Boston Tea Party asks: who’s running the Libertarian Party?

Published at http://bostontea.us/node/263 by Jim Davidson. Additional background here.

On 7 September 2008, the Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution against the war in Afghanistan. To date, we are informed, the party’s staff members have refused to issue a press release on the topic, and have not added it to the LP.org web site as of this writing. Curiously, on 11 September 2008, the party issued a press release quoting Bob Barr as praising Bush for sending troops into Afghanistan.

Below is the text of the LNC resolution, a link to the 11-Sep-08 press release, and all the Afghanistan quotes from that press release. The question is now obvious: who owns the Libertarian Party? Evidently, the LNC is not in control of party policy, and can pass a resolution but cannot get the staff to do anything with it. I note with satisfaction that the Boston Tea Party has no national budget, and no national staff, so we have no such difficulties.

Text of the LNC resolution – I gather this was authored by Susan Hogarth who was endorsed by our national committee some weeks ago:

“WHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures; and

“WHEREAS the stability and security of Afghanistan lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States; and

“WHEREAS the Libertarian Party recognizes that the only legitimate role of the military is to defend America against direct attack or the imminent threat of attack;

“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States from Afghanistan, without undue delay.”

Here is the LP.org press release link:

http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/mark-911-anniversary-by-targeting-terrorists-overseas-while-respecting-liberties

Here are all the paragraphs of that press release where the word Afghanistan appears:

“‘The Bush administration deserves credit for having done much to disable al Qaeda as an effective terrorist organization,’ Barr says. ‘However, early on, the administration took its eye off of the ball when it shifted troops from searching for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to use in the unnecessary war in Iraq. Now, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating badly,’ adds Barr.”

As you can see, the Barr policy statement is significantly at odds with the LNC’s policy statement. As a fan of Anti-War.com and an activist against militarism since 1981, I am unable to be a part of the Libertarian Party due to this situation. I cannot in good conscience support a political party that has a war monger for its presidential nominee.

I believe, personally, that the LP would be wise to clean house, fire staff, and place its policy initiatives before the American people. Obviously, the Boston Tea Party has no official position on how the LP should run itself. In my opinion, the LP staff are clearly owned and operated by the Barr campaign, and are not directed by the LNC.

Which, given the quality of some of the individuals on the LNC, is rather a shame.

45 thoughts on “Boston Tea Party asks: who’s running the Libertarian Party?

  1. TheOriginalAndy

    A resolution against the war in Afganistan should have been passed years ago.

    Better late than never, but it is very disturbing that LP HQ has not reported on this.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    A resolution against the war in Afganistan should have been passed years ago.

    Better late than never, but it is very disturbing that LP HQ has not reported on this.

    Fully agreed.

  3. G.E.

    Will the LNC also pass a resolution demanding the end to the importation of slaves from Africa and commending the heroic invention of the wheel?

  4. Vin

    I don’t agree with the BTP on many of their issues or tactics, but they do have their act together. In fact, the BTP comes across much more professional these days than the LP, which really has found itself in an ideological schism of sorts. I actually just wrote a blog article about this very issue and how the LP has sold out the way the Reform Party did.

    One question for the BTP: Why devote space on your website to pointing out flaws with the LP?

  5. G.E.

    What reason did the U.S. have for removing the Taliban? So they could put in that pipeline?

    The Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden if the Bush admin. provided evidence he was actually guilty of anything. To this day, there isn’t even an indictment against bin Laden for lack of evidence.

    There was no declaration of war against Afghanistan. A letter of marque and reprisal against “al Qaeda” — an organization I don’t even think really exists at this point — was the constitutional way to handle this.

    The socialist destruction of life and property in Afghanistan is morally reprehensible, illegal, and completely, 100%, without any merit whatsoever.

  6. Vin

    I believe bin Laden and his number 2 admitted ordering the attack, which is legally sufficient evidence for a warrant. Legally, the Taliban is just as culpable for their involvement. Al Qaeda also admitted to the embassay bombings in Africa in 1998.

    I know many here have valid arguments and historical context for not going into Afghanistan, but most Americans still support the rationale behind our invasion. Although it was botched.

  7. G.E.

    Vin – Are you sure about that, though? I’m not an “insider jobber” but the tape of bin Laden’s confession appears to me to be a fake.

    How is the Taliban culpable? Just because the supposed “leader” of the people who allegedly did 9/11 lived there? I think holding an entire nation, or even a government, culpable for the crimes of an alien resident is a little much.

  8. Vin

    I’m not an expert in fake audio and video, and maybe I am a victim of propaganda, but all credible evidence points to bin Laden and friends. And this goes for both 9/11 and embassay bombings.

    Taliban is culpable in my opinion because they harbored individuals and organization with oodles of credible evidence relating to the embassay attacks, Cole attack and 9/11. Any one of these conspiracies are acts of war. Yes, Congress should have declared war, and Congress would have been more than justified in doing so. If anything, the Taliban would be liable for the lesser crime if accessory after the fact. And remember, in 2001, the Taliban were holding some missionary women hostage and offered to free them if we didn’t attack.

  9. VTV

    I don’t mind doing something to apprehend Bin Laden. (He is dead now, so that will be much easier). However, sending in an army and invading a country is not really a very effective way to catch one man. Particularly not one who had plenty of time practicing against the Soviets.

  10. G.E.

    Vin – But reps from the Taliban were in Texas just a few weeks before 9/11, right? If harboring bin Laden was a crime because of the U.S. Cole, then why were the Talib allowed in Texas?

    And unless Jesse Ventura is full of crap, bin Laden has not been charged with 9/11 due to “insufficient evidence” in the FBI’s words…. And 9/11 is not listed on his Top 10 Most Wanted resume. Why? If there isn’t sufficient evidence for that paperwork, then surely there’s not enough to invade a sovereign nation.

  11. Michael Seebeck

    G.E. has a major point. I would add to it that Ramzi Yousieff (sp?), the WTC ’93 Bomber, was caught, indicted, convicted, and is now sharing a wall with Noriega in Florence CO’s US Supermax Pen.

    So the score stands for WTC attackers: prosecution 1, war 0.

  12. G.E.

    Kudos to Vin, however, for not calling anyone who’s not 100% on board with the government story a “Truther” or a “tinfoil hat wearer,” etc.

  13. chrisedes

    So the BTP is saying that every LP candidate must be perfectly in agreement with party leadership? That would set a dangerous precedent.

    It’s always easy to make such arguments when your candidate isn’t the one who has to march in lock step. Down the road, however, such assertions will come back to haunt you.

  14. VTV

    I think the BTP would be happy if the LP candidate actually reflected the views of the PARTY, let alone party leadership.

  15. gbrooks

    I just want to know why we aren’t threatening Saudi Arabia when about half of the alleged highjackers were from that country.

    Bush in the back pocket anyone?

    It’s all so effed up that nobody can figure out the truth.

  16. Hugh Jass

    Half of the hijackers weren’t from Saudi Arabia. More like 80% of them were from Saudi Arabia.

  17. G.E.

    What if the hijackers were all from the U.S.?

    We didn’t attack ourselves after the OK City Bombing.

  18. sunshinebatman

    The alleged “hijackers” trained in Florida. Perhaps the correct military response would have been to drop depelted uranium munitions on Palm Beach and depose Jeb Bush.

  19. JimDavidson

    Vin, my personal interest in this issue comes from my personal commitment to anti-war activism. In 1979, I was involved with the Committee Against Registration and the Draft. In 1981, I worked with Students Against Militarism. Since that time, I have continued to be against involuntary servitude, militarization of society, and war. Obviously my politics are significantly more libertarian than the politics of contemporary members of those organisations.

    I devoted my blog to the issue, because I think it matters. I think the war in Afghanistan is wrong, especially because all reports suggest that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan. You know, it would be nice to look for him in the right country – these are big countries in a heavily mountainous area, and there are reports by Pakistani military that the USA military can’t quite figure out which sovereign country they are supposed to invade, but if that’s the rationale, why not work with Pakistan to get at this guy?

    I personally would be happy if the Libertarian Party were to run candidates who were actually libertarian. There is considerable evidence that if the LP had nominated someone for president who was a libertarian (Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby were bandied about before the convention as possibilities in this respect) the BTP might exercise its authority to endorse the LP’s candidate and not run one of its own. Obviously, that wasn’t possible this time.

    There’s clearly no reason the Boston Tea Party and the Libertarian Party cannot cooperate where they have aligned interests. Many LP candidates are currently endorsed and promoted on our web site, because we find that they are truly for smaller government at all levels.

    Chrisedes, I did not say that each LP candidate must march in lock step with the national committee. I think anyone looking at the web sites of the numerous hard working and enthusiastic LP candidates, as I have done this year, and as other members of the Boston Tea Party’s national committee and state affiliates have been doing since June, would have to agree that not all LP candidates accept all parts of the LP platform.

    What I have said is, isn’t it a shame that the filthy war monger Bob Barr who clearly hates the children and women of Afghanistan so much that he wants, in my view, to see more of them bombed to death, mutilated by bullets, and suffering in privation, because he is personally a horrible, evil, CIA agent, drug war prosecutor, and military interventionist won’t allow the LP members and the people generally to know about the LNC’s resolution against the war in Afghanistan? I think that’s a shame, and is bad for the anti-war effort in this country, and is bad for the world.

    Peter is mistaken. I took on this cause myself, because I care personally about it.

    Let me be clear about a few things that may not have surfaced for everyone. I don’t like Susan Hogarth at all. I find her LP party loyalism to be extremely misplaced, her authoritarian control of her lpradicals list to be bizarre and inappropriate to a free people, her behavior toward me to be excruciatingly unpleasant, and her general attitude toward the Boston Tea Party to be extremely opportunistic – enjoying the benefits of the party’s endorsement but the complaining ceaselessly about another candidate who has different ideas than Susan about how to run her state’s fairgrounds. Even so, because I could find no reason to suppose she was for any bigger government programs, I had the office of chair cast a vote for her endorsement, because it was the right thing to do, even though I felt personally insulted by her and do not wish to work with her in any capacity, ever.

    That said, I also could not consent to seeing her resolution against the war in Afghanistan ignored by the national staff and the Barr campaign after it was passed by the LNC. It is a bad war, it is an evil occupation, and it is completely correct to call for its end, now.

    I think this sort of event ought to embarrass the LP members, who ought to get better leaders. I think this thing ought to embarrass the LNC members who ought to grow spines and get their testicles to drop down and generate some intestinal fortitude from somewhere, as appropriate in each case, and insist that the staff promote the LNC’s resolution on this matter. I think it ought to embarrass the Barr campaign that they are so far out of step with the anti-war and pro-freedom movement in this country that they are issuing press releases extolling the virtues of sending more troops to Afghanistan this month.

    But I don’t actually expect that what I think ought to happen is going to happen. I think the LP members are generally complacent about their party and disinterested in how it runs. I have thought so ever since the Perry Willis, Emerling-Cloud, and other Harry Browne related scandals in 1996-2000. I don’t think the average LP member (the hypothetical average, of course) has thought very carefully about what his national committee and national party headquarters staff are doing in his name, and while that’s pretty sad commentary on what a libertarian is, so be it.

    I don’t think there is any shame among the LNC members, nor any intestinal fortitude, and if you want to see the ongoing charade that passes for their behavior, drop over to LFV and witness the debacle of their last meeting in as much detail as you can stomach. Ick.

    And I don’t think Barr nor his staff, nor his sycophants, care anything about human decency, compassion, private property, individual liberty, or the future prosperity of anyone. Barr is a vindictive little worm who hates the rest of humanity and cannot stand to see us enjoy ourselves, to the best of my understanding. He is extraordinarily hypocritical on issues ranging from gun rights to the sanctity of marriage, near as I can tell. He would be the last person to oppose any war for anything but the most indecent and expedient reasons because, based on what I’ve read of his views, he likes the effusion of blood, and he has more than a little of it on his chin.

    I point these things out as part of a broader indictment of the human race, which has been wasting a lot of time, talent, and effort doing incredibly stupid things for a long time. Yes, I have a list, and no, you really don’t want to ask me for it, because I can go on at length. Suffice it to say that these wars are obliterating many of the finest people on the planet, and there is no reason to support any of them, any more than there was ever any reason to support any of Hitler’s aggressions. (I have made a detailed comparison under the title “appeasement” on yet another blog site.)

    But, look here, this particular episode of shining up the armor, loading the charger, hefting the lance, and dashing off to see whether those giant hair arms are windmill or other, is my own particular choice. It is my blog on the Bostontea.us site, and it is my opinion, as anyone who can read is more than capable of seeing on a closer look.

    For example, BTP founder Tom Knapp has said, “…inconsistent and bizarre behavior from the LP is sort of like the sun coming up in the east and going down in the west … notable in the abstract for its regularity, but not necessarily newsworthy.” He has, admittedly, been preoccupied with other matters today.

    So, this one is mine. It is my view that war is bad. It is my view that the LNC is right. And it is my view that Andrew Davis is a nasty little jerk who is working for the Barr campaign and doesn’t care a thing for the Afghanistan resolution, so he won’t ever issue a press release until someone threatens to fire him over it. It is my expectation that nothing is going to be done, and that none of my actions in this regard are going to have any greater effect than to be published on this IPR site. Which, by itself, is a pretty cool site.

  20. Steve LaBianca

    JimDavidson // Sep 18, 2008 at 1:21 am

    There’s clearly no reason the Boston Tea Party and the Libertarian Party cannot cooperate where they have aligned interests.

    Amongst the many wise things Mr. Davidson says in his comment above, this is truly the basis reason why the Barr campaign snub, it’s subsequent statements defending their snub, and the words of many Barr/W.A.R. supporters (including several on the LNC) was/were/is totally off base.

    The third party candidates came to an agreement on several issues which the major party candidates WILL not address in a manner which devolves their power, and they collaborated accordingly . . . except the egotistical Barr who’s sh*t doesn’t stink, and would not be seen with the likes of Nader, McKinney, and Baldwin.

    Barr/W.A.R. – a Libertarian Party presidential ticket which is truly one to forget.

  21. Steve LaBianca

    I will say however, that I was not aware of Mr. Davidson’s dislike for Ms. Hogarth. I’m not going to research every statement published by Susan which might support Mr. Davidson’s distaste for her, but I think that Mr. Davidson ought to “cooperate where they have aligned interests” that is with Ms. Hogarth.

    I suspect that these two folks have “aligned interests” way more often than he believes.

  22. Steve LaBianca

    BTW, for what it’s worth, I’m an LNC Region alternate, and I have expressed my disagreements and dislike of several actions of the Barr campaign, as well as the blind support for the ticket by several LNC members. I have been “told” by one LNC member to “get on board and support the ticket”. I am perceived as “very angry” for Ruwart losing the nomination, and am summarily shoved aside as someone without a legitimate position to criticize. But then, I understand this as dissent, even amongst these supposed libertarians, is unwelcome.

    Just my two cents.

  23. songster7

    I have long hoped that there would arise over time (at least) two political parties that “stood for liberty” — one hardline, watching the boundaries and holding the line, and one more “mainstream” that could appeal to a wider electorate under the generalized banner of ‘less gummint”…

    I HAD held out hope that the LP would be the hardline one, and I could be proud to help where I could. Since this seems not to be the case, I’m glad the BTP exists.

    It would have been far easier IMO if the “new party” had arisen on TOP of of an already organized national framework, but apparently that was not in the cards. Maybe the best hope now lies in the BTP becoming the “tent” that includes left as well as right focused lovers of liberty, seeking the contraction of power-bases at all levels and of all types, except the individal sovereignty one.

  24. Coming Back to the LP

    The BTB statement is based on a logical fallicy.

    The Barr Statement and the LP NatCom resolution are complementary and compatable statements. They stand fine together and there is no reason not to release the resolution except inefficiency, lack of funds or paranoia.

  25. chrisedes

    Jim — “The BTP might exercise its authority to endorse the LP’s candidate”? I’m sure that would garner literally dozens of votes nationwide. I can’t imagine why that wouldn’t be at the top of the LNC’s list of concerns.

    Your statement that “Barr is a vindictive little worm who hates the rest of humanity and cannot stand to see us enjoy ourselves” betrays the emotional nature of your beliefs. Do you really think Bob Barr *hates humanity*? I’m not sure if you’re irrational or just taking a page from Rove’s playbook (e.g. “why do you hate America and freedom?”)

    Perhaps your real problem is not so much with Susan Hogarth, as with her built-in farce detector. I find Susan’s communications to be based upon reason, whereas you appear to have so much blind hatred for Bob Barr, that you actually believe he hates humanity and happiness itself. I’m sorry to say it, but that’s insane.

  26. JimDavidson

    Coming Back, the two statements are not compatible. Barr clearly favors the invasion of Afghanistan and laments having troops taken away from Afghanistan, and further notes the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, making it clear that he, like Obama, would send more American soldiers to kill and bleed and die in this stupid war.

    I note with amusement this LP.org entry today, a poll dated 18 Sep 08 which asks the question which issue is most important this season.
    http://www.lp.org/poll/which-of-these-issues-should-the-libertarian-party-be-most-focused-on-during-this-election

    If there is no reason not to release the resolution, why has it not been released?

    Chrisedes, the LP stands in need of dozens of votes nationwide for its candidates. You can do everything in your power to upset and drive off activists and supporters, and you still won’t win elections. If you don’t want to work with the Boston Tea Party, please don’t. I certainly want nothing to do with you.

    As far as I can tell, the Boston Tea Party has never been mentioned on the agenda of an LNC meeting. I would not ask that they take note of us. I was pointing out that it is possible for us to support a libertarian for president, including one that is nominated by the LP. It just isn’t possible for us to support Barr, because he’s not a libertarian. I’m sure you feel good about scoffing at us. I’d feel good if you choked to death on your own vomit.

    Yes, I do think Barr hates humanity. He obviously hates Colombia enough to want to send troops there. He obviously hates drug users enough to want to continue the endless war on drugs at the state level. He obviously prosecuted people for non violent crimes while he was a US attorney. He obviously hates humanity because of his work as a CIA agency man. He obviously loves war from his comments on intervening wherever he sees a threat. He is a bloodthirsty man, in my opinion.

    I’m glad you think I’m insane. I think you are evil.

  27. chrisedes

    Thanks Jim, I think you’ve proven my point well enough.

    Yes, the evil person is me, not the person (Jim) who would “feel good if you [Chris] choked to death on your [his] own vomit.” Wishing painful death on others is the mark of a good person. Not like me. I’m a bad person for not reaching your epitome of hatred for another human being.

    You barely know anything about me and already wish for my death. I’m sorry, dude, but that’s a morally corrupt way to think. Perhaps now I have an insight into the extreme accusations you make against Barr — you yourself are prone to immediate hatred, so you must believe that of others, as well. Fortunately, most of us are nicer people than you.

    Those who feel their self-righteousness absolves them of any need for courtesy and decency, are of negative value to any political effort. Please continue to represent the Popular Front of Judea.

  28. Vin

    I appreciate Jim Davidson’s lengthy explaination and very much applaud him in having an open mind on voting for a Libertarian if they met his or his party’s criteria. My personal political views gravitate around the Modern Whig movement, so I respectfully disagree with Jim’s viewpoint on Afghanistan. But at least his is coming from somewhere as articulated in his posting. He also seems to know where the BTP stands in terms of reality (something I have questioned in the past).

    My impression for awhile now is that the LP has big fish in a small pond syndrome, with Barr setting them back years. I sincerely hope that the BTP succeeds and maintains the current track. Even if I don’t agree with much of their ideals, I recognize that the third party movement needs more groups like them.

  29. G.E.

    Vin is quite a saintly individual. I wish I could muster the restraint and class that he exhibits in his posts.

  30. JimDavidson

    Chrisedes writes, “Yes, the evil person is me,” so that’s handled. Good that we’ve cleared that point.

    To clarify, I did not wish for your death. I simply said that if you were to choke to death on your own vomit, I’d feel good. It would certainly affirm my understanding of your place in the universe. Presumably the whole “if signals hypothetical” thing didn’t work for you, so I’m trying again with a lesson on the subjunctive tense. M’kay?

    Yes, you are a bad person, good that you admit that, as well. Not hating Bob Barr is mistaken, given Barr’s established hatred of humanity, CIA involvement, prosecution of non-violent persons, war mongering, voting for all kinds of invasions of liberty, etc.

    “You barely know anything about me” also applies to what you know about me, yet you felt able to make a clinical diagnosis of insanity. Thus, my casual decision to class you as evil, since you are able to say for certain that I’m insane, not knowing a thing about me. I’m also at this time asserting that you would gladly see the state haul me off to a mental hospital to be re-educated, since you have diagnosed me as insane. You see how it works? You call me a name, I call you a worse name. Now you want to have everyone sympathise with you because I called you evil, but, of course, you don’t bother to apologise for calling me insane. Thus we see the oppression inherent in your hypocrisy.

    Vin, I’m not a whig because I’m for a smaller government on all issues and at all levels. I am not, for example, convinced that a transportation project in Virginia should be paid for with federal funds, notwithstanding that the Oklahoma politician blocking it is ugly and cruel.

    http://www.modernwhig.org/issues.html

    I don’t support states forcing voters to pay attention to state politicians.

    I disagree with having a permanent base in Kurdistan for the rest of eternity. I disagree with ramping up the war in Afghanistan to slaughter more innocent civilians there.

    I would be very curious if you’ve looked at the cost of government regulation in producing gasoline and producing fuel efficient vehicles. Less government would go a long way toward a free market energy policy, which would be both more ecological and more economical.

    I wonder if you’ll ever turn your trust busting to the banking cartel and the defense contractors, two industries where consolidation seems to always be agreeable to regulators.

    Your immigration policies don’t agree with my views on individual liberty.

    I could go on, but it is time to get back to my customers who are wondering whether they can survive another four months of Bush.

  31. Trent Hill

    “To clarify, I did not wish for your death. I simply said that if you were to choke to death on your own vomit, I’d feel good. It would certainly affirm my understanding of your place in the universe. Presumably the whole “if signals hypothetical” thing didn’t work for you, so I’m trying again with a lesson on the subjunctive tense. M’kay?”

    Isnt JimDavidson the national chair of the BTP? If so—this tells me all I need to know about that organization. I respect Knapp,but this guy is pretty sick.

  32. chrisedes

    Actually, Jim, I said your statement was insane. I never said you were. You may have simply used excessive or ill-considered rhetoric.

    Why would I want you confined and re-educated? That shouldn’t happen to any peaceful person. Only if they commit an act of aggression against another should a person’s Liberty be restrained.

    You make a lot of assumptions about those who disagree with you. Is it possible at least a few of your negative opinions about Bob Barr are also just assumptions?

  33. JimDavidson

    I did make an error, above. I noted that we were not able to endorse the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president this year. In fact, the Boston Tea Party did endorse George Phillies and Chris Bennett, the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the Libertarian Party ticket in New Hampshire. I note that they may also be the LP candidates on the ballot in Massachusetts. See? We can endorse an LP candidate for president when one is presented who is not a neo conservative Republican, who did not vote for the USAPATRIOT act, who did not fight the drug war, who does not call for military intervention in Latin American countries to fight the drug war, who is not a racist, who is not bigoted against gays, who did not vote for the Lautenberg amendment against gun rights, who has taken principled and consistent positions on issues related to individual liberty, and who has stated his acceptance of our party’s platform.

    It is always possible that I am mistaken about things. I am a human being, and therefore fallible. I regard it extremely unlikely that my negative opinion of Bob Barr is mistaken, owing to the extensive evidence of his anti-freedom, pro-war views.

    There is only one reason that I write comments on blogs such as this one. It amuses me. Very often, it amuses me to mock the knee-jerk reactions and snap judgements that are issued against me, and against others. It is endlessly amusing to see people deride my mockery of such behavior as sick, twisted, disgusting, or childish.

    Yes, Trent, I am the national chair of the Boston Tea Party, a position which I assumed on 24 April 2008 and which I have taken seriously since then. It is good that you respect Knapp, as he is the one person who appointed me to my position. I am not standing for election to the office, as I believe party politics is misguided, and I believe political elections are delegation of initiatory force. So, if my involvement in the Boston Tea Party as its chair tells you anything (let alone everything) it only speaks to who Tom Knapp is that he chose me, and who I am that I agreed to help a friend.

    My being chair says nothing about the members of the Boston Tea Party, because they never had any say in it. My being chair says nothing about the future direction of the party, as I refuse to clutch the ring of power. I don’t expect Frodo to manage to destroy it, but I am quite sure that I must not hang onto it.

    What I have to say about my being chair of the Boston Tea Party is simply as follows. When I joined the party in April, the 2006 database had been destroyed, and I was the 30th person to join on the site. There are now 319 members of the Boston Tea Party. I have increased membership tenfold.

    When I joined the party, there were vacancies on its national committee. We now have a full committee, with vice chair Todd Andrew Barnett, secretary Michelle Luetge, and at-large reps Chris Bennett, Kent McManigal, Elle Larkin, and Mike Blessing. Tom Knapp and I invited these people to be on the committee.

    When I joined the party there was one state affiliate of verifiable authenticity. There are now eleven.

    Shortly after I joined the party, Todd formed our first Facebook group. Since then I’ve created 20 other Boston Tea Party groups on Facebook for our state affiliates, and we’ve added several Yahoo groups and Google groups. By adding friends, seeking out libertarians to friend, and inviting friends, I have helped grow the Facebook group to 456 members today.

    At my instigation the national committee and the state affiliates of the Boston Tea Party have been endorsing candidates for political office, almost all of whom are from the LP. Our party now has nominated or endorses candidates for 18 different political offices and a Libertarian Party candidate for 16 of those offices. I understand that more are in the works in different states.

    One other thing that I believe was an important accomplishment, I worked to get rid of Tom Stevens and his coterie of followers who had, in several cases, attempted to create fraudulent state affiliates, based on our research of the situation. As it turns out, at about the time Stevens became a member of the Boston Tea Party in early 2008, he was forming the Objectivist Party. He is now the presidential nominee of that party.

  34. Coming Back to the LP

    The two statements are completely compatable, complementary and in sinc. They could both be released together and make perfect sense. In fact, I have to agree with both of them.

    Bob Barr’s statement is that the Bush admin deserves credit for weakening Al Qaeda. This is true. They did do that. You have to admit it.

    The Bush admin also failed to pursue Osama and detoured into Iraq. Also correct.

    The situation in Afghanistan is now deteriorating. Also true.

    We can then follow up with the LP resolution:

    We should RETURN to our historical libertarian position of avoiding foreign entanglements etc. Yes. Good idea. Iraq was a mistake and Afghan is failing. Let’s get out.

    The stability and security of Afghanistan is non of our business. True as well. We had the right to go after AQ and Osama. We blew the Osama deal, although we might still get him, bolstering Afghanistan is not our job. Let’s give one final push to get the big O and then get out.

    The only legitimate role of the US Military is defense. Duh. Of course. We had the right to go after those who attacked us and would continue to do so. We did it. Now we should get out. We should have never have gone into Iraq.

    and, unless you are just trying to be nasty, it is obvious that both statements stand together quite well.

    I agree with both statements.

    The LP should release the Nat Com resolution ASAP.

  35. Mike Gillis

    Bob Barr’s statement is that the Bush admin deserves credit for weakening Al Qaeda. This is true. They did do that. You have to admit it.

    No, they haven’t. Al Qaeda is doing just dandy these days, and their two invasions handed them exactly what they wanted on a silver platter.

    If anything, Bush’s foreign policy has only made the Al Qaeda program all the more attractive to many more angry people.

    Way to go!

    Barr’s an idiot if he thinks this, and an even bigger one if he thinks praising Bush is a good idea.

  36. JimDavidson

    The LP.org web site, as of today (19 September) contains a copy of the resolution passed two weeks ago (7 September). I am very pleased that the Boston Tea Party was able to promote this resolution earlier than the LP. Perhaps we were helpful in making an issue of it, at least on this site.

    http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/lnc-passes-afghanistan-resolution

    The page is very terse, does not contain any comment from the candidates or officers of the party, and thus appears grudging in its coverage of the event. But, hey, at least they bothered to issue a press release, untimely and minimally.

  37. JimDavidson

    I agree with Mike. It is foolish to suppose that the direct attack on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan did anything to weaken a movement that would have far fewer supporters today if it were not for the ongoing occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the region.

  38. Fred Church Ortiz

    But, hey, at least they bothered to issue a press release, untimely and minimally.

    And back-dated 😉

  39. JimDavidson

    Good point Fred. Announcing things that happened two weeks ago, by issuing a press release two days ago. Nifty. “Sherman, set the WABAC machine for…”

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