Tom Knapp: Kubby as Libertarian VP candidate in 2012?

In a post at Kn@ppster, Tom Knapp makes a case for Steve Kubby as a possible Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2012.

Kubby was the runner up for the party’s VP nomination in 2000 and 2008 (losing to Art Olivier and Wayne Root respectively). The delegate votes were 418-338 in 2000 (source: wikipedia) and 289-255 in 2008.

Knapp writes (excerpt):

Steve Kubby came within about 30 votes of the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nomination last time, even against presidential nominee Bob Barr’s endorsement of his opponent, Wayne Allyn Root (a mistake which probably put a five or six digit dent in Barr’s November vote total; every time Root opened his mouth, the LP ticket hemorrhaged votes).

Internally to the LP, Kubby enjoys even more goodwill today than he did at that 2008 convention, if for no other reason than that he went balls-out to stop a convention walkout by the party’s radical faction and hold the party together at a tough time. He could play a similar role this time. The radicals are suspicious of Johnson’s more “centrist libertarian” orientation. One of their own in the second slot would go a long way toward allaying that suspicion.

Externally to the LP, Kubby’s well-known in California and positively associated with the issue of marijuana legalization. His presence on the ticket would boost both the issue and the candidate, not only in California but elsewhere … and since some of the legalization spotlight would be on him, that would free up Johnson to get his licks in on other issues.

Disclosure: Knapp and I both worked on Kubby’s campaign for the LP Presidential nomination in 2008.
-paulie

Read the full article at Kn@ppster.

103 thoughts on “Tom Knapp: Kubby as Libertarian VP candidate in 2012?

  1. AnthonyD.

    Paulie @ 2,

    thanks for the link there. I hear ya on the delegates. However, I guess I was considering the scenario where he brings someone along and says, “this is my guy for VP, pick him.”

    If he’s doing well polling, he might have the leverage to pull that off.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony@3,

    Johnson and Kubby certainly get along. They’ve done events together, and Johnson has endorsed the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” initiative that Kubby’s working on in California.

    Keep in mind, however, that Kubby hasn’t actually thrown his ring in the hat yet. I’ve talked with him about it and he’s interested, but as always he puts the Libertarian Party’s interests before his own.

    I wrote this piece to help him “test the waters.”

    If the water seems nice, his next step will almost certainly be to have a talk with Johnson — not to seek an endorsement per se, but to make sure that he wouldn’t be throwing a wrench into any of Johnson’s plans by running for VP.

    If Johnson’s answer is along the lines of “that doesn’t work for me” or “look, I have Peter Thiel ready to sign on as veep and throw $10 million at this,” my guess is that Kubby will say “great — so tell me what other thing I can do to help.”

  3. AnthonyD.

    TKnapp,

    And I must say, my original post was no slam on Kubby, just the proposition that GJohnson (assuming he’s the nominee) might want his “own man” the way a new football head coach might want to bring in their own staff, no offense intended to the current one.

    Kubby’s got a great story, and would be a hell of a lot better than Ventura, thats for damn sure.

  4. Gene Berkman

    I live in California and have been involved in the marijuana legalization movement since 1972. Steve Kubby is not as well known or well liked in legalization circles as many LP members believe.

    Nor was Steve Kubby that great a vote-getter in California.
    In 1998 Kubby received 73,845 votes (.88%)

    In 1994 Richard Rider received 149,281 votes for 1.72%

    In 2002 Gary Copeland received 162,203 votes for 1.71%

    In 2006 Art Olivier received 114,329 votes for 1.32%

    Since the LP qualified for the ballot in 1980, only once has the LP candidate for Governor done worse than Steve Kubby – in 1986 Joe Fuhrig received 52,628 votes, for .71%

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gene,

    The question is not how well-known and well-liked Kubby is “in legalization circles.”

    The question is how well-known and well-liked Kubby is among California voters who favor legalization and might be convinced to vote Libertarian.

    The answer to such a question is always a moving target that you try to hit and move in the right direction with media, campaign events, etc.

    If we took a poll in California and asked people whom they think of when they think “Libertarian” or “marijuana legalization advocate,” the top answer to either might or might not be “Steve Kubby.”

    Roll him out properly as a VP prospect, including re-ignition of recall of his past activities (Prop 215, gubernatorial campaign, legal story, etc.), and it wouldn’t be especially difficult to make that the top answer.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Wayne Allyn Root (a mistake which probably put a five or six digit dent in Barr’s November vote total; every time Root opened his mouth, the LP ticket hemorrhaged votes).

    me: Evidence? I don’t recall Root being much of a force in the 08 elections, positively or negatively. I do recall that he did some small market radio, arranged by himself, rather than the Barr campaign.

    Kubby would probably be an OK choice, mostly for internal reasons. I’d still prefer Mackey…Thiel appears ineligible. A case could be made for Ventura, but I’m highly ambivalent on that idea.

    This assumes GJ gets the nomination, which today I put at something like 75%.

  7. Gene Berkman

    “If we took a poll in California and asked people whom they think of when they think “Libertarian” or “marijuana legalization advocate,” the top answer to either might or might not be “Steve Kubby.” ”

    I live in California – I was active in the 215 campaign – and I can assure you the answer to either question would not be Steve Kubby. He is actually quite obscure in California, and not well-liked among people I know in the legalization movement.

  8. Webley Thurston Fowler

    “I don’t recall Root being much of a force in the 08 elections, positively or negatively.”

    My recollection matches yours.

    On the other hand, Kubby could have been good for the ticket symbolically, even if he was ignored much as Root was, in sending a signal that the LP was not just kowtowing to the far right.

    It could have added an interesting media angle to the campaign to have two “veterans” from opposite sides of the “drug war” run together.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@9,

    “Evidence?”

    Well, I wasn’t running a daily Rasmussen poll on the subject at the time, if that’s the kind of evidence you want.

    What I did see, every time Root got a little attention, was comments (not internal to the LP, IPR, etc., but on the mainstream news sites) to the effect of “who the hell IS this loser? Couldn’t they get someone credible?”

    Based on his name recognition and public profile, I thought that 750k votes was a reasonable expectation of Barr.

    Some of the disparity between that and the actual outcome may have been due to his campaign’s decision to focus on “changing the outcome” in close states instead of “picking the low-hanging fruit” in blowout states (something I don’t blame the campaign for — it was a judgment call kind of thing).

    But I attribute some of the disparity, and not unreasonably I think, to the fact that most people don’t seem to like Root very much.

    One reason he gets the media he does is that most talking head gatherings cast someone in the role of “that guy our audience will hate, but in a laugh-at-him-not-with-him kind of way, because he makes them feel a thousand times as intelligent as himself.” That’s a good gig for Root as an individual, but not so much for anything he’s seen as representing.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gene @10,

    “I can assure you the answer to either question would not be Steve Kubby.”

    That may be so. But it’s not anything that a little work couldn’t make so.

    And I suspect that if the question were combined (“who do you think of when you think of a Libertarian marijuana legalization advocate?”) it would already be so, although that would be a blip against a 90%+ “what?” response.

    A little work would fix that, too.

    If you think he’s obscure within the legalization movement … well, you’re high.

    Whether or not he’s well-liked in the legalization movement isn’t a huge plus or minus. If there’s a legalization advocate on a presidential ticket, they’ll either put their personal feelings aside and support that ticket, or they won’t. And whether or not they do is on them.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    12 tk: What I did see, every time Root got a little attention, was comments (not internal to the LP, IPR, etc., but on the mainstream news sites) to the effect of “who the hell IS this loser? Couldn’t they get someone credible?

    me: You may recall that I’m not a Root-o-phile, but I just don’t remember anything like this. It might have happened, though…

    tk: Some of the disparity between that and the actual outcome may have been due to his campaign’s decision to focus on “changing the outcome” in close states instead of “picking the low-hanging fruit” in blowout states …

    me: I’m an exponent for pursuing the low-hanging fruit in blow-out states, so I’m biased, but I do suspect that the strategy > most of the sub-optimality was due to the chosen strategy.

    BTW, I’m watching Dylan Ratigan and some former Fedster has written a book called WELCOME TO A FREE AMERICA, a case for statelessness!

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@ 14,

    “I’m biased”

    No, really? Me too!

    Even in the Internet Age, it’s hard to quantify a lot of things, especially three years after the fact. I may spend a few hours on Google later digging up some of those old comments if they’re still extant.

    While we’re at the “anecdotally” level, I recall an incident in 2008 when I was working a booth. A guy whom I didn’t know and who so far as I know was not LP-affiliated or anything like that, walked up, looked at our literature, and chatted a bit. One thing he said was something along the lines of “yeah, I saw your vice-president guy on TV the other day. I thought he was going to try to sell me a vacuum cleaner.”

  13. Gene Berkman

    TK @ 13 – the following people are much better known than Steve Kubby as legalization advocates:
    –Dale Gieringer (state coordinator of NORML)
    –Dennis Peron, who actually started the medical marijuana campaign that became 215
    –Jack Herer (R.I.P., author of Emperor Wears No Clothes)
    –Jack Margolin – lawyer & head of SoCal NORML.

    There are no well known Libertarians in California, but many are better known than Steve Kubby.

    If you asked the general public who is the best known libertarian marijuana legalization advocate, you would get far more than 90% “hunh?” as your answer, and the remaining sample would be too small to matter.

    Kubby is a legend in his own mind – much like Wayne Root – and many in the LP have bought his hype. His campaign in 1998 was invisible and he received the second lowest vote total for an LP candidate for Governor in California history.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gene,

    I don’t know of a way to constrict search engine results to those sources frequented by Californians, but:

    Google

    Dale Gieringer: 49,400 results
    Dennis Peron: 42,500 results
    Jack Herer: 990,00 results
    Jack Margolin: 1,760 results
    Steve Kubby: 117,000 results

    So, Kubby seems to be more well-known in the Internet age than any of those people except Herer, who is deceased.

  15. John Jay Myers

    It would be a smart move for Johnson to lean towards someone like Kubby, if there is a sense that he is in the “Wayne camp” then his almost inevitable nomination will come with a party divide.

    Barring the entrance of Ron Paul, I will almost guarantee Johnson wins, I am just saying…. from a political point of view… he will win.

    If he chooses to “back” one from the “radical side” (whatever that is) and not “hang” with Wayne at the “hostile takeover” table, he will probably have a much more enthusiastic group of supporters.

    And many more people will like the ticket when they arrive from the Ron Paul side.

    However, Kubby is awesome, but most noted for his Marijuana stance. I think Gary should go with someone who has a strong foreign policy stance, which is something that many Ron Paul people will be looking for. You either get it or you don’t, and I still don’t think Gary gets it.

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    While I am undecided as to who should be on the ticket I think that a Johnson/Kubby ticket would do well in the Western states and quite possibly result in more votes that we have seen in some time. ‘Course a lot depends on the outcome of the Repugnican convention.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    GB @ 10 & 16: I live in California and have been active in Los Angeles County for years. I don’t know ANY of the people you mentioned besides Steve Kubby. Admittedly, though, marijuana legalization isn’t one of my top issues. I think Kubby would be a fine choice for the vice-president candidacy, if he’s interested. I suggest Johnson do plenty of research on Mr. Root and his true popularity in the Libertarian Party before the convention, but I suspect he’s already doing that.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@18,

    I’m not advising Johnson, of course. If I were, my advice would be not to visibly lean toward any VP candidate at the moment, unless he has a billionaire on board or something.

    Early on, it might be helpful if he personally tells people who are looking at VP “I’m cool with that” or “look, here’s why I don’t think we’re a good fit.” That way they don’t waste their time in the latter case, and they go forward on their own, without expecting him to anoint them, in the former case.

    My expectation is that Kubby will confer with Johnson at some point before making a decision. If he gets an “oh, HELL no” response, I don’t see him moving forward. It would be hard to get nominated if Johnson just didn’t want him, and even if he could it would be a silly exercise since the presidential campaign runs the whole ticket when it comes to financial stuff — they could just leave him to wither on the vine without funds to campaign, refuse to forward media interview requests, etc..

    Of course, I’m assuming Johnson as the nominee. That seems like a safe assumption, but you know what happens when we assume.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    GB@16,

    “[Kubby’s] campaign in 1998 was invisible and he received the second lowest vote total for an LP candidate for Governor in California history.”

    In 1998, Kubby was one of seven candidates on the gubernatorial ballot — two more than in 1994, 1990 or 1986 and including, for the first time ever, a Green candidate and a Natural Law Party candidate.

    It occurs to me that it’s just barely possible that if you add two third parties to the ballot, there’s likely to be some crossover to the new guys, and that if you’re a Libertarian running on a legalization platform, you may lose out a little with the hippy and transcendental meditation votes if they have their own custom-made candidacies to support.

    But that may just be my imagination.

  20. Eric Sundwall

    Tough to tell if this is TK’s analyst hat or advocate hat. Either way, wouldn’t Mr. Kubby’s own opinion on the matter be easy enough to obtain?

  21. Eric Sundwall

    Looking at FB he seems somewhat amazed at the idea and looking for input. So I guess time will tell.

  22. Johnson/Ventura '12

    Just no freakin’ Wayne Root. Seriously, the guy needs to go. Johnson/Barr would have made sense now but Barr is a social conservative who endorsed Gingrich, so that’s out of the question.

    Just get an LP VP that has some sort of work involved in the government. Otherwise it’s a lost cause, Johnson needs a credible VP.

  23. Nominate Dr. Ron Paul to be the 2012 Libertarian Party POTUS Candidate !

    I think most know what I want. I want Paul’s million$ and thousands of activists working for the LP thru Nov. (hopefully the activists after Nov.). However I wanted the same thing last cycle. (wish in one hand, %#!^ in the other….). Without that a Billionair candidate (P/VP) willing to SPEND some of it would be next best!

    Excluding either, the ticket should be balanced . A Barr/Root type ticket isn’t the way to go UNLESS they personally invest millions of bucks into it. Evidence is the current state of the Party. It didn’t work. As small as the LP is, it must have all members rowing together to accomplish anything positive in ’12-’13 and beyond. A big tent if you will! It takes TWO wings to fly (“high” or anywhere).

    Remember money, money, money to advertise is what can build vote totals. As for strategy, swing states or low hanging fruit, I like both and if the cash is present you can do both.

    I wish IPR would set aside a thread dedicated just to the discussion of strategy for all Alternative Parties. I think it would be a very interesting discussion. The Ds and Rs must be dismantled from ALL sides not just (one) yours and my side.

    To get back to this thread. Had GJ & SK shared one before this was taken ? Your lying eyes will tell on you…….lol. I think GJ has a back problem and uses some even now for pain relief.

    Has anyone discussed with GJ his need to work with a pro on his interview skills? To all you fans, if not why not !? He wants to represent the LP, he should try to do his absolute best ! Someone in private should suggest it to him and his team. IMO

  24. Johnson/Ventura '12

    It’s why I’m trying to pimp this ticket for the LP. 😉 I don’t think Jesse Ventura’s past would hurt him as he can just point to his record as Governor of Minnesota.

  25. RedPhillips

    Since Johnson is getting into this thing earlier than Barr did, does anyone know if he is making any plans to try to recruit a relatively “big name” running mate? It would be a wise thing for him to do IMO. No offense to Kubby.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    31 rp, short of a pol or businessperson, media figures (Stossel) or thinkers (Boaz or Palmer) might be interesting…

    It might even be interesting to consider Gravel….

  27. Steve

    Had I been at the convention in 2008, I would have most definitely supported a Barr/Kubby ticket. The idea of a reformed drug warrior and a legalization advocate would have both balanced the ticket and made an interesting media angle.

    Johnson/Kubby isn’t as exciting. It is pretty well known that Johnson is a big legalization guy and he’s quite open about his past use. Kubby simply doesn’t add much to that. If anything, it risks us being pigeonholed as the pot party when most Americans have a laser focus on the economy.

    @Red, it has also been my impression talking to Johnson people that they are quietly looking for a strong running mate. It is a tough bill to fill as they’ll need someone with the credibility in government, business, foreign policy, and/or academia to pair up with a former Governor but also someone with the right ideas and who won’t tick off any faction of the LP.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    38 bh, today, maybe. But are MM and JG absolutists on the NAP, for ex? I suspect not.

    Perhaps the absolutists would be less concerned about the “purity” of the VP candidate, though.

    MM, btw, is CERTAINLY telegenic:

  29. Robert Capozzi

    40 jcj, setting aside 1980, for the LP, the VP candidate was insignificant. GJ’s running mate under these circumstances has SOME significance.

    A Paul/Johnson ticket starts to be of significance. Johnson makes a Paul candidacy look all the more real. It’s conceivable Paul/Johnson gets in the debates.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@38/39,

    What ticks a faction off is often contextual.

    Judge Gray or Mike Munger as VP to the resurrected body of Murray Rothbard would likely be non-controversial with radicals; they got what they wanted with the top slot.

    Nominate a moderate for president, the radicals want a radical in second chair as consolation pri … er, for balance.

    And vice versa.

    jcj,

    It’s debatable whether or not the LP really has worried much about the qualifications of VP, but there’s a good case to be made for why they should worry about it.

    Eagleton’s psychiatric history is probably not what killed McGovern in ’72, but it didn’t help.

    Suppose the LP presidential candidate actually gets some traction, and then it turns out his veep candidate is a registered sex offender? Boom — end of traction.

    Or, back to real life, suppose the LP chooses a fairly new guy, with a diploma mill doctorate, who says he has $200k in campaign pledges in pocket, who subsequently issues press releases claiming an endorsement by Gandhi, over an elected (local office) Libertarian with a fairly accomplished history in the party, including televised US Senate debates?

    That’s what happened in 2004 (and yes, the second candidate above is my wife). It’s not what caused Badnarik to not win the election — he was never going to — but if he had shown up polling at 20% for some reason, you can bet that his VP candidate would have been one of the first things in the media crosshairs.

  31. Johnson/Ventura '12

    A Paul/Johnson LP ticket I totally agree would get into the debates but I don’t see Ron Paul risking his legacy in the GOP and his son who can run for governor of Kentucky in 2015 and get real executive experience to run for POTUS in the future.

    Johnson/Ventura would be the next best thing as it would balance the ticket and I highly doubt any of the conspiracy crap would stick. Ventura was a successful governor, more than Arnold.

  32. johncjackson

    I don’t know how Paul is going to run LP when he is obviously going to win the GOP nomination by coming in no better than 2nd and no worse than 5th in every primary. Also, Romney is his new best friend. Something is going on.

  33. Jill Pyeatt

    JCJ @ 46: I agree that something is going on with Dr. Paul and Romney suddenly being best friends. Is it possible Romnmey would ask Ron Paul to be his vice-president?

  34. Humongous Fungus

    What’s going on is that Ron Paul attacking Gingrich and Santorum keeps them off Romney’s ass, while Paul himself is no threat to Romney.

    Rand Paul would be a more likely VP choice for Romney than Ron Paul.

    Paul will not be the Republican nominee.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paul Senior could be kid-gloving Romney in hope of Rand getting the veep nod.

    I’ve been skeptical of a third party Paul run, but he’s pinging at 25% in New Hampshire, after 21% in Iowa. If he can reproduce that in larger states, and take it with him outside the GOP, that’s a very nice base.

  36. Humongous Fungus

    Paul put a lot of effort in IA and NH.

    He won’t do as well in SC and FL.

    He can pick off a few caucus states later on and be a player at the convention.

    If not, he has to decide between himself and his son, and most likely will go with his son.

    If he waivers too much a VP spot for Rand will clinch the deal.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    HF@50,

    I’ve assumed he won’t do as well in SC and FL as well.

    What if we’re wrong and his Iowa and New Hampshire showings, combined with the money he’s spending in South Carolina, bring him up into the same range?

    I don’t think it will happen, but I’m less confident that it won’t than I was 24 hours ago.

  38. Michael H. Wilson

    re: 50 & 51. What I am looking at is the 18 t0 30 age voters. Obama has been a disappointment to those in that age group and a serious number of them seem to be moving towards Paul this year. There may be enough of them to make a difference.

    I still think Ron will get the nod as the VP candidate. If Romney gets the Prez slot Paul is better than 50% for the VP at this stage of the game. Romney would be crazy to ignore that age group and while I think his ideas are nutz, he is still a brilliant manager.

  39. Nominate Dr.Ron Paul The 2012 LP POTUS Nominee

    Leroy Newt’s speech reminded me of Hitler at the end. Directing troops who just weren’t there……lol -Knapp you still riding this GA mule ???????

    Rand Paul is NOT Ron Paul. Many will learn that the sad way no doubt. Someone ask Rand if Marijuana should be re-legalized, should all the troops be brought home, should the FED be dissolved ? Rand Paul is NOT Ron Paul.

    The Romneys are nice to the Pauls after the Debates. Romney doesn’t attack Paul by name as Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman and Perry do. The R nominee would need the Paul support to have any chance to beat Obama. They should all be nice to Dr. Paul.

    How could Dr.Paul ever receive the R nomination, when the talking heads on EVERY channel keeps telling their audience he HAS NO CHANCE ?!? Dr. Paul will never be given the VP and Rand will only get an invite if he sales out to the Military Industrial Complex.

    The LP needs him and his support (mainly) in the LP this cycle ! Use that money and energy or flounder in the normal unimportant .004 . No money, no enthusiasm, no progress.

  40. Michael H. Wilson

    I just watched a Youtube video that LG put up on Facebook of Paul’s speech in New Hampshire and it is a shame that the LP let things go to hell in the last ten or so years. This party should be a leader in this movement and we are not.

    Thankfully Wes plugged a few holes when he was in D.C., but the guys before him really didn’t know how to get moving in the right direction. I think some people in the party are afraid of standing outside the crowd and cutting a new trail.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    NDRPT2012LPPN@53,

    I don’t have a mule in the race. I don’t vote. If I voted, I wouldn’t vote Republican. And if I voted Republican, I wouldn’t vote for Newt Gingrich.

    But yes, I still expect him to be the Republican nominee, for exactly the reasons given in Paul’s speech — the GOP has to coalesce around a “not Romney.” Paul’s problem is that he won’t be that “not Romney.” Gingrich is the one best positioned to be.

  42. Pingback: Tom Knapp: Kubby as Libertarian VP candidate in 2012? | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  43. Andy

    “Rand Paul would be a more likely VP choice for Romney than Ron Paul.

    Paul will not be the Republican nominee.”

    I don’t see any way in hell that the Republican establishment would allow Rand Paul to be on a Presidential ticket either.

  44. Andy

    “Michael H. Wilson // Jan 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I just watched a Youtube video that LG put up on Facebook of Paul’s speech in New Hampshire and it is a shame that the LP let things go to hell in the last ten or so years. This party should be a leader in this movement and we are not.”

    This is because most of the LP “leadership” and most of the delegates at the LP national conventions have fumbled the ball on multiple occasions. Whether this was intentional sabotage or just incompetence is up to debate. It’s probably a combination of the two.

    Ron Paul has PROVEN that there is a large constituency for liberty in this country. The fact that the Libertarian Party has thus far failed to tap into this constituency illustrates just how screwed up the Libertarian Party is. The Libertarian Party SHOULD BE at the FOREFRONT of the Liberty Movement, not a largely irrelevant group hanging out in the background.

  45. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “I’ve been skeptical of a third party Paul run, but he’s pinging at 25% in New Hampshire, after 21% in Iowa. If he can reproduce that in larger states, and take it with him outside the GOP, that’s a very nice base.”

    Ron Paul has HUGE potential as a “third party” or independent candidate. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this is either a liar or a fool.

  46. Trent Hill

    Paul wouldn’t get 25% in New Hampshire or 21% in Iowa, it just wouldn’t happen. His numbers would shoot down to only his most ardent supporters–probably around 4-7%.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy@59,

    Funny how anyone who disagrees with anything you say is always either a liar or a fool.

    You and I probably define “HUGE potential” differently.

    10-15%, one time, is not really “HUGE potential” in my opinion. I’ve never doubted that Paul could do that.

    15-20%, reproducible and growable, is “HUGE potential,” IMO. I’ve previously been skeptical that Paul could do that. Now I’m beginning to think maybe he could.

  48. Michael H. Wilson

    re Andy @ 59 Ron Paul has HUGE potential as a “third party” or independent candidate. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this is either a liar or a fool.

    And what happens to the party. or ideas after Ron Paul is gone? For what my opinion is worth, that is the most important point.

  49. Andy

    Michael Wilson said: “And what happens to the party. or ideas after Ron Paul is gone? For what my opinion is worth, that is the most important point.”

    Yes, this is an important point. It would depend on the infrastructure of the party, and what those who make decisions that effect the rest of the party do.

    One example (of many) where the Libertarian Party screwed up big time: The majority of delegates who voted for Bob Barr to be the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate in 2008. This was a monumental screw up which set the party back by several years. The fact that Barr endorsed Newt Gingrich for President in this current election makes the Libertarian Party look like the laughingstocks of the Liberty Movement,

  50. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Paul wouldn’t get 25% in New Hampshire or 21% in Iowa, it just wouldn’t happen. His numbers would shoot down to only his most ardent supporters–probably around 4-7%.”

    A Ron Paul “third party” or independent candidate run, particularly if he teamed up with say Jesse Ventura as his VP running mate, has the potential to be very big. I believe that such a ticket would surpass what Ralph Nader did in 2000 and could even go as high as Ross Perot did in 1992.

    I don’t think that they’d win, the establishment would either sabotage them or pour in huge money to outspend them, probably both, but such a ticket could have the potential to change politics in this country forever, and for the better.

  51. Andy

    Ron Paul did the best in New Hampshire with independents.

    This illustrates something that I’ve said for a long time, and that his that the biggest potential constituency for libertarians is with independents and non-voters.

    I’ve heard some Libertarian Party members, such as Wayne Root, say that the LP should focus on winning over mainstream voters. I believe that this is a flawed strategy. Why? Because the mainstream voters are NOT libertarian friendly, and they will not become open to libertarian ideas no matter what we do.

    Mainstream voters are the problem. These are the people who are already attached to one of the major parties. They either think that Barrack Obama is doing a swell job, or that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum should be the guy to replace Obama.

    Mainstream voters are the ones who got us into the mess that we are in now. They give their consent to the current system which is destroying individual freedom.

    If libertarians want to be successful we should not look to the mainstream, they are the problem. We should look to the independents and non-voters. The people who aren’t married to one of the major parties and the people who’ve given up on politics.

    Trying to talk a mainstream which is anti-liberty into supporting liberty is not going to work. We need to create a new mainstream, and the only way to do that is to rally as many of the independents and non-voters to our side as possible.

    The fact that so many mainstream Republicans could be exposed to Ron Paul and still support the likes of Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or any of the other candidates who are not Ron Paul shows that the mainstream of the Republican Party does not want liberty. The same thing would go with the Democratic Party if any pro-liberty candidate ran in their Presidential primary.

    The mainstream voters are already aligned with the two major parties and they like things just they way they are, either because they’ve got authoritarian control freak tendencies (just like the people for whom they vote), or because they are mind-numbed sheep who are either too lazy to think for themselves; or are not capable of thinking for themselves.

  52. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “15-20%, reproducible and growable, is ‘HUGE potential,’ IMO. I’ve previously been skeptical that Paul could do that. Now I’m beginning to think maybe he could.”

    I’ve been saying that he could do this for several years. Ever since late 2006 when rumors of him running for President again started to surface.

  53. Andy

    Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura 2012

    This is the ticket that the establishment fears more than any other potential ticket right now.

    Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura could put the Libertarian Party in the big time, or it could be a very potent independent ticket.

    The Libertarian Party will already have ballot access in at least 30 states prior to the National Convention this year, so getting the remaining states for a Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura ticket would be easy,

    If Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura decided to go the independent route ballot access would be a lot more difficult since they’d have to conduct ballot access petition drives in all 50 states plus DC, but I think that they could pull it off given the money that they could raise and the amount of activists that they could energize,

    I could make a lot of money if Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura ran as independents and needed to obtain ballot access in all 50 states plus DC, but I’m not just out for money so I’d urge them to run for the LP nomination (which they could easily get) as this would save them a lot of money and hassle with ballot access and I also believe that it would be the best thing for the Liberty Movement, because it could increase the party’s infastructure and help elect more Libertarians to local and state offices, and maybe there could be one or more Libertarians who could ride on the coat tails of the Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura ticket into the US House of Representatives.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    65 A: Because the mainstream voters are NOT libertarian friendly, and they will not become open to libertarian ideas no matter what we do. Mainstream voters are the problem. These are the people who are already attached to one of the major parties.

    me: I severely doubt that Ls who advocate reaching out to mainstream voters view it as you do. I know I don’t. I agree with you that hardcore Rs and Ds are the “problem,” in that they are generally uninterested in hearing alternative ideas or voting for alternative parties. They are not good targets for a L message. There is, however, a sizable percentage of independent voters who might listen to and support a message of liberty. There are also R and D voters who are open minded.

    So far, Paul 12 is illustrating this point. He’s doing esp well with independents in IA and NH as you recognize. As a sitting MC, RP certainly has pushed the envelope out to the edge of the mainstream. But, he does say he wouldn’t cut defense spending 1 penny. Isn’t that idea abhorrent to many “hardcore” Ls? It sounds like words of an alleged “cult of the omnipotent state”!

    In short, you seem to have bought into your own strawman.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@68,

    “I severely doubt that Ls who advocate reaching out to mainstream voters view it as you do.”

    You’re right.

    They don’t view it as Andy does.

    He’s right.

    They’re wrong.

  56. JT

    What some people don’t grasp is that yes, Ron Paul commands a great deal of support. I support him as well. But it’s a great deal of support as a REPUBLICAN candidate. In other words, many of his supporters want to see him go head to head with Obama in a race they think he can win (polls actually show him running pretty close with Obama as a Democrat and Paul as a Republican). But if Paul were to jump to the LP, then you’re reintroducing the dreaded wasted vote syndrome, and much of that support disappears. In short, a lot of people have no problem voting for RP in primaries, but once he loses and it comes down to the general, Obama vs. Romney (most likely), well…”I’m sorry, but I HATE X. I can’t vote for Z; I have to vote for Y.”

    That doesn’t necessarily imply that there’s no good reason at all for a Republican such as Paul or any Democrat to run as a Libertarian. I think there is. But the notion that all the support someone commands as a Democrat or Republican will somehow translate to the LP if that person just runs as a Libertarian is a fallacy.

  57. Shawn Levasseur

    @9 : “I don’t recall Root being much of a force in the 08 elections, positively or negatively. I do recall that he did some small market radio, arranged by himself, rather than the Barr campaign.”

    I will add that’s probably more activity from the VP slot than any VP nominee since Koch. The VP nomination tends to obscurity in recent memory, until Root.

    Then again, I never really understood the idea of someone running for the VP slot, and found the new rules allowing the presidential runners-up to be VP candidates much more sensible.

  58. Shawn Levasseur

    @10 “Kubby could have been good for the ticket symbolically, even if he was ignored much as Root was, in sending a signal that the LP was not just kowtowing to the far right.”

    Which was why I voted for him. Ticket balance. (That and Root seems way too ‘used-car-salesman’ for my tastes)

    If the presidential race didn’t take so long, and the VP vote wasn’t pushed out a day, I suspect Kubby would have been the nominee.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    69 tk, setting aside how you could possibly think that there’s such a thing as “right” or “wrong,” esp when it comes to political approaches, my point to Andy is that he caricatures what many Ls like me mean when we talk about “mainstream.” In my case, “mainstream” roughly means advancing ideas that are plausibly implementable in the near to medium term and are reasonably popular.

    Andy seems to think it means something like within the parameters of the current debate. I — an advocate for mainstreaming LP advocacy — support the idea of stretching the current parameters. I don’t support advocating far-out ideas in the public square.

    70 jt, yes, RP as a R MC with a track record has a different set of credibility points than a no-name LPer does. In that sense, he has more latitude to stretch the debate and remain credible.

  60. Andy

    “In my case, ‘mainstream’ roughly means advancing ideas that are plausibly implementable in the near to medium term and are reasonably popular.”

    I bet that most – or maybe even all – of these ideas would be rejected by most of the “mainstream” Democrat and Republican voters.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    74 A, right, I think yer correct. The LP probably should write off hardcore D and R voters. We probably should reach out to non-voters, independents, and non-hardcore D and R voters.

    And, yes, taking far-out positions that alienate even the mainstream makes it VERY easy to sound like wackos. For ex., advocating immediate ending of SS is WAY outside the mainstream, and bad politics.

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@73,

    OK, fair cop. For “right” and “wrong,” substitute some other set of terms which respectively indicate an untried approach with potential, and a time-tested approach that has never worked and likely never will work, for a “third” party in a duopoly system.

    To further analogize on the oft-referenced “politics as war” analogy, third party politics in a duopoly system is an insurgency in its guerilla warfare phase.

    Since you’re a Taoist, I’ll point out that in the area of guerilla warfare, Taoism is Maoism, and Maoism relies on some of Sun Tzu’s better ideas (or if you prefer a westernized version, BH Liddell Harty’s “strategy of indirect approach”).

    Gearing your appeal to the “mainstream” is pretty much the equivalent of a frontal assault on a larger, fortified army on high ground. It’s foolish, wasteful and doomed.

    Better to recruit people from the oppressed countryside outside and around his fortress than to try to convince the enemy’s army to change uniforms.

    Better to conduct surprise raids on his farthest outposts than to try to get up to his wall with siege engines.

    Better to cut his connections to outside support than to waste troops trying to get to and burn the supply stocks inside his castle.

    Eventually he’ll have to move, and then you get to tear at him wherever he exposes himself in doing so.

    “Pebble in the middle of the stream, shaping the water while the water shapes it” is nice poetry. The reality is “lying in the street, getting the tank’s treads a little messy when they run over you.”

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    I get on a roll now and then.

    One brief note, not quite but almost a correction: BH Liddell Hart’s work on indirect approach is not about guerilla warfare. It just shares a common root in Sun Tzu with Mao’s guerilla doctrines.

    What Hart said, basically, is that if your objective is Cologne, going “hey diddle diddle, right down the middle” through the Wehrmacht isn’t the smart way to go about getting there. Isolate Cologne. Make it harder for the Wehrmacht to resupply Cologne. Attack near enough Cologne that the Wehrmacht has to start dispersing its troop mass to cover more and more territory, instead of just marching up and down the square waiting for you to arrive; attack the weak positions, ignore the strong ones. Eventually Cologne will be a weak target instead of a strong target.

    Or look at MacArthur’s drive from Australia to Japan. The Japanese were looking forward to handing him his ass when he tried to take Rabaul from them. He never did — isolated it, went around it, let the 100k+ troops there starve. It surrendered when Japan did. Wherever the Japanese were strongest, MacArthur said “no thanks, I can use this undefended place over here just as well, and you might want to start rationing.”

  64. paulie Post author

    The Libertarian Party will already have ballot access in at least 30 states prior to the National Convention this year

    I’m thinking high 30s, maybe 40 by then.

  65. paulie Post author

    A Ron Paul “third party” or independent candidate run, particularly if he teamed up with say Jesse Ventura as his VP running mate, has the potential to be very big. I believe that such a ticket would surpass what Ralph Nader did in 2000 and could even go as high as Ross Perot did in 1992.

    Quite possible. Odds still seem against it happening though.

  66. paulie Post author

    I don’t see any way in hell that the Republican establishment would allow Rand Paul to be on a Presidential ticket either.

    I think they might.

    He’s not as far off their reservation as his dad, and it would preclude an independent/alt-party Ron Paul run this year, plus it would help them get a lot of youthful enthusiasm for their campaign which they otherwise lack.

  67. Eric Sundwall

    I think Liddel Hart got lucky that the Wermacht had Guderain and Rommel executing what he may have envisioned but couldn’t really understand without being on the front line. Even Rommel bypassed protocol and strategy to the chagrin of the high command. Hence the Ghost Division and his immediate offense after they hit Tripoli.

    There simply are not sufficient equivalents to make military analogies geared toward common perceptions of success.

    Success is relative in third party politics. The guerrillas can stand openly in defiance and remained relatively unscathed but for the more sensitive egos who wilt at their suddenly diminished status in others estimation.

    Protest with good conscience and don’t let ideology poison the well of resistance.

    If they took Tobruk the first day has Major Schraepler observed, Monty would have been an obscure footnote after the fall of Alexandria. But the longer and more robust statist supply line will always beat the best tactician.

  68. Eric Sundwall

    I recall Jason Sorens attempting a similar analogy to the Romans defeat in Cannae and the Free State Project during Porcfest ’06.

    What he failed to observe as the infamous Victor Davis Hanson did in Carnage and Culture, is that whatever tactical plunder may have occurred, ‘Within a year after the battle the Romans could field legions nearly as good as those that fell . . . (p.111).

    Until Rome falls, tactics and strategy may never have the effect that the conscience in protest always does.

  69. Gene Berkman

    RC @ 68 says of Ron Paul “he does say he wouldn’t cut defense spending 1 penny…”

    When Ron Paul says that, he is contrasting “defense spending” with “military spending.” He votes against the military budget regularly, and makes a point in his campaign that cutting back on militarism will enable us to deal with the deficit etc.

    He says he won’t cut “defense spending” as a way of saying he is for defense, just opposed to militarism and interventionism, which he would cut drastically.

  70. Common Tater

    Word is the Johnson campaign wants a wealthy VP who can sink millions into the race and may have one in mind.

  71. Michael H. Wilson

    re TK @ 76. In 1992 during the Marrou campaign I had a columnist for the “Bend Bulletin” in Bend, Oregon tell me that Libertarians should focus their efforts on the small towns away from the big media centers. The smaller cities and towns were ignored by the big time politicians and we might have a decent chance if we tailored our message properly to build some support.

  72. Andy

    JT said: “But it’s a great deal of support as a REPUBLICAN candidate. In other words, many of his supporters want to see him go head to head with Obama in a race they think he can win (polls actually show him running pretty close with Obama as a Democrat and Paul as a Republican). But if Paul were to jump to the LP, then you’re reintroducing the dreaded wasted vote syndrome, and much of that support disappears. In short, a lot of people have no problem voting for RP in primaries, but once he loses and it comes down to the general, Obama vs. Romney (most likely), well…’I’m sorry, but I HATE X. I can’t vote for Z; I have to vote for Y.;”

    Sure, there would be some people who’d fall for the “wasted vote” syndrome, but I believe that there’d be a lot more people who’d vote of a viable “third party”/independent ticket like Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura.

    A lot of people dislike the Republican Party. A lot of these people are people who like, or who would like (if they heard the message), what Ron Paul has to say, but the fact that he’s running as a Republican means that a lot of these people don’t get involved just due to the “stink” of the Republican Party, and a lot of people who are potential Ron Paul supporters haven’t even heard his message because they already know enough to know that they don’t like Republicans so they disregard everything that anyone with an “R” next to their name has to say.

    Another factor is that a lot of the public does not even pay attention to politics until AFTER the primaries are over. These people only pay attention when it gets closer to the general election, so unless Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination (which is not likely), they will never hear his message unless he runs as a “third party” or independent candidate.

    There is definitely a big demand for Ron Paul to run as a “third party” or independent candidate. I get asked all the time if Ron Paul is going to run as a Libertarian Party candidate.

  73. Andy

    Whoops, the comment above was made by me and just noticed that I put the wrong first letter for my name.

  74. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jan 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Paul/Random Name from Phone Book would probably get more votes than Paul/Ventura.”

    I totally disagree. Jesse Ventura is very well known and is quite popular. Jesse Ventura would bring in a lot of voters who wouldn’t otherwise bother voting.

  75. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ventura’s popularity overlaps with Paul’s — the voters Ventura could bring him, he already has. and doesn’t need to Ventura to get.

    That includes all the 9/11 Truthers who think that Paul is flashing them secret fraternity signals.

    Ventura would cost Paul votes among the people who aren’t with him yet, and who might be persuaded to be — unless he puts a professional wrestler in their faces to try to explain how a three-hour-plus building collapse works out to “the speed of gravity” and so forth. In which case they’ll either find someone else to vote for, or stay home.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    76 tk: …an untried approach with potential, and a time-tested approach that has never worked and likely never will work, for a “third” party in a duopoly system.

    me: I challenge that. The GOP itself was an edgy, mainstream-ish 3rd party that worked. The Fabians were an intellectual movement that I would say worked, too, to socialize much of society over time.

    tk: Taoism is Maoism, and Maoism relies on some of Sun Tzu’s better ideas

    me: This is news to me. I see no connection between The Tao and either Mao or Sun Tzu. I am disappointed that L-ism lost its way from its peaceful roots. I attribute this angry-tarian detour mostly to the polemics of Rand and Rothbard.

    tk: Gearing your appeal to the “mainstream” is pretty much the equivalent of a frontal assault on a larger, fortified army on high ground. It’s foolish, wasteful and doomed.

    me: This is not my view. Again, when I say “mainstream,” I don’t mean in the center of the public square as it is today. I do mean on the EDGE of the public square. There both leaners in the public square can be attracted as well as fringier folk can be attracted as well. While I don’t agree with everything they generate, this is CATO’s positioning. LvMI is fringier, and I’d say it attracts far less support than CATO. While newer, by all indications the Center for a Stateless Society is fringier still in its positioning, and my guess is it will gain even less support.

    tk: The reality is “lying in the street, getting the tank’s treads a little messy when they run over you.”

    me: My feedback is that YOUR poetry strikes me as histrionic and paranoid. I don’t advocate lying in the street; instead, I advocate a significant change in direction. Thus far, I see no tanks tailing me! 😉 I’m not at war, I’m at peace. I’m for gathering together fellow peaceniks to create a movement from this current, dysfunctional configuration.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    84 gb: He says he won’t cut “defense spending” as a way of saying he is for defense, just opposed to militarism and interventionism, which he would cut drastically.

    me: Yes, I get that, and I’d say it’s generally good positioning. Some Ls advocate unilateral disarmament, and I’d say that’s poor positioning. Indeed, if the unilateral disarmer Ls were to control the L message, I would suspect that L-ism’s ascent would be reversed.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@95,

    “The GOP itself was an edgy, mainstream-ish 3rd party that worked.”

    I thought your definition of “worked” was all about “peaceful.” 600,000 war dead and a decade of military rule ring any bells?

  79. Robert Capozzi

    97 tk, the GOP won many elections in 1864 peacefully.

    OTOH, the Fabians were not advocates of “peace” as I define it.

    For movements to be CONSEQUENTIAL, they can be edgy mainstreamers…they need not be exercises in extremist cadre-building that can also be consequential. In my estimation, given the relative freedom and abundance in this time and place, I happen to think the former is more likely to work.

    Personally, I’m more interested in consequential movements for peace. So, for ex, while I think progressives and neocons are consequential, they are not motivated by peaceful ends and often use unpeaceful means. I choose to be L, not progressive or neocon, since I value liberty.

  80. JT

    Andy: “Sure, there would be some people who’d fall for the “wasted vote” syndrome, but I believe that there’d be a lot more people who’d vote of a viable “third party”/independent ticket like Ron Paul / Jesse Ventura.”

    Not some people; most people. Other than onerous ballot access hurdles and strict campaign finance limits, I think the WVS is the biggest obstacle for the success of the LP. I know you’ve spoken to a lot of people about the LP; so have I. You must have encountered that response a huge percentage of the time among people who have libertarian sympathies. I’ve even known people WITHIN THE LP who’ve succumbed to it. It’s much easier for people with no ties to the party to do so.

    Andy: “A lot of people dislike the Republican Party. A lot of these people are people who like, or who would like (if they heard the message), what Ron Paul has to say, but the fact that he’s running as a Republican means that a lot of these people don’t get involved just due to the “stink” of the Republican Party…”

    Yes, a lot of people dislike the Republican Party (just like a lot of people dislike the Democratic Party). But I don’t believe that RP running as a Republican hurts him a lot with people who may find the party as a whole distasteful. Have you encountered many people who’ve said something like “I’d never support any Republican for President–even if that candidate is truly against foreign war, the drug war, corporate welfare, censorship, spying, a national abortion ban…? I haven’t.

    Andy: “Another factor is that a lot of the public does not even pay attention to politics until AFTER the primaries are over.”

    That’s true.

    Andy: “These people only pay attention when it gets closer to the general election, so unless Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination (which is not likely), they will never hear his message unless he runs as a “third party” or independent candidate.”

    That’s one good reason for him to run as an alternative party candidate. I didn’t say there are none. But hearing the message and finding it appealing, and casting a vote for the candidate espousing it are two very different things.

    Andy: “There is definitely a big demand for Ron Paul to run as a “third party” or independent candidate. I get asked all the time if Ron Paul is going to run as a Libertarian Party candidate.”

    Yes. That doesn’t mean that it translates to anywhere near the support that he’s exhibiting in the Republican primaries.

  81. Andy

    “94 Thomas L. Knapp // Jan 12, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Ventura’s popularity overlaps with Paul’s — the voters Ventura could bring him, he already has. and doesn’t need to Ventura to get.”

    Jesse Ventura has popularity that is separate from Ron Paul. Did you forget about him being elected Governor of Minnesota? He’s also a former pro wrestling star, a movie star, a best selling author of multiple books, a former Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a former radio host, and a TV host.

    Jesse Ventura would bring in a lot of votes from people who otherwise wouldn’t vote, or who would otherwise vote for somebody other than Ron Paul.

  82. Andy

    Jesse Ventura has a lot of charisma. He’s got more charisma than Ron Paul. Charisma brings in votes.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    102 a, I agree that JV has charisma. Careful with that, though…Charles Manson had charisma, too…

  84. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi // Jan 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    102 a, I agree that JV has charisma. Careful with that, though…Charles Manson had charisma, too…”

    Yes, and so does Barrack Obama, and so did Adolf Hitler.

    Charisma attracks people, but the person with the charisma could be good or bad. I think that Jesse Ventura is a net positive.

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