Brian Holtz: ‘LNC Chair candidate Hancock on the hardcore 2008 Paul campaign’

Posted by Brian Holtz at LibertarianIntelligence.com. Reproduced here for discussion. IPR as a blog takes no position on the LNC races, and my position does not necessarily coincide with Brian’s.

-Paulie.


Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock responded to 10 questions posted on IPR for him by saying they will be answered by videos on a DVD he will be mailing to LP national convention delegates. This is the sixth in a series of reports that will use public video and audio archives to anticipate how those questions could be answered.

Question 7 asked about the libertarian credentials of Ron Paul. This video contrasts 1) what Hancock says about how radical the Ron Paul campaign was with 2) statements Ron Paul made in 2008 about entitlements, gay marriage, sales taxes, abortion, immigration, and defederalizing the drug war.


Disclaimer: I, Brian Holtz, will likely not be endorsing any candidate in the 2010 LNC Chair race. My articles on that race are intended to address specific concerns that I think many readers and LP delegates would share about the candidates. I of course cherry-pick the material that I report. As a fellow libertarian, I agree with the vast majority of what I’ve read and heard from the Chair candidates in the dozens of hours I’ve spent reviewing their public record. All my reporting has been biased toward highlighting or correcting their possible deviations from what I think a typical big-tent LP member supports. At the same time, my reporting has been entirely factual and never misleading.

58 thoughts on “Brian Holtz: ‘LNC Chair candidate Hancock on the hardcore 2008 Paul campaign’

  1. Brian Holtz

    Is anything in the video misleading or false? If so, what? If not, is it really possible to “smear” with the truth?

    As Hancock says: after you know the Truth, you can’t un-know it. Sorry.

  2. Just the tip of the ice berg .......... Lake

    Brian Holtz // Apr 30, 2010:
    “………… is it really possible to “smear” with the truth?”

    [Good luck, with direct observance or multiple observations, I have been fighting the good fight for years. Best wishes if you run into Steve Kubby, Chelene Nightingale, Bill Lusseheide, Jim King, Mrs Jim King, Don Grundmann, Cody Quirk, Bruce Cohen, Richard Rider, Edward Tessiler or any current deform party / reform party activist. ]

    [Hmmmmmmmm, all these folks have some connect with the State of Confusion, aka California …….. Land of Fruits and Nuts ……….. Land of High Rise Fires during earth tremblers (Shake N Bake) …….. Land of 7.3 quakes in Sandy Ego County during golf matches (It’s Saint Andrew’s Fault!) ………..]

    ah, ethics, the corner stone of the Democans and the Republicrats specifically and ‘poly ticks’ in general ………

  3. Brian Holtz

    The radicalness of the 2008 Paul campaign should be measured by what he said when he had his biggest megaphone (Meet The Press), and by what he said with the commercials he paid to run in Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s why my video shows what he said with them.

    Anybody can be radical in an archived web page some where. If you deny those positions on national TV, then how can your campaign count as “hardcore no-compromise”?

    Ron Paul is (usually) very strongly committed to his principles, but not all of them are “hardcore no-compromise libertarian” principles, and on Meet The Press he engaged in embarrassing backsliding of the kind that Hancock says he “knew” Paul wouldn’t commit. If Hancock wants to be the LP’s Chair, he should apply the same standards to Libertarian nominees as he does to those seeking to be Republican nominees.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    “hardcore no-compromise L principles” could, paradoxically, compromise the cause of liberty.

    Might feel good to hold high the banner. Might be self sabotage, too.

  5. Gene Berkman

    I backed Ron Paul in 1988 and in 2008, managing one of the many websites that promoted Ron Paul in the 2008 race.

    In 1988, every active Libertarian I knew was uncomfortable with Paul’s opposition to abortion. And in 2008 many of us were not happy with his stand on immigration. Understanding that these two issues are the ones most likely to divide libertarians, it should be clear that most libertarians are pro-choice and favor a relatively liberal position on immigration.

    That said, Ron Paul bravely opposed the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, regulation of the internet and in many other cases took a strong public position in defense of freedom, even when Republicans were pushing to limit freedom.

    Yes, Ron Paul did back away from some hardcore positions of his 1988 campaign. But his 2008 campaign was still the most visible libertarian-oriented political campaign in my memory.

  6. Robert Milnes

    Ron Paul was the only counterrevolutionary in Congress at the time. Naturally his positions were starkly in contrast to all those reactionaries.

  7. Tom Blanton

    This video proves once and for all that Ron Paul is a big tent libertarian and that Ernie Hancock supports big tent libertarianism.

    I’m shocked that big tent libertarian Brian Holtz, who claims he is not endorsing any candidate in the 2010 LNC Chair race, has posted this video. It would seem Holtz is now endorsing the big tent Hancock. I have been under the mistaken impression that Holtz thought Hancock was a radical libertarian who only seeks to shock the big tent libertarian crowd.

  8. dave

    This is a smear video. It takes some things out of context–that he said he is not AGAINST public schools does NOT mean he is FOR government schools, and because his personal views are that abortion is wrong does not mean he thinks the federal government should outlaw abortions–and exposes a couple of anti-libertarian (but pro-US Constitution) stances that the Ron Paul 2008 campaign embraced (anti-immigration/pro-border control, for one). While I don’t agree with those stances, I do understand that as a politician running for an office that requires him to swear to uphold the US Constitution, it is understandable.

    Also, typically when Ron would go into detail on things like abortion/gay marriage, he would state his viewpoint (that he disagrees with it), and follow it up with the fact that it is none of the government’s business… This is hardly anti-libertarian.

    While I don’t know anything about Brian Holtz, my assumptions based on his tactics tells me he is likely a pro-federal reserve, Cato Institute-loving, “conservative libertarian.”

  9. dave

    Also, because abolishing social security was not part of his platform (we have bigger fish to fry, e.g. bringing home the hundreds of thousands of troops we have in the >800 military bases throughout the world) does not mean he ‘supports’ social security.

    Wow. This Holtz guy is a joke.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    The Paul cultists seem to be upset that this video shows what Paul is really like as opposed to their idealized image of him.

    That’s true as far as it goes, but it’s not the point of the video.

    The point of the video is to highlight one or more of what Holtz considers Hancock’s flaws.

    The use of the word “smear” by Paul cultists is a “tell” in the same way that Holtz’s “I’ll let the reader decide” schtick is. As soon as a Paul cultist starts screaming “smear,” you know that you’re right and that they know they’ve been busted.

  11. JT

    I agree with Gene’s post. For a GOP member of Congress to publicly defend the libertarian positions that Paul does (of course, not *all* of them are) is truly remarkable. And the majority of Libertarians know that, even if some don’t.

    That said, I’ll take issue with a couple of things Dave said as well.

    Dave: “It takes some things out of context–that he said he is not AGAINST public schools does NOT mean he is FOR government schools, and because his personal views are that abortion is wrong does not mean he thinks the federal government should outlaw abortions…”

    First, what you say about public schools isn’t logical. If you’re not against them, that *necessarily* means you’re for them. How can you be “not against” the very existence of something and “not for” the very existence of something at the same time?

    Second, Paul doesn’t think the federal gov. should outlaw abortion now, but he *has* supported passing a constitutional amendment to allow the federal gov. to do so. In the absence of that, he thinks the state govs. should do it and the Supreme Court should uphold their “right” to do so.

  12. JT

    Tom: “The Paul cultists seem to be upset that this video shows what Paul is really like as opposed to their idealized image of him.”

    I’m a Paul admirer (not a “cultist”). I don’t think he’s perfect, but I think he’s damn good overall (and overall head and shoulders above every other member of Congress, all of whom flatly ignore the Constitution whenever it suits them, which is most of the time). This video doesn’t ruin my perception of him.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT,

    I, too, think that Paul is pretty good overall. Maybe even the best in Congress.

    In a two-way race between Paul and a typical statist, I might even violate my personal oath to never again vote Republican in order to support him.

    There’s a difference between a Paul admirer like you, and a Paul cultist.

    While I wouldn’t call it definitive, one sign that someone is a Paul cultist, rather than mere admirer, is when that someone sticks his fingers in his ears, screws his eyes shut, and starts screaming “SMEAR” at the top of his lungs whenever someone points out (even in passing, as in this Holtz video) that Paul ran for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination as a “true conservative,” not as a libertarian, and that he distanced himself from his more radical leanings of the past when doing so.

    When someone writes bullshit like …

    In my view, the “Ron Paul question” constitutes a litmus test for libertarians. Simply put, the “Ron Paul question” consists of determining whether or not a person supports Dr. Paul. If so, as I see matters, he passes this test and can be constituted a libertarian; if not, his credentials are to that extent suspect.

    … in the context of Paul’s presidential campaign (that was written by Dr. Walter Block and published on December 27th, 2007), they’re exhibiting symptoms of an altered mental state.

  14. Tom Blanton

    I admit it. I like and respect Ron Paul, even though I don’t agree with on everything and he would never agree to sit down with me, smoke a joint and just shoot the shit. But then, I’ve never sent him money unless it was in 1988. If he were running for a state or local office, I would not have anything to do with him.

    I don’t cringe as much when Ron Paul is identified as a libertarian on TV. When I hear Glenn Beck being identified as a libertarian on TV, I flinch, then cringe, and my skin crawls around for a while.

    So, is Ron Paul a libertarian?

    Judging by the same standards used by the big tent libertarians, Ron Paul is a libertarian. But that is a pretty low hurdle when Glenn Beck can make it.

    Ron Paul is a good Republican congressman. He’d be a scary Libertarian Governor, but probably better than a regular Republicrat.

    The curious thing is why are these big tent libertarians bothered about Ernie Hancock supporting Ron Paul or even claiming Paul is some sort of uber-libertarian when they will claim Glenn Beck is a libertarian.

    So, there seems to be some hypocrisy on both sides of the Ernie Hancock divide. Imagine that. A bunch of partisan political hacks clawing their way around a tiny political party, too myopic to be aware of their own hypocrisy in their zeal to point out someone else’s.

    As for the Walter Block quote, kooky. One could make the case in 2007 or 2008 that if you wanted to see someone even remotely libertarian in the White House, you should support Ron Paul.

    Paul does make a good marker in that if you aren’t as libertarian as Ron Paul, then you are not a libertarian and maybe not even a “true conservative”, whatever the fuck that is.

  15. Tom Blanton

    And speaking of true conservatives, why is it OK with the big tenters if a LP candidate runs as a “true conservative”?

    I’d bet most big tenters would hit the ceiling if a LP candidate ran as a “true libertarian”.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tom B,

    You write:

    The curious thing is why are these big tent libertarians bothered about Ernie Hancock supporting Ron Paul or even claiming Paul is some sort of uber-libertarian when they will claim Glenn Beck is a libertarian.

    So, there seems to be some hypocrisy on both sides of the Ernie Hancock divide.

    I disagree. Most of the people you call “big tent libertarians” — including Brian Holtz — said nice things about Paul when he ran for President.

    They practiced their big-tent preaching, at least insofar as the tent extended to cover the Republican right.

    Hancock, on the other hand, preaches radical, hardcore libertarianism, chews out the LP for compromising — and then calls a hyper-statist like Baldwin “a good libertarian” and ignores the fact that “hardcore libertarian” Paul ran like hell every time he was confronted with a radical libertarian position as a presidential candidate.

  17. Brian Holtz

    Of course Ron Paul is a libertarian, and certainly more libertarian than Glenn Beck. Ron Paul scores a 90/100 on my test, while Beck is probably on the edge of the libertarian quadrant, c. 65/85.

    Hancock calls Ron Paul a “hardcore no-compromise libertarian”, but when Bob Barr runs on a virtually identical set of positions, Hancock questions whether Barr is a libertarian at all. Why? Because Ron Paul sees the New World Order conspiracy, while Bob Barr must be an agent of it because he was a CIA flunky in the 1970s. I guess The Company planted a chip in Barr’s head…

    One of the worst things that Paul, Barr, and Root all do is act like libertarians should rescue the conservative brand. Libertarians should replace the conservative brand.

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  19. dave

    JT you are twisting my words. Government school does not equal public school. Communities had public schools long before the government got involved, and they operated much more efficiently, too!

  20. dave

    Thomas Knapp,
    Assuming it is I to whom you are referring as a cultist (because I am “screaming ‘smear'”) perhaps you should take another look at the video. It is dishonest in how it portrays many of Ron Paul’s views.

    There are a few things I disagree with Ron Paul on, and they are things that most “hardcore” libertarians can agree on as well. But there is no need to misrepresent his views on welfare because you don’t like his views on immigration/abortion. After seeing Holtz take this dishonest approach, I am not surprised to have since found that he aspires to be a politician.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    dave,

    I agree that Ron Paul is dishonest in how he portrays many of his own views.

    Why are you objecting to Brian Holtz showing — in passing, pursuant to something else — the fact that Ron Paul is dishonest?

  22. dave

    I take objection due to Holtz’s dishonesty. Whether Ron Paul is dishonest is another issue, and one that you have not provided examples of; and my point is that the video does not present evidence that Ron Paul is dishonest.

    Again, Holtz said the point of the video is to contrast:
    “1) what Hancock says about how radical the Ron Paul campaign was with 2) statements Ron Paul made in 2008 about entitlements, gay marriage, sales taxes, abortion, immigration, and defederalizing the drug war.”

    Holtz is implying that the video proves that Ron Paul is pro-entitlement, anti-gay marriage, pro-sales tax, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and pro drug war; if you followed Ron Paul’s campaign, and listened to what he said in his interviews (including the MTP interview), you will see that (for the most part) those are NOT Ron Paul’s views (note: because something, e.g. social security, is not part of his “platform” does not mean he is a supporter/advocate of social security). For POLITICAL and PRAGMATIC reasons he, I presume, felt it was not the right place to put focus. I would hardly consider this to be dishonest. He is, at times, very careful with his words, perhaps to seem less radical, but I don’t think this constitutes dishonesty.

    Is Ron Paul dishonest in the way he represents some of his other positions? Perhaps some.. I know he has said he was against government involvement in marriage, then voted for bills that contradict that. Does this mean that, as a person, Ron Paul is generally dishonest?

    I wouldn’t personally label Holtz as dishonest, even though he clearly chosen a dishonest approach in representing Ron Paul’s views. Is Holtz generally dishonest because of this?

    AWhen you splice together bits and pieces of video to misrepresent someone’s view, that seems an awful lot like a smear to me. Again, this is completely unnecessary. There are plenty of things to disagree with Ron Paul about; let’s be honest about them and debate them openly.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    Having worked for Paul briefly years ago, and knowing people who work for him now, one of his dysfunctions IMO is that he refuses to be “handled.” He wings it, I suspect believing that his “principle” will carry him through.

    I’d say he himself would acknowledge that his Meet the Press performance was poor. I would, too. He and I might disagree about his discussion of the Civil War, which made me cringe.

  24. Alexander S. Peak

    (1) I cannot see the video on this computer.

    (2) Mr. Holtz writes, “Ron Paul is (usually) very strongly committed to his principles, but not all of them are ‘hardcore no-compromise libertarian’ principles.”

    I view this to be a largely accurate statement. While I’d say that Ron Paul did promote a radical message, there are certain issues (DOMA, immigration, national rather than individual sovereignty, etc.) on which Paul takes an unlibertarian stance.

    (3) I disagree with Mr. Capozzi’s view that dedication to libertarian principles “could, paradoxically, compromise the cause of liberty.”

    (4) To dave, I must point out that Art. I, Sect. 8 only mentions control over naturalisation as a power of the federal government, not also a power over migration. Had the Founders intended to grant the federal government even one iota of control over human migration, they would have made mention of it in the same exact clause in which they mention naturalisation. That they fail to do so is a very telling sign that they had no intention to create a federal government with power over human migration. Moreover, the idea of regulating human migration was not even debated in the Philadelphia convention, to my knowledge, indicating that the consensus was so 100% against immigration regulation that it seemed obvious to those men that no discussion was needed. From a group of men as divided as those in attendence at the Philadelphia convention, the lack of debate on a topic is extremely telling.

    Some might argue that the federal government has had the constitutional authority to regulate immigration ever since 1808. But upon closer reading of Art. I, Sect. 9, we can see that this power is not actually granted in the actual words of the document. The document says that no limitation may be made before that year, but it fails to go about granting to the federal government any authority to enact such regulation following that year. And since all powers not granted to the federal government are not possessed by the federal government, all federal regulations on immigration (except one, see below) are de facto unconstitutional.

    There is perhaps one exception. The Constitution does appear to allow the federal government to steal up to ten dollars from every person immigrating into these United States. And while I think this power should be revoked, I cannot deny that it is codified in the words of the U.S. Constitution.

    Ron Paul’s immigration position, therefore, is objectively anti-Constitution.

    (5) Mr. Knapp writes, “As soon as a Paul cultist starts screaming ‘smear,’ you know that you’re right and that they know they’ve been busted.”

    I have not seen the video, and cannot comment upon it. But nevertheless, statements like the one Mr. Knapp has just made are rarely accurate. Mr. Knapp, in making this statement, has engaged in a poisoning the well fallacy.

    There is no reason to believe that cultists cannot ever be accurate in their claim regarding smears. Even Scientologists may have some just claim to describe their faith as one that has been at times unjustly smeared. Naturally, I’d have to listen to their argument in order to decide the validity thereof. It does us no good to stick our fingers in our ears and stop listening to an argument simply because a cultist is the one presenting it.

    (6) I agree with JT’s comment that it is impossible to not be de facto for government schooling if you’re not against government schooling.

    That said, I have not seen the video and cannot comment on what Dr. Paul said on the subject.

    (7) Regarding the Block quote, I would agree that, as it is stated, it is extremely problematic.

    I suspect, but cannot confirm, that what Block intended to convey was something like this: “If you’re opposing Ron Paul because you think his views are too radical, then your libertarian credentials are to that extent suspect.”

    I think this would have been a more-reasonable statement.

    The problem with Block’s statement is that it implies that those libertarians who would oppose Paul for not being radical enough should also be suspected of being unlibertarian, which as Anthony Gregory pointed out is absurd.

    (8) Mr. Blanton writes, “I don’t cringe as much when Ron Paul is identified as a libertarian on TV. When I hear Glenn Beck being identified as a libertarian on TV, I flinch, then cringe, and my skin crawls around for a while.”

    I thought this was worth reiterating with a quote.

    (9) Mr. Knapp writes that Dr. Paul “ran like hell every time he was confronted with a radical libertarian position as a presidential candidate.”

    Surely you must realise this is hyperbole. He did not run like hell every time he was confronted with a radical libertarian position. In fact, the majority of time he seemed to embrace radical libertarian proposals, like abolishing the IRS and the income tax, like abolishing the Federal Reserve, like bringing our troops home from around the world, like abolishing the federal war on drugs and pardoning all nonviolent persons charged with federal drug-related crimes, etc.

    He did reject the libertarian solution to certain problems. But you must agree that it is error to say he ran from libertarianism every time.

    (10) Dave writes, “Holtz is implying that the video proves that Ron Paul is pro-entitlement, anti-gay marriage, pro-sales tax, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and pro drug war.”

    I really wish I could see the video.

    It is my understanding that Paul’s position on the drug war is identical to mine, namely, that there should be no drug war at any level, but that the federal government has no constitutional authority to force states and localities to eliminate their regulations; and that even under a libertarian president, states would be free to regulate drugs in any way they like, much to the chagrin of said libertarian president.

    It was also my impression that Paul’s position on taxation is also identical to mine, namely, that taxation should be abolished. While I have never heard him say so explicitely, he does call taxation immoral in his The Revolution: A Manifesto. He also said a number of times throughout his campaign that the income tax should be abolished and replaced with nothing. So, if he’s speaking favourably about a sales tax, I would definitely want to know precisely what he is saying. It’s hard to imagine him defending such a thing, but I guess it’s not inconceivable.

    (11) Dave writes, “I know he has said he was against government involvement in marriage, then voted for bills that contradict that.”

    Assuming you’re referring to DOMA, he didn’t actually vote for it, because it was (if I’m correct) passed before he returned to Congress more than a decade ago. He supports DOMA, however, and you are correct to point out that this support contradicts he comments.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Peak

  25. Tom Blanton

    They practiced their big-tent preaching, at least insofar as the tent extended to cover the Republican right.

    Exactly.

    Many of the big tenters supported Ron Paul in a very real sense – with cash and boots on the ground. So did Hancock.

    They’ve welcomed Root as a recent convert to big tent libertarianism. Where is the big welcome for Hancock?

    But this is nothing new for Hancock – his tent is wide open for a lot of dubious Patriot types. Even Frosty Wooldridge is published on Freedom’s Phoenix regularly.

    Hancock may not be as “radical” as he proclaims. But then Holtz has tried to make the case more than once that he (Holtz) is actually more “radical” than the so-called radicals.

    The big tent becomes sort of blurry and there seems to be some hypocrisy on both sides of the Hancock issue.

    Is it not hypocrisy to support Ron Paul and then pretend to be upset because someone else supported him also?

    So, we have radical moderates and moderate radicals seemingly desperate to drag people into a tent with whatever spin they can think of. Isn’t this the epitome of how politics is played? Tactics trump strategy, strategy trumps goals, goals trump principle.

    Even Ron Paul is somewhat of a hypocrite. That’s why I keep saying he should have a soapbox and not a pedestal. The same goes for Hancock and Root. I just find Root to be far more disturbing than Hancock. While the LP may be the lesser of all the evils, it is still….

    Yawn.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    ap: (3) I disagree with Mr. Capozzi’s view that dedication to libertarian principles “could, paradoxically, compromise the cause of liberty.”

    me: I’d sure like an explanation of your opinion, because it seems kinda obvious to me that that it could. One could extrapolate the NAP out in ways that serve to shock the audience. Associating with notorious ideas (for the receiver of those ideas) tends to cast doubt on ALL the ideas of the communicator.

    This is why communicators burnish and protect their reputations.

    So, what am I missing, from your perspective?

  27. Robert Capozzi

    tb: They’ve welcomed Root as a recent convert to big tent libertarianism. Where is the big welcome for Hancock?

    me: Hmm, Hancock’s been in the tent for quite a while, and is quite welcome, near as I can tell and certainly is from my perspective. In my judgment, based on his track record and VERY edgy opinion, he is simply an inappropriate choice to be Chair. It’s certainly not personal.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    Alex,

    Ron Paul didn’t vote for DOMA — instead, he wrote an even WORSE bill, the Marriage Protection Act.

    While he frequently postures as a “constitutionalist,” the MPA would have voided the full faith and credit clause without the required constitutional amendment. It’s exactly like the 99% of legislation he opposes, an unconstitutional law that he created and supported because keeping gays from marrying was more important to him than following the Constitution was.

  29. Brian Holtz

    Dave @26, the video is about Hancock’s hypocrisy, not Ron Paul’s dishonesty. However, the following sequence in the video was an embarrassing display of dishonesty (or at best, senility) by Ron Paul:

    Q: When you ran for President in 1988, you called for the abolition of public schools.
    A: I bet that’s a misquote. I do not recall that. I’d like to know where that came from.

    Your alleged distinction between “public schools” and “government schools” can’t save Paul here. You know damn well what “public schools” means in this context, and so did Paul. How dare you try to pull that crap in the same breath that you call me “dishonest”?

    BH: This video contrasts 1) what Hancock says about how radical the Ron Paul campaign was with 2) statements Ron Paul made in 2008 about entitlements, gay marriage, sales taxes, abortion, immigration, and defederalizing the drug war.

    Dave: Holtz is implying that the video proves that Ron Paul is pro-entitlement, anti-gay marriage, pro-sales tax, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and pro drug war

    Dave issues a series of falsehoods.

    I never said Paul is “pro-entitlement”, but in the video Paul disavows ever advocating abolition of Social Security, and says “I’m the one who has saved it.” That’s a fact.

    If you’re pro-DOMA, you’re effectively anti-gay-marriage. That’s a fact.

    I didn’t say Paul is ‘pro-sales tax”. I just showed him saying that replacing the income tax with a sales tax would be an improvement. Do you dare claim Hancock has never criticized that position as unlibertarian?

    The video indeed proves that Paul is anti-abortion and in favor of restricting immigration. Those are just facts.

    I never said Paul is “pro drug war”. I just showed him saying that the way to end the federal drug war is to move responsibility for drug policy to the state level. Do you dare claim Hancock has never criticized as unlibertarian people like Barr and Root who hold that same position?

    It’s blatantly misleading to claim that my video “misrepresents Paul’s views”. The main point of the video was to show how, when Paul was handed his biggest network-TV megaphone, he backed away from his traditional positions, even though Hancock has claimed ever since that he “knew” Paul would never do so.

    The only way to show Hancock’s hypocrisy was to show Paul being inconsistent. I’m sorry if that shattered your image about one or both of them.

  30. JT

    Dave: “JT you are twisting my words. Government school does not equal public school. Communities had public schools long before the government got involved, and they operated much more efficiently, too!”

    As I said before, I admire Paul. But you’re being obtuse here, Dave. In today’s political context “public schools” MEAN “government schools.” That’s obviously what Russert and Paul were referring to–government schools. Paul said he wasn’t against them, which means he’s for them (though he’s against the Dept. of Ed).Don’t be absurd in your defense of the man just because you don’t like what he said in this instance.

  31. Brian Holtz

    Blanton, I don’t know when Hancock returned to the LP after he resigned in 2000 saying “no principled libertarian can associate with” it. However, I’ve never said that anarchists like Hancock aren’t welcome in the LP’s big tent. That doesn’t mean I can’t criticize him for his double-standards, or advocate against him being LNC Chair.

    Is it not hypocrisy to support Ron Paul and then pretend to be upset because someone else supported him also?

    My complaint obviously isn’t that Hancock “supported Ron Paul also”. As Knapp has repeatedly pointed out, my complaint is that Hancock has a double-standard for what counts as a “hardcore no-compromise libertarian”.

    Alex, you’ve been misled if you think that Ron Paul advocates “that taxation should be abolished”. Here’s what I posted the same day as the Meet The Press interview:

    Ever Hear of Payroll Taxes? Ron Paul said: “If you got rid of the income tax today you’d have about as much revenue as we had 10 years ago, and the size of government wasn’t all that bad 10 years ago. So there’re sources of revenues other than the income tax. You know, you have, you have tariff, excise taxes, user fees, highway fees. So, so there’s still a lot of money.” Paul is either ignorant or disingenuous here. As I told PlatCom in August: income and payroll taxes combine to constitute 82% of federal receipts. The kinds of taxes (excises and tariffs) that LP candidates (Paul, Browne, Badnarik) talk about keeping make up only 5% of federal receipts — 15% if you include corporate income taxes. We shouldn’t kid ourselves or others about how much we would be cutting federal receipts.

    During the 2008 campaign, Paul also said: “Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker’s paycheck.” Nevertheless, Ron Paul is embraced as a messiah by a long list of anarcholibertarians, which is why I call him the Teflon Minarchist.

    On a sales tax, Paul has said: “There are a lot of shortcomings with a sales tax, but it would probably be slightly better than the income tax, so it would be an improvement. [?] The Fair Tax as a replacement ? I’m not a co-sponsor of that, but I’d probably vote for it if it came to the floor.”

  32. JT

    Tom: “… in the context of Paul’s presidential campaign (that was written by Dr. Walter Block and published on December 27th, 2007), they’re exhibiting symptoms of an altered mental state.”

    Well Block has also recently taken to calling Paul the “next president of the United States.” So clearly he is in an altered mental state, as were the libertarians who really believed that Paul was going to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. Deluding yourself when you want something badly enough is common fare.

  33. Just the tip of the ice berg .......... Lake

    JT // May 1, 2010:

    “…….. exhibiting symptoms of an altered mental state.”
    “Deluding yourself when you want something badly enough is common fare.”

    Lake: You are talking to and about Bill Lusseheide and Doctor Donald J. Grundmann and other West Coast reactionary, renagade California American Independent Party agents provacatuer ???????????

  34. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Capozzi,

    When I think about being dedicated to my principles, I think merely of how I act.

    I choose to never aggress against anyone. I choose to only ever use force defensively, never to initiate it. I have no need to initiate it. Quite frankly, even defensive force is rarely needed. We live our lives, going to the supermarket to pick up our food; voluntarily trading the fruits of our labour for something we desire to a greater degree, wages; hanging out with friends at their invitation—even defensive force is rarely needed. Offensive force is never needed.

    I live by this principle, and my living by this principle does not in any way “compromise the cause of liberty.”

    The nonaggression axiom does not require me to proselytise my views.

    Therefore, perhaps you would wish to change what you said.

    Initially, you had said, “‘[H]ardcore no-compromise [libertarian] principles’ could, paradoxically, compromise the cause of liberty.”

    Perhaps what you would prefer to say is that proselytising in defence of hardcore, no-compromise libertarian principles could, paradoxically, compromise the cause of liberty.

    Would this be a more accurate reflection of your view?

    Assuming it is, I have this to say: I still disagree, but I find this comment likely to be true than the initial one. I’d add that it all ultimately depends upon how one presents one’s views.

    Mr. Knapp,

    I am not familiar with the Marriage Protection Act, and cannot comment on whether it is worse or better than DOMA. But, despite my lack of knowledge about the bill, I highly suspect that you are probably correct regarding its unconstitutionality.

    Mr. Holtz,

    Nothing you posted indicates that it cannot be the case that Paul would prefer to see all taxation abolished. It’s true that we would still have tariffs even if the income tax is abolished. I myself have pointed this out many times; it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer to do away with tariffs as well. But I definitely think it would be a lesser evil to only have tariffs, rather than to have an income tax <i.and tariffs.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Peak

  35. Brian Holtz

    Nor did anything I post indicate that Paul doesn’t hope that every child gets a pony.

    Paul apparently opposes all taxation on income/labor, but it’s wishful thinking to hope he therefore opposes all taxation.

    I go farther than I’ve ever seen Paul go. I oppose all taxation on income (wages, interest, dividends, profits, gifts, and inheritance), clean production (including value added), voluntary transactions (e.g. the sale, import, or export of goods and services), and wealth (e.g. real estate improvements, capital, or other assets). But I still don’t oppose everything that an anarchist might call a “tax”.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    Alex,

    A lot of this discussion, while interesting, isn’t relevant. I’m going to re-state the point one more time, just to make sure everyone gets it:

    Holtz’s video is NOT about Ron Paul. It’s about Ernie Hancock.

    Here’s the context:

    The fact that Ron Paul can’t afford to be a consistently radical/”hardcore” libertarian isn’t — or at least shouldn’t be — surprising.

    He’s a politician who is in the business of getting elected and re-elected, and he’s been very successful in that business because he’s willing to “play ball” to the extent that he has to.

    We could argue all day long over whether or not he “plays ball” too much, but there’s no need to because it’s not responsive to Holtz’s argument.

    Holtz has defended Ron Paul against accusations of unacceptable heterodoxy in the past. I don’t know if I’d call Holtz a “Ron Paul fan,” but he’s not a strident anti-Paulian by any stretch of the imagination.

    Holtz’s point is that it is HANCOCK who postures as a purist/radical/hardcore libertarian, that it is HANCOCK who criticized the LP for being insufficiently pure/radical/hardcore in nominating Barr/Root, and that it is HANCOCK who not only gives Ron Paul a free pass on deviations, but who holds out Paul as the kind of purist/radical/hardcore candidate we SHOULD be running.

    Hancock is still my second choice for chair, but not because I think he’s a good judge of people’s libertarian orthodoxy quotient. He clearly isn’t.

  37. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Holtz,

    To call it “thinking” of any sort (wishful or otherwise) probably stretches things a bit. It’s more of an impression or a suspicion I gathered when I read The Revolution.

    Of course, even if my sneaking suspicion were false, I’d still be willing to vote for Paul, because he would bring this country a great deal in the right direction on most issues.

    Mr. Knapp,

    You write, “Holtz’s video is NOT about Ron Paul. It’s about Ernie Hancock.”

    I believe I’ve made it clear that I cannot see any video in this entire thread. I therefore make no comment on the video.

    Every single thing I’ve written in this thread has been a response to something someone else wrote before me in this thread. My responses are entirely relevant to the comments that preceded them.

    While everything you’ve written in this post sounds interesting, it remains irrelevant to everything I’ve stated above. I’ve taken no position on whether Hancock is a hypocrite because I cannot see the video. I don’t know what Hancock says in the video, assuming he’s even in it. I’ve also taken no position on whether Holtz is anti-Paulian or not. I don’t know why Hancock would describe Paul as a purist, assuming you are correct, for Paul is clearly not one. Paul is certainly a radical by Republican standards, and is hardcore, but a purist he is absolutely not. But, in any event, I’m not in a position to present a valid discussion of anything appearing in the video.

    Yours truly,
    Alex Peak

  38. JT

    Alex: “Paul is certainly a radical by Republican standards, and is hardcore, but a purist he is absolutely not.”

    This is key. There’s no way to know Paul’s views on most issues and not consider him, generally, a radical libertarian in the Republican Party. If he weren’t, he wouldn’t be despised by many Republicans, particularly GOP officers, strategists, and media sycophants. Within the Libertarian Party, Paul would probably be about average in his libertarian views. But there’s no Libertarian in Congress (and there’s never been), so I think the majority of Libertarians find it very refreshing and inspiring to hear a sitting Congressman publicly say most of what Ron Paul says over and over again.

  39. dave

    What Ron Paul believes is RIGHT does not necessarily mean it must be part of his platform, i.e. part of his goals he wishes to accomplish in the next 4 years, or even 10 years. To say he would not abolish social security does not mean he is FOR social security. First of all, if he were president, he would not have the authority to abolish it. Second of all, would abolishing it overnight even be feasible, or would it be the right thing to do? Like it or not, many people have been promised social security payments and depend on them at this point FOR THEIR LIVES.

    I’m an anarcho-libertarian. I am extremely opposed to any form of government. That said, I have enough sense to understand that tossing every government program aside, overnight, is not a rational thing to do. Ron Paul said repeatedly during his campaigning that ideally we would not have any government entitlement programs. I agree with him completely, and that he later said that, if he were president, he would not abolish it but would allow people to opt out of it does not contradict his stance on social security and other entitlement programs.

  40. dave

    If a video focuses on Ron Paul, his statements made in interviews, and his positions in general, the video is “about” Ron Paul. It is also about Ernie Hancock.

  41. Gene Berkman

    Just a note about Walter Block – while I supported Ron Paul (in 1988 & 2008) I totally disagree with Walter that this is THE litmus test, or even A litmus test of libertarianism.

    I would not really consider Walter Block a Ron Paul cultist. He was a long time participant in the Rothbard circle, and now in the Lew Rockwell circle, so I would say he is a Rothbard cultist.

  42. Tom Blanton

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Ron Paul was seen in a hotel room with a gay European fashion reporter who was partially disrobed?

    And what about Bob Barr?

    Is there any truth to the rumor that he eats cheese made from human breast milk?

  43. dave

    Holtz, you said:
    “However, the following sequence in the video was an embarrassing display of dishonesty (or at best, senility) by Ron Paul:

    Q: When you ran for President in 1988, you called for the abolition of public schools.
    A: I bet that’s a misquote. I do not recall that. I’d like to know where that came from.”

    Has it been proven whether this was a misquote? Why are you insisting that this is dishonest or senile? You have not provide evidence that it is either.

    Could Ron Paul have responded by volunteering more information about his stance on public schools, or public vs. government schools? Certainly. Was it dishonest of him not to? I don’t think so.

  44. JT

    Dave: “GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS != PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Brush up on your history.”

    This has nothing to do with nineteenth century history, Dave. I’m sorry, but for many decades people have used the phrase “public schools” synonymously with “government schools.” Look up the phrase on Wikipedia if you want also. Russert obviously wasn’t taking aim at what Paul had said about private schools, charter schools, or home schools; he was taking aim at what Paul had said about government schools. And obviously Paul knew that, because he isn’t stupid nor oblivious to the contemporary political context. If he had been using the phrase to mean something else, he would have said that instead of stammering like he did.

    Personally, I don’t even care if Paul is in favor of government schools when he wasn’t before. It’s a little disappointing to hear him pretend that he never said that if he did. But he’s a Congressman who deals with federal law, not state or local law, and he does support ending the federal Dept. of Education, something that virtually no other member of Congress supports anymore. This misstep is hardly something that’s going to hurt my perception of him as only consistent defender of the Constitution in Congress and an outspoken supporter of many good libertarian positions. I don’t consider the perfect to be the enemy of the good, and for a Republican who’s actually in Congress, Ron Paul is clearly damn good.

  45. Brian Holtz

    Dave, if you don’t like the facts in the video above, then here are some more facts to back them up. Read http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/document.php?id=241 and see how Ron Paul uses the term “public schools”:

    The federal bureaucrats may claim that vouchers will undermine public schools, but the truth is that federal education already has failed miserably, and competition could only improve matters. However, the voucher debate really ignores the more important question of whether public schools should be run by federal or local government. The Constitution does not authorize any federal involvement in education; Article I grants Congress no authority to create, fund, or regulate schools at all. Therefore, under the 10th Amendment public education should be purely a state and local matter. This means Congress should not be taxing you to fund a huge federal education bureaucracy that exercises dictatorial control over curriculum and standards nationwide. Those tax dollars should be left with parents and local voters, who can best decide how to allocate precious education resources. Public schools should be funded at the local level with local tax dollars, where waste is minimized and accountability is greatest. The failed federal system of public school funding has become a bureaucratic black hole, where the majority of tax dollars never reach the classroom.

    Also, in The Revolution: A Manifesto, Paul uses “public schools” only on p. 76 — and refers to government schools.

  46. joe

    Ron Paul did give a hard core LP message weather you like it or not and Thanks Ernie for all your hard work bro.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    ap 38, yes, the operative word is “could.” So if you need more linguistic precision, then I’d say “espousing” what has come to be known as “hardcore Lism” could, paradoxically hold back the cause of liberty.

    Of course, what we keep private and in our heads is our own business, and has nothing to do with politics, which is a game played in public.

  48. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Knapp,

    I checked out the video to which you linked (although I had to add an ‘m’ to the URL in order to get it to work).

    Many of the clips are the same ones posted in another thread, where I can actually see videos of Paul side-by-side with videos of Barr.

    Education

    Hmm. Obviously, he doesn’t want the federal government to step in and abolish state schools. Neither do I. Is that what he thought he was being asked?

    The news commentator quotes a New York Times article from 1988 that says, “If elected [President, Paul] says, he would abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security, and farm subsidies.”

    Well, obviously the president has no constitutional authority to abolish public schools.

    I checked out his 2008 platform, since he tells the host that abolishing public schools is not part of his platform. Said platform can be seen here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080430192102/www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/education/

    There is some validity to the claim that Paul’s comments could be more radical. After all, his talk about resurrecting our public schools is not a purist position.

    But, the video does not present any evidence that Paul has backed away from his 1988 positions, for it doesn’t tell us what his 1988 positions were. The only 1988 reference is to a news article that implies that Paul believed the federal government had the constitutional authority to abolish state schools, which obviously it doesn’t.

    Social Security

    While Paul is not technically saying anything statist, he’s clearly equivocating.

    DOMA

    Paul’s position on DOMA is clearly not the libertarian position, for DOMA does the opposite of what Paul claims it does—DOMA creates a federal definition of marriage, rather than devolving marriage away from the federal government.

    Immigration

    Obviously Paul’s position on immigration is unlibertarian. Although, I suspect that Hancock himself would agree that Paul is not a libertarian on immigration, if asked.

    War on Drugs

    I would claim that Paul’s comments on the drug war were hardcore. He’s not saying that the war on drugs would be good at the state level (like Mr. Barr), but rather that only the state level has the constitutional authority to regulate drugs and alcohol. While Barr’s position entails obvious compromise (and would hurt local LP candidates), Paul’s comments on this matter entail no compromising for he at no point says that the war on drugs should continue at any level.

    We can compare this to his platform position on education, we can see that his position on education entails a sort of compromise that his position on the drug war lacks, for his position on education implied that states should maintain their government school systems (even though he also says that centralisation has hurt education).

    In conclusion, I really don’t think we can call Hancock out on this as we can with DOMA, immigration, etc.

    Taxation

    I would want to know this: Did Paul bring up the idea of the national sales tax himself, or is he merely responding to questions people asked him?

    If he brought it up himself, I would say he is wasting time and resources pushing for something that he himself believes is only marginally better than the status quo. No candidate should ever waste a single second bringing up the so-called FairTax.

    But, if he’s responding to questions people asked of him, then I see nothing wrong with his responses.

    So, I’d say that the question of whether or not we can call Hancock out on this is entirely contingent upon whether Paul brought the subject up himself or was simply responding to queries.

    Abortion

    Abortion is a topic heavily debated within the movement. There are libertarians on all sides of that issue.

    Conclusion

    Okay, that’s all I got. Sound fair? Balanced?

    Best,
    Alex Peak

  49. Not amused

    I’m really amazed that Brian Holz continues to say he doesn’t endorse anyone for LNC chair. He clearly smears all but a certain candidate…That’s your right, Brian, but don’t pretend otherwise.

  50. Brian Holtz

    I trust delegates to make up their own minds if they have the facts. But if people insist on knowing my opinions, I’ll repeat them:

    I endorse

    • Hancock’s focus on empowering and highlighting grassroots/netroots activism
    • Root’s energy and focus on broadening the base
    • Hinkle’s vision of the LP as a big-tent service organization for our activists
    • Phillies’ data-driven questioning of our expense structure, and his focus on outreach and support for it
    • Myers’ criticism of Hancock on voting and 9/11, and of Root for rightward-tilted outreach

    I un-dorse

    • Hancock’s positions on voting, LPUS existence/purpose, telling The Truth about conspiracies, predicting violent revolution, endorsing right-wing theocrats as “hardcore libertarians” — and some other stuff that I haven’t even written about yet
    • Root’s Ron-Paul-like rhetoric that libertarianism should rescue conservativism instead of replace it
    • Hinkle’s signing of the Restore04 petition way back before the Platform wars were ended in Denver
    • Phillies’ habit of demonizing anyone who doesn’t agree with his strategies for the LP
    • Myers’ saying that entitlement spending is not a fiscal problem because there are special taxes earmarked for entitlements
  51. Alexander S. Peak

    I largely approve of Mr. Holtz’s list, except for two things: (1) I am not sure I’ve seen Phillies “demonize” people for disagreement, and (2) I have no problem with Restore ’04.

    Yours,
    Alex Peak

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