Libertarian Party blog: Free Republic poster gives Republicans a recent history lesson

Posted at LP.org by Donny Ferguson. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.


Over on the conservative discussion forum Free Republic, partisan Republicans are desperately trying to separate themselves from those Senate Republicans cutting a deal to pass a massive "stimulus" spending bill, a tough task given the fact the Republican Party will in no way discipline "yea" votes and the RNC will continue to spend millions re-electing those senators.

One reader, posting as AdLibertas, gets it and calls his own party to task:

"In this thread, the grousing about how only a handful of Republican Senators voted with the Democrats in favor of the "stimulus" bill is intriguing. Particularly interesting is how the Nay votes of the majority of them are construed to mean they are for tax cuts and for liberty.

"I state (without proof) that the reason most Republicans voted against the bill is that the bill so empowers the political left that it threatens their cushy Senate and House jobs—we don’t give them credit for much, but they are smart enough to know that giving hundreds of billions to unions, ACORN, etc. is going to cripple their own re-elections and chances for political advancement. Remember: the raison d’etre of political parties is to propagate and empower the party—almost any action in-line with the will of the people is coincidential.

"Furthermore, let’s not forget that President Bush—i.e. Republican—signed into law the TARP and bailed out the automakers against public majority sentiment. This act very clearly sided ‘against voters to explode the national debt and expand the government.’"

67 thoughts on “Libertarian Party blog: Free Republic poster gives Republicans a recent history lesson

  1. Eric Dondero

    Isn’t it funny now, to watch the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul “libertarians” going out of their way to find something to criticize the GOP on. Like nobody notices this blatant attempt to shift the debate from how bad the Democrats are?

    Of course, the argument for a third party is less potent right now, because the GOP, particularly the House GOP, has essentially become the Libertarian Party. Moreoever, the Republicans just elected libertarian-leaner Michael Steele as National Chairman.

    Thus, the backflips from partisan LPers to make it seem like, “well, ahem, the GOP is still bad.”

    Yeah, right.

  2. VAGreen

    “Of course, the argument for a third party is less potent right now, because the GOP, particularly the House GOP, has essentially become the Libertarian Party.”

    Um, I’ll believe that when the GOP does the following:

    1. Fights to repeal the Patriot Act.
    2. Fights to repeal the weakening of FISA.
    3. Fully and forthrightly rejects torture, without evasion and double talk (it all depends on what your definition of the word “torture” is).
    4. Calls for an end to our “Reefer Madness” drug policies.
    5. Calls for an end to using our soldiers as social engineers in Iraq.
    6. Stops trying to federalize the definition of marriage, which rightly belongs to the states.
    7. Stops setting up a foreign government (Israel) as a god. When you put someone above all criticism, you make them into a god. No government deserves the status of a god, especially a foreign government.
    8. Swears off corporate welfare.

  3. Michael Seebeck

    Steele is no more libertarian than Dondero is female–they may act the part, but that’s it–all acting and no substance.

  4. George Phillies

    Ferguson does raise a smoke screen to draw the attention of Libertarians from the performance of their own Presidential campaign through to the end of the year.

    The Barr Campaign continued spending and paying off debt through the end of December. The biggest news, of course, is that the Barr campaign never had any formal signed contract with the national party, and is refusing to hand over its donor and volunteer lists to the National Party for future party building efforts. This follows on to the Barr Campaign’s apparent effort to hide as much as possible that Barr was a Libertarian. As a party building effort, Barr 2008 was thus a failure.

    Some Libertarians still are on the Barr 2008 campaign effort as Field Consultants. You might want to take that into consideration in evaluating what they are saying about Barr. From late November through to the end of December payments included
    Mike Ferguson $1250
    Stephen Gordon $2500
    Andrew MacPherson $1500
    Ashley Petty $967.5

    There’s plenty of additional spending.

    For more details see TheDailyLiberty.Com

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    The argument for alternative parties is alive and well, and will continue to grow stronger as Obama fails to deliver on bringing the troops home, restoring civil liberties in the “war on terror”, ending the drug war, or turning around the economy.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    George, ya lost me, dude. Donny’s post is about policy. Your comment is about campaign finances (inside baseball minutiae, is my read).

    I do believe you’ve established you’ve got a Jones against the Barr campaign, but it sure looks to me like your grievances are leading to some non sequitur doozies.

  7. George Phillies

    Paulie,

    There is no debt recorded to these people in the prior report. It is new spending.

    Mr. Capozzi,

    I see you are resorting to unctuousity.

    Did you support Barr? The Barr Sham-paign looted our party of one and a quarter million dollars, to be distributed in large part to Barr’s cronies not to mention a political action group that appears to be run by Barr’s son. I suppose charity begins at home, so keeping the loot in the family could be viewed as a virtue. However, by the same token, supporting Barr could be viewed as supporting fraud, namely the fraud that Barr was running a Presidential campaign rather than a get-rich-quick operation for his friends.

    With respect to Mr. Ferguson, he has already been caught denying a key part of our party platform, and it is therefore hardly surprising that his operation is trying to kick up a fuss to distract Libertarians from Barr about the time the next financials appeared.

    George Phillies

  8. Trent Hill

    “With respect to Mr. Ferguson, he has already been caught denying a key part of our party platform”

    Are you in full compliance with the platform Dr. Phillies?

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    Trent,

    The issue was not so much that Donny might disagree with parts of the LP platform, which as far as I know has never been stated one way or the other, but that he said

    The LP has no official stance on whether all abortions should be legal or illegal. There are many pro-life libertarians, like Ron Paul, and many pro-choice libertarians.

    The LP does, however, oppose all forms of government-assisted, government-directed or taxpayer-funded abortion or family planning, which is more than can be said for the Republicans

    The LP platform says:

    1.4 Abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    This means that the party’s position is that government should not be making abortion illegal.

    If Donny’s position is that government should be making abortion illegal, he may well be one of the good faith people who hold an opposing view, as the plank also makes clear.

    Regardless of his personal position on the issue, he was answering a query from someone checking out the party who was concerned that we may be “pro-abortion.” There are ways to address this question to be as welcoming as possible to this inquirer; for instance, he could have said:

    “Although the Libertarian Party is currently officially pro-choice on abortion, there are many pro-life libertarians, like Ron Paul, who remains a life member of the Libertarian Party despite serving as a Republican Congressman. Our platform states that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides.

    The LP also opposes all forms of government-assisted, government-directed or taxpayer-funded abortion or family planning, which is more than can be said for the Republicans.”

    I don’t think it would have necessarily been wrong for him to make that “there are many pro-life libertarians, like myself and Ron Paul, ” if such is in fact the case.

    The part we are objecting to is the claim that “The LP has no official stance on whether all abortions should be legal or illegal.” Maybe the LP should have no such stance, and maybe it should, but either way, it does. This may remain the case, or it might not, but it is the case for now.

    LP staffers should represent the party’s platform position accurately when asked a direct question. That has nothing to do with him having the right to have and express a different personal opinion than the platform, or whether the platform is correct.

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    is not the same as:

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that our party should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to the government for their conscientious consideration.

    Notwithstanding that this is clearly not what it says, why would such a statement even need to be made in the political platform of any party – wouldn’t it be more verbally economic not to have a plank, since the party would then not be taking any position at all?

  10. Leymann Feldenstein

    Paulie wrote:

    “The argument for alternative parties is alive and well, and will continue to grow stronger as Obama fails to deliver on bringing the troops home, restoring civil liberties in the “war on terror”, ending the drug war, or turning around the economy.”

    No political party, including the LP, can wave a magic wand and outlaw business cycles. We’ve had them before and we will have them again (and I’ve lived through worse than this one) regardless of which political party is in charge. So I think “turning the economy around” is a very subjective criteria depending on one’s personal financial situation.

    However, the other issues you mentioned can be determined more objectively and if the LP wants to make itself useful it should stop parroting Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the paleocons masquerading as libertarians now that they are out of power. The LP should stop sounding like Mitch McConnell on the economy and focus instead on the other issues you mentioned. I hate to sound like Robert Milnes, but there is something to be said for finding common ground with other alternative parties, even the ones on the left, when it comes to the issues of war (foreign and domestic) and personal liberty.

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    No political party, including the LP, can wave a magic wand and outlaw business cycles. We’ve had them before and we will have them again (and I’ve lived through worse than this one) regardless of which political party is in charge. So I think “turning the economy around” is a very subjective criteria depending on one’s personal financial situation.

    Granted. However, the government could do the economy a whole lot of good by butting out, even if this causes short term pain – and a great deal of further harm by increasing its interventions, which is like stacking an inadequate number of sandbags against an incoming tide, or prolonging a crack binge.

    However, the other issues you mentioned can be determined more objectively and if the LP wants to make itself useful it should stop parroting Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the paleocons masquerading as libertarians now that they are out of power. The LP should stop sounding like Mitch McConnell on the economy and focus instead on the other issues you mentioned. I hate to sound like Robert Milnes, but there is something to be said for finding common ground with other alternative parties, even the ones on the left, when it comes to the issues of war (foreign and domestic) and personal liberty.

    There, we certainly agree.

  12. George Phillies

    Trent,

    I think I do a reasonably good job. Your mileage may vary. Tom Knapp’s does. Of course, you may legitimately ask which platform I am thinking of. My state party deleted the “we use the national platform” and other bits at our last state convention, because the national platform keeps changing.

    However, there is one fundamental issue: I am not paid by the LNC to represent its stands. I represent my stands, just as you do.

    George

  13. Burrow Owl

    Donderoo:
    “Isn’t it funny now, to watch the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul “libertarians” going out of their way to find something to criticize the GOP on.”

    Clueless as usual, Eric.
    We don’t have to go out of our way to find something worth criticizing from the GOP.

    Wherever they go, they leave large steaming piles of it behind them. The real trick is trying not to step in it.

    Donderoo:
    “Of course, the argument for a third party is less potent right now, because the GOP, particularly the House GOP, has essentially become the Libertarian Party. ”

    Of course, Eric gets it wrong again.
    The argument for third parties grows stronger every day as more and more people begin waking up to the fact that both halves of the Republicratic Hegemony have been reaming them out with crunchy peanut butter for decades.

    Donderoo:
    “Moreoever, the Republicans just elected libertarian-leaner Michael Steele as National Chairman.”

    Michael Steele a ‘libertarian-leaner’ ???

    Eric, what planet do you hail from?

    Mr. Steele is just about as libertarian as Hillary Clinton. As a matter of fact, aside from giving an occaisional wink to the 2nd Amendment and having a wee bit more melanin in his skin cells than the Hildebeast, there ain’t a hell of a lot of difference between the two.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    George, well, yes, I voted for Barr. I don’t see anyone that anyone got “rich” on his campaign. This is not to say that there are legitimate critiques of the campaign on many levels. There are.

    I’d not seen that Ferguson has shaded things on the abortion question. If true, I think he shaded things improperly.

    You advance a conspiracy theory, however, that lacks credibility. To say the blog is a smoke screen seems a big-time stretch to me…I s’pose it’s possible, but you connect dots that are widely dispersed.

    Were I advising Donny, he should stick to facts on such matters. The platform says X. Many Ls are pro-life; many pro choice. Fair to say virtually all oppose government-sponsored abortion.

  15. Andy

    “the Republicans just elected libertarian-leaner Michael Steele as National Chairman.”

    You mean the guy who supports Affirmative Action. Yeah, that’s a real libertarian…NOT!

  16. Andy

    “Did you support Barr? The Barr Sham-paign looted our party of one and a quarter million dollars, to be distributed in large part to Barr’s cronies not to mention a political action group that appears to be run by Barr’s son. I suppose charity begins at home, so keeping the loot in the family could be viewed as a virtue. However, by the same token, supporting Barr could be viewed as supporting fraud, namely the fraud that Barr was running a Presidential campaign rather than a get-rich-quick operation for his friends.”

    Wow, George just knocked one out of the park.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    George, one more point:

    It’s my understanding that Barr DIDN’T want to run for President, and many believed Ron Paul would bolt to the LP after he was eliminated in the GOP primaries.

    Can we stipulate to that?

    If so, your argument gets weakers still. Barr was reluctant, but then he decides, “Gee, I’ll run for President as an L and enrich my friends.”

    Do you have evidence this was his motive?

    IF we want to speculate wildly, I’d say he staffed up anticipating more fundraising success than was the case. He and Verney miscalculated. Quite forgiveable, in my book, I’d of thought they’d raise more money, too. Lot of reasons for that….

    Why do you feel the need to pillory Barr, and invent motives that are not there? His campaign was run on the fly…of course mistakes were made.

    Why not say, “Great job on media, by and large. Let’s move our convention forward to give our next candidate time to fundraise. And maybe let’s be a bit more careful in selecting a candidate IF the candidate has some positions we don’t support (like DOMA).”

    Otherwise, why would anyone of high profile ever run for President as an L again?

    Why not let’s be adults, recognize we won’t ALWAYS agree, that campaigns are prone to mistakes, and be constructive about those things, rather than vicious and judgmental?

    Hey, is Rodney King a L?

  18. Robert Capozzi

    One more thing:

    “looted our party of one and a quarter million dollars,”

    Looted? Hmm, you’re making QUITE an accusation here…hope you have good legal counsel, because that sounds defamatory to me.

    And do we know that all the funds came from our party? I suspect not, so you again should consider refraining from wild accusations.

    You are too much of an asset to the LP to be opening yourself up to such legal exposures. Strongly consider ceasing and desisting.

  19. paulie cannoli Post author


    It’s my understanding that Barr DIDN’T want to run for President, and many believed Ron Paul would bolt to the LP after he was eliminated in the GOP primaries.

    Can we stipulate to that?

    I’m not sure. I’ve had people who actually know Barr tell me this. However, I’ve had other people tell me the first set of people isn’t telling the truth, and that Barr was planning to run from the time he joined the LP, or even before.


    If so, your argument gets weaker still. Barr was reluctant, but then he decides, “Gee, I’ll run for President as an L and enrich my friends.”

    Do you have evidence this was his motive?

    I’m not saying the conspiracy theory is correct, but if I wanted to make the case for it, I could. The MO was largely similar with the Barr Leadership PAC which raised money for Republicans – something like 97% went to overhead.


    IF we want to speculate wildly, I’d say he staffed up anticipating more fundraising success than was the case. He and Verney miscalculated. Quite forgiveable, in my book, I’d of thought they’d raise more money, too. Lot of reasons for that….

    I tend to think they miscalculated, but I know George and a number of other people think it was misrepresentation, not miscalculation.

    The thing is, often times it is easy to read bad motives into something that are not there.

    For example, some people on the state chairs list thought George was trying to promote his candidacy, in competition with Barr in NH, while he says he was just trying to give them an example of advertising they could use in their own campaigns, and didn’t even realize his campaign sign was popping up in people’s email because he had his images display turned off.

    Here, George is saying that Steve Gordon must be doing something wrong or underhanded, where as Steve will probably say something like that he is rapping up the data storage, or accepting a delayed payment (I haven’t asked him).

    I think both should give each other the benefit of the doubt more, but it seems to go against our nature as libertarians.


    Why do you feel the need to pillory Barr, and invent motives that are not there? His campaign was run on the fly…of course mistakes were made.

    I don’t know that we really know the motives.
    I’m willing to work on the premise that they were mistakes, although I predicted them, and can probably find old comments here and TPW (and LFV if it had not been turned into a members only club that I’m not allowed to view) to that effect. Although, that’s more work than I really want to do.


    Why not say, “Great job on media, by and large. Let’s move our convention forward to give our next candidate time to fundraise. And maybe let’s be a bit more careful in selecting a candidate IF the candidate has some positions we don’t support (like DOMA).”

    We said that before the convention. Also, a lot of us were leery of a candidate who had not gone through the state convention debates with other candidates for the nomination. I, for one, was already aware of Russ Verney’s history in the Reform Party (as was Knapp), so we were far from thrilled with a campaign that had him for a manager.

    But, even though it was close, more people than not were swayed by several arguments. One was that Barr had gone a lot further in his libertarian ideological transformation than he really had.
    Not as true as many hoped, based on some subsequent statements and articles.

    Another was that the Ron Paul supporters would jump on board (never really in the cards, since some of them believe he is still an active CIA agent, and completely killed off by snubgate). A third was that the disaffected New Right – Viguerie et al – would be on board (killed off by the Palin nomination).

    A lot of people had stars in their eyes – I would
    point out that Ron Paul was a former Congressman in 1988, and turned in more or less typical Libertarian presidential candidate results. They would say the internet tools used by the Ron Paul primary campaign had completely changed the playing field, or that our new platform was going to magically get us a lot more votes. Or that Reaganite conservatives could never reconcile with McCain. Or that Barr
    had all of Viguerie’s and Ron Paul’s fund raising lists.

    The other candidates were over-demonized, too – people kept saying Mary Ruwart was into child porn, or that Kubby had medical and legal problems that would keep him from campaigning actively or being coherent and presentable, or that he was a one issue candidate.

    Our efforts to challenge all these talking points failed.

    Have people learned a lesson? Some, maybe, but we’ll see.


    Otherwise, why would anyone of high profile ever run for President as an L again?

    We should get over the idea that former US House member is so high profile as to rise above noise level in a presidential election. Twice should be enough to disprove that theory, and if it isn’t, we can look to other parties, such as the Greens with Ms. McKinney.

    Although it’s true that Barr was a better known House member than Paul had been in the 1980s, Barr’s fame faded quite a bit in ten years since the Clinton impeachment. He was more _Surreal Life_ than _Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous_ by 2008.

    His best chance to capitalize on it was to call for Bush impeachment and put it front and center in his campaign. I told him so, and I still think it would have worked (in the sense of making him and the LP much more newsworthy).

    I also thought that he should have made joint appearances with McKinney – that’s something of a media hook, two former Georgia congresspeople from opposite sides of the fence – and also the whole Campaign for Liberty four point agenda, lots of alt-candidate debates and joint efforts, and that would have also brought a lot more support from Ron Paul people.

    Unfortunately, the impeachment strategy would have hurt him with his conservative donors and friends, and he disdained McKinney, some of his staffers didn’t get along with Campaign for Liberty staff, and Russ was feeding him crap about being too good to debate Nader, McKinney and Baldwin (especially McKinney and Baldwin), and to sell people on the idea that he would be allowed to debate McCain and Obama.

    To sum up; the next time a Congressman comes calling, don’t be so eager to jump.

    Smaller party presidential candidates have a tremendous barrier to overcome. Even Pat Buchanan could not break through it – and he had been a household name for decades, all over TV and newspapers, had served in several administrations as a high level staffer, turned in respectable performances in Republican presidential primaries, had eight figures of government money to campaign with, ran with a party that had a sitting Governor and had close to 10% in the previous presidential race. If he could barely beat Harry Browne, given all that, we need to be a lot more careful with the whole “high profile” thing. Don’t just automatically assume that C List celebrity is enough in and of itself; ask the same questions you would ask of party and movement activists seeking the nomination.


    Why not let’s be adults, recognize we won’t ALWAYS agree, that campaigns are prone to mistakes, and be constructive about those things, rather than vicious and judgmental?

    I am on board with that. Let’s not be vicious and judgmental. But let’s learn from experience.

    Hey, is Rodney King a L?

    Probably not, although you never know. You can reach him through famousVH1friends.com.

    Looted? Hmm, you’re making QUITE an accusation here…hope you have good legal counsel, because that sounds defamatory to me.

    Sounds more like a highly uncharitable, but at least somewhat plausible, explanation of observed facts. The national LP made itself all about Bob Barr for the course of the campaign (and is just now starting to transition to Wayne Root and the Washington Times/American Spectator/Heritage Foundation orbit).

    A huge difference from the way they treated, for example, Michael Badnarik. In return, Barr’s keeping his list and not sharing it with the LP, but will pimp it to every conservative group he can to help pay off campaign debt, and quite possibly use it to run for Congress as a Republican next year.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    pc: We should get over the idea that former US House member is so high profile as to rise above noise level in a presidential election.

    me: i’d say Barr DID breakthrough. His media coverage was multiples of all LP candidates, I’d say.

    obviously, some didn’t like Barr before and after. George seems to have a history of making wild accusations against other Ls. He’s written books on the subject.

    my hope is the venomous rhetoric will stop. Constructive criticism? absolutely.

  21. paulie cannoli Post author

    His media coverage was multiples of all LP candidates, I?d say.

    I’d like to see objective metrics which prove this. Thus far, all I have found is

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/11/media-appearances-bob-barr-2008-vs-harry-browne-2000/

    (and see comments).

    By breakthrough, I meant, in terms that greatly expand the name recognition, membership and finances of the party long term, increase the vote totals past presidential campaigns turned in by a great deal, increase the vote totals of downticket LP candidates, and make non-LP members take the party more seriously.

    That is what, I think, many people were expecting of Barr, and what people generally mean when they say that they want a high profile candidate.

    I think, so far, our limited experience with “celebrity” candidates is not bearing that kind of fruit. Which is not to say it can’t – but only taken together with a well-thought out and well executed strategy. Some celebrities (Nader 2000, Perot) do better than others (Nader before and since, Buchanan, and if we count former members of Congress – Paul 88, Barr, McKinney).

    All things being equal, I’ll take any small measure of celebrity we can get, but all things are not equal. We should not suspend the same questions we would ask of a Phillies, Kubby, Ruwart, Browne, Marrou or Badnarik for the supposed celebrity of Barr, Paul, Gravel, McKinney, Buchanan, etc.

    obviously, some didn?t like Barr before and after.

    I don’t know if like is the proper term here. I’ve always gotten along fine with Congressman Barr on the occasions we’ve met, for example. If he has a gregarious or unguarded side, I haven’t seen it; I’ve heard he does, but I don’t know him like that.

    But, I was wary of many of the claims made to sell his nomination, and in retrospect I believe I was correct to be wary. I don’t think it is necessarily an irredeemable error or some kind of death knell for the party as a potential force for the advancement of liberty, although I highly respect several people who think that. I also don’t see what is to be gained by being nasty about it, assuming the worst motivations, etc. That seems to me to be entirely counterproductive.


    George seems to have a history of making wild accusations against other Ls. He?s written books on the subject.

    I don’t know that they are necessarily wild accusations. Just as with Barr, his views on what happened with the national office during the Browne era document observed facts, and then interpret people’s motives uncharitably. I think the subjects of both studies are more complicated and have more shades of grey than partisans of either side – either time – are willing to consider.

    my hope is the venomous rhetoric will stop. Constructive criticism? absolutely.

    I’m glad we agree here.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    pc, here’s the thing: if fraud was committed, why not sue? if someone doesn’t have standing, have the LNC sue? if the LNC won’t sue, go in another direction that’s more satisfying.

    I just don’t see where someone gets the energy to go on concerted character assassination campaigns.

    Frankly, it just seems REAL uncool for a former candidate who lost the nomination to be behaving in this manner. Looks like sour grapes. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe my take is completely wrong. I’m adult to admit I don’t know and CAN’T know other people’s motives.

    Now the guns have turned on Donny Ferguson, who I know a bit, like personally, and don’t always agree with on all issues. If attack follows attack follows attack of leadership, a pattern begins to emerge. One wonders if Jesus or Buddha were in leadership, THEIR motives would be attacked, too. Water into wine? Must be a scam 😉

    btw, when I said “like,” it was shorthand for “don’t support politically.” thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

  23. Eric Dondero

    I agree with Carpozi and the others: Nobody got “rich” from the Barr campaign. I have friends in the LP who still have tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt for covering Barr for President campaign expenses.

    I myself, never asked for reimbursement for a shitload of items while petitioning in 7 states for Barr/Root. Those trips to the Airport to pick up all those other petitioners in St. Louis, Manchester, Boston Logan, ect… all went un-reimbursed (is that a word?). Not because I got “gipped” by LP National, but because I supported the effort, and knew they were hurting for cash.

    So, Phillies is pretty much talking out of his ass here.

  24. Eric Dondero

    Of course, when your definition of libertarianism = Anarchism, abolish the State, No government at all, Michael Steele doesn’t come across as much of a “libertarian.” But if you’re a mainstream libertarian, who doesn’t want to immediately privatize all the roads, sell of the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument, and abolish the Military, then he’s not that far away.

  25. Eric Dondero

    BTW, if you guys hadn’t heard yet, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia just came out strongly against smoking bans.

    Again, with the GOP moving more and more in the libertarian direction, even on civil liberties, there’s less and less of a need for the LP. The Libertarian Party needs to take a new tact: Backing up the GOP, and allowing Republicans to appear to be the middle-of-the-road “reasonable” libertarians.

  26. paulie cannoli Post author

    if fraud was committed, why not sue?

    I don’t think anything that rises to the level of legally provable fraud or libel has been committed by either side here. It is possible that one side or the other, or both, is ill-motivated. But, as I’ve said, I’ll operate on the most charitable interpretation of known facts I can make – to all sides. I wish they would all extend each other the same courtesy. It would make us more productive, I think.

    If attack follows attack follows attack of leadership, a pattern begins to emerge.

    My attitude toward leadership is to always be vigilant, but to always try to be constructive and respectful in my criticism.

    Thus, in comment 10, I am suggesting language that Donny could have used instead, which would not misrepresent our platform while still reaching out to the inquiry/prospect, which was his goal.

    I am not going on the attack to castigate him for one off the cuff comment on a facebook page – but, I am concerned that he should be understanding the party’s platform on this issue correctly, and represent it correctly, in the future.

    I didn’t celebrate the departure of Andrew Davis or other staffers who have left the national office. I think people who celebrate such things are exhibiting signs of short term thinking and not seeing context and larger picture, such as: who will get the job next?

    I rarely contact national staff or LNC, but often enough to have heard that there are several people who do so constantly and very disrespectfully. I think that this is tremendously counterproductive – it turns staff, especially, into a defensive/reactive mode.

    To the extent that Dr. Phillies has good points to make – and I think he doers have some – he kills the impact of that message through a combination of tone and constancy of attack, creating the impression of “sour grapes” and “boy who cried wolf,” as you say.

    This doesn’t mean staff or LNC should be above criticism, only that the criticism should become more constructive and less destructive (and self-destructive).

    btw, when I said “like,” it was shorthand for “don’t support politically.” thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  27. Eric Dondero

    Here’s a bit of breaking news, for those who are still cynical about the new Republican Party turning into a carbon copy of the Libertarian Party.

    SOUTH DAKOTA SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST TURNED BACK A DEMOCRAT-BACKED BAN ON VIRTUALLY ALL SMOKING IN THE STATE!!!

  28. paulie cannoli Post author

    By the way,

    many believed Ron Paul would bolt to the LP after he was eliminated in the GOP primaries.

    I told them then that they were dreaming on that one, too.

  29. Eric Dondero

    Let’s see the Republican-skeptics try to explain that one???

    Oh, and the AP is describing it as a big “Libertarian victory.” That’s Libertarian with a capital ‘L’ by the way.

  30. Eric Dondero

    BTW, this is a AP story that used the capital ‘L’ for Libertarian. Isn’t that incredibly ironic? The Associated Press now, essentially views the Republican Party as the Libertarian Party.

  31. Coming on the back of the LP

    “the new Republican Party turning into a carbon copy of the Libertarian Party. ”

    There’s no new Republican Party, but the New Libertarians have definitely turned into a copy of the same old Republicans.

  32. Coming on the back of the LP

    “Isn’t that incredibly ironic? The Associated Press now, essentially views the Republican Party as the Libertarian Party.”

    Yeah. Not very bright, the AP. But then again with the people in charge of the LP lately, maybe they have a point. Kind of like confusing Jonah with the whale.

  33. Coming on the back of the LP

    “SOUTH DAKOTA SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST TURNED BACK A DEMOCRAT-BACKED BAN ON VIRTUALLY ALL SMOKING IN THE STATE!!!”

    Virtually all? Would that include marijuana? Oh wait…

  34. Coming on the back of the LP

    “The Libertarian Party needs to take a new tact: Backing up the GOP, and allowing Republicans to appear to be the middle-of-the-road “reasonable” libertarians.”

    What would be new about that? New would be if they were to do something else.

  35. libertariangirl

    BTW, this is a AP story that used the capital ‘L’ for Libertarian. Isn’t that incredibly ironic? The Associated Press now, essentially views the Republican Party as the Libertarian Party.

    only dondero could make me break my recent promise to myself of not name calling people.
    you are a total ass dondero , theres nothing ironic about that , in fact im sure it was the plan all along

  36. Robert Capozzi

    Since Mr. Dondero has come up, I’d first like to say that I sometimes agree with him. I have no problem with his fusion ideas per se, and wish him the best.

    But in some ways, his tear-down tactics do remind me of Dr. Phillies’s. I almost always agree with George on policy issues, btw.

    Of course, one could say I’m tearing them down, too. I’d prefer to think I’m challenging them to adopt a more civil tone. I think we’d all be better off if we torqued up the mutual respect and torqued down the gotchas.

  37. paulie cannoli Post author

    I sometimes agree with him

    There must be something I could agree on with anyone, or just about anyone.

    I think we’d all be better off if we torqued up the mutual respect and torqued down the gotchas.

    I agree. I do like parody sites though. Eric’s been a good sport about it usually, so I’m not trying to be nasty here.

    If someone wants to go through all that trouble for me, I’d be honored.

  38. paulie cannoli Post author

    paulie that was super funny ./i>

    🙂

    I think we’d all be better off if we torqued up the mutual respect and torqued down the gotchas.

    I think it is especially important for those of us who support peace to try to practice it ourselves.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    Wiser words have never been spoken.

  40. Leymann Feldenstein

    Beware the Republican Liberty Caucus.

    A few years ago I had a flirtation with a group of libertarian-leaning Republicans within the GOP. At the time they were trying to get former Libertarian Party activists like myself to convince other LP members to join the GOP. As they seemed more interested in destroying the LP than advancing libertarian ideas I refused to get involved and found better things to do. But it seems some RLC activists are using the currrent political climate to shill for the GOP at the expense of the LP.

    For my part, if I was going to join one party or the other, it would be the one that promotes the welfare state rather than the one that promotes the warfare state.

  41. paulie cannoli Post author

    For my part, if I was going to join one party or the other, it would be the one that promotes the welfare state rather than the one that promotes the warfare state.

    Been there, done that. Discovered that both the red and blue teams promote a unified welfare-warfare state (and then try to tell us it’s moral, and they know better what’s good for us than we do).

    I think we do need liberty caucuses within both major parties, and that they should spend all their time on working to promote liberty within those parties.

    We need more than one strategy; I like countereconomics, single issue politics, survival/preparedness, philosophical education, dual citizenships…you name it.

  42. Sean Scallon

    “The Libertarian Party needs to take a new tact: Backing up the GOP, and allowing Republicans to appear to be the middle-of-the-road “reasonable” libertarians.”

    That’s not a bad strategy, even coming from Mr. Rittberg. Ron Paul would certainly sign on to it.

    There’s just one problem, the Republicans themselves. It is because of them that the American taxpayer owns 80 percent of AIG. Republicans are responsible for the massive growth in government, particularly Southern Republicans. It’s their peanut and cotton subsidies, it’s their militarism, it’s their TVA, it’s their tax subsidies to auto companies, it’s their NASA. They complain about socialism and they’re some of the biggest socialists on the planet.

    When Republicans in Congress are willing to admit to their socialism and repudiate Bush II and when their willing to taylor their policies to Ron Paul’s ideas then things can move forward. Until then, the LP needs to exist because its certainly not the RLC that makes Republicans less socialists judging by the track record.

  43. Michael Seebeck

    Obviously it never occurred to the estimable and highly intelligent Mr. Dondero that the only reason the term “Libertarian” was used instead of “libertarian” was bad proofreading, something the AP is notorious in their fourth-grade-level reporting.

    Since it never occurred to his third-grade mentality, he then decides to spin it to suit his warped view of things in his strange world.

    Obviously it’s utter bullshit to us in this reality.

  44. Leymann Feldenstein

    I’ve always thought of the GOP as “Socialism Lite” – compassionately conservative and less expensive.

    When they’re out of power they talk like libertarians but when they’re in control they govern like Democrats.

    In many ways Bob Barr was a microcosm of the GOP. When Barr was a Congressman he voted like a paleoconservative. After he lost his seat he became a Libertarian. Coincidence, or convenience?

  45. Steven R Linnabary

    Oh, and the AP is describing it as a big “Libertarian victory.”

    Eric, I think the AP was using “Libertarian” as a derogatory epithet. Similar to when right wing talk show hosts use “socialist” to describe democrats or when real Libertarians describe most republicans.

    PEACE

  46. George Phillies

    Capozzi @21 claims

    “George seems to have a history of making wild accusations against other Ls. He’s written books on the subject.”

    I’m calling Capozzi. Back up your claims on this. I say you are making thet claim up out of whole cloth.

    #1) Name books (Geoffrey, in American English ‘books’ is the plural) accusing an L of anything.. I will spot you Funding Liberty for one, but what is the other? The Minutegirls? Perhaps Elementary Lectures in Statistical Mechanics? It certainly can’t be my current book. I’m still writing Phenomenology of Polymer Solution Dynamics. Stand Up for liberty, of course, mentions no Libertarians.

    #2) Let’s hear some of those “wild claims”. Of course Capozzi may have to buy Funding Liberty to read it.

    Show us some ‘wild claims’ from the books, with text, or expect to be called a prevaricator. Perhaps even a fabulator. Whenever it appears appropriate.

  47. mattc

    “Geoffrey, in American English ‘books’ is the plural”

    Are you as disrespectful to your students and coworkers at WPI as you are to people online George? I’ve always wondered that.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    George, from the general to the specific. Generally, I’m on a civility campaign. These personal, intra-L attacks are poisonous and counterproductive, and must end. You are only one of many who engage in maligning fellow Ls, and I’m sure I myself could be more cordial.

    I’ve not actually read your book (not “books,” OK?) on the LP, but I do find the concept of writing such a book emblematic of disproportionate efforts to tear down other Ls. I do know people who have, volunteer Ls who felt they were maligned in it personally, with facts twisted into strange unstated, Phillies-inferred motives that were not reality.

    By all indications, you spend time reviewing Barr campaign FEC filings, pulling out raw data, then posting isolated line items as “proof” of profligacy and irresponsibility, things like “limo services.” There COULD be reasonable explanations and justifications, yet those are not entertained or even apparently considered. As a would-be nominee (nationally, at least), you seem to have a tin ear regarding whether your own critiques just might sound like sour grapes. I’d expect more thought and rigor from a scientist. It appears you have a propensity to twist de minimis facts into proofs of wrongdoing, which appears to be your apparent narrative of all things Barr.

    You claim Barr was in the campaign to enrich his staff, yet obviously no one got anything close to “rich.” He and his staff could make LOTS more money doing other things in more permanent jobs.

    You’ve now turned your attacks on Donny Ferguson, inventing theories about “smoke screens” based on utterly disconnected events.

    Frankly, this has ALREADY become far too long and litigious for my tastes. I chose not to get dragged into this quagmire. If you don’t see a pattern in your behavior, then you don’t. I do. And I think it’s a shame, because you have so much to offer the LP and the cause of liberty. My interactions with you have been civil, so it does appear to me you have it in you.

    Why spend valuable time and energy attacking fellow Ls? What possible good can come of it? Why do these destructive things?

    I dunno. Maybe I’m completely incorrect. Maybe we need you to be chief ethics officer of the LP. I’ve been wrong before! Maybe I too should walk into traffic 😉

  49. libertariangirl

    GP__Phenomenology of Polymer Solution Dynamics.

    me__ for christs sake that sounds smart , I have no idea what its about but i bet its super important .i probably wont read it george , no offense:)

  50. paulie cannoli Post author

    Robert @ 55

    I think George makes good points e.g.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/02/libertarian-party-daily-poll-which-libertarian-idea-most-helps-your-family/#comment-40184

    Ending the war on drugs and restoring civil rights to millions of convicted Americans, thus allowing them to work for a living.

    Repealing DOMA and protecting millions of LGBTQPL Americans, which includes children and relatives of a fair number of us.

    Ending wiretapping of your phones, so that your private matters and business calls are not sold to the highest bidder by corrupt NSA employees.

    Barring torture and prosecuting the torturers. all of them, before your children are tortured by your local drug police.

    The Libertarian Party ? it flies less well on two right wings.

    See subsequent discussion on some of the terminology issues.

    For that matter, I think that having watchdogs in the party to make sure the party and its candidates spend money wisely, and on what they raised it for, and that the candidates and staff of the party don’t misrepresent its platform, are all useful functions.

    However, I fully agree with you about the importance of doing so in a civil manner and giving each other the benefit of the doubt.

    Likewise, I think we really need to stop making these internal battles our primary focus. Th eparty desperately needs to move to a field organizing base model (rather than just money, meetings, offices and ballot access by itself).

    We need active youth organizing, precinct and county level organizing all over the country, project based fundraising (not just general fund), street activism – not just monthly supperclubs; and we need to database, coordinate and utilize members time, skills and volunteer abilities at least as much as their money.

    We need to diversify our membership in every demographic category, and reach out to the large population of left-center-libertarians which we have never attempted to tap nearly as much as converts from the right.

    There is a ton of work to be done in all these areas. I understand that some people who share this ultimate vision feel that the first step has to be to fight an internal party battle to get rid of the people in charge now, yet I think this is the wrong end from which to approach the problem.

    If our main focus is on infighting – particularly in a nasty way – then all it does is turn members and prospects off, and none of our good ideas get implemented. Even if we win the battle, we lose the war. The entire “inside clique” of the time, which some people spent just as much energy to get rid of, was gotten rid of in 2002. Things did not get better; they got worse.

    The opposite of this approach is illustrated by Wes Benedict in

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/libertarian-national-committee-budget-controversy/#comment-36890

    I combined Aaron?s tactic of writing a long long description about all the great work he?s done, with the openness that Lee Wright and others are requesting, bundled them into a fund raising letter, and raised a ton of money in 2007. 48K in two months for a STATE party. It was right after the Badnarik for Congress campaign had left some people concerned about how their donations were spent so I erred on the side of openness. I gave a less than 51% chance we?d make it, and I was fine either way because working that job was tough for low pay. But when everyone came through, I felt I ought to stay two more years and give it my best which is what I did. Here?s the big money-raising letter: http://lptexas.org/docs/EDLetter2007-01.pdf

    I think the approach that Wes explains in that letter is a much better way of solving the problems which Dr. Phillies and I agree on than the constant perpetuating of inside baseball, with the pitchers on both sides aiming for the batter’s nuts, and the batters for the pitcher’s head.

  51. George Phillies

    Mattc
    I suspect that Geoffrey has enough of a sense of humor to get the joke.

    Mr. Capozzi,

    First you make the claim that I have written books (plural) attacking fellow Libertarians.
    Now you admit that you have never examined the books.

    Then you claim that I make wild accusations. It turns out that you never examined the book to see if these claims were wild, or even if they were to be found in the books.

    Now you claim that ‘enrich’ (which on our side of the Atlantic means ‘make richer’) implies that someone became rich. It does not. Your comment about making more money elsewhere here is just a debating trick, having nothing to do with the factual truth of my statement.

    Finally, you claim that your interactions with me have been ‘civil’. That’s after you told three separate lies about me. You fled from the first two lies when I called you on them. That mock civility.

    Now you claim I posted “isolated line items”.
    In fact, as can be seen on TheDailyLiberty.com I post not ‘isolated line items’ but every line item, sometimes in aggregated form (for example, all the credit card charges are aggregated, rather than listed dolalrs and pennies at a time). Under your mark of false civility you post, in a totally bland manner, statement after statement that is simply not true.

    As my acquaintances in Massachusetts note, when I brought the bright light of truth to the doings of my state party, my opponents would always say that my statements were false, but they never stated any specifics, because I had the facts, and they knew it. Instead, they had to resort to namecalling just as you do above. I mean, you cannot get much more rigorous than accounting, which is what I am doing here.

    If you want to analyze my own campaign’s financials, you are welcome to do so. I will be happy to explain what we did, and why. You are even welcome to search for $18,000 in limousine costs.

    The next time you show up and attack on of my fellow libertarians, as you have attacked me, I shall perhaps show up to remind people of your reliability, or rather, the record of non-reliability of your statements.

  52. paulie cannoli Post author

    If you want to analyze my own campaign’s financials, you are welcome to do so. I will be happy to explain what we did, and why.

    OK. Good idea; I think those types of analyses are useful, especially if people read them, think about them, and learn from what worked as well as what didn’t.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    George, I see you COMPLETELY miss my point, which is a “forest” one, not one about “trees.” Your talking about trees, that is, specific minutiae.

    Just clarifying a few things, then I am DONE with this matter.

    All I’d initially said was: “George seems to have a history of making wild accusations against other Ls. He’s written books on the subject.”

    Yes, I WAS technically incorrect. It was ONE book. Sorry, this is an informal comment blog. This is NOT NOT NOT a courtroom, sir! If this proves I’m a liar (vs. a tiny improper plural mistake maker), we’re on different planets!

    Congratulations, though, George, you apparently can read minds, gleaning motives that even the thinker is unaware of. (A liar is one who PURPOSELY misrepresents, by all accounts. My incorrect plural-ization on an informal comment blog doesn’t fit.)

    Perhaps in your mind you have “proved” that I too am a liar. OK, then, here’s a thought: If that’s so, just disregard everything I say!

    I recall you went on and on about limo services without any analysis on LFV, so again you misunderstand my point. Big time. Or do I misremember?

    Yes, you had “facts” regarding limo services. But I saw no attempt at analyzing the facts: What constituted “limo services”? Did it include cabs from the airport? How much did the limos costs vs cabs? Why did they use them?

    Mole hills DO look like mountains to ants.

    Looked to me like you saw that line and went ballistic, inferring all sorts of malicious intent or irresponsible behavior. But maybe not. Consider honestly asking yourself what YOUR motive was.

    Maybe you’ll get this and maybe you won’t, but: Did you ever consider asking questions about the line, vs. singling them out, posting them, and drawing conclusions in public fora? And did you ever consider that such charges coming from a failed (and bitter?) nominee who was at the time playing legalistic games with presidential ballot access rendered you non-credible to make such charges?

    But maybe you’re right. Maybe Bob Barr, Donny Ferguson, Jim Lark, Steve Gordon, Shane Corey, Bill Redpath, Aaron Starr, Stewart Flood, your former MA enemies, (just how long is this list?) etc., etc. are all such corrupt figures – looking to cash in on the LP – and that the world needs George Phillies to play the LP’s Gadfly with Grievances role. I do hope you don’t go all the way to that L. Neil Smith place, suggesting anyone who doesn’t do things the Phillies Way should “walk into traffic,” too. It seems a sad and angry place to me, one I’d surely not want for myself or anyone else.

    I’ve stipulated that I too could be more civil. How about you?

    Like I said, if you don’t see the behavior pattern, then you don’t. The most important questions I ask are WHY you go on these campaigns? What good can possibly come of them?

    Peace, out.

  54. paulie cannoli Post author

    Mole hills DO look like mountains to ants.

    Ants are some strong little buggers.

    If Phillies has ant-like strength in proportion to his mass…you really don’t want to get on his bad side.

  55. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Dondero,

    The GOP, it seems, always pretends to be libertarians when they do not possess power to enact any real change. Whenever they do gain said power, they immediately abandon any libertarian principles and begin building up state power.

    While the Republicans held the majority in our federal state, I recognised the Democratic Party as the lesser of the two evils. I currently recognise the Republican Party as the lesser of the two evils. But in either case, the party being recognised as a lesser evil is only being recognised as such because–for the time being it lacks power–it (A) stands in vague opposition to the status quo and (B) lacks the power to enact even more repressive statutes. As soon as the lesser evil gains power, it always sheds whatever libertarian qualities it embodied during its reign as an opposition party, thereby becoming the greater evil.

    Third parties are the only parties that readily gain my respect. Why is this? It’s because members of third parties know they could easily join the Establishment merely by joining one of the two Establishment parties. Power is within their reach. Yet, principle being what it is, they choose to stand their ground. It’s certainly not impossible that, should a libertarian party gain majority support in this country, it would shed its libertarian values just as the two Establishment parties do cyclically, but it seems less likely, if for no other reason the massive amount of effort it would take for any alternative party to enter the arena of power.

    I’m not saying that I’m above voting for the occassional Democrat or Republican. (I thought Ehrlich was the best (or least evil) of the four Maryland candidates for governor, for example.) My point, instead, is that alternative parties are far more important to the sort of voters likely to visit this blog than you–and certainly others–make them out to be.

    Respectfully,
    Alex Peak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *