Georgia Libertarian Chuck Donovan says Republican Johnny Isakson is not a conservative in US Senate debate

Via Jim Galloway at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The three candidates for U.S. Senate had their one and only debate Sunday night. Given the current political climate, exchanges between Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson and Democrat Michael Thurmond were remarkably civil.

The only harsh notes of discord in the Atlanta Press Club debate were struck by Chuck Donovan, the Libertarian who steadfastly attacked Isakson as something other than conservative.

And:

Asked to give Obama a mid-term grade, Isakson said the president was on his way to an “F.” Donovan said he was already there. And Thurman, the Democrat, gave Obama a “C+” – but added that Congress had earned a “D” for its failure to conduct itself in a bipartisan fashion.

Fox 5 report on the debate:

And from the Associated Press (quoted in the AJC):

Donovan suggested that Isakson only appears to be fiscally conservative, and that his votes in Congress have amounted to trillions in spending.

19 thoughts on “Georgia Libertarian Chuck Donovan says Republican Johnny Isakson is not a conservative in US Senate debate

  1. paulie Post author

    For Immediate Release

    Chuck Donovan pleased with his first ever debate, looks for another.

    ATLANTA, GA – October 25, 2010 – Chuck Donovan, Libertarian candidate for U.S Senate from Georgia, participated last night in the only debate incumbent Republican Senator Johnny Isakson decided to include in his campaign schedule. The Atlanta Press Club-sponsored debate was televised live from the Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta, and included Donovan, Isakson and Democratic nominee Michael Thurmond, Georgia’s outgoing Labor Commissioner.

    “Usually, campaign seasons feature five or more debates. This year there were only two scheduled,” Donovan said. “As if that weren’t bad enough, we learned only three days beforehand that Isakson had decided to skip last Thursday’s WSB debate. Just what is he hiding from?”

    In closing last night’s debate, Donovan noted that unlike the other two candidates, he is not a career politician. “I happen to be working Monday through Thursday of this week.” he said, “But, I’m off on Friday and Saturday, and I’d really like to have another debate. I think the voters would like to see it.” Thurmond was quick to agree, and his staff is in contact with the Donovan campaign. Contact between the Donovan and the Isakson campaign has yet to be established.

    Following the event, Mr. Donovan let reporters and others know that he had never before participated in a debate. “People were surprised that I stood up to two, polished, career politicians. I am surprised more Americans don’t do the same thing. Our schools are failing, our infrastructure is in trouble, our troops are scattered around the world, our national budget is a disaster, and we still don’t have jobs. Voting again for career Democrats and Republicans will only make the problems worse.”

    Donovan is challenging the notion of “just voting”. “Voters must make an intelligent, informed decision about who they will put into office for the next six years”, said Donovan. “The old way of voting has not served us well. It’s time to vote smarter. Watching campaign commercials or only having one debate to judge the candidates is not enough.”

    You can learn more about Chuck Donovan’s campaign at his website, http://www.DonovanForSenate.com

    ###

    Matt Godown
    Campaign Manager
    Donovan for Senate
    (770) 314-0799
    Matt.Godown@DonovanForSenate.com

  2. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, Isakson could probably have shot back that Donovan is not a agoristic abolitionist anarchist, too, and my guess is that would be true!

    Saying that an R is not “conservative” generally means to most listeners that the R doesn’t really believe in smaller government. Yes, it also could means other things, but I suspect that if there were a nationwide poll with 3 qualities of a true conservative and which one is most important to one being a conservative:

    smaller government
    aggressive foreign policy
    family values

    Smaller government would win by a lot. Language in a political campaign may not meet your exacting standards, but that’s how the game is played…using words as people understand them in an effort to appeal to voters and get their votes.

    Now, the Donovan campaign could change gears and opine on the virtues of insurance-company-provided territory defense and the imperative to auction off the county courthouse, but something tells me that’s a loser on a lot of levels.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Thanks for that peek into your vivid imagination. Do the abolitionists who live there have gossamer angel wings, or are they more the leather and riding crop sort?

  4. Why I'm Not A Conservative

    Hopefully, neither is Chuck Donovan. I hate when Libertarians consider themselves conservatives. It gives us real libertarians a bad name.

  5. paulie Post author

    I suspect that if there were a nationwide poll with 3 qualities of a true conservative and which one is most important to one being a conservative:

    smaller government
    aggressive foreign policy
    family values

    Smaller government would win by a lot.

    Hmm, that’s odd. Back when I was neither a conservative nor a libertarian, I identified so-called conservatives primarily with the religious right and cold war jingoism; support for the economic interests of plutocrats – whether that support consisted of big government (corporate welfare and government contracts) or small government (lower taxes and spending) – was the less important part, and I opposed them.

    Libertarians won me over by being more liberal than the liberals on social issues and foreign policy, and by carefully explaining that lower taxes and lower spending can actually serve to make the economic playing field more, not less, even. They proved that they meant it by opposing corporate giveaways, eminent domain abuse, occupational licensing, etc.

    I’ve always thought that aggressive military and coercive social policies are central to the definition of “conservatives,” and I’ve always thought that most other people see it the same way.

    It is, after all, historically what *defines* conservatives, and any support they’ve more recently claimed for smaller government in only one area – economic – and even there, in rhetoric only – goes against their general mission throughout history.

    Even today, in much of the world “conservatives” or “the right” oppose small government in any area of policy. Thus, conservatives’ support for small government is only in some countries, only fairly recent in historical terms, only in one of three policy areas (and not even on all economic issues), and only in rhetoric.

    If an actual national poll on this exists, rather than mere suspicions, I’d be interested in seeing it.

  6. Doug Craig

    Chuck is a real libertarian. I rode with him on the pride float . he is against DOMA and DODT. He also wants to bring the troops home. he said both in the debates

  7. JT

    Knapp #3: Exactly what I was going to say.

    Paulie #8: Well said. When I hear the term “conservative,” I do think of lower taxes, but I also immediately think of aggressive foreign policy and religiously inspired social controls.

    Robert: “tk, yes, Isakson could probably have shot back that Donovan is not a agoristic abolitionist anarchist, too, and my guess is that would be true!”

    Instead of framing choices as conservative and “agoristic abolitionist anarchist,” how about libertarian? If Libertarian candidates are going to publicly imply in any way that they’re “real conservatives,” we might as well pack it up (that’s a general point and I didn’t watch Donovan’s debate). Regardless, most “real conservatives” are staunch Republican loyalists who won’t buck the GOP because they’re too afraid of the Democrats in every election cycle (each election cycle is the most important, you see).

    However, many voters who want less government both fiscally, socially, and in foreign affairs aren’t Republican or Democratic stalwarts and may be open to voting Libertarian instead–but not if we alienate a large portion of them by condemning Republican candidates as not “real conservatives,” as if that’s what we are.

    In fact, Georgia has given the LP some of the highest vote percentages in presidential elections with candidates who never talk about being or not being conservative.

  8. paulie Post author

    Instead of framing choices as conservative and “agoristic abolitionist anarchist,” how about libertarian? If Libertarian candidates are going to publicly imply in any way that they’re “real conservatives,” we might as well pack it up (that’s a general point and I didn’t watch Donovan’s debate). Regardless, most “real conservatives” are staunch Republican loyalists who won’t buck the GOP because they’re too afraid of the Democrats in every election cycle (each election cycle is the most important, you see).

    However, many voters who want less government both fiscally, socially, and in foreign affairs aren’t Republican or Democratic stalwarts and may be open to voting Libertarian instead–but not if we alienate a large portion of them by condemning Republican candidates as not “real conservatives,” as if that’s what we are.

    Exactly.

    And libertarians are not the only ones who have noticed. Randy Shaw in the Chronicle (linked at #7) writes from a perspective that clearly disagrees with Libertarians on economic issues, but he says, among other things:

    “But neither Singer, the Koch’s or any other of these right-wing plutocrats are supporting any candidate that supports abortion rights, gay and lesbian rights, and the legalization of marijuana – three core libertarian principles. Nor do their candidates oppose overseas wars, another longstanding libertarian view.”

    And:

    “Ed Clark is Turning Over in his Grave

    Ed Clark is the most successful Libertarian Party candidate in history, winning over 1% of the national vote in the 1980 presidential election and 5.46% of the vote in the 1978 California Governor’s race. His candidacy attracted a mixture of right and left, winning the support of those who wanted less government in both the economic and social components of people’s lives.

    Clark’s 1980 running mate was David Koch of Koch Industries, one of the Koch brothers who are the primary funder of right-wing political organizations and candidates. David Koch later realized that he could accomplish his goal to reduce or end government regulation of his businesses through funding Republicans, and did not mind that those he now backed were the opposite of libertarian on non-economic issues.”

  9. Pingback: Georgia Libertarian Chuck Donovan pleased with his first ever debate, looks for another | Independent Political Report

  10. Robert Capozzi

    tk5, no. I am under the impression that Hoppe`s ideas are popular with the abolitionist set. Am I mistaken?

  11. Robert Capozzi

    pc and jt, I completely agree. Perception and reality often diverge. The perceptions of individuals diverge even more widely. Politics, however, involves imprecise language and imagemaking. Donavan`s point is rhetorical and probably useful in advancing the cause of liberty. IMO

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write: “tk5, no. I am under the impression that Hoppe`s ideas are popular with the abolitionist set. Am I mistaken?”

    I don’t know whom “the abolitionist set” consists of.

    If you consider me typical of “the abolitionist set” then the answer is obviously “yes, you are mistaken.” I’m not a Hoppe fan (although to be fair to you, I don’t disagree with the ideas you seem to be attributing to him — I got those ideas elsewhere, and mostly identify Hoppe with ideas I disagree with, e.g. “argumentation ethics,” his arguments against immigration freedom, his weird views on monarchism, his notion that homosexuals necessarily tend to certain time preferences, etc.).

  13. Pingback: Libertarians: Left, Right or Neither? | Independent Political Report

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