublicans aren’t out to simplify the federal tax code. They want to cut back on taxes for the top 5% and the major multinational corporations. And this tax holiday they want to give Amazon, Apple etc re those corporations money stashed overseas is another grift meant to allow those corporations to have more money to buy back their stock, thus driving up the stock value and further enriching the small percentage of people and financial institutions that hold the vast majority of all stocks.

    And no I am noy a Democrat and no I did not vote for Clinton. Or Stein for that matter.

  166. Tony From Long Island

    Contrary to your oft repeated assertion, some professional teams actually don’t try to win as a strategy for drafting better players in the future and setting themselves up for long term victory.

    Trust the process.

    I’m sure Cleveland Browns fans love “the process.”

  167. Tony From Long Island

    Chuckles

    It is also ill-advised to constantly harp on Trump’s gaffes or potential for bad policies while failing to recognize his successes. I am thankful that he has cut regulation and wants to simplify the tax code.

    How low is the bar when simply WANTING to simply the tax code is seen as a “success?”

    The current proposal is a huge tax cut for the rich. That is not tax reform. It’s a tax cut. We have a huge deficit and a massive debt and the plan is for LESS revenue? Yeah . . . that’ll help.

  168. paulie

    There’s zero reason based on the data itself why shouldn’t have replaced one of the Demopublican options ALREADY.

    That simply not true. The LP has had more sustained success than any non-duopoly party since the 1930s, and before that we had very different ballot access laws, very different communication and transportation technology, and very different levels of spending by the big players in politics than we have now. The desire of the public for a generic third party doesn’t manifest once you hit the ground and have to put up any specific positions, thus alienating segments of that potential support; once you encounter the realities of trying to get ballot access, money, votes, coverage and volunteers in the face of the prevalent “wasted vote” meme; once you have to sustain that momentum in the face of your initial vote results and in the face of personality conflicts and arguments over strategy and tactics.

    Its not a media blackout, its not the voters not being ready for a Libertarian message, its not ballot access. Its us, all us.

    Media cover what appears newsworthy so they are doing their jobs. At the same time, our past results don’t indicate we are any more newsworthy than they deem. The number of voters who agree with even a softcore libertarian message and can go through with voting that way in the face of all the people they know saying they are wasting their votes and will help elect the worst of the duopoly candidates and have blood on their hands blah blah blah is not nearly as high as you seem to think. And mobilizing the money, advertising, and news coverage to reach all such potential voters is a monumental task that your claims about displacing duopoly parties seemingly ignore.

    Where do you think all the non-libertarian and non-libertarian leaning voters in each of the duopoly parties will go? They have major differences with each other, not only with us.

  169. paulie

    I’m no fan of Donald Trump. I think he is ill suited for the presidency — in part because his shoot from the hip style and escalation of insults are a poor match for someone with the ability to start wars. Even so, the notion that he is likely to start a nuclear war is absurd. He may be a little crazy, but he’s far from stupid.

    He’s more than a little crazy. I really do believe his need to trump (ha!) whoever he is playing the dozens with is more important to him than his childrens’ future or anything else.

    It is also ill-advised to constantly harp on Trump’s gaffes or potential for bad policies while failing to recognize his successes. I am thankful that he has cut regulation and wants to simplify the tax code.

    Wanting to do something is not in itself a success, and it pales in comparison to the blatant corruption, the dangerous bumbling and saber-rattling when it comes to foreign policy, the lunatic idiocy of wanting to increase the nuclear stockpile tenfold and too many other things to mention.

  170. paulie

    I should have also mentioned that Trump is not a one man show. He makes the final decisions; however, he is surrounded by trusted advisors who temper his volatility.

    His advisors come and go at an “unpresidented” breakneck rate and many of them don’t belong anywhere near a white house or president of any kind. The ones that are relatively less scary among them have allegedly discussed job “suicide pacts” if he fires one of them, as well as other unpleasant possibilities such as physically tackling him if he goes for the nuclear “football” and or invoking the 25th amendment of removing him from office due to diminished mental capacity.

  171. paulie

    Our electoral process does not have anything resembling a draft that gives the worst performing teams a leg up on the competition.

    In fact, it’s the exact opposite; it punishes the worst performing parties and rewards the best performing parties (by the metric of winning elections.)

    So what makes you think we should have been able to displace a duopoly party by now?

  172. paulie

    winning elections is all that matters. All decisions other than that rule are negotiable

    Then start a party based on that platform and see how you do. Really, I think people who believe that – and they do exist – will see little reason to be anything except Democrats and Republicans. You know, the people who have a track record of winning elections.

  173. paulie

    We have a serous product problem. No one is buying it. Until we change that, there’s no point in wasting time with attracting members.

    Some people are buying it, and getting more members is the only way we will get to be bigger. It’s not going to fall out of the sky like manna from heaven. To the extent that we even attract your beloved shiny badgers it’s only because we have been doing this work for decades year in and year out. Otherwise they would go to some other alt party or start their own.

    Our membership is also bigger than you imply. National party dues paying membership is one way to measure, but inadequate. Lots of people identify as LP but see no reason to sign an esoteric pledge and get a print copy of LP News 3-4 times a year. There are half a million registered LP voters and only about half the states have LP registration as an option. By comparison there are 44.7 million registered Democrats and 32.8 million registered Republicans, and they are each registration options in more states than the LP is.

    The LP dues paying membership has a big churn rate, but many of the people who are no longer LP dues payers still vote for LP candidates or help push relatively more libertarian candidates in the bigger parties or help with single issue organizations that push policy in a libertarian direction or help promote libertarian ideas through other means, or some combination of these things. We are having more of an impact than can be readily proven with numerical data.

    Anything that can be done with attracting more members – and educating the existing members to make them more solidly libertarian and better able to communicate it to their non-libertarian friends and family – has a big impact, and one which is mostly below the waterline. So, it’s not wasted effort to try to get the membership up by a few thousand. On the other hand, it is wasted effort to attract big name not-so-libertarian LP candidates with no party infrastructure to take advantage of the interest in their campaigns, without an agreement to get real time (or even after the fact) data from those campaigns, and no way of turning those campaigns into sustained party-building that carries over to future elections.

  174. paulie

    I suggest you exit the Libertarian Party and join the Winning Party, where no one gives a damn about principles or policy as long as they keep winning. You and Charlie Sheen can have fun with that.

    One of the biggest advantages of the Winner Party is that it does not need to work on getting ballot access. It already has 100% ballot access and a 100% success rate for its candidates. Every single Winner Party candidate gets elected!

    http://independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/04/winner-party-keeps-on-winning/

  175. paulie

    Even so, the notion that he is likely to start a nuclear war is absurd.

    My reading of twentieth century American history would classify the absoluteness of that statement as absurd. The United States has used nuclear weapons against civilian populations and came razor thin close to precipice of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crises(if the American generals had their way, there would have been one). If there were a country to start one, it would be the United States.

    The notion that he is not likely to start a nuclear war is absurd. The guy is the human equivalent of a ticking time bomb.

  176. paulie

    I would bring up the old specter of Augusto Pinochet to point out there is nothing good that follows by associating economic liberalization with right wing authoritarianism.

    Exactly!

  177. paulie

    I can only give advice re: optimal consumption of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Zero.

    I only watch CNN and Faux a little bit to keep on top of what crap they are spewing, but MSNBC has actually been useful and informative during the Drumpf era, especially in regards to his many scandals and ongoing perfidy. I find myself watching quite a bit of it these days and agreeing with a good deal I hear.

  178. Thane Eichenauer

    Darcy G Richardson> His reckless use of Twitter — boldly stating something and then completely reversing or contradicting himself a few hours later — is a classic example of a narcissist run amok. He obviously has very fragile self-esteem (a clinical mental disorder, by the way) and absolutely no self control, the worst traits one could possibly want in a person in his position.

    It seems to me that there are a great many people that believe that they can setup behavior guidelines for folks (Donald Trump among them) and then engage in shaming rituals until said people agree to conform to those guidelines. Donald Trump seems to be utterly and completely immune to such shaming (such as describing him as having very fragile self-esteem).

    His ability to self-contradict is certainly one that I find quite interesting.

    I personally wish that Donald Trump had personality traits that motivated him to mind to the business of the 50 united States of America and to leave the Middle East to its own perdition but thankfully I am free from the desire to throw out a psychological diagnosis for him. He is a man, a rich man. He bleeds red, he talks with people. Rather than disparage him using behavioral mumbo-jumbo I’d just as well take him and his supporters as they are and attempt to find common ground.

    If Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler then perhaps it is well past time for you and paulie to have bought one-way tickets for Punta Arenas, Chile (or perhaps you are posting from there as I type wondering what a fool I am for living in Phoenix, Arizona).

  179. paulie

    We have a huge deficit and a massive debt and the plan is for LESS revenue?

    There’s no proposal to equally reduce spending, either.

  180. paulie

    Donald Trump seems to be utterly and completely immune to such shaming

    It’s true, he has no shame whatsoever.

    such as describing him as having very fragile self-esteem

    That’s a very accurate and obvious observation that he has very fragile self-esteem. He needs constant fawning, and can’t tolerate any disagreement or questioning, much like a petty tyrant in some third world shithole or medieval kingdom – except for his very large nuclear arsenal that he can launch singlehandedly, of course.

    His ability to self-contradict is certainly one that I find quite interesting.

    It’s a sign of mental illness.

    If Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler

    Pretty much, but Hitler did not have nukes.

    paulie to have bought one-way tickets for Punta Arenas, Chile

    I’ll let you buy me one, as long as you also give me enough money to live on down there. No idea what I would do for a living in Chile, or how I would get there – and I don’t have an invitation to enter or stay in the country from the Chilean ruling gang, nor permission to leave from the US ruling gang for that matter. On the US gang side that is called a passport, and since I have not used a SS number in 17 years, have long forgotten what it was, and would rather die or be locked up in solitary for the rest of my life than ever associate with that number again if I did remember it … my long expired state ID and my 1980s naturalization certificate with a picture of me as a kid are not enough to get a passport; plus nowadays they charge quite a bit of money for those, which I do not have. TL; DR is that the US regime won’t let me out, the Chilean regime won’t let me in (or let me stay), and I have no employment prospects if I managed to sneak in there.

    But it wouldn’t really matter even if I did; I expect that a global nuclear conflict will end all human life, not only in the Northern Hemisphere.

  181. dL

    I find watching MSNBC and Fox interesting, and well done. I don’t agree with either much, but they represent alternative perspectives to mine.

    Fox and MSNBC cater to an audience that has abdicated on thinking for itself. So, both are largely just a form of entertainment. Fox in particular reminds me of a bad Arnold dystopian flick(e.g, the Running Man). Essentially, an audience that finds entertainment pleasure vis a vis the prospect of the use of politics to punish political enemies. I.e, an audience of sociopaths. Personally, I would be embarrassed to admit I find that entertaining.

    And they don’t embarrass me like, say, LewRockwell.com does.

    I don’t read Lew Rockwell. I’m neither titillated nor informed by race realism.

  182. paulie

    Fox and MSNBC cater to an audience that has abdicated on thinking for itself.

    Faux, yes, absolutely. MSNBC does not do my thinking for me, I get opposing views from many different perspectives and from other countries. It does however keep me on top of a lot of information to fill in the details, especially on the Trump scandals.

    I don’t read Lew Rockwell. I’m neither titillated nor informed by race realism.

    I rarely read Rockwell anymore. I used to frequently, but whenever I look at it now I see too much crap to stomach.

  183. dL

    The notion that he is not likely to start a nuclear war is absurd.

    No. It is the notion that his recklessness will be tempered by his military advisors that is specious.

  184. Thomas L. Knapp

    “He needs constant fawning, and can’t tolerate any disagreement or questioning, much like a petty tyrant in some third world shithole”

    America has been in the process of becoming a banana republic for decades. On that front, Trump is just a sign of the times. His voters supported him because Nicolas Maduro and Robert Mugabe weren’t available.

  185. Thane Eichenauer

    paulie> It’s a sign of mental illness.

    I’ll label myself a Szaszite.

    “Szasz argued throughout his career that mental illness is a metaphor for human problems in living, and that mental illnesses are not real in the sense that cancers are real. Except for a few identifiable brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, there are “neither biological or chemical tests nor biopsy or necropsy findings for verifying or falsifying DSM diagnoses”, i.e., there are no objective methods for detecting the presence or absence of mental illness.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Szasz

  186. Tony From Long Island

    dL

    Fox and MSNBC cater to an audience that has abdicated on thinking for itself.

    No. They cater to an audience who doesn’t think like you do. That’s neither good nor bad. Why should I spend more than five minutes watching FOX when my thinking is more in line with MSNBC.? Why should someone watch MSNBC when their thinking is more in line with FOX. Hopefully no one is watching either to receive actual NEWS.

    Though parts of their day are set aside to present news, both channels are mostly filled with opinion shows and that’s fine.

    For news, you are much better off watching SNL Weekend Update!

  187. paulie

    Why should I spend more than five minutes watching FOX when my thinking is more in line with MSNBC.?

    To know what info all the different people around you are operating on, and for the lulz.

    Hopefully no one is watching either to receive actual NEWS.

    I receive actual news from MSNBC, but I also get it from a lot of other sources as well.

  188. paulie

    No. It is the notion that his recklessness will be tempered by his military advisors that is specious.

    I agree with that as well.

  189. paulie

    His voters supported him because Nicolas Maduro and Robert Mugabe weren’t available.

    If Maduro or Mugabe were what they considered white (and Murikan), yes, pretty much.

  190. dL

    No. They cater to an audience who doesn’t think like you do.

    That’s a trivially true conclusion

    That’s neither good nor bad.

    Well, that depends on one’s judgement of critical thinking. Of course, critical thinking doesn’t demand uniform opinions but it does require filtering out obviously bogus charades fantasized by the news entertainment programming.

  191. paulie

    I watch Fox on mute for the pseudo-porn star qualities of the girls.

    I prefer actual porn for that. Of course, I’m in a motel room by myself. When I’m at work there are usually some good looking women walking by me or stopping and signing for me so it’s not like being in some cubicle all day.

  192. Anthony Dlugos

    “I prefer actual porn for that. ”

    fair point.

    the cat fights going on in that studio gotta be glorious WWE level cage matches.

  193. Anthony Dlugos

    that about nails it, yes.

    the makeup work they do on those women is next level stuff. megyn kelly does not look nearly as good on NBC.

  194. Tony From Long Island

    dL

    Well, that depends on one’s judgement of critical thinking. Of course, critical thinking doesn’t demand uniform opinions but it does require filtering out obviously bogus charades fantasized by the news entertainment programming.

    It must be difficult when your filter is set on “utopian fantasy.” But hey, it saves you money on cable TV.

  195. Thomas L. Knapp

    At this time, watching Fox tells you what the party in power cares and wants to lay its propaganda line down on.

    At this time, watching MSNBC tells you what propaganda line the party out of power thinks will bring it back into power.

    At the moment, the party out of power seems to think that pretending post-2016-election Trump is the reincarnation of pre-1964-election Barry Goldwater will get the job done.

    But as 1996 and 2004 show, cultivating Incumbent Derangement Syndrome doesn’t really seem to be a very good propaganda strategy.

  196. dL

    It must be difficult when your filter is set on “utopian fantasy.”

    if by utopian fantasy you mean 2+2=4, then yes, I’m guilty as charged.

  197. paulie

    At this time, watching MSNBC tells you what propaganda line the party out of power thinks will bring it back into power.

    What I’ve gained from it is a more detailed understanding, and very accurate for a fairly large US cable news network, of what’s going on with the Drumpf gang.

    At the moment, the party out of power seems to think that pretending post-2016-election Trump is the reincarnation of pre-1964-election Barry Goldwater will get the job done.

    It’s incidentally true that the LBJ propaganda machine also painted Goldwater as someone likely to start a nuclear war, but the key difference is that Drumpf actually is – it’s not propaganda, but a combination of his Mugabe-like personality (ie motive) plus opportunity and means (his massive nuclear stockpile that he has sole control over, and wants to massively increase so he can have the biggest one of any president ever, natch). The fact that there are any number of other slithering reptile-brained foreign leaders who will walk right up to and most likely right off that ledge with him doesn’t help, but it’s also a fact. The fact that some of them already have nukes and missiles and more are in the process of acquiring them doesn’t help either but is also a fact.

  198. paulie

    But as 1996 and 2004 show, cultivating Incumbent Derangement Syndrome doesn’t really seem to be a very good propaganda strategy.

    Possible cases of boy who cried wolf, since it’s nowhere near derangement syndrome in this case and not a propaganda strategy, just exposing the truth. In fact, even MSNBC still cuts the Drumpf gang way too many breaks, but they come the closest of any US network with anything like their reach in exposing Drumpf and his cronies.

    The Drumpf gang is already in year one far worse than the Nixon gang was during the second term. They are crazier and more dangerous than all past administrations combined. Along with Putin, they are the most dangerous gang on the world stage and I would not discount the possibility of a very nasty breakup between these two currently aligned factions.

  199. Chuck Moulton

    Anyone who suffers from Trump derangement syndrome and has some money burning a hole in his pocket, I am willing to lay 1:1 odds that the Trump administration will not drop and detonate a nuclear bomb on civilians before he leaves office. I am willing to wager any amount of money, provided I am confident you would actually pay out the bet when you lose. I have more than enough money to cover bets with as many of you willing to put your money where your mouth is. Please comment below.

  200. paulie

    LOL, I’ll address that as if “Trump derangement syndrome” is anything except what his supporters or those treating him as a normal president and/or human have…..

    ….and how would I collect if I “win”? I’d make a small bet on those terms if I could be confident that there would be such a thing as you, me or money that is worth anything by the time he is out. And I’d be happy to pay up if I lose. But as it stands, it doesn’t seem like a good bet – if I lose I have to pay, and if I “win” we will probably be dead and/or whatever currency we bet with will be worthless or impossible for us to exchange. The chances of me being able to collect if I “win” seem low, although I trust you are both willing and able to pay.

  201. paulie

    But, a bet is more than just about collecting winnings. So I’ll make a symbolic bet even though it looks like I can only lose no matter what happens. If we survive the Cheeto Benito’s reign of terror, without any deaths from weapons of mass destruction, I will buy Chuck a drink. He doesn’t drink booze at all (at least as of the last time I checked) so whatever he does drink, up to a value of approximately $10 in 2017 federal reserve notes, the next time I see him after that and am reminded of this wager. If the nukes do drop, Chuck can get me some marshmellows in hades or something.

    All bets are off if Roy Moore succeeds Drumpf in office.

  202. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    I don’t suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, but if that doesn’t disqualify me I’m willing to take $10 of that action. I’m not sure I’m getting great odds, but I do consider Trump “most likely president since JFK to nuke someone,” and with less careful potential provocateurs than JFK had.

  203. paulie

    Announcing how bad you want Trump to be

    LOL, no. I don’t want him to be bad. I have to live in this reality and so does everyone else. I wish he wasn’t as terrible as he is.

    And so far he actually is business as usual.

    I wish I could agree with you, but I can’t. He is tremendously worse, as you acknowledge yourself in the next breath:

    I do consider Trump “most likely president since JFK to nuke someone,” and with less careful potential provocateurs than JFK had.

    It sounds like you have Trump denial syndrome. He’s so incredibly awful that most of us don’t want to face the horror and would like to pretend like everything is “business is usual.” Except that it isn’t.

    I’m willing to take $10 of that action.

    I’m still wondering how we “win.” Supposing he does start armageddon, exactly how do we collect winnings? Is there even an us to collect at that point or a Chuck to pay us, and if there is what does he pay us with and how does he get it to us?

  204. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    I’m still wondering how we “win.” Supposing he does start armageddon, exactly how do we collect winnings? Is there even an us to collect at that point or a Chuck to pay us, and if there is what does he pay us with and how does he get it to us?
    —–

    The bet doesn’t specify Armageddon, it specifies a nuclear strike on civilians. That almost certainly means Pyongyang, from which no direct nuclear retaliation is probably possible and on behalf of which no direct nuclear retaliation is likely, let alone Armageddon. So as to method, I’m guessing either PayPal or buying an expensive pint in person at e.g. a Libertarian Party convention.

  205. Thomas L. Knapp

    As far as business is usual is concerned, he’s been an iota less actually warlike than Obama and his legislative agenda has been somewhat more frustrated than those of Bush or Obama, but nothing especially out of the ordinary except vis a vis theatrics. Including yours.

  206. paulie

    The bet doesn’t specify Armageddon, it specifies a nuclear strike on civilians. That almost certainly means Pyongyang

    Maybe as an opening salvo, but I expect a lot more than that. For example, he is already fucking things up with Iran, and which side of that will Russia take? Will China intervene in a Korean war and will that put them up at war with the US? Will nuclear weapons find their way into the hands of Muslims who are hostile to the US? Will they get smuggled into the US, as opposed to being delivered with missile strikes? Could Kim, the Iranians, the Chinese or whoever else get nukes into the hands of someone who is not so friendly to Trump in Latin America? There are lots of possibilities here.

    If you think it’s just a matter of attacking North Korea with no kind of nuclear retaliation against the US, a one and done, we are talking about very different sorts of things here.

    So as to method, I’m guessing either PayPal or buying an expensive pint in person at e.g. a Libertarian Party convention.

    Maybe in your scenario. I see scenarios where such things become meaningless words.

    As far as business is usual is concerned, he’s been an iota less actually warlike than Obama

    Seriously? That’s ridiculous. I am surprised to hear you say that. He is saber-rattling all over the place, not just with North Korea – although that alone is no small thing.

    his legislative agenda

    …Is completely besides the point, when we have his monumental corruption, his inept three ring circus of an administration, his Nixonian obstruction of justice, his threats to shut down opposing journalists, his Nuremberg-style rallies, his elevation of corrupt cops who disregard the rule of law and engage in violence, corruption, discrimination and systematic abuse, his pardon of and praise for Arpaio, and on and on and on… I could sit here listing all the fucked up shit he does daily all day every day but I have other things to do.

    No, it’s not anything like “business as usual.”

  207. Thomas L. Knapp

    “For example, he is already fucking things up with Iran”

    Just like every president since Carter except, for a period of a few months, Obama.

    “Will China intervene in a Korean war and will that put them up at war with the US?”

    China would, in fact, intervene in a Korean war — with the explicit cooperation of the US. If the US goes to war with Kim, then shortly after his generals execute him they will invite the Chinese in as “peacekeepers” and that will be the end of North Korea as we’ve known it for 70 years.

    “Will nuclear weapons find their way into the hands of Muslims who are hostile to the US?”

    That’s been a risk since at least the end of the Cold War (and the Iranians have probably had a few since the 1990s).

    “Will they get smuggled into the US”

    That’s been a risk — and possibly one that’s been realized — since the 1950s.

    “Could Kim, the Iranians, the Chinese or whoever else get nukes into the hands of someone who is not so friendly to Trump in Latin America?”

    That happened once that we know of. It was called the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    “There are lots of possibilities here.”

    Yep. Just like there were before Trump, and just like there will be after Trump.

    “his monumental corruption”

    He does indeed seem to be in the same league as the Clintons vis a vis corruption.

    “his inept three ring circus of an administration”

    Yep. Pretty reminiscent of Reagan’s cabinet.

    And so on, and so forth.

    Business as usual, with more added professional wrestling style drama from both Trump and his opponents.

    You should consider anti-anxiety drugs. They might head off the need for anti-psychotics, if it’s not too late already.

  208. paulie

    I have other things to do know, so I’ll have to reply to TLK’s sad exhibition of Trump Stockholm Syndrome above some other time.

  209. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, because thinking that Trump MAY turn out to be the worst president ever, but not declaring him to be so until he actually does something to justify said declaration is “Trump Stockholm Syndrome.”

    Your crazed estimate of Trump remains, so far, in Clinton Death List / 9/11 was an inside job territory.

  210. dL

    I am willing to lay 1:1 odds

    Your earlier statements imply you should be willing to lay odds a lot more favorable than 1:1.

  211. paulie

    TLK on further reflection as I ran around dealing with more immediate problems;

    I think I’ll just let it go and let you catch up at your own pace. Too much typing, and it seems more and more people are agreeing with me as time goes on so take your time. It’s true, I do have anxiety problems, but they are not about Drumpf or world politics. I have my own personal immediate situation to worry about so despite the rather catastrophic prospects of national and world events it’s actually the least of my worries. Hope I’m wrong and if I’m not, we’re all fucked anyway so what’s to worry? Be that as it is, I don’t need to pile any more shit on top of what’s on my plate already by having long winded back and forths about things that will all become clear on their own anyway. I’ll just say this much:

    Yes, because thinking that Trump MAY turn out to be the worst president ever, but not declaring him to be so until he actually does something to justify said declaration is “Trump Stockholm Syndrome.”

    Like saying that playing Russian Roulette may be the worst decision ever but not declaring it to be so until you actually shoot your brains out to justify said declaration ….

    Yeah… spinning that chamber a second time MAY give you the worst head pain you ever felt.

  212. paulie

    Your earlier statements imply you should be willing to lay odds a lot more favorable than 1:1.

    Chuck just wants an easy score. I put myself through a year of college putting similar 1:1 bets on college football games where I actually had the odds much more in my favor. Had to hightail it out of two road games before I got my ass kicked and finally ended this “career” waking up with a bad headache (but not as bad as the one in my last comment) and a wallet emptied of all cash (which should have in theory been about $3k in early 90s dollars, but with my ID and whatever else I had still in there) by the side of the road in Mississippi. No, I had not been beaten or raped; I think I would have been able to tell. But, it was enough to convince me not to keep the gig up after my first year at Alabama.

  213. dL

    The Drumpf gang is already in year one far worse than the Nixon gang was during the second term.

    An overt volksstaat rhetoric of the executive merged with the apparatus of the national security state is always bad. Though one one can perhaps make an argument that Trump’s actions hitherto are not inconsistent with those of his predecessors, one nonetheless can warn that such undisguised rhetoric will not go without serious repercussions. Particularly, if one, say, takes the political work of an Anthony de Jasay seriously. That is, the only thing which really constrains the State are taboos. If those crumble, then there is nothing left to shackle Ulysses to the mast.

  214. dL

    Along with Putin…

    This is where you go off the rails. Putin may be a devil, but he is Russia’s devil, not mine. That is, Putin bears little if any responsibility for the current landscape of American politics.

    The simple fact is that the Clintonistas wanted Trump. They concocted a strategy to pump Trump up. And then underestimated the opponent. In particular, they failed to run a sufficient ground game in what turned out to be key battleground states to overcome in part restrictive voter id laws. Stuff that would matter in a close election.

  215. dL

    Chuck just wants an easy score. I put myself through a year of college putting similar 1:1 bets on college football games where I actually had the odds much more in my favor.

    Sports betting does not follow 1:1 odds. There are point spreads. Heck, it would be easy to win at betting on sports if it is was 1:1 straight up on who won or lost.

  216. paulie

    dL @ 9:25p correct, and additionally, among many other things…

    Those of you who fail to watch MSNBC missed out on Maddow’s interview with Sarah Chayes regarding her book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security about third world corruption (which she knows a great deal about from her time in places like Afghanistan) and how it relates to the Trump crew. Of course, you could actually read her book – I haven’t yet but it sounds like it would be worth it.

    You can also catch that interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO-7W2KXy3M for now, starting at 21 min if you don’t have time for the rest of the episode.

  217. paulie

    Sports betting does not follow 1:1 odds. There are point spreads. Heck, it would be easy to win at betting on sports if it is was 1:1 straight up on who won or lost.

    No kidding. My point exactly. The bets I made were 1:1, but in reality the odds on all those games were strongly in Alabama’s favor, except for that last game when I woke up by the side of the road in Mississippi. There, Miami was favored to win the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans but Alabama pulled out an upset, so in theory I won a lot of money.

    The way I did this was I would go into a bar during road games and bet the other team’s fans on their home turf that Alabama would win. These were not real gamblers, just fans who were caught up in the heat of the moment believing their team would beat Bama which was then on a 20-something – I think it ended up being 29 – game winning streak. They were so sure they would win that they would take me up on my 1:1 bets and in fact most of them did end up paying up. But like I said there were two times I had to leave empty handed because I sensed things were going in a whole different direction altogether, and then there was that Sugar Bowl.

    Anyway, Chuck is trying to get me and others who think Trump will drop some big ones to be like those fans I bet at the road games and give him 1:1 odds even though as you pointed out he thinks the odds are actually a lot more in his favor, and I would be more inclined to make a non-trivial bet if not for the other problem I pointed out with the prospect.

  218. paulie

    That is, Putin bears little if any responsibility for the current landscape of American politics.

    Au contraire. He’s got his claws in politics in Europe, the US and the Islamic world, the Caucasus and I’m sure other places too. The case for this in no way relies solely on the Guccifer tidbit which you dispute, and is more complex and detailed than anything I would go into here.

    The simple fact is that the Clintonistas wanted Trump. They concocted a strategy to pump Trump up. And then underestimated the opponent. In particular, they failed to run a sufficient ground game in what turned out to be key battleground states to overcome in part restrictive voter id laws. Stuff that would matter in a close election.

    That’s certainly true as well. There were many factors in the election so it’s not exclusively one thing or the other.

  219. paulie

    The more complete quote

    Along with Putin, they (Trump gang) are the most dangerous gang on the world stage and I would not discount the possibility of a very nasty breakup between these two currently aligned factions.

    That is true, and in no way would stop being true if there had been no Russian interference in the US election.

  220. dL

    Those of you who fail to watch MSNBC missed out on Maddow’s interview with Sarah Chayes regarding her book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

    Rachel Maddow is one of the reasons why I flipped the switch off cable/satellite news. Back when I watched it, it was primarily MSNBC. When she used her show to do a military PR campaign in Afghanistan at the beginning of the Obama Administration, I turned off the screens. I had had enough.

  221. dL

    Au contraire. He’s got his claws in politics in Europe, the US and the Islamic world,

    If Putin has his claws dug in Europe, they’re more or less defanged, given Nato expansionism.

    Point blank, if the United States would have disbanded Nato at the end of the cold war, like the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, and stayed out of Russian internal politics(I’m specifically referring to Yeltsin, the US puppet), Putin likely would have never graduated beyond being an anonymous bureaucrat.

    Re: Putin’s meddling in US affairs. Yeah, he gave Edward Snowden political asylum. I will concede that. The US government certainly considers that meddling in the business of Washington, DC.

  222. paulie

    Rachel Maddow is one of the reasons why I flipped the switch off cable/satellite news. Back when I watched it, it was primarily MSNBC. When she used her show to do a military PR campaign in Afghanistan at the beginning of the Obama Administration, I turned off the screens. I had had enough.

    I certainly don’t agree with everything she says but she has the Trump gang pegged (well sort of… I think even she gives them too much credit) as do Lawrence O’Donnell and the rest of the team there. But I was actually more recommending the article by and interview with Sarah Chayes. I can’t really recommend her book as I haven’t read it yet myself, but it certainly sounds interesting. Put that in a larger context along with the volkstaat rhetoric you mentioned and the many other things – only a few of which I listed as examples – which Knapp belittles as being only on the scale of what past administrations were doing, when that is far from being the case.

  223. robert capozzi

    dL,

    I frequently watch Maddow. This doesn’t mean that I agree with her stuff, I trust you get that. Instead, she offers me different perspectives and sometimes her segments dig deep into matters that I was unfamiliar with, like the one on Chad recently.

    I also watch Tucker Carlson. Same concept.

    As for Putin being a creation of NATO’s continued existence, ah, maybe. Stating your conclusion as definitively as you do suggest you have a time machine where you get to play out scenarios in alternative universes.

    Must be nice! 😉

  224. paulie

    If Putin has his claws dug in Europe, they’re more or less defanged, given Nato expansionism.

    I was referring more to things like outright invading some countries such as Ukraine and Georgia, menacing others such as the Baltics, and materially supporting a racist/nationalist/authoritarian coalition throughout Europe that has taken power in countries like Hungary and Poland and looked poised to do so – and may yet – in countries such as France.

    Of course, Europe’s not the only place where his ambitions to lead a reemergent superpower play out; he’s allied with Syria and Iran and on a possible collision path with Trump’s latest moves to do the bidding of the Israeli hard right in regards to Iran, and the Russian far right to which he plays openly pines for a new crusade to conquer the Levant for the Orthodox faith that Putin has increasingly and cynically merged with the state.

    Point blank, if the United States would have disbanded Nato at the end of the cold war, like the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, and stayed out of Russian internal politics(I’m specifically referring to Yeltsin, the US puppet), Putin likely would have never graduated beyond being an anonymous bureaucrat.

    Maybe, maybe not. I think he was always a very ambitious man. He needed to take over the government to keep from being swept up in corruption probes. Once he did that, he needed to restore wounded Russian pride on the world stage to maintain his popularity and keep people’s minds off the poverty most Russians live in – the average wages and savings are lower than those of the average citizen of India and the whole economy is smaller than that of Italy even though Russia has about 2.5 times as many people, with a much greater wealth disparity – and the endemic corruption that syphons trillions into the hands of the super-wealthy and politically connected and the corrupt officials, including allegedly around 200 billion US to Putin himself.

    Pumping his popularity up artificially through war and preparation for war is the only way out, and it has to be constantly escalated to maintain the momentum. As he gets older and more entrenched his ambitions for power only grow and grow, and getting his puppet in the US white house, surrounded by others bribed and/or blackmailed by Putin has only whetted his appetites for more. Much like his understudy the Cheeto Benito Trump, he is following the path layed out by Hitler and many others before – increasing escalation over time in the quest for world domination until their ambitions crash in a spectacular way. And if Drumpf rebels against Putin – Iran may be the first inkling of this – these two massive egos thoroughly dedicated to winning at any and all costs will confront each other with massive nuclear stockpiles that can end all life on earth, except perhaps cockroaches and the like.

    Putin’s meddling in US affairs.

    You can’t plausibly deny that it is wide-ranging anymore. Even facebook and twitter admit it now. What do you thing the Lavrov meeting in the white house with no US observers present was about, or the multiple meetings between Trump and Putin alone or almost alone at the G20? That was just them flipping us off at this point. This shit is not a conspiracy theory anymore, there are way too many undisputed facts for a coincidence theory to be plausible. The links between Trump himself, members of his family, and multiple members of his gang, going back years and even decades, to Putin and Putin’s circle of friends and agents, are undeniable. I’m not even going to bother to argue the details, because it’s a waste of time.

    At this point if you are in denial about it nothing I say could conceivably convince you and I have other things to do.

  225. dL

    You can’t plausibly deny that it is wide-ranging anymore. Even facebook and twitter admit it now.

    Russia’s Facebook bots? Seriously? lol

  226. Chuck Moulton

    I accept Paulie’s $10 wager.

    I accept Tom Knapp’s $10 wager.

    Yes, I offered 1:1 because I believe my chances of my winning the bet are much, much, much higher than that and I want to make a substantial profit.

    I structured the bet like that because I would think even those who are delusional enough to believe there will be nuclear bombs dropped would recognize it is much more likely to occur outside the U.S. than in the U.S. — thus making the bet easier to collect. However, I am willing to make a separate bet that a nuclear bomb will not be dropped on Philadelphia, for which I will give 5:1 odds against me. I have relatives living outside of Philly who could pay out the wager if I lost.

  227. dL

    Yes, I offered 1:1 because I believe my chances of my winning the bet are much, much, much higher than that and I want to make a substantial profit.

    well, yeah…i imagine if a market were to lay odds on it, it would come in somewhere between 20 and 50 to 1…

  228. dL

    I frequently watch Maddow….I also watch Tucker Carlson

    pity you…i recommend amazon prime to go w/ that internet connection

  229. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I was referring more to things like outright invading some countries such as Ukraine and Georgia”

    Last time I checked, he hasn’t invaded Ukraine in this century, and the invasion of Georgia was a two-month affair, strategically defensive in nature, that ended as soon as Georgia stopped trying to conquer Russian-allied South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  230. George Phillies

    Yes there were a substantial number of Russian soldiers involved in the Ukraine event. The Russian speaking relatives of a good friend of mine, who were still in Ukraine fighting the invaders had absolutely no doubt of this, based on ID papers of prisoners they took.

  231. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Perhaps you’re thinking of events in seceded states that were formerly part of Ukraine, e.g. the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics? I’ve heard no accounts of Russian troops invading Ukraine itself.

  232. robert capozzi

    dL,

    I feel in no way diminished by my viewing habits. The opposite, in fact.

    It strikes me a quite odd that you continue to make grand assertions with no attempt to justify them. You can redeem yourself if you choose to, however. In fact, it’s possible that you are correct, but you offer no way for anyone to be persuaded by your opinion.

  233. Starchild

    Anthony Dlugos writes in part (October 17, 2017 at 09:53), “If I’m running an NFL football team, I don’t care how well some kid understands a spread offense on an intellectual level, if he hasn’t played football before, he’s useless to me. I’ll take the kid who played college football in a totally different system and teach him the spread, if I have to make a choice.”

    I’ll take the kid who may not be a great football player, but who can be counted on to run in the right direction when he has the ball, over the kid who’s better at the game but can’t be counted on not to switch teams or get confused and start running in the wrong direction during play.

  234. dL

    It strikes me a quite odd that you continue to make grand assertions with no attempt to justify them. You can redeem yourself if you choose to, however. In fact, it’s possible that you are correct, but you offer no way for anyone to be persuaded by your opinion.

    Because it’s obvious schtick, Bob. Just like it is obvious that WWE is fake. And only an idiot would demand “proof.”

    Just to demonstrate, I pulled a clip from the first page of youtube search results for Tucker Carlson. Carlson begins by railing against the “array of elite media opinion” opining on the anthem protests of “millionaires.” Of course, any dipshit w/ a brain cell might pause for a second to note that Carlson–who occupies the #1 prime time slot of the #1 global media empire that is News Corp–is the very example of a millionaire media elite opining on the speech of other millionaires. Fake butthurt outrage.

    Now, back when I used to watch cable/satellite news(primarily MSNBC), I recall Carlson’s show on MSNBC. And I recall that Carlson was the one who first broke Maddow into cable news opinion. As you can see below, Carlson played a different character role on that show.

    It’s fake wrestling schtick. The embarrassing part for you, given that you apparently think it is real, is that you are deriving your “overton window” from fake wrestling.

  235. paulie

    Starchild’s comment is right on the money. We want players going in the correct direction, not just wearing the correct uniform.

    I’ll catch up on the rest of the comments since my last one whenever I get a chance later, but in the meantime here is a message I 100% agree with from Tom Steyer. Yes, he is a very partisan Democrat, but he is completely correct on this one:

  236. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Sure it’s shtick. It’s ALL shtick. Bob shtick. DL shtick. Comparing and contrasting shtick is the job of truthseekers.

  237. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Obedience over talent, then?”

    No, commitment to shared goals over talent, then.

    If I get recruited as a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, throwing my passes to other Bears rather than to, say, Seahawks isn’t “obedience,” it’s playing for the team I said I was going to play for and trying to score touchdowns for that team instead of for the opposing team.

  238. Thomas L. Knapp

    That depends on whether or not you intend to throw interceptions.

    The Libertarian Party’s purpose in running candidates is to implement and give voice to its Statement of Principles.

    If a candidate will not attempt to do that rather than something else, there’s no point in running that candidate.

    AFTER establishing that the prospective candidate will attempt to do that rather than something else, THEN the candidate’s talent and qualifications for doing the job WELL (including possibly winning elections) become issues.

    The LP isn’t just trying to win, it’s trying to win something.

  239. robert capozzi

    Thankfully, sometimes majorities of L.P. conventions discount the childish words of the 88 20 something’s + Hospers.

  240. dL

    Sure it’s shtick. It’s ALL shtick. Bob shtick. DL shtick. Comparing and contrasting shtick is the job of truthseekers.

    Bob, you don’t even get your postmodernism drivel right. If it’s all just performance art, then there is no truth to seek out.

  241. robert capozzi

    DL.

    Sorry you feel that way. I don’t cop to your label for me, so perhaps that explains your apparent confusion.

    Near as I can tell, everyone offers a mixture of shtick and truth. Separating wheat from chaff is the task. Best we can do is improve the mix.

  242. dL

    Thankfully, sometimes majorities of L.P. conventions discount the childish words of the 88 20 something’s + Hospers.

    Yeah, like nominating respectability types like Wayne Allyn Root that I caught scrubbing racial epithets from his blog?

  243. dL

    Sorry you feel that way. I don’t cop to your label for me, so perhaps that explains your apparent confusion.

    No confusion. You’re playing victim identity…something I would expect from those who watch a lot of cable/satellite news entertainment.

  244. robert capozzi

    DL,

    Ha! Definitely NOT feeling victimized AT ALL. You certainly come across as confused to me, since you do not know me. Mostly I feel compassion for your confusion because I too have had my own experience of confusion.

    But it IS possible – though highly unlikely – that you are actually omniscient.

  245. dL

    Ha! Definitely NOT feeling victimized AT ALL.

    Oh, you spend quite a bit time reminding us of your past Randian victimization. That aside, victim identity is not merely a claim of victimization but also entails the standard postmodernist defense against calling a spade a spade.

  246. Chuck Moulton

    Starchild wrote:

    I’ll take the kid who may not be a great football player, but who can be counted on to run in the right direction when he has the ball, over the kid who’s better at the game but can’t be counted on not to switch teams or get confused and start running in the wrong direction during play.

    Great analogy, Starchild!

  247. robert capozzi

    dL,

    Man, your omniscientometer is REALLY on the fritz today. I wouldn’t change my Randian/Rothbardian phase for anything. The wheat was especially good. Unfortunately, the chaff is especially toxic.

    But I wouldn’t change a thing, and the truth is I can’t change the past (to the extent I believe in the past!;) .)

  248. robert capozzi

    dL: A team sport is not politics. Persisting with this bad analogy…

    me: Good point. Who’s the owner and who’s the coach, after all?

  249. Anthony Dlugos

    Starchild,

    “I’ll take the kid who may not be a great football player, but who can be counted on to run in the right direction when he has the ball, over the kid who’s better at the game but can’t be counted on not to switch teams or get confused and start running in the wrong direction during play.”

    Well, I would disagree about what constitutes running in the wrong direction, but I don’t think anyone here needs a slide rule to figure out the party I’d want and the party you (and several others here) would want would look very different.

  250. robert capozzi

    I note that some plays — like end arounds — where the runner goes sideways and even backwards a bit until the runner can get around the defensive end or outside linebacker.

    Running dive after dive may well not be the best offense! 😉

  251. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said: “Well, I would disagree about what constitutes running in the wrong direction, but I don’t think anyone here needs a slide rule to figure out the party I’d want and the party you (and several others here) would want would look very different.”

    Yeah, the Libertarian Party that I, and most others here, want, is one that actually lives up to its name, as in one that is actually libertarian. The Libertarian Party that you want is one that is quite similar to the Republicans and the Democrats, and would more accurately be called the LINO Party, as in the Libertarian In Name Only Party.

  252. Tony From Long Island

    Rob Cap:

    I frequently watch Maddow. This doesn’t mean that I agree with her stuff, I trust you get that. Instead, she offers me different perspectives and sometimes her segments dig deep into matters that I was unfamiliar with, like the one on Chad recently.

    I also watch Tucker Carlson. Same concept.

    I have yet to see Carlson “dig deep” into anything. Maybe I’m not flipping over at the right time – every time. You are correct, though, that Rachel’s Chad segment was very interesting.

  253. robert capozzi

    tfli,

    Yes, Maddow tends to do deeper dies than most. Some NAPsters might think that means I agree with everything she says, so I feel it’s necessary to say that I don’t.

    Carlson will sometimes go into subjects that few others in the MSM will. I believe he was the first to have the liberal Evergreen State College prof on after he was basically threatened by the SJWs on campus. He will also call people on not answering the question, a practice I find absolutely frustrating.

    OTOH, I find Tucker to be frequently rude, which I don’t care for at all.

    There was a point when TC was a fellow at Cato, so even though he’s moved away from L-ism, I consider him still to be somewhat of a friend of liberty. In fact, he toyed with running as an L in the past.

    dL makes a fair point about Root, btw. Then again, we should also remember that RP1 associated with and published more hateful haters than Root. Even GJ briefly came out for a burqa ban, thankfully reversing himself.

    Leaders and pols stumble, sometimes badly. Selling liberty is not an easy job. Contrast this with the NAPster approach, which is actually QUITE easy if one cares not one whit about the audience. NAPsters, I believe, get a rise out of shocking voters and citizens with outrageous statements that they find self-satisfying.

  254. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Good point. I guess we’re very fortunate that “the NAPster approach” you speak of seems to exist only in your imagination (in fluid and ever-changing form) and not in reality, or it might be a bad thing.

  255. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Hmm, “Adam Kokesh’s Presidential Campaign Promise Is That He’ll Abolish The Federal Government’” is this thread’s header.

    By all indications, AK is a NAPster, near as I can tell. The notion of abolishing the fedgov may seem — I dunno — a pedestrian walk in the park to you, but I’d say high 90%s of citizens would be shocked by this idea. Most would think this is a joke, or the words of a latter-day Unabomber or McVeigh. I’d say “shocking” is a fair characterization.

    YMMV, of course.

  256. Tony From Long Island

    Robert, you lost me when you said “MSM.” There is media – some you like, some you don’t. Some you read, some you don’t. . .

    Other than that, I agreed with much of your last post.

    Rachel also did a very good deep dive into the corrupt Trump Tower in Uzbekistan project.

  257. robert capozzi

    Tfli,

    I hear you on MSM. When I use it, I simply mean mass-market media, including Fox. It’s just a convenient short hand term for me.

    IPR is not MSM, for ex.

  258. Thomas L. Knapp

    “By all indications, AK is a NAPster, near as I can tell.”

    Yeah. So?

    To the extent that the term “NAPster” has any meaning it all, it doesn’t follow that everyone who fits your ever-changing attempt at taxonomic classification will agree with every (or any) other member of that class.

  259. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Good point. I didn’t intend to suggest that all NAPsters always take extreme positions.

    Should’ve said: NAPsters, I believe, tend to get a rise out of shocking voters and citizens with outrageous statements that they find self-satisfying.

  260. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Well, if that’s what NAPster implies today, have fun with it. I’ll be interested to see what it implies tomorrow.

    At least two people conforming to prior definitions of NAPster — David Bergland and Harry Browne — have been LP presidential nominees. Some would also put Michael Badnarik in that class. None of them have suggested that as president they would dissolve (or would enjoy the prerogative of dissolving) the federal government.

    Adam Kokesh is not yet Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. I don’t expect him to be the nominee, nor do I expect him to be the NAPster candidate of choice for the nomination as of 2020.

  261. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Yes, DB was DEFINITELY a NAPster, perhaps the consummate NAPster. HB and MB were — in my estimation — NAPster fellow travelers. All were prone to taking shocking positions, as I recall.

    AK’s express abolitionism is perhaps the most extreme in an extremist sampling.

    You are quite correct that a NAPster COULD be a moderate. A NAPster COULD, for ex., advocate that the federal budget should be cut by $1, so long as every line item did not increase. In my experience, however, NAPsters (those who frequently cite the NAP and use the NAP as a literal test for most/all political positions) tend to take much more extreme stances.

  262. Thomas L. Knapp

    I attended Adam Kokesh’s event in Gainesville, Florida last night, part of his current “tour” of 68 events in two months.

    Small crowd, mostly Libertarians. The local organizer had some venue acquisition problems (not his fault — places are gun-shy about political events after last week’s Nazi scare and last year’s Augustus Invictus campaign, etc.).

    Since it was a small, Libertarian crowd Kokesh gave a relaxed form of his stump speech, focused more on practical political mechanics than on setting the room on fire.

    If the 2020 LP presidential nomination came down to Kokesh vs. Weld, I would not bet on Weld walking out of that hall as the nominee.

  263. Anthony Dlugos

    “If the 2020 LP presidential nomination came down to Kokesh vs. Weld, I would not bet on Weld walking out of that hall as the nominee.”

    I’ll take that bet today and every day up to and including the nomination day.

  264. paulie

    TLK

    You didn’t happen to ask him whether or when he will answer any of the questions I emailed him from various people here, did you?

  265. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I guess we’ll see. Neither Kokesh nor Weld is even a candidate yet.

    Note that I am not talking about platforms, principles, etc. I’m talking about practical politics here.

    Even though he is not yet a declared candidate, Kokesh is re-creating Michael Badnarik’s campaign strategy, with improvements (for example, writing a campaign book and putting in the hands of every national convention delegate, four years out, instead of writing it at the last minute and selling it). He is busting his ass visiting local groups and recruiting delegates already.

    He’s a pretty good speaker, he’s at least semi-realistic about the prospects, he has a resume both as an activist and, counter-intuitively, in governance (after serving in the artillery, he crossed over to civil affairs — he was part of the US provisional military government in Iraq after the invasion).

    Weld, on the other hand, has openly and without regret fucked the LP over twice (once in New York and once nationally). He barely managed to get the VP nomination last year, and that was only after Johnson crawled before and pleaded with the delegates. James Weeks could probably beat him in a head to head nomination contest.

  266. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I would have, but I only had time to basically say “hi” to him before the event, while walking into the venue — then I had to leave a few minutes before the event wrapped up and things went social. So I never got the opportunity to talk with him one on one.

  267. Anthony Dlugos

    “I’m talking about practical politics here.”

    So am I. The “busting ass” metric includes previous experience running for, winning, and holding elective office, even though many Libertarians seem to desperately want to ignore all that. All the work busting his ass doesn’t make him an ex-governor with experience running for, winning, and holding elective office in this country.

    As I said, I’ll take that bet every day up to and including nomination day, for any stakes.

    Frankly, even if Kokesh were to upset Weld in a head-to-head matchup in 2020, it wouldn’t bother me, because ultimately, the larger the party becomes, the less likely something like that could happen, given who would be the new members of the party would be. Its only within an tiny, tiny minority of people where Kokesh vs. Weld is even a discussion, and they are already in the party.

    A party where a Kokesh beats a Weld for the presidential nomination is an irrelevant, masturbatory nomination not worth winning anyway.

  268. Anthony Dlugos

    “Its only within an tiny, tiny minority of people where Kokesh vs. Weld is even a discussion, and they are already in the party.”

    Let me rephrase that: they are already in the party or would never join a political party anyway. The LP is and has been for some time already at or near the upper bound in terms of anarchists/resumes-don’t-matter/abolish the government types. The overwhelming majority of people new coming in will almost certainly think more like me.

    Which is why people who argue with me ALWAYS revert to some form of a witch hunt to root out people who aren’t libertarians. At least subconsciously, they know the Libertarian Party they want is contingent on keeping people OUT, at least until they accept the dogma.

  269. Thomas L. Knapp

    Frankly, the only reasons Weld managed to slither into the VP nomination at all are:

    1) That he was announced as Johnson’s running mate too late for oppo research/disclosure to be effective; and

    2) That the contest tends to center around the top slot until that slot has been filled before attention really shifts to VP.

    Weld’s chances of being the presidential nominee are not zero, but they’re so close to zero as to not be worth a whole lot of time discussing. If he makes the mistake of running, I won’t be the only one leaving a smoking crater in the ground where his alleged credibility once stood. But I will be one of them, and I won’t be nearly as gentle as I was with Gary Nolan or Wayne Allyn Root (ask either one of them about me, if you want a mug-throwing tantrum followed by a crying jag).

  270. robert capozzi

    ad: A party where a Kokesh beats a Weld for the presidential nomination is an irrelevant, masturbatory nomination not worth winning anyway.

    me: It’s not so much a question of “winning” in my view. It’s a question of being serious, where a candidate presents him or herself and ideas as having merit, being relevant, and being within the realm of the possible.

    Otherwise, the exercise is just a joke. Vermin Supreme offers that already.

  271. Anthony Dlugos

    “If he makes the mistake of running, I won’t be the only one leaving a smoking crater in the ground where his alleged credibility once stood.”

    that’s okay. no one pays attention to us anyway. I was shocked at how many of the delegates in Orlando knew nothing of the bake the cake and other controversies. Most of them just pay near close to zero attention to any of the online drama.

    Unless others with shiny badge resumes also announce their campaign for the nomination, Weld would walk into the convention the favorite no matter what.

  272. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Unless others with shiny badge resumes also announce their campaign for the nomination, Weld would walk into the convention the favorite no matter what.”

    Zero chance of that. Again: He barely squeaked in as VP, taking two ballots and with a passion play by the presidential candidate. And then he blew the post-nomination campaign right out his ass at every opportunity. Many, probably most, of the people in the room in 2020 will be the people who either voted against him or reluctantly voted for him in 2016.

    He’s had two chances with the actual decision-makers in the LP. He barely got the second chance and fucked it up just like the first one. He’s done. And he’d be done even if he hadn’t run right back to the GOP as soon as this election cycle ended.

    If you want a shiny badge candidate, you’d better start looking, because if Weld is your horse you lose.

  273. paulie

    Many, probably most, of the people in the room in 2020 will be the people who either voted against him or reluctantly voted for him in 2016.

    Most of them will be people who were not even there in 2016.

  274. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Most of them will be people who were not even there in 2016.”

    OK, I’ll bite: What is going to change from the decades of previous history in which having been a delegate at the previous convention and the one before that is a damn good predictor that one will be a delegate at the current convention?

  275. paulie

    As in past presidential conventions, many of the people there will be there because they support one of the candidates for the nomination and want to see that person become the nominee. Exactly how many delegates any given campaign can turn out of course remains to be seen.

  276. Anthony Dlugos

    well, lets wait and see who our candidates are before placing bets, but my larger point remains: the larger the party gets, the less of a discussion Kokesh vs. Weld becomes.

    Of course, that also means Weld would get more competition from legitimate shiny badges, but the Kokeshes and other catastrophically unqualified loons would be marginalized, and the shiny badges would surely have sins against the NAP law on the record.

  277. dL

    The overwhelming majority of people new coming in will almost certainly think more like me.

    What, an influx of dudes making club slut analogies RE: principle? Sounds to me like an invasion of the Hoppe caucus.

  278. dL

    you know that was a joke, right?

    I dunno, it read to me like another one of your analogies. Not that I’m on a witchhunt to root out misogyny within the LP or anything, but if you designate yourself as the arbiter of right thinking for the masses, I might a suggest a different set of analogies apart from the NFL and club sluts. That is, assuming your phantom mass influx is going to include any females.

    You know what the problem is with some of you guys? Like Andy Stitzer, the titular hero of “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” you’re putting the p*ssy (principle) on a pedestal. You’re building it up into something way too big. Stop doing that.

    Principle is the hood rat of electoral politics. Treat it like that. Ignore the ones that are just more trouble than they are worth. Don’t worry, if they ever become worth banging, they’ll gladly ignore the fact that you previously told them to drop dead. That’s what club sluts do. Just lie to the principle and tell her you never said any such thing. Believe you me, it works every time.

  279. Anthony Dlugos

    well, paulie took it as a joke, and that’s what counts around here!!!

    of course, I’ll concede every joke has an element of truth in it, from the perspective of the joke teller at least.

  280. dL

    of course, I’ll concede every joke has an element of truth in it, from the perspective of the joke teller at least.

    Well, I’m being a bit facetious, of course. Well, sort of. But I am using it to make a point. Within your purported mass influx, I can assure that not everyone will arrive w/ a perspective of comparing the female sex organ to rat hood. The question of this William Weld inspired mass influx aside, at the very least you probably should refrain from claiming that this mass influx will think like you. It makes you sound quite delusional.

  281. Anthony Dlugos

    “…at the very least you probably should refrain from claiming that this mass influx will think like you. It makes you sound quite delusional.”

    I don’t think so. We know how the general electorate thinks, and I don’t think, if we were to pose Kokesh vs. Weld for President to them, that Kokesh would get more than 5% or thereabouts.

  282. Thomas L. Knapp

    “We know how the general electorate thinks, and I don’t think, if we were to pose Kokesh vs. Weld for President to them, that Kokesh would get more than 5% or thereabouts.”

    The contest for the presidential nomination is not among the general electorate.

    It’s not among self-described libertarians.

    It’s not even among dues-paying members of the “national party” (which, by the way, hit its post-election peak in January and as of September has dropped by nearly 25% from that peak, into pre-2016 nomination territory).

    It’s among ~1,000 or so people who are delegates to the national convention.

    That population is not entirely stable, but if you look at past conventions you will see that there’s a sizeable number of people who are delegates convention after convention. They are the activists, and they lean heavily away from, for lack of a better term, the “shiny badge” candidate and toward something different.

    That’s why it took six ballots for Bob Barr to win in 2008. That’s why the late R. Lee Wrights, a dear friend of mine but in terms of “credentials” a virtual nobody outside the LP, took about a quarter of the vote in a nomination that nobody on Earth believed Johnson wasn’t going to win. The protest vote alone went against the shiny badge candidate.

    That, and a couple of other things, is also why Michael Badnarik was able to walk into the national convention in third place in 2004 and walk out with the nomination.

    What were those other things?

    One of them was that he spent two years before the national convention going to local LP events, talking with people, asking them to be delegates, and asking them to support him.

    Kokesh started more than four years ahead, has been hitting the trail at least as hard, has a campaign book out that he’s been giving away (including a copy to each and every delegate in Orlando last year).

    Another was a good performance in front of the delegates at the candidate debate in Atlanta. Now that I’ve seen Kokesh — and Weld — speak in person, I have zero doubt that Kokesh would give Weld an ass-whipping of epic proportions in that setting.

    The usual course of things is that most states outside the close local area of the convention have trouble filling their delegations. They ask for delegates, they take whoever volunteers, and they send partial delegations to the convention. The holes in those delegations can be filled by people from other states … if the existing delegates let that happen.

    Part of Kokesh’s strategy, which I assume he did not get from me but which I’ve been pushing candidates to do for years, is to try to make the initial delegation selection competitive — get enough people to volunteer that delegations are not just filled, but that more people want to be delegates than there are slots. And if he does a good job of that, those same people are the ones who will be voting to SELECT the delegates. They will presumably select themselves and their fellow Kokesh supporters, not people who show up, are not on the list the campaign provides, and look like they lean toward another candidate.

    Absent or apart from competitive delegations is having people lined up to fill empty slots in other state delegations and getting them to the convention. Good campaigns (including, I understand, Johnson’s) do that. Kokesh is presumably already preparing to do it.

    You keep ignoring the indisputable fact that Johnson and Weld barely got over the national convention hump this last time. It took each of them two ballots to win, even though the only truly well-organized opponent was Austin Petersen, who did not appeal that well to the “frequent delegate” crowd himself.

    A third factor for Badnarik, of course, was that Russo v. Nolan turned into a knock-down, drag-out brawl and when Nolan got eliminated most of his supporters hated Russo so much that they went to Badnarik. If it had just been Russo v. Nolan, Russo would have been the nominee because he had a guy on his side who took a meat ax to Nolan’s scrotum with oppo research. I wish I could remember that guy’s name. It will come to me eventually, I’m sure.

    If there are two shiny badgers vs. Kokesh in 2020, the same thing could happen. If it’s just Kokesh v. Weld, Kokesh will win on the first ballot.

  283. Tony From Long Island

    Kokesh v. Weld, Kokesh will win on the first ballot.

    Kokesh might win, but the LP would lose in the long term. Any bit of mainstream credibility the party might have gotten in the last few years would vanish in the blink of an eye . . . . but hey, who wants mainstream cred anyway!?! 🙂

  284. Andy

    Tony From Long Island fails to understand that the Libertarian Party has already taken a big hit in terms of credibility from nominating presidential tickets that were not really that libertarian, if they were libertarian at all, in the last three presidential elections.

    If Adam Kokesh were to win the LP’s presidential nomination in 2020, it will will be the first time that the Libertarian Party has had an actual libertarian as its presidential candidate in 16 years.

  285. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    The party’s purpose is to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in its Statement of Principles.

    The purpose of a candidate is to gain “mainstream cred” for those principles. Winning elections is useless unless it’s a downstream result of doing that.

    Nominating a candidate because he has or gains “mainstream cred” for anything else is at best useless and almost certainly actively damaging.

    Kokesh’s stated goal is to increase the “mainstream cred” of three things he considers to be key principles embodied in the Statement of Principles (localization, liquidation, and liberation of currently federally administered activities), and to point American politics away from constitutionalism and back toward declarationism (interestingly, a project that some neoconservatives took up a decade or so ago when arguing for a global interventionist foreign policy).

    Agree with him or not on those things — or on whether or not they are, as a practical matter, good fodder for an electoral campaign — they’re certainly more in line with the LP’s goals than e.g. Weld’s “no due process for anyone on a secret government enemies list.”

  286. Andy

    I thought that all three of the main convention stage candidates in 2004, Aaron Russo, Gary Nolan, and Michael Badnarik, were good.

    I did not attend the 2004 national convention in Atlanta, but if I had, I would have voted for Aaron Russo. I was backing Gary Nolan at one point, but a few months prior to the convention I switched to Russo, not because I thought Nolan was a bad candidate, it was just that I thought that Russo would have done a better job at reaching more people. I also liked Michael Badnarik. The only reason I never supported Badnarik for the presidential nomination was because I thought that Russo or Nolan were good on issues and that since they had more money and better name recognition, that they could have reached more people.

    Tom, what was so bad about Gary Nolan? He never sounded that bad to me. I’d say that he was better than anyone who had been on the LP’s presidential ticket since 2004.

  287. Andy

    Tom, just because a person is running against a candidate you were working for it does not make them a bad candidate.

    Gary Nolan spoke at a local Libertarian Party meeting I attended in Los Angeles when he was on the campaign trail, and the audience was able to ask him questions after his speech, and he seemed pretty good to me.

    I followed the campaigns of Nolan. Badnarik, and Russo, and I thought that any of them would have been good candidates.

    So again I ask, what was so bad about Gary Nolan?

  288. robert capozzi

    tk: The party’s purpose is to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in its Statement of Principles. The purpose of a candidate is to gain “mainstream cred” for those principles.

    me: Extremely well put. And an EXCELLENT example of being set up for failure. NAPsterism stands virtually no chance of gaining mainstream cred. We have decades of evidence that this is the case.

  289. dL

    me: Extremely well put. And an EXCELLENT example of being set up for failure. NAPsterism stands virtually no chance of gaining mainstream fake wrestling cred. We I have decades of evidence fake wrestling viewership that this is the case.

  290. Andy

    Robert, Ron Paul ran a pretty libertarian campaign within the confines of the Republican primaries in 2008 and in 2012, and he gained a lot of support, including from some who are considered to be in the mainstream.

    Ron Paul’s campaigns in the Republican presidential primaries were more libertarian than any of the Libertarian Party’s presidential campaigns since 2004.

  291. Andy

    Yes, and as I have said before, having a Shiny Badge can be a good thing, if one also has good principles and a good record.

  292. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wow, maximum comment length. OK, part 1:

    Andy,

    You’re the one who seems to be assuming that there’s some reason why Nolan was a “bad candidate.” From my perspective, he was standing in between my candidate and the nomination, and my job was to take his ass out. So that’s what I did.

    In point of fact, though if you were looking for a “purist” candidate who followed the LP’s platform right down the line in his debate answers and speeches, Nolan was by far the best candidate for the nomination. His only deficiency, so far as I could tell, was that he wasn’t huge on the antiwar issue (there was a reason for that, I think; see below), but he gave the right answers. Did he really mean what he said? That’s always an important question. It was one I asked, and that I provided the answers I could find for, and that I had an opinion about. But working from a checklist with platform adherence as the “debate winner” criterion, there was no way he didn’t whip the other two guys’ asses.

    One of his deficiencies was not ideological, but rather that he was clearly the candidate of a party establishment that had been letting Michael Cloud and Perry Willis milk it for dollars for a long, long time, and quite a few people drew a line in the sand over that alone. I was one of them. We’d managed to pry Willis off the teat in 2001, and had the devil’s own fight beating the Cloud/Willis candidate for national chair in 2002. There was no way I was going to let Cloud get his hands back on the party’s checkbooks.

    Another was that there was in fact reason to believe that his “ideological purity” was conveniently new-found.

    Here’s the email message I put out the week before the convention. Nolan’s campaign manager, Steve Dasbach, publicly blamed that piece, and me, for Nolan coming in third place on the first two ballots. One piece of it — the bigoted comments about American Indians — turned out to be a case of mistaken identity on the part of the accuser and I promptly retracted it when Nolan denied it even before going to make sure the denial was true.

    To Be Continued

  293. Thomas L. Knapp

    Continued from Previous Comment:

    What follows is a revised and expanded version of a post from earlier
    this morning on Smith2004-discuss. It consists entirely of my own
    personal opinion. It was not written on behalf of, at the behest of,
    or with the knowledge or permission of, Aaron Russo’s presidential
    campaign, on which I am a volunteer. As a matter of fact, I rather
    expect to be dismissed from that campaign for writing it.

    However, it needed to be written. The presidential campaign, so far,
    has been one-sided in terms of close scrutiny of the candidates. The
    LP chooses its nominee next week, and we need to get it right. That
    means arming ourselves with knowledge, not closing our eyes.

    Tom Knapp

    On Friday 21 May 2004 12:36 am, DC Collins wrote:
    > I seem strangely on the ‘other’ side of this one.
    >
    > If I were an employer, I feel I have the right to ASK for anything
    > I want *record-wise*, from a potential employee. If they choose
    > not to give it, no skin off my nose. But as its MY business, i.e.
    > my property, I am not ever, EVER, required to hire ANYONE – under
    > libertarianism that is.
    >
    > It may or may not be Smart to ask for those records – but I can use
    > ANY hiring criteria I like.

    Absolutely agreed.

    Next week, the Libertarian Party will be “hiring” a presidential
    nominee.

    It’s not unreasonable for anyone who is concered about the health of
    any of the candidates to ask for information on the subject, and to
    withhold their support if they aren’t satisfied with the answers.

    The same applies to anything else about the candidates.

    From that perspective, here’s my personal view of the three
    candidates on the issue of openness:

    * Michael Badnarik is pretty much an open book. It’s easy for him to
    be one, because, frankly, he doesn’t have a long record of public
    activism to explain. I don’t regard that as an especial weakness,
    because what he _has_ done in his short time in public life has been
    principled and characterized by hard work.

    * Aaron Russo is pretty much an open book, too, but a longer, more
    detailed one. He’s been involved in causes. He’s run for office. He’s
    had a public career in the entertainment industry. Over the course of
    the campaign, any number of questions about his past have been
    brought up … and ANSWERED. I don’t know if everyone will consider
    every answer that’s been given to be satisfactory, but there’s been
    no veil of secrecy or anything of that sort. Russo’s record is there,
    warts and all, for examination.

    [Insertion: An Internet piece advocating a Nolan/Badnarik ticket was
    published within minutes of the original of this post, holding that
    a) Russo is embarrassing in some way and b) that Nolan has a higher
    public profile than Russo.

    As far as the first point is concerned, I’ll leave judgment to the
    readers after they’ve perused the following. On the second point, it
    isn’t even close. While neither Russo nor Nolan are household names,
    Russo clearly had a higher public profile than Nolan coming into this
    campaign, and clearly has a higher public profile in the context of
    the campaign. This is supported by any objective attempt at research
    on media mentions, etc.]

    * Gary Nolan, however, is a cipher.

    He, too, has a longer career in “public life,” and he has traded on
    that career (as a radio talk show host, president of Capitol Watch,
    board member of Free the Eagle, etc.) to establish his credibility
    within the LP.

    However, when one starts looking into that public life, one can reach
    only one of two conclusions: Either he’s had a very minimal impact in
    that public life, or he has systematically removed as much
    information about that public life from the public domain as he’s
    capable of.

    When questions were first raised within the LP about Nolan’s
    association with “Free the Eagle,” a pro-war, anti-immigration
    organization which made its original name rallying public support for
    the Iran-Contra figures, the response from the campaign was that his
    involvement was recent and that the group had shed its past and now
    concentrated on tax issues.

    When more detailed questions, with more detailed information, began
    to pop up on the left (specifically on IndyMedia sites around the
    country), they weren’t answered at all — the campaign just removed
    the reference to “Free the Eagle” from its web site and kept mum,
    although it apparently answered some private correspondence with a
    statement that he had resigned from “Free the Eagle’s” board.

    Here’s what I can tell you about “Free the Eagle” and about Nolan’s
    association with it:

    * Nolan’s association with “Free the Eagle” goes back at LEAST five
    years, to 1999, when he joined the LP and announced (in LP News) the
    formation of a group called “Americans for Freedom and Independence.”
    Nothing ever seems to have come of that group, but the LP News
    article which mentioned it included an address, phone and fax number
    … the same address, phone and fax number listed as belonging to
    “Free the Eagle” on that organization’s web site.

    References —

    LP News article:
    http://archive.lp.org/lpn/9906-Nolan.html

    Google cache of currently non-functioning “Free the Eagle” site:
    http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:TTtajmU-xqIJ:www.freetheeagle.or
    g/+%22Free+the+Eagle%22+Diplomat&hl=en or
    http://tinyurl.com/3d6cy

    * At LEAST as late as 2002, long after Nolan became an LP member and
    definitely within the timeframe of his association with the group,
    “Free the Eagle” executive director Tammy Lyles kicked off “a
    petition which demands the deportation of 17,000 people whose native
    countries are sponsors of terrorism.”

    Reference —

    “Tom Ridge should screen our foreign visitors,” by Vincent R.
    Caravan, Valley News, January 19, 2002:
    http://www.valleynewsonline.com/news/2002/0119/Viewpoints/084.html

    * “Free the Eagle” is often associated in print with an organization
    called “Ruff-PAC;” Lyles serves as treasurer of Ruff-PAC and
    executive director of “Free the Eagle” (and is pictured with Nolan in
    the photo section of his campaign site).

    Nolan represented Ruff-PAC on a panel at the 2000 Conservative
    Political Action Conference (this, once again, would have been after
    his much-publicized joining of the LP). His old email address is
    listed as the admin contact for Ruff-PAC’s also non-working web
    site.

    Ruff-PAC is the creation of Howard Ruff, a Utah “religious right”
    conservative. It’s a Republican PAC which, during the time of Nolan’s
    apparent affiliation with both it and the LP, has financed Republican
    candidates running against Libertarian opponents, including, right
    offhand, George W. Bush v. Harry Browne in 2000 and Jim Talent vs.
    Tamara Millay in 2002.

    References:

    Page linking to photo of Nolan and Tammy Lyles:
    http://www.garynolan.com/photos.shtml

    2000 CPAC schedule referencing Nolan as representing Ruff-PAC:
    http://www.cpac.org/cpacschdule.htm

    “Whois” listing for RuffPAC.Org showing Nolan as admin contact:
    http://www.directnic.com/whois/index.php?query=ruffpac.org

    Ruff-PAC contribution listing from the FEC:
    http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/com_supopp/C00124040/

    There’s obviously a limit to how much one can attribute the views of
    an organization to an individual associated with that organization.
    However, there’s an abundance of evidence that Nolan has a long,
    abiding, deep relationship with “Free the Eagle” and Ruff-PAC … and
    to the extent that information is available on them, they both seem
    to be firmly in the neo-con mold on foreign policy and on the “keep
    the furriners out” line on immigration.

    * Most references to the actual content of Nolan’s radio show seem to
    have disappeared from the web (or perhaps his show had very little
    real presence or impact). Here, however, is at least one interesting
    quote from the show’s discussion group, and two references to other
    appearances he’s made:

    — Nolan on homosexuality (direct quote)

    “Kevin, get some counseling. There is NO genetic link to
    homosexuality. There are thousands of former homosexuals. I can
    connect you to them if you want. (with discretion) If at the end of
    the day you decide that you can’t change then be careful and try to
    be discreet. Good luck!”

    — Gary Nolan, on the “Nolan at Night” discussion forum, December 28,
    2000

    http://www.modernman.com/forums/DCForumID36/23.html#4

    — Nolan on American Indians (reference)

    “Last nights presentation just by coincidence was The Jim Bohannon
    Show from the Westwood One Broadcast Services
    (http://www.westwoodone.com/ ). I got an earful of Racist Diatribe
    from a guest host (Gary Nolan [EMAIL PROTECTED]) who really was a
    misplaced DJ.

    “http://www.modernman.com/nolan/ He ranted on about Native peoples
    only wanting Casinos from the white man. He talked about war drums,
    referred to smoking a peace pipe so Indians would know he didn?t mean
    any harm, and spoke in Pidgin English about Native people. He then
    made fun of a Young Native woman who called in to express her concern
    with his opinions, he pretended to search through a garbage can for a
    story that he threw away that she was referring to, all the time
    while he was chuckling at her, and after she hung up he said she made
    no sense. ”

    http://www.mail-archive.com/native_american@…/msg01093.html

    — Nolan on people who don’t want to say the Pledge of Allegiance
    (reference)

    “The country you HATE is underwriting your education and you can’t
    pledge allegiance to it?! BULL SPIT!”

    http://boisdarc.tamu-commerce.edu/www/d/dees/Pledgewhine.html

    It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Gary Nolan has been
    living a double life — Libertarian presidential candidate facade,
    covering conservative Republican interior with very definite
    anti-Libertarian connections.

    [Insertion: Why? And how?

    There are several possible answers to why.

    Perhaps, having only joined the LP in 1999, Nolan has been underoing
    a process of ideological conversion that is only now leading him to
    begin shedding his anti-Libertarian political connections. If that’s
    the case, both that fact, and the fact of his campaign’s reticence
    in addressing those connections, have implications for his
    candidacy. Are we ready to nominate someone who is just now becoming
    an actual ideological Libertarian … and who doesn’t want us to
    know that?

    There are of course other, more sinister, possibilities. Over the
    last few years, the LP has begun to demonstrate an ability to make
    itself the “balance of power” in close elections. A number of
    Libertarian candidates have been credited as “spoilers” of
    Republican Senate and other candidacies. While the case is far from
    airtight, it’s worth considering whether the LP is under covert,
    external attack by a conservative ideological cabal, intent upon
    ensuring that the LP _doesn’t_ “spoil” anything for George W. Bush
    this November … and that that cabal has a candidate in the race.

    How? That is a simpler question to answer.

    The LP is a small, insular organization. We’re the size of a small
    town — and we all read the same newspaper. It’s not especially
    difficult to achieve name recognition within the Party, nor is it
    difficult within the party to frame accomplishments that to most
    Americans would seem mundane and not especially noteworthy, as
    political endeavors of great import.

    In the past, I have posited that it would be possible to simply
    directly take over the Libertarian Party for an investment of half a
    million dollars in dues payments for the members of an organization
    having some use for a political party of its own. How much more
    elegant would it be to take over — or at least immobilize — the LP
    using the money, activism and support _of its own existing membership
    base_?]

    Tom Knapp

  294. Andy

    I first recall hearing about Gary Nolan when Harry Browne was doing the talk radio circuit in the 1990’s. He was a guest on Nolan’s show several times, and Nolan was so impressed with Harry Browne that he inspired him to become a libertarian and join the Libertarian Party.

  295. robert capozzi

    aj,

    The corollary is that if RP1 did NOT have a Shiny Badge, he would not have been a candidate and he would have no record.

    08 and 12 had their high points, but they also had their lows, including NewsletterGate 1.0 and 2.0. Even if we give him a charitable interpretation personally, it certainly did associate Ls with haters. 2.0 was especially badly handled because they certainly should have been prepared for it after 1.0 four years prior. I was shocked that they didn’t have a snappier answer in 12. Political malpractice, IMO.

    Not to mention that I do believe the Spencers and the Cantwells were pretty much incubated in the Paulista era. While we can’t hold RP1 necessarily accountable for elements of the LM turning to the Hater Right, there certainly seems to be something in that paleoL message that attracts Ls walking the Hater edge. This tells me that the gestalt of a campaign needs to be carefully cultivated.

    GJ 16 did help to defringe and de-hate the overall L positioning on the political landscape.

    Being a compelling pol requires skills that need a lot of practice. Robotically spinning out NAPsterisms is just not gonna get it done. Even a Shiny Badge is no guarantee of a properly curated lessarchist message.

  296. Andy

    The Ron Paul r3VOLution did more to build the Libertarian movement in this country than anything before or since. Perhaps you would know this if you would step outside of your bubble and venture out into the real world sometime.

    As for Cantwell, if you bothered to listen to his interviews rather than jumping to conclusions, you would know that he actually found out about the Libertarian Party after stumbling upon Michael Badnarik’s Constitution Class on YouTube while preparing a legal defense for what he believed to have been an unfair DUI arrest (I think the police came across him sleeping in his car, and they demanded that he take DUI test even though he was not driving). He did not delve into racial topics until several years after this, and Ron Paul had nothing to do with this.

    Gary Johnson (and Bill Weld) actually damaged the Libertarian Party brand.

    Incidentally, I just heard from a mercenary petitioner who is working on the LP petition drive in Ohio right now, and they said they are getting a lot of negative comments about the Johnson/Weld, which is the same thing every other petitioner is saying.

  297. robert capozzi

    aj,

    I said Spencer and Cantwell were pretty much incubated during the rEVOLution. That Cantwell saw the light with Badnarik is a different matter. I note, though, that Badnarik comes from that old-right, constitutionalist strain of the LM, which is where RP1 comes from as well. That strain pretty much overlaps with the paleo L crew, and it most unfortunately overlaps with Haters.

    You may be OK with this association.

    I say it’s deeply toxic.

    As indicated before, anecdotes from petitioners are not enough information to persuade me. I’ve never said GJ was a great candidate, and he’d likely agree! He did, I submit, put another L perspective forward: that of a far more tolerant, inclusive face on the LM. I suspect his campaign was a partial antidote for the damage that RP1 did with his appeal to Haters.

    (Let’s not forget about the Stormfront Fiasco.)

  298. Andy

    So if one is a constitutionalist, they must be a hater and a racist. Oh my, that is twisted logic.

    Funny how you are concerned with this phantom, but you are not concerned with Bill Weld’s very real membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, which is one of the clubs for the ruling establishment.

    What about the people who supported Ron Paul who later went on to become “Bernie Bros” (as in supporters of Bernie Sanders)? This king of pokes a hole in Robert’s theory.

  299. Andy

    Robert, why don’t you get off your butt, come to Ohio, pick up some LP petitions, clip boards, and pens. and you can find out for yourself what people are saying about the Johnson/Weld ticket?

    I have found that most of the people who voted for them only did so as a protest vote because they were unhappy with Hillary and Trump. Lots of people have said that they would have voted LP for President last year if the LP had nominated a better ticket. Lots of people have commented about Johnson/Weld’s lack of libertarian principles, and/or them coming off as goofy and unprepared in interviews.

    Fortunately, there are still lots of people out there who do not know who Johnson/Weld are, or who have heard of them (mainly Johnson), but did not follow their campaign closely.

  300. robert capozzi

    aj,

    No, sorry, I’d guess that the overlap between constitutionalists and paleo Ls is in the 95% range. The Hater overlap for both might be as high as 10% with another 10% with Hater tendencies.

  301. robert capozzi

    aj,

    As for petitioning/conducting focus groups on the street, that’s not my bag. Most people I encounter seemed to like GJ to the extent they know him. I do also meet people who like RP1. Not a one has said they liked RP1 but hated GJ. Not one.

    So much for anecdotes.

  302. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    October 26, 2017 at 23:20
    aj,

    As for petitioning/conducting focus groups on the street, that’s not my bag. Most people I encounter seemed to like GJ to the extent they know him. I do also meet people who like RP1. Not a one has said they liked RP1 but hated GJ. Not one.

    So much for anecdotes.”

    So you don’t think that being on the ground in multiple states, talking to thousands of people, is a good way to conduct a survey?

    Almost every time somebody brings up Ron Paul it is positive. Almost every time somebody brings up Gary Johnson it’s that he was a disappointment, he was unprepared, he was not a real libertarian, or, that they voted for him mainly because they hated Hillary and Trump (some have referred to Johnson as “the lesser of three evils”).

    I have encountered some people who have said things like, “I think that I voted for your candidate. What was his name? Barry Johnson, or something like that?”

    I have encountered some people said they think that they voted for Johnson, but that they were not sure which third party candidate it was they voted for.

    I have encountered some people who called Johnson “that third party guy” or “that independent guy”, as in they didn’t even know that he was the Libertarian Party’s candidate (which is a good thing in my opinion, since Johnson made an ass out of himself on multiple occasions on national television).

    The level of enthusiasm for Gary Johnson is nowhere near the enthusiasm there was (and still is to some extent) for Ron Paul.

  303. Andy

    Robert’s refusal to go out and engage with the public is a symptom of a problem that runs rampant in the Libertarian Party, and is a prime example of why the Libertarian Party is not more successful.

    There are too many Libertarians out there who are not willing to go out and engage with the public. The party is filled with armchair pontificaters, keyboard warriors, and people who think that attending a Libertarian social gathering is activism. Libertarians spend lots of time preaching the the choir and arguing among themselves, and little to no time talking to the general public. Posting messages on an internet forum that hardly anyone reads, or is mostly read by other libertarians, doesn’t really qualify as outreach either.

    Libertarians don’t even care enough about their own party or cause to go out and collect their own petition signatures so they can get on the ballot. I have been the chief whistle blower over the fact that most of the people that the Libertarian Party pays to go out and talk to the public about signing Libertarian Party ballot access petitions aren’t even Libertarians. What is even more pathetic, is hardly anyone has even attempted to do anything to change this.

    I made suggestions to Libertarians in Florida, California, and other states, to work on pro-liberty ballot initiatives/referendums, and to use it as an opportunity to promote the Libertarian Party to the public while they were gathering signatures, and I told them that they could even get paid to do this. I told them that they could do this on a part time basis, and I even said that they could get in touch with me if they needed any advice on how to get started and what to do. I am not aware of even one Libertarian who actually went out and did this.

    You want to know why the Libertarian Party is not more successful? There are too many Libertarians who sit on their ass and do little or nothing that is productive. I think that this is one of the reasons why there is a Shiny Badge Caucus. There are too many Libertarians out there who don’t really want to participate in their own freedom. They want some great savior with a Shiny Badge and cape to come along and do all the work for them.

    Here’s a joke I came up with a few years ago. Definition of a Libertarian: A person who will travel across the country to attend a meeting or convention, but who won’t do door-to-door canvassing in their own precinct so they can actually elect somebody to office.

    Sad but true in far too many cases.

    Libertarians will hyper-focus on high profile offices that they have no chance of winning, but they won’t focus on races that they can actually win, like city/town council, county commission/boards, or county Sheriff, in areas where the population is low enough to where Libertarians can run competitive races, or seats in state legislatures.

    One wold think that that Libertarians would do more to promote issues where they can have an impact even if they don’t win an election, like jury nullification (an issue I have been vocal about for years), yet you barely hear a peep about these things out of most Libertarians.

    Libertarians are in a lot of ways their own worst enemy.

  304. Andy

    Tom Kanpp said: “In point of fact, though if you were looking for a ‘purist’ candidate who followed the LP’s platform right down the line in his debate answers and speeches, Nolan was by far the best candidate for the nomination.”

    Although I think that Russo, Badnarik, and Nolan were all decent candidates, as far as their issue stances went, none of them were really purists, because they were all minarchists, and to be a purist libertarian, you have to be an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist.

    The closest thing to a purist presidential candidate who won the nomination since I have been in the party (which is since 1996), was Harry Browne. Browne’s platform was also minarchist, but he pointed to anarchy, by making statements like (I’m paraphrasing here), “Once we reduce the federal government back down to what is authorized by the Constitution, I will head up a fundraiser to rent out a large stadium, where we can get together and discuss how much further to go.” When Harry Browne talked about taxes, he did not act like they should exist, as he made statements like, “Did you know that if the federal government followed the Constitution, there’d be no need for an income tax?” Harry talked about how government uses force, and how the use of force is wrong unless it is in defense of person or property, and “Government Doesn’t Work” wasn’t just part of the title to his 1996 campaign book, it was also a catch phrase he used during both of his campaigns. Etc…

    Darryl W. Perry’s failed campaign for the 2016 presidential nomination is a good example of a purist campaign.

    Adam Kokesh’s campaign for the 2020 presidential nomination, which I don’t think is official yet, is also a good example of a purist campaign.

  305. Andy

    Tom Knapp said: “There are of course other, more sinister, possibilities. Over the
    last few years, the LP has begun to demonstrate an ability to make
    itself the “balance of power” in close elections. A number of
    Libertarian candidates have been credited as “spoilers” of
    Republican Senate and other candidacies. While the case is far from
    airtight, it’s worth considering whether the LP is under covert,
    external attack by a conservative ideological cabal, intent upon
    ensuring that the LP _doesn’t_ “spoil” anything for George W. Bush
    this November … and that that cabal has a candidate in the race.

    How? That is a simpler question to answer.

    The LP is a small, insular organization. We’re the size of a small
    town — and we all read the same newspaper. It’s not especially
    difficult to achieve name recognition within the Party, nor is it
    difficult within the party to frame accomplishments that to most
    Americans would seem mundane and not especially noteworthy, as
    political endeavors of great import.

    In the past, I have posited that it would be possible to simply
    directly take over the Libertarian Party for an investment of half a
    million dollars in dues payments for the members of an organization
    having some use for a political party of its own. How much more
    elegant would it be to take over — or at least immobilize — the LP
    using the money, activism and support _of its own existing membership
    base_?]”

    I don’t have time to go through Tom’s charges against Gary Nolan (maybe I will do this later), but regardless of whether or not Gary Nolan was a part of some nefarious plot to sabotage the Libertarian Party, I do agree with the comments Tom made that I quoted above in this post, and I think that this is exactly what has happened in the Libertarian Party post 2004.

    There are reports of FOIA requests done in the Libertarian Party back in the 1970’s and 1980’s and perhaps the early 1990’s that indicated that the Libertarian Party was infiltrated back in those days. I talked to somebody who has been in the LP since the 1970’s, and they told me that in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was pretty much an open secret that they were being spied on by the government. If the government was spying on and infiltrating the Libertarian Party back then, I’d wager that they are still doing it now (the Department of Homeland Security has already been caught spying on anti-government Americans in Arkansas and Pennsylvania).

    I think that with the growth of the internet, the Ron Paul r3VOLution, and an increased level of discontent among the public, the government feared that the Libertarian Party would become more successful, so they decided to “up” their game against the Libertarian Party by sending in people to hijack the party’s last three presidential nominations. The last thing that the government wants is a successful Libertarian Party that is actually libertarian, and is actually posing a legitimate threat to their system.

    Part of the way that you can tell what a candidate’s intentions were is to observe their behavior pre-nomination and post-nomination. Look what happened with Bob Barr and Wayne Root. They ran an uninspiring campaign, and both went back to the Republican Party, where they went back to endorsing big government Republicans, and they have done nothing for libertarians since. Look at Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. I don’t think they have officially left the Libertarian Party (yet, although I wish they would leave), but they ran a joke of a campaign where they made asses out of themselves, and the party for nominating them, and when they were not watering down the LP’s platform to the point where it was drowning, they were out right running against the party’s platform, and they even went as far as practically campaigning for one of their opponents, Hillary Clinton. I’m not going to let 2012 VP nominee Jim Gray off the hook here either. He praised the police, stumped for the Fair Tax along with Gary Johnson, and he got up at the 2016 convention in Orlando and shilled for that Council on Foreign Relations, gun grabbing, war mongering, police state loving, Clinton, Bush, and Romney loving cretin, Bill Weld.

    A lot of the public defines a political party by its presidential ticket, and the Libertarian Party has not had a presidential ticket that could reasonably pass a libertarian litmus test since 2004.

    Getting back to Gary Nolan, it has been several years since I have even heard anything about him. I do recall him continuing to comment on politics post 2004 convention, and he continued to sound libertarian. I also recall him endorsing Ron Paul for President.

    Since Gary Nolan came up in this thread, I decided to look him up to see if I could find out what he is up to today. He is apparently back on the air as a talk radio host. I am not sure how many markets he is in, but he is now based out of Missouri (he used to be out of Ohio).

    I found this video of Gary Nolan speaking at a TEA Party event in 2012. He sounds pretty good here, and he still says that he’s a libertarian.

    Gary Nolan at the Rally for Common Sense

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJK3L1h_h88

  306. Andy

    Here’s video of Gary Nolan speaking to at a Libertarian Party meeting in Columbia Missouri in 2008. He sounds really good here as well.

    I do not know how much validity there is to Tom Knapp’s charges against Gary Nolan, but I will say that Nolan sounds better than anyone who has been on the Libertarian Party’s last three presidential tickets.

    Gary Nolan talks to Columbia Libertarians

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em99gnFwQY0

  307. robert capozzi

    aj: The party is filled with armchair pontificaters, keyboard warriors, and people who think that attending a Libertarian social gathering is activism.

    me: Recall that I am not IN the party. I’ve suggested that the NAP-as-First-and-Only-Commandment approach was a product of severely disconnected pontification, and that little progress can be made with such a flimsy foundation. No amount of activism can correct for the poorly crafted foundational documents, in my estimation.

  308. Anthony Dlugos

    “…little progress can be made with such a flimsy foundation. No amount of activism can correct for the poorly crafted foundational documents, in my estimation.”

    100% correct.

    For a party that professes devotion to the free market, we have a remarkable ability to ignore the reality that the market has spoken, and determined that our product sucks. Then we blame the customer, or pretend a market for dogmatic “abolish the government” libertarianism exists, without market data to back it up, in fact, with market data that refutes that assertion.

  309. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Two things:

    1) No, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be a Libertarian PARTY “purist.” The party agreed in the Dallas Accord to set the question of anarchy/minarchy aside.

    2) Harry Browne was not a minarchist, he was an anarchist. Before he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, he was quite open about it. But even after he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, you will never, ever, ever find an instance of him endorsing the existence of the state.

  310. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    OK, you say that the market has spoken, and that it is telling us our product sucks.

    It takes a 7/8ths vote to change the core product.

    If you agree that the product sucks, why aren’t you out making a better product instead of just banging your head against the wall vis a vis the old one?

  311. robert capozzi

    ad,

    My sense is that NAPsters don’t “blame the customer” per se. It’s MUCH worse. It’s more of a secular/spiritual condemnation. Non-NAPsters are “evil,” in the NAPster mindset. They are unwashed and unprincipled, is their diagnosis on the body politic. This is principally a conversion operation, not a political party.

  312. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    That’s odd. You seem to reprising Kokesh’s talk from the other night. I didn’t see you there. Did someone record it for you or something?

    Kokesh’s introduction to his campaign platform went something along the lines of: The LP will never succeed if it thinks its job is to turn 300 million Americans into preachers of the non-aggression principle. Its job is to offer 300 million Americans policies that make sense and that they will expect to make their lives better.

  313. Anthony Dlugos

    rc,

    perhaps you are closer to the truth there, although I’ll concede Thomas’ point: I should be putting more effort into helping to make a better product.

  314. robert capozzi

    tk,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever put it this way before:

    The 7/8ths rule is UNprincipled.

    That is, to have THAT level of arrogance to adopt a rule that made it all-but-impossible to change the rules is – in a sense – evil.

    And to not see the 7/8ths rule for what it is is astounding.

  315. paulie

    You’re addressing that to the wrong audience. TLK’s bedrock rules for the BTP had an 8/8 requirement – that is they could not be changed at all.

  316. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Here’s the thing: I am always willing to change my mind if a different form of wisdom convinces me.

    I want that for TK, and really everyone, as I assert that open-mindedness is a core virtue. I am grateful when I am wrong. And, who knows, maybe the continuing failure – due to arrogance – of these super-majority-depth-charge-protected rules might TK to rethink his view on the matter.

  317. dL

    That is, to have THAT level of arrogance to adopt a rule that made it all-but-impossible to change the rules is – in a sense – evil.

  318. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I don’t see any relationship to principle at all in a 7/8ths requirement to change an organization’s core mission or principles.

    Suppose I build a snowmobile, and build it in such a way that it’s damn near impossible to turn it into a wheeled street vehicle, and offer to share the snowmobile with you.

    And suppose you want a wheeled street vehicle instead of a snowmobile.

    Complaining that I should have build a wheeled street vehicle and that you cannot easily turn what I built into one of those strikes me as kind of, well, stupid. No amount of complaining about the snowmobile is going to turn it into a 1968 Mustang Fastback. If you want a wheeled street vehicle and see that you can’t turn my snowmobile into a wheeled street vehicle, don’t borrow the fucking snowmobile. Go find, or build, what you want instead.

  319. paulie

    2) Harry Browne was not a minarchist, he was an anarchist. Before he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, he was quite open about it. But even after he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, you will never, ever, ever find an instance of him endorsing the existence of the state.

    He initially proposed something like a 5 or 10% sales tax until he met some resistance and changed it to replace it with nothing. I think he still maintained continuing existing excise taxes, but I could be wrong.

  320. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    That was in his second campaign. He backed off it ASAP when challenged, but even then, he was _proposing a reduction in the size/scope/power of government_, not endorsing the continuing existence of government.

    Once he was an LP presidential candidate he did stop overtly saying the state needed to go entirely. But he didn’t start overtly saying it mustn’t.

  321. Anthony Dlugos

    “He initially proposed something like a 5 or 10% sales tax until he met some resistance and changed it to replace it with nothing.”

    Who’d he get push back from?

  322. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    He got the pushback from libertarians, of course.

    Paulie and I may be thinking of different incidents. The one I’m thinking of was in the second campaign when he came off of “eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing” and briefly talked about a flat tax. That lasted about two seconds before he realized it wasn’t going to fly.

  323. robert capozzi

    tk: Suppose I build a snowmobile, and build it in such a way that it’s damn near impossible to turn it into a wheeled street vehicle, and offer to share the snowmobile with you.

    me: This analogy doesn’t work for me. First, a political philosophy and a party are not machines. Rather, a party is an institution that offers its members a way to express themselves politically and to marshal votes in the name of shifting public policy in a particular direction.

    But if you really need to liken the LP to a snowmobile, I’d say it’s a snowmobile with severe design flaws. Not only did the original designers refused to see the flaws, they instituted a closed system that did not allow for the design to evolve.

    Imagine if Edsel Ford SOOOO believed in the Edsel model that Ford refused to take it off the market and replace it with a more appealing model. In fact, Edsel would keep the company producing Edsels far beyond what the car-buying public were interested in. Ford would be a name like DeSoto, i.e., defunct.

    Yes, I know you’ve told me it’s Nolan’s way or the highway before. Somehow, you seem quite comfortable with that level of arrogance on the 89 Founders’ part. Honestly, I don’t understand it.

  324. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Rather, a party is an institution that offers its members a way to express themselves politically and to marshal votes in the name of shifting public policy in a particular direction.”

    Correct. And the people who started the party decided to have it, absent an ultra-super-majority vote to the contrary, to express ideas/marshal votes in the name of shifting public policy in a pretty SPECIFIC particular direction.

    You don’t like that direction.

    Unless you can drum up a 7/8ths vote to change it, that direction is NOT going to change.

    It’s not about arrogance. The party’s founder built a snowmobile. You want a ’68 Mustang Fastback. It’s not going to happen. That’s just a fact. It’s not about whether you (or I) like it or not.

  325. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    A 7/8ths vote is required to modify the Statement of Principles.

    And the Judicial Committee can, on appeal at the convention, overturn any modification to the platform that it deems in conflict with the Statement of Principles.

    Which means that, in theory, the platform cannot conflict with the Statement of Principles, and also means that the Statement of Principles defines, per the bylaws, the party’s purpose.

  326. Anthony Dlugos

    Did Governors Johnson and Weld adhere to the Statement of Principles? Seems to me not.

  327. robert capozzi

    tk,

    I agree that fixing the party’s profoundly dysfunctional foundation is virtually impossible.

    That, however, is a “might makes right” argument. It’s the opposite of my understanding of what principle is all about.

  328. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    No, they didn’t. Which is why the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential campaign was an utter failure that set the party back by years.

    RC,

    I’m still not sure where this “principle” thing comes into it. They built a party to do a particular thing, and took steps to ensure that it would continue doing that particular thing rather than something else. The fact that you disagree with the principles they chose to plant their flag on doesn’t make them unprincipled. It just makes them differently principled than you. You’re free to build your own vehicle for your own principles any time you like.

  329. Anthony Dlugos

    HAMLET Ay, marry, is’t:
    But to my mind, though I am native here
    And to the manner born, it is a custom
    More honour’d in the breach than the observance.

  330. Anthony Dlugos

    https://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/mangled-shakespeare/

    “Hamlet means that it is more honorable to breach, or violate, the custom of carousing than to observe it.”

    Anyone who falls back to the 7/8th’s rule is getting caught up in the law like the pharisees did and not the lowering of the individual spirit that is point of libertarianism.

    Matthew 5:17(KJV)
    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

  331. robert capozzi

    tk: The fact that you disagree with the principles they chose to plant their flag on doesn’t make them unprincipled.

    me: The principle I speak of is open mindedness. It was close minded — arrogant — to make their work virtually unchangeable.

    Open mindedness allowed the NAP to be developed. While there were preceding concepts that pointed in a similar direction, NAPsterism as codified was a pretty unique concept as I understand it, especially in the days that the thought system was forged and then formalized with the forming of the LP by 88 20 somethings + Hospers.

    To close the door on conditions that led to their own philosophy’s creation lacks integrity and is unprincipled. It violates both the Golden Rule and the scientific method, among other things. It may have been a private act, it nonetheless foreclosed any reasonable and more-informed adjustments to be made after the 70s. Wisdom allows for greater wisdom to take the place of less wisdom. Except when it comes to the LP, where private authoritarians effectively made the laughable claim that they and they alone had found the One True Way.

  332. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not “falling back on” the 7/8ths rule. I’m simply pointing out that it exists and that it is a likely insurmountable obstacle for achieving the changes you want.

    You don’t have to like it. I don’t have to like it. That’s how it is whether either of us likes it or not.

    There have been attempts to change it.

    There have been attempts to change it by getting 7/8ths of the delegates to vote for changing it. Those attempts have failed.

    There was one attempt to change it by passing a bylaws change (which requires a 2/3 vote) amending the 7/8ths requirement to a 2/3 requirement. That attempt failed as well.

    There have also been attempts to get around it, and some of those attempts (the last three presidential nominations, for example) have succeeded. I suppose we could argue about whether or not those attempts were or were not “principled,” but I don’t see any reason to. The real question there is whether or not they made any sense from either side of the question.

    From the side of those who want the Statement of Principles to be the party’s guiding vision and public branding standard, yes, it is pretty fucking stupid to nominate candidates who campaign against it.

    From the side of those who have some other guiding vision and public branding standard in mind, yes, it is pretty fucking stupid to keep trying to put their saddle on an organization that requires a 7/8ths majority to change its guiding vision and public branding standard when they could just build their own party that conforms to their own vision.

  333. dL

    Matthew 5:17(KJV)
    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    The NFL, club sluts and now Jesus. Hmmm, where have you been hanging out at?

  334. Anthony Dlugos

    What about from the point of view of the people we are supposedly trying to help?

    “Sorry about not getting marijuana de-scheduled or providing SOME relief from the state in other areas, but you see, we have this 7/8th’s rule and a Statement of Principles, which in combination rules out anyone with actual governing experience, and anyone with a less than doctrinaire libertarianism from running, so sorry about your luck.”

    Sincerely,
    The Libertarian party

  335. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    October 27, 2017 at 07:41
    Andy,

    Two things:

    1) No, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be a Libertarian PARTY ‘purist.’ The party agreed in the Dallas Accord to set the question of anarchy/minarchy aside.”

    I am well aware of the Dallas Accord. I also do not have a problem with minarchist candidates, so long as they want to make large cuts to government (like Michael Badnarik).

    If you want to split hairs and say there is a difference between a Libertarian Party purist, and a libertarian purist, fine, I will play your game (This leaves the question of is there a level of government that one must support in order to be a Libertarian Party minarchist purist. Is somebody who wants to cut government by say 1% across the board really a libertarian?), and say that a libertarian purist has to be an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist.

    “2) Harry Browne was not a minarchist, he was an anarchist. Before he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, he was quite open about it. But even after he decided to join the Libertarian Party and run for president, you will never, ever, ever find an instance of him endorsing the existence of the state.”

    You misinterpreted what I said above about Harry Browne. I agree that he was an anarchist, but I said that his campaign platform was not explicitly an anarchist platform. Browne’s platform called for cutting government down to only what is authorized by the Constitution. He left open the possibility of moving further towards anarchy (ie-anarcho-capitalism/voluntaryism) after this goal was achieved, and like I said above, he pointed in that direction.

    Darryl W. Perry took this a step further in 2016 as his campaign openly called for abolishing the federal government, as is Adam Kokesh’s current campaign. So I would say that Perry had, and Kokesh has, a more purist libertarian campaign.

    This is not to say that Browne’s platform was bad. It is possible that his strategy may have been better than that of Perry and Kokesh (hard to say for sure, but maybe time will tell), but I am not talking about strategy, I am talking about who presented a more pure libertarian campaign.

    I like Michael Badnarik, but he has never given up on being a constitutionalist/minarchist.

    Ron Paul never ran under an anarcho-capitalist platform, but I had long heard and suspected that he was a closet anarcho-capitalist, and since retiring from running for political office, he has since “come out of the closet” as an anarcho-capitalist (Ron Paul has been a long time fan of Murray Rothbard, so this should not be a big surprise).

    Tell All Your Small Govt Libertarian Friends – Ron Paul Is An Anarchist!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcWPji8fXwU

  336. robert capozzi

    tk: it is pretty fucking stupid to keep trying to put their saddle on an organization that requires a 7/8ths majority to change its guiding vision and public branding standard

    me: Again, I agree. That’s why I let my membership lapse. It became obvious that NAPsters were going to do everything they could to block any attempt to change or avoid the UNprincipled 7/8ths clause.

    So stipulated.

    I notice that you are evading my main point, that:

    1) The 7/8ths clause is closed minded
    2) Closed-mindedness is unprincipled
    3) Therefore, the 7/8ths clause is unprincipled.

    The implication being that the “party of principle” is actually at root fundamentally unprincipled.

    This is rank hypocrisy, yes?

    If not, why not?

  337. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    October 27, 2017 at 07:00
    ‘…little progress can be made with such a flimsy foundation. No amount of activism can correct for the poorly crafted foundational documents, in my estimation.’

    100% correct.

    For a party that professes devotion to the free market, we have a remarkable ability to ignore the reality that the market has spoken, and determined that our product sucks. Then we blame the customer, or pretend a market for dogmatic ‘abolish the government’ libertarianism exists, without market data to back it up, in fact, with market data that refutes that assertion.”

    Anthony, the market has indeed spoken, and it has said that ever since the “water down the LP” faction has taken over the LP’s national conventions, and nominated candidates like Bob Barr and Gary Johnson, the party has gone downhill. The number of elected Libertarians has gone way down.

    Back in 2003, the LP had over 600 people in elected offices. Today, the party only has 159, and it is all low level stuff, except for 4 state legislators, none of whom were elected as Libertarians (one was elected as a Democrat, and the other three were elected as Republicans, and they switched to Libertarian while in office). The last time the Libertarian Party elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature was in 2000, although this person switched to Republican a few months into their term. The last time the Libertarian Party elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature that actually served out their term as a Libertarian was back in either 1996 or 1998. Dues paying membership in the party peaked in 2000-2001, at 33,000 and something, and this was during the radical Harry Browne era. Last year dues paying membership went up to higher than it has been in quite awhile, getting to around 20,00 I believe, but it has already slipped a lot since then, and I think that it has dropped down to 14,000 and something, which is about the size the party was in terms of dues paying members in the early Harry Browne era. US population has increased quite a bit since then, but dues paying party membership has not increased, and the number of registered Libertarians in the states that have registration by party has gone up a bit, but it is really not that much when one considers that the population has gone up, the word libertarian has gotten more popular (mostly from people using the word outside of the LP, like Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, and John Stossel), some people who had been registered as Libertarians who switched to Republican so they could vote for Ron Paul in the primaries switching back to Libertarian, and a few states (like California) passing laws that allow people to complete the voter registration process online if they have a state driver’s license or ID card (lots of libertarians are computer geeks/internet junkies, so being able to register to vote online skews in favor of the Libertarian Party). The party has been running less candidates for office, and is not getting any better results at getting people elected to office when it was running more candidates for office.

    The last three LP presidential tickets have alienated a lot of the libertarian base in this country, to the point where a lot of small “l” libertarians regard the Libertarian Party as a bunch of sell outs and a joke. The circumstances of the last three presidential elections have been the three best opportunities that the Libertarian Party has ever had to move ahead, especially the 2016 election, and the Libertarian Party dropped the ball and failed to live up to what could have been. Even a lot of the public that does not self identify as being small “l” libertarian, but who are sympathetic to minor party and independent candidates, recognize that the Libertarian Party screwed up in 2016, by nominating a ticket that showed up looking unprepared, and did not really represent the principles of the party’s banner under which they were running. 2016 was the best opportunity that a Libertarian Party presidential ticket have ever had, and the best Johnson/Weld could do was 3%. and they did this while severely watering down, and in a lot of cases, outright running against, the Libertarian Party’s platform.

    Donations were up last year, but a good chunk of that money came from people who aren’t even libertarians, and who don’t even really have an interest in minor party or independent candidates, like Christy Walton of Walmart.

    I know that volunteer activism went down for the Libertarian Party in a lot of states, especially as the Johnson/Weld campaign went on and they looked like unprincipled, unprepared goofballs on national television.

    Johnson/Weld ended up with 3% of the vote, and all of the data says that a lot of these votes were protest votes from people who did not like Hillary or Trump.

    Ron Paul ran a far more radically libertarian campaign than the last three Libertarian Party presidential tickets while running in the Republican presidential primaries, and he generated way more activism, and he raised a lot more money. There was far more enthusiasm for Ron Paul than there was from the Bob Barr campaign, and both Gary Johnson campaigns, all put together. I still encounter lots of people today who tell me that they are libertarians because of Ron Paul.

    So yes, the market has indeed spoken, and it says that the nominate Shiny Badge candidates who really aren’t that libertarian, if they are really libertarian at all, strategy, as promoted by the likes of Anthony Dlugos, has been a big failure (and it is also contrary to the purpose of the Libertarian Party).

  338. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    October 27, 2017 at 12:46
    Did Governors Johnson and Weld adhere to the Statement of Principles? Seems to me not.”

    There were legitimate grounds to remove them as candidates, as per the LNC’s bylaws, and the LNC failed to act. They should have at least removed Bill Weld, as shortly after the national convention he started campaigning against the right to keep and bear arms, after lying to convention delegates by telling them that he no longer supports gun control laws.

  339. Anthony Dlugos

    “There were legitimate grounds to remove them as candidates, as per the LNC’s bylaws, and the LNC failed to act. They should have at least removed Bill Weld…”

    Well, they didn’t. Precedent set.

  340. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    The Statement of Principles doesn’t rule out either of the things you say it rules out.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t even rule out running candidates who candidate against, rather than for, the party and its platform like Johnson and Weld did.

    All the Statement of Principles does is establish what the party is about. In terms of organizational actions, the only thing it really enables is a Judicial Committee veto, at the convention, on appeal by delegates, of platform planks that contradict it.

  341. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    So it’s close-minded and unprincipled if I start a company to produce ball bearings and include a clause in its corporate filings that requires a 7/8 vote of the board of directors to change the company’s purpose to selling shaved ice treats on streetcorners?

    Whether or not the non-aggression principle is CORRECT is a philosophical question, and I do think that people should be open to argument on the subject.

    But starting an organization to do X and making it hard to change the organization’s purpose to doing not-X has nothing to do with open- or closed-mindedness. I has to do with deciding on a purpose and wanting to hand off the organization to other people who share that purpose rather than to people with some other purpose.

  342. Anthony Dlugos

    “The Statement of Principles doesn’t rule out either of the things you say it rules out.”

    Doesn’t rule it out, but doesn’t help, in fact makes it more difficult.

    “Unfortunately, it doesn’t even rule out running candidates who candidate against, rather than for, the party and its platform like Johnson and Weld did.”

    Cool. That’s what I figured.

  343. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    October 27, 2017 at 15:24
    ‘There were legitimate grounds to remove them as candidates, as per the LNC’s bylaws, and the LNC failed to act. They should have at least removed Bill Weld…’

    Well, they didn’t. Precedent set.”

    Yes, and it is a bad precedent, like when the US Supreme Court ruled in the Kelo decision that it is OK for government entities to seize land via eminent domain, and turn it over the corporations, if they think that the corporation will generate more tax revenue.

  344. Anthony Dlugos

    anything you consider a bad precedent for the LP is, with absolute certainty, a good precedent for the LP.

    thanks for gathering signatures in Ohio, however.

  345. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Again, NAPsterism is not a product. It’s a philosophical stance.

    I have some familiarity with DE corporate law and practices of publicly held corporations, and they don’t have such rules for businesses, iirc. Such votes are majority votes, actually.

    Tesla, for ex., acquired Solar City with a majority board vote. It hurt them at the time, but they recovered and surged to all-time highs.

    Now, buggy whip manufacturers may well have been unwilling to evolve with new information, to their detriment! 😉

  346. robert capozzi

    AJ: Back in 2003, the LP had over 600 people in elected offices. Today, the party only has 159, and it is all low level stuff, except for 4 state legislators, none of whom were elected as Libertarians (one was elected as a Democrat, and the other three were elected as Republicans, and they switched to Libertarian while in office).t

    ME: Tiny numbers can fluctuate, and the cause of the fluctuation involves conjecture with almost no certitude, given the small sample size.

    OTOH, 4 state legislators outweighs hundreds of water and soil commissioners, I submit. Many of today’s major pols started as state legislators…BHO did, as I recall.

    That they are choosing to change affiliations is rather massive. It shows that the LP has been de-fringed enough for normal people to adopt the label.

  347. robert capozzi

    more…

    aj, iirc, weren’t most of the “elected” Ls in non-partisan races?

    I don’t mean to diminish the efforts of those Ls who run in those races, for they are doing what they can to maximize liberty. But in the big picture, the LP was a minor party in 03 and is still a minor party.

    Conditions are improving for a paradigm shift in US politics. I fear that the LP won’t be able to get a seat at the table in the process to represent perhaps of fifth of the population or so, given the dogmatic strictures that doom it to the fringes.

  348. Andy

    R9bett, the Libertarian Party elected 4 state legislators in Alaska in the 1980’s, and 4 state legislators in New Hampshire in the 1990’s, so having 4 state legislators today, all of whom were elected as R’s or D’s, and switched to Libertarian, is not a sign of progress.

    Yes, a lot of, but not all, of those 600 plus Libertarians that were in local non-partisan offices, but that is the same as today, only now that number is down to 159. Not exactly a sign of progress.

  349. robert capozzi

    aj,

    In the early 80s, the LP was in a moderate phase.

    Regardless, these are all mouse nuts numbers.

  350. robert capozzi

    aj,

    I can’t begin to guess what could have been. My practice is to assess the current situation and seek plausible paths forward.

    I don’t see the LP as anything more than a minor, protest party so long as it’s saddled with NAPsterism.

  351. paulie

    Anyone besides me want to follow up with Kokesh and team to see if and when any of our group’s questions will get replies?

  352. Andy

    He is probably busy on his national tour.

    I still have the video interview that I conducted with Kokesh back in September that I want to post online. I still do not know where the wire that goes from the camera to the computer is. I went to a Best Buy, and the employee I talked to said that they did not sell any such wire for my camera, but he said I could get a chip to put in the camera which could then be transferred to the computer, which could be used to download the video online. I tried doing this and I can’t get the video to download to the chip. I can’t find the box that the cameea came in that may have the instruction manual. If it is not lost or thrown out, it is either buried in the car, or packed in storage (which would mean I would have no access to it now).

  353. paulie

    He is probably busy on his national tour.

    Rather than speculate I would prefer if someone actually asked, with a reminder that answering some of the questions is better than answering none of them. I can ask myself, but the reason I would prefer someone else to do it is to re-emphasize that the questions are a group effort from IPR, not just personally from me.

    If you have the make and model of the camera the instructions can probably be found online. Post them here and we can most likely figure it out if you are having a hard time doing so yourself.

  354. Andy

    It is a JVC camera. Unsure of make or model at thus time. It was purchased in the fall of 2009 (hasn’t been used much).

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