Libertarian Party of Alabama Chair Steve Gordon discusses Tea Parties on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow

From The Raw Story by David Edwards and John Byrne:



As conservatives coalesce in nationwide protests against rising taxes, government spending and what they call the “bailout mentality” of President Barack Obama’s Administration, the ship appears to have sprung a leak.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Tuesday evening, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) media coordinator Steve Gordon decried what he characterized as an attempt by mainstream conservative Republicans to hijack a long-cherished libertarian cause. Paul was a longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

Gordon brought Maddow a gift of Southern tea bags — using them as a metaphor for what he said was a Southern version of conservatism, sweetened by taxes and deficit spending.

Gordon singled out former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia native, and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

“Newt Gingrich is a good example,” Gordon said. “He could be one of these two tea bags because he likes his tea bags sweetened with TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] funding. This other one could be Mike Huckabee, ‘Tax Hike Mike’ because he likes his tea bag sweetened with tax increases. So you see we’ve got a bunch of republican, senior Republican officials in the deep south who can’t tell if their tea bags are swinging from the left or the right.”

Last year, supporters of Paul’s presidential campaign tried to fly a blimp to Boston, where they planned to dump tea in the Boston harbor.

The media coordinator for the Texas Republican says that Republicans have “co-opted” their message.

“Newt Gingrich of all people should not be involved in any movement to decrease deficit spending,” Gordon quipped.

Gordon spoke about a specific Alabama protest event where the conservative 501 (c)(3) Freedom Works tried to set up a rally in Birmingham where “nobody showed up,” but said that his own rally was more successful.

“It’s important the people at the grassroots level stick to our guns and say no when they try to co-opt our message,” Gordon said.

Gordon told The Washington Independent Tuesday, “Bringing in someone like Gingrich takes away from the message. Newt Gingrich enabled George W. Bush, he enabled the big spending, he lobbied conservative Republicans to compromise their principles and support Medicare Part D.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Apr. 14, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com



Here are some of the posters from the Georgia Libertarians discussed in the video, posted at Atlanta’s Creative Loafing:



-Paulie

80 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of Alabama Chair Steve Gordon discusses Tea Parties on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gordon did a really good job. He played the “hokey southerner card,” which apparently bugs some people, but by doing so he managed to keep Maddow somewhat off-balance and get the message out, which is what counts. Usually it’s Maddow who does the needling. He brought her up short.

  2. Pingback: Tea Party roundup « Next Free Voice

  3. paulie Post author

    TLK,

    I agree. That was very well done.

    At the Liberty Papers,
    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2009/04/16/md-and-al-two-tea-party-items-of-interest/

    Steve writes

    Alabama

    The following blog comment (from a source I personally know) illustrates that the Birmingham/Shelby County Tea Party stuck to their activist guns:

    The highlight of the event in Birmingham was Beth Chapman, our Secretary of State.

    Unbeknowst to most people, she showed up unannounced at the back of the stage and demanded to speak. Apparently she wasn’t there when I announced that no elected officials would be speaking and that at this rally politicians would listen to we the people.

    As a matter of fact, she wasn’t there when the Rainy Day Patriots (25 in number) stood on 280 in the middle of a tornado warning with their protest signs. She wasn’t there during our organizational meetings. She wasn’t there during setup of the event. And she certainly wasn’t there during cleanup.

    Needless to say, she wasn’t a very happy camper when she was told “NO”. I guess politicians are not used to being told no because she lingered for another 30 minutes quibling for a speaking spot.

    It was a great day in Alabama when a group of citizens can grow their numbers from 25 to 7000 in a couple of weeks and tell our politicians “NO!”

    Chapman is Alabama’s Republican Secretary of State. Commenter Marcelo Munoz is a local Campaign for Liberty organizer.

    Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Tuscaloosa.

  4. d.eris

    Many Libertarians are expressing disappointment at the way in which Republicans like Gingrich have hijacked the tea party dialogue. But the surge of activism presents a grand opportunity for grassroots organizing and should not be passed up. Every LP chapter should be putting together such flyers.

  5. paulie Post author

    Many Libertarians are expressing disappointment at the way in which Republicans like Gingrich have hijacked the tea party dialogue. But the surge of activism presents a grand opportunity for grassroots organizing and should not be passed up. Every LP chapter should be putting together such flyers.

    I agree.

    These could do double duty at anti-tax and antiwar protests:

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/23/taxes-of-evil-2-2/

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/taxes-of-evil-2/

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/31/state-of-the-empire-2/

  6. Libertarian Joseph

    Steve, the socialists on MSNBC were just using you to discredit the tea parties. You pretty much fell for it lol. Maddow is loving the Obama style fascism sweeping the nation.

  7. Libertarian Joseph

    I don’t agree with GOP on everything, but atleast these protests are about SPENDING ONLY, not their retarded social policies. Who really cares who started it? Politicans need to see that there’s ALOT of people that don’t want their stupid spending.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    Observation: I get the sense that liberals like to use Libertarians to beat up Republicans. Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and now Steve Gordon.

    Frankly, I’d take MORE of this exploitation, but when an L is in this position, he or she should keep this in the back of his or her mind.

    Gordon went into the weeds a bit on this one. The bit about Alan Keyes daughter was real obscure…so obscure that I didn’t know what he was referring to. (And I don’t care, since I don’t care about Keyes. I find him uninteresting and a bit daft.)

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Actually, Gordon took control of the interview from the start.

    Maddow was all prepped to push the “C’mon, you guys are just disgruntled Republicans, aren’t you?” line, and he took it away from her and never gave her a chance to wedge it in.

    He portrayed the Republicans as being just like the Democrats on taxing and spending, which was the last thing Maddow wanted her audience to hear …

    …. and then he rubbed salt in the wound by taking away Maddow’s “I’m socially liberal but I bet you’re a deep south troglodyte” card with the Keyes line. “How Keyes treated his daughter” is that he pretty much publicly disowned her when she came out as a lesbian.

    That’s as close as I’ve seen any guest come to slam-dunking Maddow. It was a good day’s work.

  10. Robert Capozzi

    tom, I said a bit in the weeds. He generally did a good job. I really, really doubt that most people knew about the Keyes history.

    Ls have that propensity to use obscure references in debates. Ex: Ron Paul railing about habeas corpus during the R prez debates. Guiliani laughed at him, and the Rockwell crowd misinterpreted the laugh, IMO. I suspect he was laughing because Dr. Paul had spoken Latin in a national debate.

    So, if Gordon had used some bridging language, the point would have been far more effective. He could have said something like:

    “Yes, I’ve heard about the arrows. Alan Keyes is behind it. Keyes — once UN Ambassador under Reagan — is a right wing extremist and candidate for hire who has disowned his daughter for coming out as a lesbian. That’s a strange way to show one’s support for family values.

    Rachel, I’d put this stunt by Alan Keyes in the ‘consider the source’ file. This Tea Party movement is about REALLY getting the government off our backs.”

    Or something. Sound bites only work if viewers get the reference.

  11. Richard Cooper

    Wasn’t Steve Gordon one of the leaders in the Alabama RLC chapter founding? I don’t see anything wrong with being a member of both the LP and RLC. I am myself. It is a useful listening post.

    But I think it is inappropriate if not unethical to be in the leadership of competing organizations.
    Either be in the LP leadership or the RLC leadership.

  12. a different paul

    Libertarian Joseph – granted, Maddow was using the LP. But it can work both ways. The Libertarian Party right now has an opportunity to use the media, too.

    Right now the Democrats are looking to kick the Republicans when down. The Libertarians ought to be out in front, pushing this hi-jacking theme, noting the hypocrisy of Republicans protesting spending, when most of the $11 trillion debt happened during their presidential administrations.

    If Libertarians have this brief opportunity to put themselves front and center on news programs that normally wouldn’t give them time of day, why not take that opportunity?

  13. Luke

    I agree that republicans need to recommitt themselves to smaller government but I disagree with him on Huckabee. I supported Keyes during the election for a portion of the time because of his prolife principles and the Fairtax. Which huckabee also supports that is why I supported him in the the primaries. He also lowered property taxes.

  14. Tim in Ohio

    “I don’t agree with GOP on everything, but atleast these protests are about SPENDING ONLY, not their retarded social policies.”

    Not so, not so. The Charleston WV Tea Party was actually ended with a prayer asking God to help ban gay marriage.

  15. paulie Post author

    Observation: I get the sense that liberals like to use Libertarians to beat up Republicans. Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and now Steve Gordon.

    Frankly, I’d take MORE of this exploitation, but when an L is in this position, he or she should keep this in the back of his or her mind.

    I agree, and I think Steve is media savvy and knows the game. I think he played it very well.

    And I hope we take advantage of more media opportunities from the moderate progressives to beat up on more Republicans more often.

    Exploit us, please…more, harder, deeper…don’t stop!

    Gordon went into the weeds a bit on this one. The bit about Alan Keyes daughter was real obscure…so obscure that I didn’t know what he was referring to. (And I don’t care, since I don’t care about Keyes. I find him uninteresting and a bit daft.)

    Actually, I saw Steve at the Tuscaloosa Tea Party (for a minute before he was off to Birmingham) and he explained that to me. Keyes ostracized his daughter for being a lesbian.

    The DC neocons invited Keyes to speak and also announced plans to point “Tea Party Crasher” signs at any “extremists” who showed up. Maddow was setting Steve up for linkage of Libertarians to “extremism” – to include also white nationalism, grand conspiracy theorists, etc. – and he deflected it by attacking the Republicans from a culturally liberal position. Additionally, Maddow is apparently lesbian, so that particular line caught her off guard, as she made clear.

    I think it was actually a brilliant move.

  16. robert capozzi

    not sure Maddow even KNOWS who Keyes is, but I suspect 99% of viewers didn’t, and 99.9% didn’t know about his daughter.

    so, he may’ve scored a debating point among those in the know, but his performance was suboptimal. besting maddow wasn’t the exercise.

    but, for correct-yet-ultimately-a-failure-on-TV has to go to Dave Bergland. At the 1983 Convention, he answered a TV reporter’s question, Aren’t Ls anarchists?, “Yes, some of us are anarchists and some of us are minarchists.”

    A for accuracy. F for media savvy.

  17. paulie Post author

    So, if Gordon had used some bridging language, the point would have been far more effective. He could have said something like:

    “Yes, I’ve heard about the arrows. Alan Keyes is behind it. Keyes — once UN Ambassador under Reagan — is a right wing extremist and candidate for hire who has disowned his daughter for coming out as a lesbian. That’s a strange way to show one’s support for family values.

    Rachel, I’d put this stunt by Alan Keyes in the ‘consider the source’ file. This Tea Party movement is about REALLY getting the government off our backs.”

    There wasn’t enough time to say all that.

    The basic jujitsu here was that he took her off guard, even if the point was lost on most of the TV audience – it clearly was not lost on the host, as could be seen from her reaction.

  18. robert capozzi

    hmm, maybe she knew, maybe she didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about.

    yeah, my bite was too long. maybe just: oh, it takes all kinds. the tea party movement is all about stopping the fiscal insanity in DC, so I won’t be deterred by a few malcontents.

  19. paulie Post author

    Right now the Democrats are looking to kick the Republicans when down. The Libertarians ought to be out in front, pushing this hi-jacking theme, noting the hypocrisy of Republicans protesting spending, when most of the $11 trillion debt happened during their presidential administrations.

    If Libertarians have this brief opportunity to put themselves front and center on news programs that normally wouldn’t give them time of day, why not take that opportunity?

    Exactly!

  20. paulie Post author

    Luke, the “fair tax” is a huge misnomer.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance168.html

    The Flat Tax Is Not Flat and the FairTax Is Not Fair
    by Laurence M. Vance

    Laurence Vance, Aaron Zelman of the JPFO, Mark Yannone and others also have many other good articles explaining the
    myriad problems with this dangerous scheme.

    Huckabee is bad on economic issues, bad on social issues, and I’m pretty sure he’s a warmonger too. If he has any redeeming values, I’m not aware of them.

  21. mdh

    The fair tax is a bad idea. I’ve done some writing on why, as well. It comes down to ending up with more money in the pockets of the bankers, and less money in the pockets of the average citizenry.

    Huckabee’s only redeeming value is that he’s polite, respectable, and a decent guy overall. I’d watch a ball game with him any time. Politically, he’s fairly opposite me on a lot of big issues.

  22. Donald Raymond Lake

    If Steven Gordon was REALLY media savvy, then Bob ‘Get me a Watch so I do not miss another pan alternative politics event’ Barr would have been THE Teddy Roosevelt II Bull Moose candidate of 2008! And the mangled take over, manipulation of [so called] Third Party Watch will be remembered by the Fairness Police for years.

    2008: what a year it could have been!

    Say what you mean; Mean what you say!

    And may I take a

  23. Peter Gemma

    Steve did a great job … Maddow was sweet (ahem) in her interview with him (albeit she may have had some hidden agenda of undercutting the GOP in the process) … the Keyes thing was 99.999% obscure, but Steve admitted he was taken off guard. The good news at the tail end of the interview was her admitting she was taken by surprise too: I think that as a lesbian she appreciated the remark and may invite Steve back again.

  24. paulie Post author

    DL,

    Steve’s control over the Barr campaign was limited. I think they could have done much better with him as campaign manager than they did with Verney.

    Barr would have been THE Teddy Roosevelt II Bull Moose candidate of 2008!

    Maybe if he was an ex-president.

    Fairness Police

    Paging internal affairs bureau…come in IAB…anyone there? Hello?

  25. Donald Raymond Lake

    Paulie:

    Bull Moose, may be if he were a serious contender and a former Republican. Oh, he was!

    Why do Libs lie, deflect, and non sequitor so often. Is it the ‘training’ that they get in their local county meetings!

    Paulie, why are so surprised not to taken seriously, you hardly ever say any thing serious!

  26. paulie Post author

    former Republican

    Former Republicans are a dime a dozen. Being a former Republican is not sufficient.

    If he was a former president, maybe he would have done as well as TR.

    As a former congressman, he did about as well as then-former congressman Ron Paul in 1988, significantly better than former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in 2008 , and not quite as well as former congressman John Schmitz in 1972.

  27. paulie Post author

    Actually, I’ll have to look this up again. Schmitz may have been a sitting member of Congress at the time.

  28. Libertarian Joseph

    #24

    “The fair tax is a bad idea. I’ve done some writing on why, as well. It comes down to ending up with more money in the pockets of the bankers, and less money in the pockets of the average citizenry.”

    Here’s why both the “fairtax” AND “flat tax” are BAD, bad, BADDDD ideas: http://mises.org/story/3389

    I love mises.org ! We should be fighting to eliminate the current system and replace it with nothing. No tax is justified. none

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    “[Steve Gordon’]s control over the Barr campaign was limited.”

    That’s a dramatic understatement.

    Post-nomination, Gordon’s role was pretty much strictly on the online side, and he spent much of the summer dealing with family health issues.

    Even pre-nomination, by the time of the Denver convention, my (admittedly outsider’s) view was that he’d been somewhat set aside as a strategic advisor in favor of Verney et al. The Barr campaign made some boneheaded mistakes in Denver that it likely wouldn’t have made if Gordon had been setting the line.

  30. Gene Trosper

    If Maddow wanted to undercut the GOP by using the LP, then she should feel free because we should be actively attempting to undercut the GOP as well.

  31. Donald Raymond Lake

    Paulie [or what ever your REAL name is………]

    ‘Former Republicans are a dime a dozen. Being a former Republican is not sufficient.

    If he was a former president, maybe he would have done as well as TR.”

    Let’s see TR stayed around for an hour AFTER HE WAS WOUNDED WITH A HAND GUN in 1912. Bob Barr can’t make it to promised pan alternative political seminar for love or money [or votes]!

  32. Ross Levin

    I’ll bet Maddow and a bit of her audience knows about Keyes and his daughter. Maddow is a lesbian and has a following that loves to bash Keyes, if Dailykos is any indicator.

  33. Pingback: The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » A very special thank you note…

  34. robert capozzi

    ok, ross, so that exchange understood by 2% vs 1%, perhaps? 3%?

    a time waster. grand scheme, a relatively small underperformance. learn, and move on…..

  35. sunshinebatman

    Maddow’s regular audience is what, 0.5% ? Easily half of her regular audience understood the Keyes slam. The show’s audience was the target audience; not monday-morning-QB LP carping chorus.

    & you don’t have to guess re Maddow — watch the video. she clearly understood. It impressed her and will likely earn Gordon a return invitation. That was a slam dunk, not an “underperformance”. Libertarians should learn from Gordon’ successful appearance as we move on.

  36. Steven R Linnabary

    not sure Maddow even KNOWS who Keyes is, but I suspect 99% of viewers didn’t, and 99.9% didn’t know about his daughter.

    All the activist lesbians I know are VERY aware of Keyes and what he did to his daughter. I would put Rachel in the category of politically aware lesbian.

    And all the lesbians I know watch Maddow regularly. Mr Gordon played his host well.

    PEACE

  37. paulie Post author

    Paulie [or what ever your REAL name is………]

    Paul is my real name. Paulie is a commonly used variation of Paul in NYC, where I grew up. Before that I was in the USSR, where it was Pavel, which translates as Paul. An equivalent for Paulie in Russian is Pasha.

    Speaking of real names, where are all the other prestigiously degreed, triple named members of Citizens for a Better Veterans Home that used to post on TPW (all of whom, curiously, have the same exact unique writing style as Donald Raymond Lake, or whatever his real name is?)

    Let’s see TR stayed around for an hour AFTER HE WAS WOUNDED WITH A HAND GUN in 1912. Bob Barr can’t make it to promised pan alternative political seminar for love or money [or votes]!

    A lot of us slammed Barr for skipping the We Agree event. IPR is the site that coined the term snubgate.

    But if you want to fantasize that not skipping it (or anything else he could have reasonably been able to do) would have magically propelled Barr to TR-like performance, you are only making yourself look even more foolish.

    TR, as a former president, outranks a former congressman by a couple of orders of magnitude; that’s just the reality, all other factors aside.

    Barr’s performance can more reasonably be compared to other ex-members of congress who ran for president in recent years.

    By the way, I checked and John Schmitz was a sitting member of Congress in 1972, as was John Anderson in 1980.

    So, in addition to McKinney 2008 and Ron Paul 1988, the other direct comparison I can thinkof off the top of my head (from wikipedia):


    In 1980, Rarick secured the AIP nomination with Eileen Knowland Shearer of California (the wife of AIP founder William K. Shearer) as his running mate, but he finished in seventh place, with 40,906 votes (or just 0.05 percent). Rarick’s most respectable showings were in Louisiana, where he polled 10,333 votes (0.67 percent and about the same number that Maddox had received four years earlier) and in Alabama where he captured 15,010 votes (1.12 percent). Overall, his totals were so meager as to have been omitted from most presidential election tallies.

  38. paulie Post author

    Gene: If Maddow wanted to undercut the GOP by using the LP, then she should feel free because we should be actively attempting to undercut the GOP as well.

    Robert: gene, yes, by reaching out to L leaning Rs.

    Paul: As well as L leaning Ds, Gs and Is.

  39. Steven R Linnabary

    ok, then, maybe Steve was narrowcasting to 5% of the audience.

    The entire Maddow Show is “narrowcasting” to the lesbian target audience.

    Others may watch, but she does have a target audience.

    PEACE

  40. robert capozzi

    paulie, yes, if undercutting the Rs attracts L leaning Ds and Is, by all means. My point was different, however. Castigating all Rs is no way to attract those in the GOP who are inclined to join us.

  41. robert capozzi

    steve, interesting, do you have the demographic research on that?

    Perhaps we may see a spike in lesbian membership! most excellent!

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    It amazes me how often the “practical” set doesn’t understand practical politics.

    It isn’t Steve Gordon’s show. It’s Rachel Maddow’s show.

    The fact that he was able to run the ball in the direction he wanted it to go instead of the direction she intended it to go at all is in itself a victory.

    If you want a Libertarian to be able to say what he wants, in the way he wants to say it, without interruption, you’re going to have to shell out money for infomercial time. In the real world, our relationship to the media is that they let us on when they think they can use us.

    Rule #1: If you can get the media, you take it, even if it looks like it might turn into unfriendly media.

    Rule #2: You address yourself to the show’s audience, not to whatever audience you might be comfortable addressing. Guess what: “L-leaning Rs” aren’t Rachel Maddow’s audience. Her audience is mostly center-left “liberals” to far-left “progressives.”

    Rule #3: If you have an opportunity to get your message out in a way that makes that show’s audience view you positively, you do. If you’re also able to impress the host, that’s a good thing, too.

    Maddow’s clear intent was to bring in a southern troglodyte to confirm the MSM line that the Tea Parties were just “Republican Astro-Turf” and make Libertarians look like pawns and/or stalking horses in that Astro-Turf operation.

    Gordon took it away from her from the git-go. He immediately launched not on Obama and “you libruls,” but on big-spending, big-government Republicans. He portrayed the GOP shills as invaders/impostors versus the real Tea Party movement, rather than confirming Maddow’s line that they were the evil architects of that movement.

    Then, if he didn’t close the deal, he at least drew up the host’s subliminal objection short. The center-left media had had a field day with Keyes’s treatment of his daughter. The LGBT community in particular had pointed to that behavior as a prime example of intolerance. Maddow’s regular audience knew this quite well … and Gordon basically told them “we’re on YOUR side.” And the look on Maddow’s face was pretty much “wow … knock me over with a feather, this guy’s for real and knows what he’s talking about — whodathunkit?”

  43. G.E.

    Meanwhile, TPW is back down the drain…although there was nothing new there in months, at least the archive was back fora while. At the moment, it’s gone again.

    Where’s Steve Perkins???

  44. G.E.

    not sure Maddow even KNOWS who Keyes is, but I suspect 99% of viewers didn’t, and 99.9% didn’t know about his daughter.

    Classic example of someone (Capozzi) not knowing something that’s common knowledge (at least among political junkies who watch cable talk shows) and therefore assuming that it’s obscure. EVERYONE knows who Keyes is and his story. Jeez!!!

  45. Rocky Eades

    @ #37 – Thank you Gene!! F**k the GOP! The sooner it ceases to exist the better off the world will be. I have no sympathy for it and will not waste one moment defending it from a trashing. If individuals who identify themselves as republicans are so heavily self identified with their party that they take offense at criticism of the partisan hacks and shills that populate GOP leadership, then I’m not too concerned about winning them to libertarianism.

    @ #19 – What would you have Bergland do, Bob, lie or evade (just as bad, IMO!)? Oh, but, that would be the “practical” thing to do, wouldn’t it?

  46. paulie Post author

    My point was different, however. Castigating all Rs is no way to attract those in the GOP who are inclined to join us.

    Yes, so who was doing that in this case? Or what was this point in reply or relation to?

    Of course we should distinguish between those Republicans who are more liberty-oriented and those who are less so, as we should with Democrats.

  47. paulie Post author

    @ #19 – What would you have Bergland do, Bob, lie or evade (just as bad, IMO!)? Oh, but, that would be the “practical” thing to do, wouldn’t it?

    There are ways of answering such questions without lying or falling into traps.

  48. robert capozzi

    pc, no one, but some Ls seem to loosely label anything R as esp. heinous. I find that charge an odd broad brush. I know of one prominent “radical” L who refuses to shake hands with Rs. Strange.

  49. paulie Post author

    ome Ls seem to loosely label anything R as esp. heinous.

    It seems to me that more tend to label anything D or “left” as especially heinous.

  50. Stephen Gordon

    It’s rare that I find myself more aligned with G.E. than Robert Capozzi. 🙂

    Here’s my take:

    Of the 7 1/2 minutes, Maddow talked though the first half. Of the remaining portion, she had nominally 50% of the time — but also control over the microphone.

    Based on the 5 or 6 phone calls I had before the program with members of her production staff, including a pre-interview, I was able to reasonably speculate about what was coming.

    One key question she was going to ask was probably along these lines: Why are y’all protesting taxes when Obama just provided a tax cut for 95% of all Americans?

    I expect that she would have eaten up time giving a speech along with the question, I used the tea bag gimmick to take a preemptive (makes me a bad libertarian?) strike.

    I did have an answer on tap, but I prefer to control the media than to have the media control me.

    The answer I would have provided is along these lines: “I’ll be happy to trade my miniscule tax decrease for repayment of my share, as well as that of my children and their children, of all deficit spending which has occurred since President Obama took office.”

    However, this would have placed her on the defensive and changed the entire tone of the conversation.

    I was hoping to include the fact that the Alabama Tea Party I was talking about with respect to the FreedomWorks/CSE issue was that the tax increase was pushed by another prominent southern Republican politician — but there wasn’t enough time.

    I knew where she was going on the blue arrow issue, because the article she mentioned had links back and forth which quickly led to coverage by Dave Weigel and me about fringe elements showing at Tea Parties.

    Of the options I had available, the Keyes line seemed the best.

    Robert is correct in that a lot of people didn’t know the Keyes story in advance, but quite a few have felt compelled to look it up and e-mail their thanks to me afterwards. These seem to be mostly younger folks (college age and younger).

    I suspect that the overwhelming majority of Maddow’s viewers do know the Keyes story, though.

    As to Maddow herself not knowing the Keyes story…

    …if Maddow had made it known that she didn’t understand what I was talking about, the fact that a liberal, openly-lesbian, major talk show host didn’t know would opened up quite a few additional media opportunities.

    Looking at the interview after the fact, short of eliminating a few “uhms”, weird lighting effect on my goatee, and such, I don’t know much that could have been done to improve it.

  51. Stephen Gordon

    Forgot something. Playing into Maddow’s recent teabagging theme was a lot of fun, especially the line about Newt and Huck not being able to tell if their teabags swing from the right or the left.

  52. robert capozzi

    wes, I really like you quote. well put.

    steve, maybe the keyes thing was a home run. the rest was a double, maybe a triple with better lighting, IMO. It maybe that I was unfamiliar with the lesbian subtext…I could easily be projecting here. regardless, keep up the good work.

  53. robert capozzi

    ge, EVERYONE doesn’t know who Obama is, dude. I’d be VERY surprised if 10 % know his name, or who he is. His family storyMAY WELL be known by political junkies.

    But, at least you are consistent in your propensity to overstate wildly.

  54. robert capozzi

    rocky, a basic rule in PR is: answer the question you want to. So, my suggestion would be sonething like: We are the LIBERTARIAN Party. we believe in the fundamental, American idea of liberty for all. Smaller government. Strong defenders of civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. Strong defenders of our nation’s borders, but peaceful relations overseas.

    It’s bad enough that Bergland used the word anarchist, which most don’t understand the way Ls do, but minarchist virtually NO ONE has even heard much less understands.

    And I say that as a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist.

  55. G.E.

    Okay… What’s more idiotic? Cappozi claiming that (a) only 1-3% of Rachel Maddow’s audience knows who Alan Keyes is and that his daughter is a lesbian whom he’s disowned; or (b) that only 10% of people know the name “Barack Obama”???

    Or did you mean Alan Keyes? If so, poor sentence structure; tisk, tisk. Regardless, as S.G. said, “the overwhelming majority” of Rachel Maddow’s audience know who he is and his story, RE: his daughter — just because you don’t, you shouldn’t assume that others don’t. What are you, three? Do you think if you close your eyes I can’t see you?

    Regardless, S.G. floored Rachel Maddow with that comment, which she even admitted. So game-set-match, anyway.

    I, for one, did not think Rachel Maddow was out to make S.G. or libertarians look bad. She was out to make Republican hijackers look bad, as well she should have. She said good things about Ron Paul and seems to get that people who call themselves libertarians are not Alan Keyes types (which is why she brought up his associate). She’s no good, don’t get me wrong, but if she’s willing to lend her platform for S.G. to blast Republican hijackery of libertarian themes, then that’s not a time to attack her for her feminazi communism. There are probably dozens of libertarian leaners who were reached by S.G.’s appearance and performance, regardless of Cappozi’s anal nitpickery.

  56. John C

    The Keyes lesbian daughter thing is not obscure at all, IF you know who Keyes is. I’m sure it’s been mentioned here before. It was mentioned when Keyes ran against Obama. I would think people would know who he is because of that race alone. Obama was already a national figure at that point and a big deal was made of Keyes moving there to face him. I think I first heard about the daughter during national coverage of that race. I am sure most of the cable news hosts know who he is. Especially since he had his own talk show on MSNBC. I am aware of at least 3 runs for US Senate and 3 for POTUS, as well as his service under Reagan- often appearing on talk shows as “Ambassador Alan Keyes”, etc.

    Sure, I am a political junkie. I also grew up in Maryland in the 80s. So I remember needing to know who Alan Keyes for homework ( knowing all the local 1988 races),etc. I also watched all the 2000 GOP debates and have followed independent politics since then.

    Most regular folks, the same ignorant people that cast most of the ballots in the country- they probably don’t know Alan Keyes. But I’m sure a high percentage of people who take the time to watch political coverage on niche cable news shows probably do.

    It was a good move and I have more respect for Stephen Gordon because of it. Especially since he’s been associated a lot more with the Republican “libertarians” recently. He did a good job not being pigeonholed as an “extreme conservative” Republican-type.

  57. John C

    I also thought the way the Keyes daughter comment was presented was good, without being too specific and prompting those who cared to look into it more.

  58. Rocky Eades

    @#67 – Bob, my answer may have been something like: “Some are; I suspect that most aren’t. But I don’t think anyone has ever taken a poll. But (unfortunately , under my breath or behind a cough 😉 ) the Libertarian Party is not an anarchist party.” Though I tend to choose my words carefully in most situations, my only real consideration when I answer a question is whether I am putting words into someone else’s mouth or speaking for myself – I try to make it clear to the questioner which is which. I’m really not too interested in PR spin.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    GE, yes, mine was poor sentence structure. I was referring to Keyes. I’m pleased you understood my meaning despite my hastily put words. (I sometimes post here from my cell, which ain’t the best canvass.)

    FWIW, I mentioned early in this thread I didn’t know too much about Keyes because I find him to be a flake. Others may be fascinated by his personal life; not me.

    Based on Steve Gordon’s reaction, it appears he took it in the spirit it was offered: constructive criticism. Absolutists often don’t understand this concept, because they see the world as a polarized dualism: right/wrong; good/evil; etc. As a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I used to as well.

    Now that I know the backstory about Maddow and Keyes’s daughter, that piece of the interview had more utility than was my gut reaction.

    It’s all good.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    Rocky: I’m really not too interested in PR spin.

    Me: Then I’d suggest you’re not too interested in rolling back the State, in effect. Perception is reality, so molding perceptions are the lynchpin to changing minds.

  61. Gene Trosper

    @56

    Rocky, One of my main goals to to try and undercut the GOP at every possible opportunity. At least the democrats are openly hostile toward liberty, but it’s the liar Republicans that hide behind libertarian rhetoric with NO INTENTION of implementing libertarian-friendly solutions once they are elected. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that organizations such as FreedomWorks are basically a front for the GOP and their goal is to help recapture power in DC for Republicans and maintain control. It may sound cynical, but it’s the hard truth about politics.

    Here in California, anti-Republican sentiment among average taxpayers is at a fever pitch because of recent record tax hikes. The LP has a responsibility to make itself heard, but we also know that many of those people have a bias against third parties in general. That’s why I formed the website CaliforniaRevolution.com. It will act as a means of organizing and disseminating information in California that is pro-liberty and undercuts the GOP message. By being non-partisan and organizing activities that will attract non Libertarians, it will allow us to mix and mingle with them, allowing a sort of cross pollination of ideas to people who are primed and ready for a principled message.

  62. Pingback: Former Libertarian Party of Alabama Chair Steve Gordon on Rachel Maddow again discussing Tea Parties | Independent Political Report

  63. Pingback: Former Libertarian Party of Alabama Chair Steve Gordon on Rachel Maddow again discussing Tea Parties «

  64. Don Lake .......... More Libs Lacking a Lib Perspective

    Gene Trosper // Apr 18, 2009:

    “One of my main goals [is] to try and undercut the GOP at every possible opportunity …… it’s the liar Republicans that hide behind libertarian rhetoric with NO INTENTION of implementing libertarian-friendly solutions once they are elected.”

    Citizens For A Better Veterans Home could not agree more, via California GOP governators Pete Wilson and Der Ahnold!

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