Fact-checking claims by Libertarian Party Chair candidate Hancock about the 2008 Barr campaign

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 fourth in a series of reports that will use video archives to anticipate what messaging he might send to LP delegates.

Question 5 quoted Hancock’s maxim that “either you’re a libertarian or you’re not”, and asked whether Hancock considered 2008 LP presidential nominee Bob Barr to be a libertarian.  The following playlist of 13 video clips takes various statements by Barr that Hancock might consider un-libertarian, and contrasts them with statements by Ron Paul.  A frequent refrain in Hancock’s campaign for LNC Chair is that Ron Paul supporters did not transfer their enthusiasm to the LP in 2008 because “they did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been for the last two years”.

94 thoughts on “Fact-checking claims by Libertarian Party Chair candidate Hancock about the 2008 Barr campaign

  1. spinnikerca

    ” A frequent refrain in Hancock’s campaign for LNC Chair is that Ron Paul supporters did not transfer their enthusiasm to the LP in 2008 because “they did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been for the last two years”

    I know nothing at all about Hancock, but at least as far as I’m concerned, he pretty much nailed that part.

  2. Rob McNealy

    Ron Paul has a consistent track record of voting Libertarian. Bob Barr does not. That is why most Libertarians didn’t trust or support him.

  3. Brian Holtz

    If you look at the last (13th) video in the playlist above, you’ll see that Ron Paul himself did not fall into the category of Libertarians who said Barr’s past voting record did not rule him out as a libertarian.

    If the libertarian movement rejects converts, it’s guaranteed to stay small. I’ve already produced all the natural-born Libertarians I can:

    The videos above show that in the 2008 campaign, Barr was at least as libertarian as Ron Paul on entitlements, taxes, gay marriage, the federal drug war, abortion, and immigration. Barr in 2008 also advocated withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan. While in 2008 Barr was embracing the LP platform on national TV, Ron Paul came close to outright lying on Meet The Press about whether he had supported the LP platform during his 1988 LP presidential campaign.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    There’s a difference between:

    “Ron Paul was no more libertarian than, and possibly not as libertarian as, Bob Barr”

    and

    “[Supporters of Ron Paul] did not perceive the Libertarian Party [and its presidential candidate, Bob Barr] being as libertarian as they had been for the last two years.”

    Can you see the difference, or do I need to explain it to you?

  5. Honest Worker

    The Barr Campaign was disorganized from the top down; which was broken.

    The Ron Paul Campaign was disorganized from the bottom up; which was brilliant.

    I know because I put concerted effort toward both.

    ###

    BH seems to be waging a campaign of not-quite-truth against Mr. Hancock. Examine his premise for the video that constitutes his entire point:

    “The following playlist of 13 video clips takes various statements by Barr that Hancock might consider un-libertarian, and contrasts them with statements by Ron Paul.”

    Statements that Hancock “might consider” and “contrasts” them…?

    1. None of us have the capacity to judge Hancock’s perceptions of Bob Barr to where we speak for him. To pick out statements from Barr and project Hancock’s judgment onto them (13 times?!?) is enough fallacy for one bad post and smear but…

    2. To then juxtapose selections from Ron Paul against Bob Barr? That is a false projection again.

    I don’t think anything in that video represents Mr. Hancock.

    I do think that sometimes we forget in the heat of competition that fraud is outside the principle and is in itself, violence.

  6. Brian Holtz

    If the oh-so-anonymous “Honest Worker” thinks that Hancock never vouched for Ron Paul’s libertarian purity, then he need only wait for the next report in my series.

    And if “Honest Worker” thinks Hancock would certify as libertarian any of these Ron Paul positions when Bob Barr proclaims them, I’ve got a bridge to sell him.

    I asked Hancock if he thought these positions made Bob Barr un-libertarian. He chose not to answer the question. If you can find anything in Hancock’s anarchist oeuvre excusing these positions as acceptably libertarian, please cite it.

    If fraud is “violence”, then did Ron Paul commit “violence” when he said on Meet The Press that he’s never advocated the abolition of public schools?

  7. Honest Worker

    BH@7
    “If fraud is “violence”, then did Ron Paul commit “violence” when he said on Meet The Press that he’s never advocated the abolition of public schools?”

    I do see a difference in someone objecting to the implications of a unfairly cast and pejoratively worded question, and piecemeal quotes out of context to cast personal projections.

    I think that your point is that Bob Barr and Ron Paul were not so different in what they espoused; that Hancock resisted Barr and celebrated Paul and you find hypocrisy in it. I understand the position, but I reject that your valid feelings represent truth and I feel you may be going too far in trying to illustrate your position.

    Personally, I liked the efforts of both. I especially liked that Bob Barr was willing to move as far as he did to the Libertarian realm and promote it. I appreciated the hard work that people put into recruiting the likes of Barr and educating him.

    I disagree with people (and that includes Mr. Hancock) that tear down those works of others to promote their own goals. So, please understand good sir: It is not your determination nor your internal honesty that I question. It is your tactics and what they represent that harden my heart against your premise.

  8. Robert Milnes

    Both Paul & Barr are dixiecrat conservatives, best fit with the Constitution party.
    Better questions to answer here re why is this consistently confused with libertarianism. & why is it rightists are coddled & “educated” to libertarianism yet get the nomination & so many party positions & candidacies?

  9. AroundtheblockAFT

    Would it have been different if Ron Paul had endorsed Bob Barr? Of course. But Bob Barr disrespected Ron Paul (or it appeared that way) and RP backed the CP candidate.

    Another factor is that RP shut down his campaign a month or more before the LP nominee was even known. If the LP already had a candidate, perhaps RP could have supported him or her early and the enthusiasm for RP would have been transferred, with no missed beat, to the LP candidate? [Yet another argument for holding the 2012 LP convention earlier than Memorial Day.]

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Tom, do I need to explain to you whether the point of my article is to correct that misperception?”

    No, you don’t have to explain that, because the answer is obviously “no” — the point of your article is to slam Hancock. Which, of course, is just fine as long as we’re clear that that, and not “objective journalism,” is what you’re up to.

  11. Barney

    One important thing missing from your “fact check”: CREDIBILITY!

    An ex-CIA career drug warrior who voted for the Patriot Act and a most unjust and immoral initiation of force against Iraq trying to pass himself off as a Libertarian?!

    Barr himself was so allergic to the word “libertarian”, that the word itself was censored during his campaign on the Libertarian ticket!

    Barr co-opted the Libertarian Party like the NeoCons co-opted the Republican Party,… and Cato now chaired by Rupert Murdoch.

    True defenders of liberty congregate at the Mises Institute (mises.org), LewRockwell.com, fff.org

  12. Barney

    It speaks volumes that LNC chair Mr Hancock is now implying that the Ron Paul masses were ignorant in not getting behind Barr by posting a few choice video snipets.

    There is also a very convincing video of Cheney arguing against deposing Saddam Hussein.

    When your career and voting record is a 180 degrees from what’s coming out of your mouth, people are right to ignore what you have to say.

    Dr Paul is way too generous with Barr at the end there.

  13. Andy

    “Brian Holtz // Apr 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Tom, do I need to explain to you whether the point of my article is to correct that misperception?”

    Typical repsonses that I got from small “l” libertarians who did not support Bob Barr were:

    1) He’s that drug war asshole.

    2) He’s a CIA plant.

    Keep in mind that Bob Barr did continue to show some support for the drug war AFTER he made his supposed Libertarian conversion. While sitting on the LNC Barr wrote an article which was posted on his website where he spoke in favor of US military intervention in Columbia to fight drug trafficing. Also, shortly prior to the Libertarian National Convention in 2008 Barr appeared on Hannity & Colmes and Sean Hannity pressed him over his stance on the drug war. Barr told Hannity that he favored ending the federal government’s war on drugs (Although did he really mean this given his comments about Columbia that were made while he was a sitting member of the LNC?). Then Hannity asked him if he’d be in favor of ending the drug war in his home state of Georgia and Barr said no.

    Another point to consider is that Ron Paul was running as a Republican while Bob Barr was running as a Libertarian. Ron Paul was pushing the pro-freedom envelope pretty damn far in an anti-freedom party while Bob Barr was backpeddaling away from the pro-freedom message in a pro-freedom party.

    I think that Ron Paul is more libertarian than Barr, but whatever the case may be the fact is that Ron Paul ran as a Republican and Bob Barr ran as a Libertarian. If a person is going to run as a Libertarian then they SHOULD BE more radical than the guy running as a Republican, and I think that Barr was less radical if anything (he certainly was not more radical).

    I’ve been to the Freedoms Phoenix Workshop in Phoenix, AZ and I’ve met people whom Ernie Hancock refered to and they were just not excited by Bob Barr. They did not trust him and did not turn out to support him.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Barr himself was so allergic to the word ‘libertarian’, that the word itself was censored during his campaign on the Libertarian ticket!”

    That’s simply not true.

    He used the word “libertarian” in his national TV appearances.

    The front page of his web site promoted the Libertarian Party by name.

    Some people think he didn’t use the word “libertarian” often enough or loudly enough, and some people (myself included) think he at least occasionally used it in a way that made the LP look bad, but it certainly wasn’t “censored” from his campaign.

  15. Brian Holtz

    Tom, I don’t know where you think you’re quoting the words “objective journalism” from — certainly not from me. As I wrote on IPR last week: I have never claimed to be an unbiased reporter. I should always be assumed to have an agenda here of promoting 1) libertarianism, 2) the Libertarian Party, and 3) ideological ecumenicism within the LP.

    Yes, my agenda guides me in choosing what facts to report about. That doesn’t make them non-facts.

    Honest Worker, you seem to have me confused with Hancock. He believes there is Truth; I just believe there are truths. The truths I posted here are intended to be an antidote to the sort of ignorance illustrated @12 and @14. If you’ve already been self-inoculated with these truths, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to administer them.

    I share your concern that Hancock invests too much effort in tearing down other libertarians, and that’s why I want to expose his history of such efforts. I do it with facts, and not just vague unsubstantiated opinions and characterizations.

    Libertarianism has an auto-immune disorder, and my prescription for it is sunshine. Remember, I didn’t create any of the facts I push into the sunlight.

  16. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Apr 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    ‘Barr himself was so allergic to the word ‘libertarian’, that the word itself was censored during his campaign on the Libertarian ticket!’

    That’s simply not true.

    He used the word ‘libertarian’ in his national TV appearances.

    The front page of his web site promoted the Libertarian Party by name.

    Some people think he didn’t use the word ‘libertarian’ often enough or loudly enough, and some people (myself included) think he at least occasionally used it in a way that made the LP look bad, but it certainly wasn’t ‘censored’ from his campaign.”

    I recall the Barr campaign putting out campaign literature that did not mention Libertarian Party.

    Another important thing to consider is how many new people came into the Libertarian Party because of Bob Barr? Not too many from what I’ve seen.

    Most Libertarians that I’ve spoken to came into the party because a Libertarian Party candidate inspired them to join. It was usually a candidate for President. I came in because of Harry Browne and so did a lot of other Libertarians that I’ve met. I’ve met other Libertarians who came in because of Ron Paul or Michael Badnarik or Ed Clark or Roger McBride, etc… Where are all of the Bob Barr Libertarians?

    2008 had the potential to be the biggest and best year ever for the Libertarian Party. The Ron Paul campaign showed that there IS a large constituency that supports the basic concept of less government and more liberty. All the Libertarian Party had to do was nominate a Presidential candidate who was not a turn off to the majority of Ron Paul supporters and the party could have smashed the million vote barrier in the Presidential race and this certainly could have lead to more Libertarians being elected to lower level offices. But no, the Libertarian Party had to nominate Bob Barr who was a turn off to many of the Ron Paul supporters, and to make the situation even worse, the Libertarian Party only obtained ballot access in 45 states (which was the worst ballot access for the party since either 1988 or 1984 depending on how you want to count it). 2008 was the biggest opportunity that the Libertarian Party has had and this opportunity was flushed down the toilet.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    I did not intend the quotes around the phrase “objective journalism” as a reference to anything you’ve said, but rather, per Wikipedia’s notes on the use of scare quotes, to denote “that the writer [me] does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself).”

    To be more specific, I’m not claiming that you’re pretending to be that mythical creature, the “objective journalist.” I’m just re-iterating that you’re not one, in case anyone didn’t notice or had forgotten that you’ve not claimed to be one and have indeed previously stated that you’re not one.

    You’re trying to take Ernie’s scalp. No problem. He’s fair game. Pardon me if I’m sensitive to, and want to guard against, the possibility that some readers may assume you’re attempting to be neutral or dispassionate about your topic.

  18. Brian Holtz

    In none of my articles on Hancock have I urged anybody to vote against him. Indeed, I’m confident that many Hancock supporters would say that the facts I’m exposing only strengthen their support for him. However, I make no effort to disguise my judgment that if all the St. Louis delegates see the facts about Hancock that I want them to see, then Hancock would have very little chance of winning Chair.

    Barr used “libertarian” a fair amount, but should have used it more. As for the question of how many dues-payers the Barr campaign recruited, notice the shift to a new hard-to-falsify charge when somebody calls BS on the previous one.

    Bob Barr wasn’t my first or second choice in 2008, but I’m confident that Ruwart would have gotten fewer votes than Barr. Fact: Ruwart had the closest thing to a Ron Paul endorsement in Denver, and it didn’t even win her the nomination among delegates that adore him. Fact: Ron Paul endorsed Chuck Baldwin — whose anti-New-World-Order rhetoric is far closer to Ron Paul’s than Barr’s or the LP’s is — and Baldwin only got 56K more votes in 2008 than the 2004 CP ticket on which he ran as VP.

    It’s just not reality-based to claim that Ron Paul could have gotten an extra half-million votes for any of the LP’s 2008 presidential contenders.

  19. paulie

    dixiecrat conservatives, best fit with the Constitution party.
    Better questions to answer here re why is this consistently confused with libertarianism.

    Questions of what Paul and/or Barr are and are not aside, this deserves some consideration.

    The LP – and other parts of the movement – bend over backward to make libertarianism palatable to various different kinds of conservatives, moderates, and ultra-conservatives….whether these be pro-war conservatives courted by one side of the LM or social reactionaries courted by another side.

    As far as I can tell, no such effort on anything approaching a similar scale is made on our left flank, and I think that is to our great loss.

  20. paulie

    the point of your article is to slam Hancock. Which, of course, is just fine as long as we’re clear that that, and not “objective journalism,” is what you’re up to.

    I would call it investigative journalism, and I applaud Brian for doing it, even if his choice of target would not have been my first choice.

    Since he’s doing it, I believe a similar investigative series aimed at other LNC chair candidates would be appropriate as well. I’ve applied my modest talents to begin such a series. I know Tom Knapp is more talented than I am in this regard, and that he is also a writer here at IPR, so perhaps he’ll see fit to expand on my efforts.

  21. paulie

    It speaks volumes that LNC chair Mr Hancock is now implying that the Ron Paul masses were ignorant in not getting behind Barr by posting a few choice video snipets.

    Hancock is not LNC chair, he is running for LNC chair, just as he has in the past (never successfully, though).

    Nor has Hancock ever been on the LNC in any capacity, unless I am mistaken.

    The video snippets are posted by Mr. Holtz, not Mr. Hancock. Mr. Holtz is likewise not on the LNC. I’m not sure if he ever has been in the past, and as far as I know he isn’t running this time.

    I doubt Mr. Hancock would imply any such thing, although you could ask him yourself.

    When your career and voting record is a 180 degrees from what’s coming out of your mouth, people are right to ignore what you have to say.

    Even if Barr had taken a 180 degree turn (he didn’t – on may issues, he was the same in 2008 as he was in 1998), such a thing is possible. People do change their views, even at his age. That has nothing to do with whether you believe the change was genuine or complete enough, but your point is vastly overstated.

  22. paulie

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Apr 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    ‘Barr himself was so allergic to the word ‘libertarian’, that the word itself was censored during his campaign on the Libertarian ticket!’

    That’s simply not true.

    He used the word ‘libertarian’ in his national TV appearances.

    The front page of his web site promoted the Libertarian Party by name.

    Some people think he didn’t use the word ‘libertarian’ often enough or loudly enough, and some people (myself included) think he at least occasionally used it in a way that made the LP look bad, but it certainly wasn’t ‘censored’ from his campaign.”

    I recall the Barr campaign putting out campaign literature that did not mention Libertarian Party.

    There is actually no contradiction between Tom’s statement and Andy’s.

  23. paulie

    2008 was the biggest opportunity that the Libertarian Party has had and this opportunity was flushed down the toilet.

    Not to worry, 2012 is shaping up to be better still.

  24. paulie

    To be more specific, I’m not claiming that you’re pretending to be that mythical creature, the “objective journalist.” I’m just re-iterating that you’re not one, in case anyone didn’t notice or had forgotten that you’ve not claimed to be one and have indeed previously stated that you’re not one.

    LOL, as long as we are all clear on that.

    How often does Tom take the effort to disspel misconceptions that no one proclaimed or indicated in any way, shape or form?

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    You write:

    “I would call it investigative journalism, and I applaud Brian for doing it, even if his choice of target would not have been my first choice.”

    I applaud him for doing it as well. Sorry if it came up otherwise.

    I wish he’d turn the same piercing eye on Root instead of just lobbing softballs, though.

  26. paulie

    Well, I wish the same thing, and I gave it my half-assed shot just to try to keep things “fair and balanced,” as they say.

    But I think you should give it a try. Water’s great — jump on in! (Please….I can use some help here….Brian’s got me outgunned….heeeeeeelllllppppp…need reinforceme…)

  27. Robert Capozzi

    hm: The Barr Campaign was disorganized from the top down; which was broken.

    The Ron Paul Campaign was disorganized from the bottom up; which was brilliant.

    me: You’d have to expand on what you mean by this, but a campaign that brought us NewsletterGate and the Stormfront incident doesn’t seem to deserve a “brilliant” rating.

  28. What?

    BH@16
    “I share your concern that Hancock invests too much effort in tearing down other libertarians, and that’s why I want to expose his history of such efforts. I do it with facts, and not just vague unsubstantiated opinions and characterizations.

    Libertarianism has an auto-immune disorder, and my prescription for it is sunshine. Remember, I didn’t create any of the facts I push into the sunlight.”

    Here is what I understand you to be saying with the video and post:

    Politician barr = PoliticianFactory.getInstance(“Bob Barr”);
    Politician paul = PoliticianFactory.getInstance(“Ron Paul”);
    Claque claque = Claque.getImaginaryInstance();
    Position[] whatTheyHate = claque.getPositionHateList(barr);
    boolean truth = barr.getPositionList(whatTheyHate).equals(paul.getPositionList(whatTheyHate));
    return hancock;

    What I get out of this is that you never initialized hancock!

    I will agree with you on the autoimmune disorder, are you sure that sunlight helps autoimmune disorders? Does adding the UV lamp of fallacious argumentation really help in the treatment? Are you sure that sunburn isn’t contributing to the malady?

    RC@28
    “hm: The Barr Campaign was disorganized from the top down; which was broken.

    The Ron Paul Campaign was disorganized from the bottom up; which was brilliant.

    me: You’d have to expand on what you mean by this, but a campaign that brought us NewsletterGate and the Stormfront incident doesn’t seem to deserve a “brilliant” rating.”

    $40M for a dark horse out of (as far as most are concerned) nowhere and an army of decentralized activists running amok was brilliant. A little bad press… is still press and even in the short run it was swallowed by the surge of grassroots action. Hannity taking a snowball… priceless.

    Ron Paul is in a nice place for that insurgent campaign and I think it had a lot to do with his ability to inspire rather than control. Not a bad model to learn a lesson from if you are looking to get the masses to rise behind your campaign: Fire up the hearts of men and let go of the reins.

  29. phatphing

    “Bob Barr wasn’t my first or second choice in 2008, but I’m confident that Ruwart would have gotten fewer votes than Barr”

    Ron Paul said it best: What good is winning if you don’t stand for anything?

    And the pundits and strategists are puzzled why the Ron Paul crowd didn’t gravitate to Barr just because he was flying the Libertarian banner.

    Might it be that you political know-it-alls just don’t get the Ron Paul phenomenon?

  30. Brian Holtz

    Bob Barr stood for the Platform written for him by the delegates who nominated him. As I documented above, his few deviations from that Platform were largely shared by Ron Paul.

    I “get” the Ron Paul phenomenon. Unfortunately, a lot of it is about bogeymen: “empire”, the Fed, the New World Order, the Trilateral Commission, 9/11, the Bilderberg Group. Google searches show that campaignforliberty.com is riddled with this sort of stuff.

    For too many Ron Paul fans, how pro-liberty you are is measured only by how big an anti-liberty conspiracy you see. And since Bob Barr is ex-CIA, he’s obviously in on it.

    @29, I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re going to accuse me of a fallacy, then please quote my conclusion that you claim is fallacious, and then identify the fallacy I employed to reach it. Show your work.

  31. JT

    Brian @ 19: “Bob Barr wasn’t my first or second choice in 2008, but I’m confident that Ruwart would have gotten fewer votes than Barr.”

    Does it really matter when you’re talking about much less than 1% of the vote either way? To me, it makes no difference at all.

    Brian: “It’s just not reality-based to claim that Ron Paul could have gotten an extra half-million votes for any of the LP’s 2008 presidential contenders.”

    That’s definitely true. Many Libertarians hate to hear that most of the RP support just isn’t transferable to the LP–but it ain’t. Paul got millions of votes in the GOP primaries (though he didn’t do so well overall). Obviously, most Paul supporters would rather back the GOP nominee or vote for nobody than vote for the Libertarian candidate (or the Constitution candidate, whom he endorsed).

  32. Brian Holtz

    JT, my comment about Ruwart was in response to someone claiming that “all the Libertarian Party had to do was nominate a Presidential candidate who was not a turn off to the majority of Ron Paul supporters and the party could have smashed the million vote barrier”. A million votes would have been close to 1%.

    I can’t agree that e.g. a 50% increase in the LP’s usual 0.4% POTUS result wouldn’t matter. In addition to building momentum and morale, it would show the nanny-state parties that there are enough pro-liberty votes on the table to make the difference in a tight race.

    Paul didn’t get millions of votes in the GOP primaries. I went through the results of all the primaries and caucuses to come up with the total I showed in this video:

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    You write:

    “But I think you should give it a try.”

    I already have. I’ve published irrefutable (or at least as yet unrefuted) proof that Root is:

    a) a flagrant liar; and

    b) a train wreck of a CEO.

    If others want to expand on that, they’re welcome to do so.

  34. Honest Worker feat What?

    BH@31
    “I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re going to accuse me of a fallacy, then please quote my conclusion that you claim is fallacious, and then identify the fallacy I employed to reach it. Show your work.”

    I hate showing my work… OkGo:

    Your video introduction ends with these two statements:

    “The following playlist of 13 video clips takes various statements by Barr that Hancock might consider un-libertarian, and contrasts them with statements by Ron Paul.”

    Then you explain that Hancock gave an opinion:

    “A frequent refrain in Hancock’s campaign for LNC Chair is that Ron Paul supporters did not transfer their enthusiasm to the LP in 2008 because “they did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been for the last two years”.”

    Your only tie for this montage to Hancock is your opinion: ‘…Hancock might consider un-libertarian…’

    And his assertion: “…[the Ron Paul people] saw themselves more libertarian than the Libertarian Party….”

    It feels like you arbitrarily chose matching Barr/Paul positions mashed ’em together and left us to surmise the rest of your point.

    Finding a dozen common positions taken by two people does not make them equivalent even in my eyes. I have no idea about Mr. Hancock’s opinion of them in comparison.

    I am confused further by how these issues connect to Hancock. The implication is supposed to demonstrate itself? Definite begging the question. A shadow thesis? Fallacy.

    You claim to be illuminating with these demonstrations. I applaud the effort. I wonder if the light isn’t a little too bright on this one.

  35. Erik Geib

    RC @28:

    Don’t forget the “Ron Paul… He’s catching on.” ads in NH with all the bearded guys. Brilliant!

  36. Robert Capozzi

    Honest, I don’t mean to minimize the relative accomplishment of the Paul campaign. He was the backest of back benchers, and these days he is a sought after media star.

    I wonder, however, whether his fundraising “money bombs” were a fluke. Apparently one guy started it, it caught fire, and that propelled Dr. Paul in the primary media coverage, but generally not with primary voters; his support seemed fairly deep, but not wide.

    So was it all a BEING THERE string of events? I wouldn’t go that far, but that may be the most coherent explanation.

  37. paulie

    Tom,

    Paulie,

    You write:

    “But I think you should give it a try.”

    I already have. I’ve published irrefutable (or at least as yet unrefuted) proof that Root is:

    a) a flagrant liar; and

    b) a train wreck of a CEO.

    If others want to expand on that, they’re welcome to do so.

    Well, yes, you have, at Kn@ppster, and in comments, etc.

    What you have not done is post a series of investigative posts and questions on the more widely read IPR, as Brian has.

    I’ve done a bit, but I must admit, not nearly as well as Brian has. I think you could do a better job.

    What we are looking for here is not outright editorials, but probing questions and selection of various facts in the candidate’s history to paint him in portrait from a certain angle, while remaining completely truthful and accurate.

    I grasp the general concept, but I can’t execute it as well as Brian does. I think you can.

    If you don’t want to, just say so. Not that you haven’t, in effect, already done so, but why play semantic games? You already know there are plenty of LP delegates who read IPR much more regularly than they read Kn@ppster, and that read IPR posts much more regularly than they read IPR comments. Even if you dispute this, there’s also the fact that your Kn@ppster posts and IPR/TPW comments have been spaced out over a period of years, not concentrated into several weeks leading up to the convention, as Brian’s investigative series on Hancock has been.

    Please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by saying that you have made the information available and pretending time and place of presentation is irrelevant or equivalent here. Don’t want to do it? Fine, but at least say “I don’t want to do it” rather than “I already did it.” Apples, oranges, etc.

  38. paulie

    I wonder, however, whether his fundraising “money bombs” were a fluke. Apparently one guy started it, it caught fire, and that propelled Dr. Paul in the primary media coverage, but generally not with primary voters; his support seemed fairly deep, but not wide.

    Lots of people have tried things such as money bombs before, although as far as I know the term did not exist previously. Lots have tried since, using the term, but not with nearly as much success. And financial donations were not even the whole story of the Ron Paul grassroots, which involved a lot of volunteer time and activity and getting people interested in ideas.

    You are correct that it did not translate into a lot of votes, by serious major party presidential primary contender standards. But here we are two years later and Ron Paul is winning or coming close in major Republican straw polls (CPAC, SRLC), on the verge of propelling his son into the US Senate, getting tons of co-sponsors in Congress for auditing the Federal Reserve, etc, etc. YAL has active campus clubs all over the country, CFL has something like ten times the dues paying membership of the LP….do we need to keep going here?

    And actual Republican primary votes don’t measure all the width of Ron Paul support, as paradoxical as that statement may seem. For many Ron Paul supporters, actually voting for him in the Republican primary was not the point of the whole thing, not even important enough to bother following through on. Sort of like how some people go to some popular concerts and sporting events for the scene in the parking lot, and don’t even care too much whether they get into the show or not (Grateful Dead, Phish, NASCAR, etc, etc).

    So, would Mary Ruwart have done worse than Bob Barr? In terms of votes, quite possibly, although not necessarily – the dynamics would have been different than what happened with Barr and Baldwin, and we can’t be certain that we can extrapolate them. But let’s say she got slightly less votes – how many less votes? The LP has gotten 0.4 +/- 0.1% in every election since the 1980s (technically, 1980 was in the 1970s. Moving along…)

    The point is that a Ruwart candidacy may have been better for the long term health/growth/development of the LP than a Barr candidacy, even if she got 0.3% rather than 0.4% — and Ron Paul supporters bumping her up to 0.5% is not impossible to imagine, even if they were not as “into” Rev. Baldwin as the good Doctor Paul was himself.

  39. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, you give me too much credit. Root has been under a critical microscope within the LP for nearly three years, while Hancock has been a serious contender to be the LP’s chief spokesman for only a couple months. Also, a decade of material in Hancock’s own archives makes for a target-rich environment.

    Honest @35, you fail to quote a conclusion from me that is fallacious. Instead, you now complain that I “left us to surmise the rest of your point”. I plead guilty to the charge of inviting readers to draw their own conclusions.

    I never said that Paul and Barr were “equivalent”. On the contrary, @19 and @31 I explained what I think is the primary difference between Paul and Barr: the size of the anti-liberty conspiracy that they see.

    I did say in a comment that “in the 2008 campaign, Barr was at least as libertarian as Ron Paul on entitlements, taxes, gay marriage, the federal drug war, abortion, and immigration.” I stand by that claim. The connection to Hancock is obvious: he claimed that Ron Paul supporters “did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been”.

    So I’m simply asking Hancock: on what issues in 2008 was the LP and its presidential nominee not “as libertarian” as Ron Paul had been during that campaign?

  40. Barney

    “I “get” the Ron Paul phenomenon. Unfortunately, a lot of it is about bogeymen: “empire”, the Fed, the New World Order, the Trilateral Commission, 9/11, the Bilderberg Group. Google searches show that campaignforliberty.com is riddled with this sort of stuff.”

    I’m sorry, but you don’t get it.

    Paul himself address the conspiracy issue very nicely in one of the debates. It is NOT a conspiracy that groups and organizations such as CFR, Trilateral Commission exists and believe in centralizing authority and governance. They proudly advertise their ideology on their websites. There’s nothing conspiratorial about their existence or intent. Paul sees it as “a battle of ideas” in that libertarians believe individual liberty is inversely related to the size, scope and centralization of government.

    And their angst against the Fed comes from an Austrian school of economic understanding. Intellectual giants like Mises, Hayek, Rothbard shown how central banks are engines of business cycles, instruments of taxation through inflation and enablers of the warfare/welfare state.

    And when asked, Paul said he doesn’t believe 9/11 was perpetrated by the gov’t. Although he supports a full and open inquiry.

    You are mistaking the Alex Jones crowd for the Ron Paul movement. The FREEDOM movement is much much greater than the “railing against alien devil worshiping reptiles” crowd.

  41. JT

    Brian: “I can’t agree that e.g. a 50% increase in the LP’s usual 0.4% POTUS result wouldn’t matter. In addition to building momentum and morale, it would show the nanny-state parties that there are enough pro-liberty votes on the table to make the difference in a tight race.”

    Well, I said “much less than 1%,” and I wasn’t thinking of .8%. Barr only got .4%. Even if Ruwart would have received .3%, which I think every Libertarian candidate has received since 1972, I don’t think that makes any difference to most people, Libertarian or not.

    I don’t think .8% would be momentous either, even if it’s twice the percentage of the last candidate and brought a bit of optimism. I consider 1% to be the cutoff of significance for me. And I don’t think a soul outside the party would even care about that unless there was a repeat of the all-time bizarre presidential race of 2000. Then we can be painted again (wrongly) as a party that ONLY draws active voters from the right. Yippee. (sarcasm)

    Brian: “Paul didn’t get millions of votes in the GOP primaries. I went through the results of all the primaries and caucuses to come up with the total…”

    I was relying on what I had read from other people in the libertarian movement. But if you did all the calculation, I’ll concede that. I guess they were wrong, though that means they were off by several million votes.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    You write:

    “If you don’t want to, just say so.”

    So.

    I burn myself out every four years on the presidential cycle — a zombie by convention time and held together by caffeine, nicotine, adrenaline and other drugs from convention until November. It takes me a good year to recover, and I don’t feel like doubling the cycle rate.

    It’s not my future that’s at stake here — it’s the LP’s. While I’d rather the party didn’t commit suicide in St. Louis, there are both practical and personal limits to my ability to save it from its own collective gullibility.

    Ultimately, it will extract its head from its ass with respect to Root, or it won’t. I’ve given it reasons to do so, but it has to make that choice — I’m not willing to reach into its anus and grab it by the hair. I guess that makes me what Holtz calls a “clean-hands-itarian.”

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    Once again:

    —–
    The connection to Hancock is obvious: he claimed that Ron Paul supporters “did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been”.

    So I’m simply asking Hancock: on what issues in 2008 was the LP and its presidential nominee not “as libertarian” as Ron Paul had been during that campaign?
    —–

    Hancock says one thing, you ask a question that runs 270 degrees away from what he said.

    Hancock says that Ron Paul supporters did not PERCEIVE the LP as being as libertarian as THEY were.

    You ask in what way WAS the LP not as libertarian as RON PAUL.

    Perception is not the same thing as reality.

    Ron Paul’s supporters are not the same thing as Ron Paul.

    Why should Hancock have to justify the statement you made instead of the statement he made?

  44. George Phillies

    Ruwart would almost certainly have done far better than Bob Barr, for the simple reason that she would have had an effective, fiscally efficient campaign, and would have been outspoken about real libertarian issues that appeal to vast numbers of Americans. For example, she would surely have opposed the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that Obama and McCain support. She would have stood openly for our party’s positions on abortion, gay rights, and the war on drugs. And she would have spent money on advertising.

  45. JT

    Er, I just realized a 50% increase wouldn’t be .8, it would be .6. This is getting embarrassing. But I stand by my overall point.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, Paul has become a phenomenon, I agree. I also agree that he’s actually been building on his 08 meteor, I HOPE despite some of the major missteps like NewsletterGate and Stormfront.

    The Barr campaign severely miscalculated the handling of the Paul, IMO. The whole thing played out like a schoolyard fight.

    Most campaigns make such errors. It’s impossible to say where we’d be had Barr not gotten the nomination, but based on the data we do have, my sense we’d be just about in the same place we are now.

    IF Barr and the LNC had convinced Paul to jump back to the LP, we might be somewhere else.

    But, I’m not one to cry over spilled milk. Our next move is the most important one, as always.

  47. paulie

    “If you don’t want to, just say so.”

    So.

    See, that wasn’t so hard 🙂

    In truth, you didn’t have to say anything at all, and just allowed me to continue trying to get you to do things you don’t want to do with no response whatsoever.

    But, since you did decide to reply, here we are.

    I understand your hesitation completely.

    The fact is, Brian and a few other people on his “side” are just more motivated and organized about doing what they believe is necessary to save/improve the party than folks on “our” side are, which is why I believe they will elect Root/Rutherford/Starr and strengthen their majority on the rest of the LNC this time, move the ball further down the field on platform and bylaws, and do the same again at the 2012 convention, when they will once again get their way on the platform, presidential nomination, and everything else.

    And I’m not saying Brian has endorsed Root for Chair. I know he hasn’t. I also know Barr was not his first or second choice for the nomination. It’s just how things added up. It’s where the energy and the motivation are.

    Pessimistic? Yes. I just see a continual failure on the “radical”/left-friendly side to “go for it.” Your resignation from the presidential race, and your comment above? Just another piece of the puzzle.

    Not that it is, or should be, all on you.

    I get burned out, too – just one reason I just may have gotten tired of repeating myself and resigned from a certain list that may or may not exist or be mentioned, if such a list in fact exists and if I was in fact at one time subscribed to it.

    So here we are. And there we’ll be. Predictable and avoidable, but obviously I don’t have the talents to lead the charge or motivate others to do so. Such is life.

  48. paulie

    Man, I meant MacBride in 1976. I wish there were a way to correct errors on here.

    You’d have to become an IPR writer and contribute occasional articles.

  49. paulie

    Ruwart would almost certainly have done far better than Bob Barr, for the simple reason that she would have had an effective, fiscally efficient campaign, and would have been outspoken about real libertarian issues that appeal to vast numbers of Americans. For example, she would surely have opposed the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that Obama and McCain support. She would have stood openly for our party’s positions on abortion, gay rights, and the war on drugs. And she would have spent money on advertising.

    So, Dr. Phillies, were you of that same opinion at the convention?

    As best I can recall, you believed nominating either Ruwart or Barr would be a train wreck, and thus did not endorse either. Did Barr do much worse than you thought he would, or have you since decided Ruwart would have done better than you thought at the time, both, or neither?

    In retrospect, do you think you should have endorsed Ruwart? Or do you stand by your previous comments that your endorsement would have had negative value, in which case, should you have endorsed Barr?

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    My guess is that Holtz will vote Phillies for chair, but that’s just a guess. I don’t think he’s so much “pro-Root” as “anti-Hancock.” Which is fine.

    I’m not making any bets on the chair outcome myself. I generally go for the whole hope thing (“the triumph of faith over experience”), but my ability to do so has eroded in recent years 😉

    Between now and the convention, I may go ahead and blog “a general case against Root” roundup and do my best to disseminate that argument to likely delegates both online and in print/flier form at the convention.

  51. Barney

    Perhaps the Libertarian Party can court and convert Cheney/Wolfowitz for 2012.

    Talk about name recognition! And the MSM access! Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck and the entire Murdoch empire at your disposal.

  52. George Phillies

    @52 In my end speech I carefully said something nice about each of my opponents.

    I then made remarks to the TV audience, trashing the Republicans and the Democrats, something that I would have been happy to see stolen in later speeches.

    I believe Mary would have had a much better campaign than Barr turned out to have. That’s hindsight. Foresight was that each had just started, had almost no campaign organization, and would muddle through about the way Badnarik did with about equally strong campaigns. That’s not blaming anyone; that’s ‘very late start makes it hard to catch up’. As it turned out, Barr had a much weaker campaign than anyone would reasonably have expected, and I expect Mary would have done better than Badnarik did, with a much better outside situation. But that’s hindsight, not something I knew at the time.

  53. Honest Worker

    BH@40

    “Honest @35, you fail to quote a conclusion from me that is fallacious. Instead, you now complain that I “left us to surmise the rest of your point”. I plead guilty to the charge of inviting readers to draw their own conclusions.”

    Is not the title of this post:

    “FACT-CHECKING CLAIMS by Libertarian Party Chair candidate Hancock about the 2008 Barr campaign.”

    perhaps another title would better suffice:

    “Vague Innuendo Foisted on Libertarian Party Chair Candidate Hancock using Non-Sequitors and Unconnected References to Ron Paul and Bob Barr (Draw Your Own Conclusions While I Pretend I Didn’t Have Any Myself).”

    So is this your thesis stated as a question?
    “The connection to Hancock is obvious: he claimed that Ron Paul supporters “did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been”.

    So I’m simply asking Hancock: on what issues in 2008 was the LP and its presidential nominee not “as libertarian” as Ron Paul had been during that campaign?”

    non se·qui·tur
    /n?n ?s?kw?t?r, -?t??r; Lat. no?n ?s?kw??t??r/ [non sek-wi-ter, -toor; Lat. nohn se-kwi-toor]

    –noun
    1. Logic . an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises.
    2. a statement containing an illogical conclusion.

    This links may also prove valuable:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_(logic)

  54. Brian Holtz

    For this piece I assumed that insiders know that Hancock endorsed and indeed help propagate the meme that in 2008 the LP was not as libertarian as the 2008 Ron Paul campaign was. Hancock says or suggests this in virtually every Chair pitch he gives, and will keep doing so right through to St. Louis. My next report will illuminate this point even further.

    I don’t “pretend I don’t have any conclusions”. I’m just confident that a majority of my target audience will reach the conclusion I reached: that on a broad array of issues, it’s simply false to claim that in 2008 the LP was not as libertarian as the Ron Paul campaign was.

    That annoying feeling in your head is the inability of your brain to avoid the conclusion that I want it to reach. 🙂

    I take charges of non sequitur seriously. Again: quote my conclusion, quote my evidence for it, and show how the former does not follow from the latter. Don’t just foist vague innuendo in my direction and hope it sticks.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “I take charges of non sequitur seriously. Again: quote my conclusion, quote my evidence for it, and show how the former does not follow from the latter. Don’t just foist vague innuendo in my direction and hope it sticks.”

    Okay.

    Conclusion (implied by form of question:

    “Hancock believes that the LP was not as radical as Ron Paul was in 2008.”

    Evidence:

    Hancock says that Ron Paul supporters perceived themselves as more radical than the LP in 2008.

    How the former does not follow from the latter:

    1. Ron Paul is not Ron Paul’s supporters.

    2. Perception is not actuality.

  56. Brian Holtz

    I repeat: For this piece I assumed that insiders know that Hancock endorsed and indeed help propagate the meme that in 2008 the LP was not as libertarian as the 2008 Ron Paul campaign was.

    Did you not know Hancock did so, Tom?

    Another assumption I made is that by “Ron Paul” refers to the Texas congressman who ran for President in 2008, and not e.g. Ron B. Paul (b. 1946) of Round Rock, Texas.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    If you ask a question which does not follow from the point you just brought up, it’s a non-sequitur, regardless of any unstated claims that you may assume others are privy to.

    I have no doubt that Hancock endorsed the “Ron Paul was more libertarian than the LP” meme, but that’s not what you were arguing.

    Should I also assume that your argument includes Bostrom’s simulation hypothesis, the infield fly rule and the entire contents of the latest edition of Encyclopedia Britannica?

  58. Brian Holtz

    My article quoted Hancock saying of Ron Paul supporters: “they did not perceive the Libertarian Party being as libertarian as they had been for the last two years”.

    I’ll let this audience decide for themselves whether that quote is an intelligible pointer toward a fact that you apparently admit (and that I assert is common knowledge) — that Hancock endorsed the “Ron Paul was more libertarian than the LP” meme.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    Correct — you quoted Hancock saying one thing, and then asked a question which implied that he had something completely different.

    And that, sir, is classic non sequitur. If you want to accuse Hancock of saying X, then just come out and accuse him of saying X, instead of noting that he said Y and pretending that Y is X.

    I’m quite willing to stipulate that Hancock said X or something approximating X so closely as to be indistinguishable. That’s why it strikes me as weird that you’d try to smuggle that claim in via non sequitur instead of just making/proving it.

  60. Brian Holtz

    I also “smuggled” in the claim that Hancock is a Ron Paul supporter, instead of “making/proving it”.

    So what?

    Consider
    1) Ron-Paul-supporter Hancock stating his undisputed and widely-known belief X.
    2) Ron-Paul-supporter Hancock stating that Ron Paul supporters generally believe X.

    Again, I’ll let this audience decide for themselves whether (1) and (2) are “completely different”.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    I’m a reasonably good poker player.

    “I’ll let the audience decide” is your tell. Whenever you use it, it’s a virtual lock that you’ve got a crap hand and are bluffing.

  62. Brian Holtz

    Quite the opposite — it’s how I say: I rest my case, because I don’t believe that any serious observer would publicly disagree with my point as already stated.

    So call my “bluff”. Find me a serious observer who would publicly agree with you that I misled people by quoting Ron-Paul-supporter Hancock telling us what Ron-Paul-supporters generally believe, and thus suggesting-without-proving that Hancock believes it too — a belief you apparently concede Hancock indeed holds.

    And if that’s not your point here, then please do a better job of making one.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    I didn’t say that you “misled” people.

    I just noticed (or, rather concurred with someone else who noticed) that your argument was a non sequitur.

    It was such an obvious non sequitur that I doubt anyone was misled by it. And it was so obvious that you couldn’t plausibly have expected anyone to be misled by it.

    So, I’m curious as to why you used it, and why you continue to pretend that it’s anything other than what it is. It would be so easy to just own up (“damn, I missed the fact that my argument was non sequitur — sorry about that, of course it wasn’t meant to mislead”) — that you’re playing your desperation card (“I’ll leave it to the audience”) instead of doing so has tickled my curiosity, that’s all.

    I don’t have to “admit” or “concede” that Hancock thinks (or once thought, or once indicated he thought) that Ron Paul is more libertarian than the LP. That would imply that I either didn’t believe that before or that I’ve been hiding my belief. In fact, I consider Hancock’s support for Paul a major problem in his campaign for chair, and have already said so more than once.

  64. Brian Holtz

    OK, Tom, I spotted your mistake @59. You think that “Hancock believes that the LP was not as radical as Ron Paul was in 2008” was my “conclusion”. (Your words in double-quotes there are a fair paraphrase, but paraphrasing wasn’t what I had in mind when I challenged Honest Worker to “quote my conclusion that you claim is fallacious, and then identify the fallacy I employed to reach it”.) I’ve said repeatedly (@57 @60 @62) that this claim of mine that you paraphrased is just one of my premises and is common/undisputed knowledge.

    I’ll repeat what I’ve so far said are among my conclusions:

    @3 and @40: in the 2008 campaign, Barr was at least as libertarian as Ron Paul on entitlements, taxes, gay marriage, the federal drug war, abortion, and immigration.

    @57: on a broad array of issues, it’s simply false to claim that in 2008 the LP was not as libertarian as the Ron Paul campaign was.

  65. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Perception is not actuality.

    me: How would you (or anyone) know other than by perception?!

    The spoon is absent if unperceived, Neo. 😉

  66. Brian Holtz

    Tom was saying that the statement “they did not perceive that X” has a significant semantic difference from “not X”. I don’t disagree; I’m just saying that we know that the speaker of the former statement considers himself one of the “they”.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    Pretty much everyone’s a big fan of the Matrix — and I bet most of us have used related themes for LP purposes at one time or another. Your video at the 2008 convention was one of the more well-produced such, of course.

  68. Brian Holtz

    My wife: not a fan. 🙂 But Ernie, on his radio show he likes to come out of commercial breaks with the what-is-the-matrix Morpheus speech.

    I retired my Denver Matrix movie from YouTube, in favor of this one:

  69. David F. Nolan

    Reading this thread, I feel like I’ve fallen into an infinite regression loop. We’re down to discussions of some peoples’ perceptions of other peoples’ perceptions, with no end in sight. Maybe it all depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

    That said, here are my observation on a couple of points.

    First I do not think it would have made very much difference vote-wise whether the LP had nominated Root, Ruwart, Kubby or Phillies in Denver. The media were ga-ga over Obama, none of the LP contenders was even close to being well-known to the voting public at large, and Ron Paul’s support was not transferable.

    What would have been different is the MESSAGE the voters would have received. And by nominating Barr, the LP opted for a very “soft” message – Libertarian Lite, as it were. Barr got some media exposure early in the campaign, but failed to ignite any passion, or bring in many new members. Ditto for Root. (Where WERE those millions of online gambling enthusiasts?)

    Does Ernest Hancock (a self-proclaimed anarchist) believe that Barr was less libertarian in the positions he took than Ron Paul was? I don’t know. I know he saw the near-total failure of the Barr campaign to pick up much support from “The Revolution” as a big failing of that campaign, and that he thinks many RP supporters perceived Barr as less “radical” than Barr. But that brings us back to perceptions of perceptions.

    Going forward, it’s clear that many of Wayne Root’s supporters within the LP dislike-distrust-fear-loathe-detest Hancock and his supporters – and vice-versa. This is partly due to ideological/strategic differences between the two camps, and partly due to personality clashes. Right now, I’d say that Root and Hancock are the front-runners in the LNC Chair’s race – but they could knock each other out and one of the less-polarizing choices (Hinkle, Myers, Phillies) could wind up winning.

    We’ll know in 39 days.

  70. paulie

    Does Ernest Hancock (a self-proclaimed anarchist) believe that Barr was less libertarian in the positions he took than Ron Paul was? I don’t know. I know he saw the near-total failure of the Barr campaign to pick up much support from “The Revolution” as a big failing of that campaign, and that he thinks many RP supporters perceived Barr as less “radical” than Barr.

    I know that last part is a typo, but it’s a funny one. Only Barr can manage that.

    Right now, I’d say that Root and Hancock are the front-runners in the LNC Chair’s race – but they could knock each other out and one of the less-polarizing choices (Hinkle, Myers, Phillies) could wind up winning.

    Myers or Hinkle, perhaps.

    George Phillies is a lot of things, but one thing I don’t believe he is is non-polarizing.

  71. Honest Worker

    I think that Hancock’s statement about Ron Paul’s people and the LP might be better expanded for clarity as:

    It is Mr. Hancock’s opinion that Ron Paul people had the opinion that they were more libertarian than the LP.

    He may very well be right in some places or even in most. I think he probably had a better handle on the larger picture with that campaign than I did.

    In my neck of the woods the local LP made a lot of friends in the RP crowd and some of them became new members and are still active with us. We prospered from that movement and they prospered from us.

    Win-Win politics at it’s finest…

    Which brings me to the larger point I think is important to myself and BH. There is too heavy a trend in Libertarians to use the tear-down strategy for competition especially with allies. I am looking for people to be in positions of trust and authority that take positive tacks.

    I see Hancock making things and I like that. As a guy who has at least read Ayn Rand (though I am not religious), I recognize that creative people are generally more “rooted” than those that live off of manipulating perceptions.

    Now I do not know Hancock well so I am looking forward to seeing more and hearing more. Truth be known, I really appreciate BH’s work. What I would really like to see is BH list all the things he likes best about each Chair candidates with examples.

  72. Brian Holtz

    David Nolan wrote: by nominating Barr, the LP opted for a very “soft” message – Libertarian Lite, as it were.

    What “lite” positions can you quote from the 2008 Barr campaign that Ron Paul didn’t also advocate?

    I know of a couple, but I’m curious whether the people who repeat the meme above can cite any — especially any that were as disgraceful on as big a stage as Ron Paul’s backpedaling on Meet The Press, shown in the first video in the playlist above.

  73. Tom Blanton

    It seems like some people forget that Barr ran as a Libertarian and Paul ran as a Republican. Paul is very libertarian on some very important issues, not so much on other issues. He managed to get people talking about these issues and his star continues to rise.

    Paul brought the left-libertarian, beltway libertarian, and pro-war factions of the LP together to oppose him because of his alleged racism, etc., but there were a lot of LP members that supported Paul in the Republican primaries. Had he won, they most certainly would have voted for him.

    Barr, on the other hand, was not perceived to be as radical on noninterventionism and economic issues. Barr has not been a trusted person within the libertarian movement for many years. His voting record and CIA background made a lot of libertarians squeamish. Barr is now doing what? Pretty much nothing.

    In 2012, the LP may have to run a candidate in a field that includes Gary Johnson. This guy is a good politician and would likely siphon off most of the libertarian leaning independents and conservatives. Will the LP run another Barr, or worse, Root? Root makes Johnson look like a statesman.

    If Ron Paul endorsed Johnson, he could have a shot at the GOP nomination if the Paul people got behind him. If somehow Johnson got the nomination, I would imagine all of the Campaign for Liberty people and most LP members would vote for him as he would at least have a chance of winning.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    tb, if Johnson gets the nod, it will be interesting what the LP does, just as it would have been had Paul got the nomination in 08.

    Most Beltway Ls I know weren’t so much in “opposition” to Paul, but a) knew he was un-nominatable b) had team members who play footsie with the hard-right, and this would eventually come out, which it did. I contributed to the second money bomb, despite my concern that elements in the Paul campaign were holding high Guy Fawkes as a symbol.

    Hmm, and who in recent history might compare with Fawkes?

  75. paulie

    Barr is now doing what? Pretty much nothing.

    Not true. He writes columns and opinion pieces several times a week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution publishes them regularly. He is still slated as the LP national convention keynote speaker last time I checked. He was at the Nashville LNC meeting, discussing the possibility of joining a gun rights lawsuit among other things.

    I know his legal firm handles some gun rights cases; other than that, I’m not really sure what kind of law they practice, but I have heard that he lost a lot of money and clients by running as a non-Republican, so a big part of what he is doing now involves recouping those losses and rebuilding his practice. If he makes good money in these off-years, he’ll have more for another race and/or political contributions in the future.

    I don’t know what all else he may be doing, but I would not just assume it’s “nothing” unless I was in much closer touch with him than I actually am.

  76. paulie

    Speaking of Moebius strips, ever seen the one where W morphs into O, and O into W, until you can’t tell which is which?

  77. Barney

    “Barr, on the other hand, was not perceived to be as radical on noninterventionism”

    Or conversely,… Barr was rightly perceived as a radical on interventionism.

    That would be how the Founders would have phrased it. Funny how self professed libertarians now deem the libertarian Founders radical.

    Barr claims the libertarian mantle to protect life regarding the unborn but endorses the mass murder of a people that did not attack or threaten to harm us.

  78. Brian Holtz

    Barney, can you quote Barr in the 2008 campaign being “radical on interventionism”?

    I can quote Barr saying this: “In Iraq, we have and will have at the end of this Bush administration still close to 150,000 troops over there with all sorts of support personnel, $400 million a day. We need to stop that, there is absolutely no justification. We now know that there was not the justification in the first place.”

    Do you have any facts here, or are you just making stuff up?

  79. Barney

    Did Barr not vote in favor of the Iraq War Resolution in 2002?

    Or are we judging Barr by his rhetoric than his deeds here? If rhetoric is what counts, then G W Bush is a non-interventionist for denouncing Clinton on Somalia and Kosovo, while preaching a humble foreign policy.

    Or perhaps Barr was young and naive in 2002 at a tender age of 56 and his life experiences in the few short years since has shifted his views 180 degrees on just about everything;… from preemptive wars to the Patriot Act to the war on drugs,…

  80. Brian Holtz

    I’m judging candidates by the principles and proposals they’re campaigning on. Bush campaigned for McCain and their shared principle of wars for nation-building. Barr campaigned on the LP platform and said:

    In Iraq, we have and will have at the end of this Bush administration still close to 150,000 troops over there with all sorts of support personnel, $400 million a day. We need to stop that, there is absolutely no justification. We now know that there was not the justification in the first place.

  81. Barney

    Oh right, how silly of me. Politicians always adhere to their platforms and promises. Especially ones with entirely contradictory voting records.

    Dubya’s against nation building, and Obama already got us out of Iraq.

    And by that measure (mere words), EVERYONE in Congress and the WH are strict Constitutionalists because they all take the same oath of office. Nothing to worry about then, Washington is already 100% Ron Paul.

  82. Brian Holtz

    Did you really vote for or against Barr in 2008 based on your fear that his actions after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009 would conform more to his congressional voting record than to the LP Platform?

    Did you really not notice that welfare-state politicians in 2008 campaigned on a welfare-state platform?

    Did you really not notice that warfare-state politicians in 2008 campaigned on a warfare-state platform?

    And do you really think that taking the oath of office is the same thing as campaigning on a platform of strict constitutional constructionism?

    ROTFLMAO

    For the record, here’s what Obama’s platform said about Iraq and Afghanistan: We can safely remove our combat brigades at the pace of one to two per month and expect to complete redeployment within sixteen months. After this redeployment, we will keep a residual force in Iraq to perform specific missions: targeting terrorists; protecting our embassy and civil personnel; and advising and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, provided the Iraqis make political progress. […] Our troops are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but as countless military commanders and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledge, we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq. We will finally make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. We will send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan

    Anybody who thought Obama would simply end the wars just wasn’t paying attention.

  83. Alexander S. Peak

    Interesting videos. Some thoughts:

    TAXES

    Paul admitted during his campaign that it was his view that a national sales tax was a lesser evil than the income tax. But he did not campaign on replacing the sales tax with an income tax, he campaigned on eliminating the sales tax and replacing it with nothing. Various YouTube clips confirm this. His position appears therefore to be this:

    His goal is to repeal the income tax and replace it with nothing. But in the unlikely event that a bill were to come forward to abolish the income tax and replace it with a sales tax, he would probably vote for it (assuming no one has porked it up).

    The Barr position is similar but different. While Barr would also only support an income tax if it’s coupled with a repeal of the income tax, he spent part of his campaign act actively campaigning for this interim step.

    I believe Paul’s approach was more tactically wise, more practical, than Barr’s. While I would abstain on the bill Paul and Barr would both vote for, Barr finds it a useful employment of his time campaigning for something that’s not going to happen and which I believe would only be, at best, marginally better than what we have now. Paul, on the other hand, advocated something equally unlikely in his campaign (i.e., the abolition of income tax, to be replaced with nothing), but something that would at least move us in a decidedly better direction.

    Even if a national sales tax is slightly better than the national income tax, it’s simply a waste of time and resources to advocate it. Advocating it doesn’t teach anyone about libertarianism, and thus does nothing to bring people into the libertarian fold. It does nothing to recruit people into the LP. But when we advocate replacing the income tax with nothing—something Paul did often during his campaign—we allow the public to ask us, “So, how would we pay for things?” to which we can reply that we would make massive spending cuts (who really needs the federal war on drugs, anyway?), and to which we can point out that we didn’t always have an income tax, anyway. This causes people to start thinking about what sort of cuts they would make. Barr’s approach, unfortunately, causes people to start thinking about what groups will be hit hardest by the new tax system.

    At least, that’s my take.

    DRUGS

    Here we can see a huge difference between Barr and Paul.

    While Paul merely says that it would be constitutionally legitimate for the state level to regulate drugs or alcohol, he never goes so far as to advocate that states regulate drugs or alcohol.

    Barr, on the other hand, is asked, if you watch the entire interview, whether or not the state level should do away with its regulations on drugs. Barr says that’s insane, and says that he would never want to see the war on drugs abolished at the state level.

    Paul’s position appears to be identical to mine: The war on drugs should be abolished, but the federal government should not force states to legalise.

    Barr’s position appears to be rather contrary to mine: The war on drugs should roar on and on, but the federal government should not force states to criminalise.

    This is one of the reasons that Barr is still not as libertarian as Paul.

    IMMIGRATION

    Both Paul and Barr hold unlibertarian views on immigration. I still can’t stand that disgusting commercial Paul put out.

    ABORTION

    Abortion is, just like intellectual property, an issue that is debated heavily within the libertarian movement.

    My own view is that there are ways in which abortion (depending upon how you define abortion) can be performed which would constitute murder and ways in which abortion (depending upon how you define abortion) can be performed which would not constitute murder.

    That might not seem like a very satisfactory answer to many people.

    DOMA

    Both Paul and Barr are wrong about DOMA.

    Barr claims that states under DOMA cannot be forced to accept marriages that take place in other states. This is actually false, as far as I understand it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but DOMA still allows states to be forced to accept monogamous, heterosexual marriages from other states; it’s only the non-heterosexual or non-monogamous marriages that DOMA exempts states from recognising.

    DOMA is unconstitutional precisely because it creates a federal definition of marriage. Both Barr and Paul would be well-advised to recognise this.

    SOCIAL SECURITY

    Paul advocates letting young Americans opt-out of Social Security. Of course I do not disagree. He also advocates not allowing the government to waste Social Security funds on other things. I again agree.

    Barr speaks of “personal investment accounts.” If this means private accounts held by individuals with private institutions voluntarily and without compulsion, then I agree; if he means individual accounts set up by the government or required by the government, then I disagree.

    I wish not to make an assumption about Barr which might turn out false, so I shall remain agnostic as to what he meant in that extremely short clip unless someone can clarify.

    HOLTZ

    Mr. Holtz writes, “If the libertarian movement rejects converts, it’s guaranteed to stay small.”

    I agree. I hope that someday, Barr and Gravel convert. 🙂

    I cannot see the video in #3.

    You ask, “If fraud is ‘violence’, then did Ron Paul commit ‘violence’ when he said on Meet The Press that he’s never advocated the abolition of public schools?”

    It depends. Lying is not an act of violence, for lying is not fraud. But if one lies in order to acquire some alienable, scarce good that one would not otherwise acquire without lying, such a lie does constitute fraud, and thus does constitute theft, and thus does constitute the initiation of violence.

    For example, if I take a book you’ve written and I slap my name on it and sell it as though I were the author, then I’m committing fraud against every one of my customers, and they have every right to sue me for defrauding them.

    However, if I simply slap my name on your book and give it to someone else, I have not committed fraud against anyone. I have committed academic dishonesty, but not fraud, in such a scenario.

    KNAPP

    Mr. Knapp is correct—Barr did use the word libertarian often.

    REST

    I have not the desire at this time to read the rest of the thread.

    Best regards to all,
    Alex Peak

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