Jesse Benton Rules Out Ron Paul Endorsement of Gary Johnson; Johnson Campaign Vows to Continue R3vo7ution Anyway

H/T Mike Riggs at Reason.com blog:

Ron Paul campaign manager/spokesman/family member Jesse Benton told reporters during a phone conference May 15 that there would be no chance of any endorsement of Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson by Ron Paul. Benton said that Ron Paul endorsing Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney was not out of the question.

According to another article at Reason by Brian Doherty, Benton acknowledged that Ron Paul is unlikely to have enough delegates to be able to block Romney’s nomination. Benton

stressed they still hope to come in with the largest delegation of Paul supporters into [the Republican national convention in] Tampa they can […] he stresses again and again that respect and decorum are their desired name of the game for every step of the process, which he thinks will help Paul people become a “stronger voice in the Party.” To some Paul fans, talk of “decorum” has a bit much of the feel of giving in to procedural tricks or bullying on the part of the Party establishment.

While any agreement on things like a speaking slot or an endorsement between Paul and Romney is roundly denied, Benton does speak of “contact with the Romney campaign” on platform issues, especially Federal Reserve transparency, prohibition of indefinite detention, and “Internet freedom.”

The campaign also wants to make sure that their people are able to “vote on rules for the next four years and create a favorable rules environment for our people and set the stage for other liberty candidates to rise in the GOP.

Doherty’s article goes on to say

Benton refuses to say Paul will endorse Romney, he believes that “if our ideas are embraced and treated with respect, I think the GOP has a very good change to pick up a substantial number of votes” from Paul people. “If we are treated like in ’08, then I think a lot of people will stay home or sit on their hands.”

[…]

Benton says there is “no chance” of an endorsement of Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.

He hopes their troops do not feel “abandoned” by the perception of a Paul drop-out.

He says worries about whether Obama might beat Romney without a Paul endorsement will not compel Paul to give such an endorsement.

(emphasis added).

Riggs’ article provides the Johnson campaign’s reaction:

Ron Nielson, Johnson’s senior advisor [P: Campaign manager, as far as I know?]

“Continuing and growing the Ron Paul revolution is not about endorsements. It is about making sure civil liberties, non-intervention and a real commitment to smaller government are in the national conversation, and they will not be if the conversation is only between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While Governor Johnson would obviously like to have Congressman Paul’s endorsement, we have not asked for it, nor do we expect it. Ron Paul has an important role to play in the Republican Party in the months ahead, and Governor Johnson has an important role to play in offering voters a third choice in November.

“We are confident that Governor Johnson will successfully appeal to Ron Paul voters on the basis of shared values and his position as the only proven proponent of constitutionally-based smaller government and an anti-war foreign policy based on non-intervention.”

Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian for President in 1988, but has served separate stints as a Republican in Congress before and since, and has run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. His son Rand Paul is a freshman US Senator from Kentucky and is considered by many to be a future presidential aspirant as early as 2016; other Paul family members are also rumored to have a possible future in politics.

Subsequent to his return to Congress as a Republican, Ron Paul has continued his involvement with alternative political parties to some extent, speaking at a number of their events and endorsing a number of their candidates. He reportedly supported Libertarians Harry Browne and Michael Badnarik for President (note: I have not researched sources for this claim and will correct this if it is shown to be erroneous).

In 2008, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, a Libertarian National Committeeman in 2006-8 who had also supported Badnarik, ran as the Libertarian presidential candidate and famously earned the Paul campaign’s ire by first agreeing to, then at the last minute refusing to participate in a joint press conference with Dr. Paul, Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, Ralph Nader (who was running as an independent, as he had in 2004, and ran as a Green in 2000 and 1996), and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. The press conference was planned as a way to announce agreement between these candidates and Dr. Paul on several key issues, and in turn Paul was to suggest that voters consider these four candidates as better alternatives than Obama and McCain without making a specific endorsement. After Barr, who was on the premises, refused to appear with the group on stage and instead offered Ron Paul to become a substitute VP candidate for the Libertarians, Paul responded by endorsing Baldwin.

According to Riggs

Johnson endorsed Ron Paul in 2008. The press release announcing Johnson’s endorsement was titled “‘Veto Johnson’ endorses ‘Dr. No’ for president,” and was distributed by Jesse Benton.

Johnson ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, even though Ron Paul was in the race, but after failing to gain traction switched to the race for the Libertarian nomination on Dec. 28, 2011. Upon his exit from the Republican field, Johnson suggested that anyone that would continue to participate in the Republican nomination process should support Ron Paul. For his part, Bob Barr endorsed Newt Gingrich and more recently, with Gingrich’s exit from the race, Mitt Romney.

Several IPR readers have pointed out that the sources we have seen do not say whether Benton was asked about the possibility of Ron Paul endorsing the Constitution Party nominee, as he had in 2008 (this time, Virgil Goode, a former member of Congress who served as a Democrat, Independent and a Republican in office). If other readers know of sources where Benton was asked about this, please let us know in the comments.

-paulie

102 thoughts on “Jesse Benton Rules Out Ron Paul Endorsement of Gary Johnson; Johnson Campaign Vows to Continue R3vo7ution Anyway

  1. Eric Sundwall

    The Pauls command enough heights in the ‘movement’ as to not need to trifle or dabble in the third party scrum again. Paulites will maintain a level of hope, desperation and illusion as to think they can influence the GOP within.

    As long as the Santorum’s and Gingrich’s keep getting the support that they do, the liberty conservatives won’t gain much traction in that soup.

    Credit to Johnson’s staff for not getting into a hissy fit over this.

  2. just saying

    I don’t think Ron Paul ever actually endorsed Baldwin. He said he planned on voting for Baldwin, but that’s all IIRC

  3. Chuck Moulton

    It’s no surprise that Jesse Benton gave the finger to libertarians. He’s not a libertarian. He’s also completely incompetent and is running the campaign into the ground, but he’s family so that’s tolerated.

    In 2008 the many non-libertarians on Ron Paul’s campaign staff treated Bob Barr horribly. Eventually the Barr campaign lashed out at the Ron Paul campaign, which was a huge mistake. Ron Paul himself responded by endorsing Chuck Baldwin.

    The Gary Johnson campaign seems to be handling this much better. They need to keep in mind that Jesse Benton will always treat them like dirt, but Ron Paul probably isn’t aware of what is going on.

    The best approach is to reach out to Ron Paul supporters rather than Ron Paul himself. And if the Johnson campaign plans to reach out to Ron Paul, don’t go through the central campaign staff (which is not libertarian). His congressional office is completely libertarian. Someone of Governor Johnson’s stature should be able to get a meeting with Ron Paul off the record and talk to him directly, not go through incompetent non-libertarians intent on doing harm to libertarians.

  4. starchild

    Chuck @5 – Thanks for these insights. Do you attribute Ron Paul’s campaign recently announcing it wasn’t spending any more money to contest remaining primary elections to this incompetence and anti-libertarian bias from some on Dr. Paul’s campaign staff, or have any other theories for why they did that. Seemed completely stupid and counter-productive to me.

  5. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    If Gary Johnson wants Ron Paul’s supporters, he’ll have to make bold, in-your-face, antiwar statements of that sort that offends the right people.

    Yes, you can get votes by offending people — if it’s the right people. Most successful politicians offend some people. Barney Frank offends homophobes. Michelle Bachman offends gays. They’re both still in office.

    Ron Paul offends Neocons. His caustic and boldly antiwar (as opposed to mushy “non-interventionist”) statements offend the War Party, but are music to the ears of youth.

    Does Johnson have the guts to discard Root’s advice, and make bold statements that deeply offend war-mongers? Does Johnson dare speak of 9/11 as “blowback,” or specifically mention that we take no sides between Israel and the Arab states? Will Johnson dare to hammer away at these issues — relentlessly and loudly and unambiguously?

    Or will Johnson instead make a few vague statements about “non-intervention,” buried in an occasional press release, and without specifically addressing any current conflicts that are “controversial” or “divisive” — and then hope that such scant and hidden remarks will satisfy Ron Paul’s ardent supporters?

    Ron Paul is an in-your-face firebrand. His supporters will not be satisfied by a timid milquetoast afraid to offend the war-mongers — or even to call them war-mongers.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    5 cm: He’s also completely incompetent and is running the campaign into the ground, …

    me: Hornet’s nest hit. Why do you believe Benton is “incompetent”? RP12 has done far better than RP08, for ex. NewsletterGate 2.0 blew over faster than NG 1.0. The candidate seems abundantly more prepped and handled in 12 than 08.

  7. George Phillies

    @2 That’s as strong as endorsement as Paul could give, short of sharing his mailing list.

    @4 As seems to be generally ignored except by you, to your credit, Benton talked about Goode, much more positively than he talked about Johnson.

    @5 While I am not a Barr supporter, blaming him for the Paul endorsement of Baldwin needs some defending. Baldwin was a natural fit for someone of Paul’s actual political beliefs.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    7 teeth, OK, so, by your logic, perhaps GJ should double down, then. How would it play with RP supporters if he stridently, angrily, fist-in-the-air condemned the US military presence in Ottawa?

    He could condemn the fact that Marines in the embassies are paid with stolen tax dollars. This is EVIL! he could exclaim. THAT surely will “offend,” if “offending” is what will git ‘er done.

    GQ: “But still. Do not confuse [GJ’s] Zen-like quality for a lack of cojones. The guy has brass ones.”

    First rule of politics: Be yourself. “Angry firebrand” is not in GJ’s wiring, near as I can tell. People see inauthenticity.

    Or, do you see it differently, Teeth?

  9. Austin Battenberg

    I agree that GJ should make very offensive anti-war comments. Lets face facts, most conservatives won’t vote for GJ anyway because he is pro-choice and anti-war, so there is no reason to try and temper his views. Not to mention most conservatives buy into the crap that “we need to make Obama a one term President”, and will hold their nose for Romney. They won’t vote third party.

    So instead, GJ needs to focus on consolidating his base, appealing to Ron Paul supporters and trying to get people from camp Obama who are disgusted with what he did the last four years.

    Its not enough to win obviously but I think he could break a million if he did that. Just my two cents.

  10. Chuck Moulton

    Starchild wrote (@6):

    Chuck @5 – Thanks for these insights. Do you attribute Ron Paul’s campaign recently announcing it wasn’t spending any more money to contest remaining primary elections to this incompetence and anti-libertarian bias from some on Dr. Paul’s campaign staff, or have any other theories for why they did that. Seemed completely stupid and counter-productive to me.

    That was incompetence. It had nothing to do with anti-libertarian bias.

    It was a good idea to focus money on caucuses rather than primaries. But the message to supporters was ill-timed and was misinterpreted by some as a campaign suspension. Paul won’t do as well in the caucuses now because some of his supporters won’t show up.

    Robert Capozzi wrote (@8):

    Hornet’s nest hit. Why do you believe Benton is “incompetent”? RP12 has done far better than RP08, for ex. NewsletterGate 2.0 blew over faster than NG 1.0. The candidate seems abundantly more prepped and handled in 12 than 08.

    Much like 2008, Ron Paul’s success has been in spite of his central campaign staff, not because of it. Talk to anyone working in the grassroots and they’ll tell you that emphatically.

    George Phillies wrote (@9):

    While I am not a Barr supporter, blaming him for the Paul endorsement of Baldwin needs some defending. Baldwin was a natural fit for someone of Paul’s actual political beliefs.

    Neither Barr nor Baldwin perfectly matched Ron Paul’s beliefs. Contrary to your anti-Paul bias, the issues lined up better with Barr than Baldwin (that was discussed at length in 2008, so I won’t re-hash it here). Paul was closer friends with Baldwin than he was with Barr, but he had ties to both the Libertarian and Constitution parties.

    Paul was going to not endorse either rather than choosing just one. The Barr campaign’s treatment of Ron Paul made him change that decision and endorse Baldwin (note I say Barr campaign, not Barr himself… this was mismanaged by his top campaign staff).

  11. ATBAFT

    GJ and JG need to get out on the campuses with a stong anit-interventionist message. Ron Paul’s campaign claims they have 110,000 students in Youth for Ron Paul groups on over 600 campuses. Who can obtain the contact list??? The LP needs Youth For Gary Johnson as a new nucleus for Young Libertarian groups.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Capozzi @ 10, “OK, so, by your logic…

    No, not by my logic. As usual, you’re being intentionally obtuse.

    Nobody has a problem with a few Marines guarding the US embassy in Canada.

    It’s dishonest (not wrong, but dishonest) for you to intentionally misinterpret Paul’s long history of antiwar remarks into such a ridiculous position.

    I (and most of Paul’s supporters, I’m sure) oppose the fortress “embassy” the US is building in Iraq, and our use of “private contractor” mercenaries who murder civilians with impunity.

    I’m sure you know that these are some of the issues of concern to antiwar radicals, and not a few Marine honor guards at our Canadian embassy.

    But then, you are often intentionally obtuse, projecting ridiculous “absolutist” positions onto rational, radical libertarian positions.

    As I’ve said, I’m a minarchist. I don’t believe that all “taxation is theft.” I have no problem with legitimate defense or paying a few Marine embassy guards. (As opposed to large numbers of occupation troops.)

  13. zapper

    @5 Agreed on all points, especially the incompetence inside the Paul campaigns 2008 and 2012 coming from the top. Millions of dollars have been squandered, wasted, mishandled and lost; the time and hopes of thousands of volunteers and significant campaign opportunities have also beensquandered, wasted, mishandled and lost .

    Although there are some issues where I differ, I have great respect for the man, his courage, his principles and his stands on numerous important issues.

    But, Ron Paul has been ill served by many that he has trusted managing his newsletters, campaigns, bookkeeping, Congressional office and other organization staff.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    14 Sipos’s Teeth, fair enough. My example is quite extreme to illustrate.

    And yet you say “Yes, you can get votes by offending people — if it’s the right people.”

    I point out that “offending people” is not GJ’s way. That’s not how the dude rolls.

    So, knowing that, what is your suggestion for his campaign to reach out to RP supporters while being his chillaxed self?

  15. Robert Capozzi

    15 z: Ron Paul has been ill served by many that he has trusted managing his newsletters, campaigns, bookkeeping, Congressional office and other organization staff.

    me: Quite an indictment. Doesn’t sound like someone qualified to be prez…. Hmmm….

  16. Oranje Mike

    I had hoped for a possibility of Dr. Paul supporting Gary Johnson but never expected it to happen. Dr. Paul has remained in the GOP for a reason. Perhaps to keep the path paved for Rand or hopes of actually reforming the GOP into a credible and true limited government party.

    I support the cordial response of the Johnson campaign. When Dr. Paul is out of the race for good it will be his supporters that matter. They are the ones that we need to reach out to. I’m sure Johnson’s camp has something in the works and if he can get national debate coverage he could do his own campaign a solid.

    Here at the bottom we can help bring Dr. Paul supporters into the fold at local levels. Some will likely come to the LP because it’s common sense but we can reach out to those that actually think they can help reform the GOP. Go to Ron Paul Meetups or stage your own Meetups for heartbroken and jaded Paul supporters that realize the GOP will work against them at every step. Make sure these folks stay tuned in instead of drop out.

  17. starchild

    “Root’s Teeth” @14 – You can acknowledge that taxation is theft and still argue that the theft is justified. This is a more intellectually honest position than trying to say it’s not theft to take people’s money without their consent.

  18. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Starchild, you may be right, but I just don’t care enough about the whole taxation issue to nitpick over its finer principles.

    If a politician says “taxation is theft,” that’s fine with me. If he says, “I support lower taxes,” that’s fine too. I’m also fine with GJ’s preference for a Fair Tax.

    As a pragmatic radical (a term The Keaton has used to describe herself), I pick my battles. My chosen focus is on opposing war and empire, and its attendant erosion of civil liberties.

    I prefer lower taxes, partially to stop feeding the war machine. But I’ll let others worry about whether or not, philosophically speaking, taxation is theft.

  19. paulie Post author

    As seems to be generally ignored except by you, to your credit, Benton talked about Goode, much more positively than he talked about Johnson.

    I didn’t ignore it, I asked the question and got an answer I did not know.

    While I am not a Barr supporter, blaming him for the Paul endorsement of Baldwin needs some defending. Baldwin was a natural fit for someone of Paul’s actual political beliefs.

    Only if you have a selective reading of Paul’s and Baldwin’s views. That’s all I have time to say at the moment about that.

  20. Oranje Mike

    The Constitution Party has neocon stances on issues that would not play well with Ron Paul supporters. Friend or not an endorsement of Goode would hurt Paul’s credibility.

  21. paulie Post author

    BTW Chuck is 100% correct.

    Much like 2008, Ron Paul’s success has been in spite of his central campaign staff, not because of it. Talk to anyone working in the grassroots and they’ll tell you that emphatically.

    yep. Some of the details available if anyone feels like asking me on the phone.

    The other parts of his comments are correct too.

  22. paulie Post author

    GJ and JG need to get out on the campuses with a stong anit-interventionist message. Ron Paul’s campaign claims they have 110,000 students in Youth for Ron Paul groups on over 600 campuses. Who can obtain the contact list??? The LP needs Youth For Gary Johnson as a new nucleus for Young Libertarian groups.

    I’d like to make that happen. I don’t know about getting any lists but I can get lists of groups, and if the funding can flow correctly visit a fair number of campuses between now and the election to do some tabling. Depending on funding we could have multiple people doing it. If anyone has ideas on how to make this work, especially in terms of raising travel funds, give me a call 415-690-6352.

  23. zapper

    Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin didn’t transfer a great wave of money or votes to the Baldwin campaign. We shouldn’t expect that any endorsement he might have made of Barr in ’08 or Johnson 2012 would have more than a small impact either.

    We cannot rely on heros or celebrities to save us, lead us or lighten our burden.

    What we do this year and in the future, with our campaign, with our Party and with our dreams of Liberty, is up to us, our own efforts, our own skills as managers of people, campaigns and party building and the principles and image we present to the world.

  24. paulie Post author

    Sipos’s Teeth

    Without confirming or denying anyone’s identity, I would say don’t jump to conclusions. I hope that leaves enough wiggle room for me not to have violated the spirit of anyone’s anonymity.

  25. Jed Siple

    If Paul endorses Goode over Johnson, I’m officially done with Ron Paul. I already had a bad taste in my mouth over the newsletters and his endorsement of Baldwin.

  26. paulie Post author

    Quite an indictment. Doesn’t sound like someone qualified to be prez…. Hmmm….

    Perhaps not, but then again he won’t be. Heresy, I know.

  27. paulie Post author

    I had hoped for a possibility of Dr. Paul supporting Gary Johnson but never expected it to happen. Dr. Paul has remained in the GOP for a reason. Perhaps to keep the path paved for Rand or hopes of actually reforming the GOP into a credible and true limited government party.

    I support the cordial response of the Johnson campaign. When Dr. Paul is out of the race for good it will be his supporters that matter. They are the ones that we need to reach out to. I’m sure Johnson’s camp has something in the works and if he can get national debate coverage he could do his own campaign a solid.

    Here at the bottom we can help bring Dr. Paul supporters into the fold at local levels. Some will likely come to the LP because it’s common sense but we can reach out to those that actually think they can help reform the GOP. Go to Ron Paul Meetups or stage your own Meetups for heartbroken and jaded Paul supporters that realize the GOP will work against them at every step. Make sure these folks stay tuned in instead of drop out.

    Good thinking, other than the stuff about debate inclusion. Thinking that is likely is setting ourselves up for a big letdown. Focus on more easily reachable goals more. Keep it in mind as a distant possibility. Debate Goode and Stein early and often. Leave empty chairs and maybe cardboard cutoffs of Obama and Romney. When their debates happen project their answers on a screen and “virtually debate” them, etc.

  28. Trent Hill

    The Constitution Party definitely is more socially conservative on a number of issues than most Paul supporters would like, but they are not “neo-con” in any sense of the word.

  29. Andy

    “zapper // May 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin didn’t transfer a great wave of money or votes to the Baldwin campaign. ”

    That’s because the endorsement came late and because the Baldwin campaign as organized as they should have been, and in addition to this, the Constitution Party had already dropped the ball with ballot access in several states.

  30. zapper

    @35 I think it’s because there are many LP members who support Ron Paul, but would never change to a different party that didn’t fit their beliefs.

    Likewise, Republicans, Independents, Democrats, and other party members who support Ron Paul but would not change to a different party that didn’t fit their beliefs.

    Had Dr. Paul himself changed parties, a much larger group would follow him wherever he changed to, but not just based on his vote for a friend.

  31. Austin Battenberg

    @31 I love that idea. I hope the third parties do debate soon. CSPAN will cover it I’m sure. Who knows, maybe the major media might pick it up and give a quick blurb about it in between talking about non-issues.

    @29 I doubt he will endorse Goode. The only reason Paul endorsed Baldwin was because of the Barr fallout.

    My prediction is that Ron Paul will endorse NO ONE, and will simply say a few positive things about all the third party candidates, but keep the door open because he doesn’t want to hurt his supporters who have used the process to get themselves into leadership positions in the GOP. In 2008 they had little influence, but since it looks like Paul folk are taking over various states, its possible that they are going to try to change the GOP to a more libertarian party.

    Personally I don’t know if their effort will be successful or not, but if that’s what they are trying to do, then I’m sure he can’t endorse or run as someone outside the GOP.

    I think Rand has little to do with it.

  32. Brian Holtz

    Teeth: Nobody has a problem with a few Marines guarding the US embassy in Canada. It?s dishonest (not wrong, but dishonest) for [Bob] to intentionally misinterpret Paul?s long history of antiwar remarks into such a ridiculous position.

    Ron Paul complains about U.S. military presence in “130 countries”, but in 38 of those countries we have less than 10 active-duty personnel each.

    No wonder, then, that the cost of our “empire” disappears in the noise of the nanny state (even in the years in which the Iraq war was most intense):

  33. Brian Holtz

    P.S. Excellent reporting by Paulie, great response from the Johnson campaign, and interesting perspectives from Chuck.

    Benton’s statements are exactly what you’d expect to hear from a campaign seeking to maximize its influence at the upcoming GOP convention.

  34. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    @ 38: Ron Paul complains about U.S. military presence in “130 countries”, but in 38 of those countries we have less than 10 active-duty personnel each.

    If the US only had “less than 10 active-duty personnel” in every one of those 130 countries, I’m sure Paul wouldn’t even raise the issue. And you know that.

    But why obsess over money? War and empire are evil, as is the erosion of domestic civil liberties that inevitably result.

    Your graph has lots of pretty colors, but even assuming its numbers are accurate (nobody really knows where every dollar of federal spending goes), it fails to measure for the evil of war and empire and loss of civil liberties.

    Perhaps you put a dollar amount on such evil, and find that we can afford it. Most libertarians don’t.

  35. Trent Hill

    “Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin didn’t transfer a great wave of money or votes to the Baldwin campaign.”

    Yes, it did. Baldwin broke the CP vote record for Presidential candidates, despite not being on the CA or PA ballots–traditionally vote rich states for the Constitution Party.

    Money,no.

  36. Trent Hill

    @1 Eric Sundwall,

    “Paulites will maintain a level of hope, desperation and illusion as to think they can influence the GOP within.”

    Um, I wouldn’t say it’s desperation or illusion necessarily. They basically control the party apparatus in Iowa, Alaska, Maine. They likely will in the near future in states like Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

  37. Mark Hilgenberg

    Personally I am done promoting or even talking about the Paul campaign. Everytime a Libertarian promotes Paul it just makes people think we are conservatives.

    It seems like a lot of the Ron Paul followers get very defensive when someone says something positive re: Johnson on their “turf”. I am going on the offense pointing out the differences. Ron Paul is a conservative constitutionalist, he is pro-states rights vs. individual rights, not a classical liberal, libertarian or pro-individual liberty.

    This is the problem I have with turning candidates into near cult figure status, liberty gets defined by them.

    I will no longer defend Paul regarding his racist newsletters, his white supremacist donors/friends and speeches in front of confederate flags or his homophobic son.

    I like to promote a big picture vision and try to help people buy into the vision first, once they do I will promote the candidates and solutions. We are a Looooong way away from no Fed, No IRS, No wars of aggression, etc. Just getting people to look in a different direction is a hard task.

    I am much more willing to “compromise” with a candidate who may not be “perfect” on economic issues, if he/she is great on personal rights issues. At least people won’t think liberty is all about corporatism and bigotry.

  38. Jed Siple

    “I am much more willing to ‘compromise’ with a candidate who may not be ‘perfect’ on economic issues, if he/she is great on personal rights issues. At least people won’t think liberty is all about corporatism and bigotry.”

    I agree with this statement 100%. Socially libertarian views must take precedence over economically libertarian views.

  39. Brian Holtz

    Teeth@40, Paul knows we have less than 10 personnel in each of those 38 countries, but he still chooses to spout about a 130-country “empire”.

    You and Paul knowingly use misleading “empire” rhetoric because you think your ends justify it.

    Similarly, you attempt to throw doubt on the data in my OECD graph, without a shred of evidence to support your attempt.

    I’ll say it again: truth is the first casualty of anti-war.

  40. Eric Blitz

    @43 Mark, “Personally I am done promoting or even talking about the Paul campaign. Everytime a Libertarian promotes Paul it just makes people think we are conservatives.”

    This is why I believe the small l libertarian effort to take over the Republican Party is doomed to failure. You cannot have a libertarian and Rick Santorum in the same party and not have the libertarian’s principled stand on issues be falsely branded as conservatism.

    Republican branding kills the principled approach of libertarians. The fusion theory has benefited the party and the conservatives, but not the libertarian wing of the Republican party. Between the social conservatives/evangelicals and the establishment wings of the party, the libertarians will never win. They must commit to the LP or forever be co-opted by groups who’s views are antithetical to their own.

  41. Mark Hilgenberg

    @46 Eric,

    I come from the left, I didn’t go through Rand or Rothbard so I see things differently than most.

    To me it is just rhetoric being spwed by the right and “libertarians” love a good preaching to the choir, so the lap it up.

    I hope we can get our message back to the classical liberal roots to help capture the interest of ther majority.

  42. Chuck Moulton

    Root’s Teeth Are Awesome wrote (@40):

    But why obsess over money? War and empire are evil, as is the erosion of domestic civil liberties that inevitably result.

    Your graph has lots of pretty colors, but even assuming its numbers are accurate (nobody really knows where every dollar of federal spending goes), it fails to measure for the evil of war and empire and loss of civil liberties.

    Perhaps you put a dollar amount on such evil, and find that we can afford it. Most libertarians don?t.

    Brian Holtz wrote (@45):

    you attempt to throw doubt on the data in my OECD graph, without a shred of evidence to support your attempt.

    “Root’s Teeth” seems to be making the same point I did in the other thread, which you (Holtz) failed to address (see below).

    Chuck Moulton wrote (Less Antman: Antiwar is the Health of the Anti-State Movement @46):

    I always thought the point ?war is the health of the state? meant war was used to justify expansions in breaches of civil liberties, taxes, regulations, and other spending that were later hard to repeal, not just military spending. At least, that was the Jeff Hummel hypothesis.

    Of course defense spending as a percentage of GDP is going to stay stagnant or decrease (even assuming war spending is included, which is separately appropriated from defense department spending). Defending the borders of the U.S. will cost about the same amount whether the U.S. has 200 million people or 400 million people. Invading Iraq will cost about the same amount whether the U.S. has 200 million people or 400 million people. As population rises, GDP rises and you?d expect defense spending as a percentage of GDP to decrease. What is odd is that defense spending hasn?t plummeted a lot more as a percentage of GDP.

    Chuck Moulton wrote (Less Antman: Antiwar is the Health of the Anti-State Movement @47):

    Here?s a Jeff Hummel quote on that from The Freeman:

    ?War is the health of the State,? proclaimed Randolph Bourne, the young Progressive, disillusioned by the Wilson administration?s grotesque excesses during World War I. Bourne?s maxim is true in two respects. During war itself the government swells in size and power, as it taxes, conscripts, regulates, generates inflation, and suppresses civil liberties. Second, after the war there is what economists and historians have identified as a ratchet effect. Postwar retrenchment never returns government to its prewar levels. The State has assumed new functions, taken on new responsibilities, and exercised new prerogatives that continue long after the fighting is over. Both of these phenomena are starkly evident during the Civil War.

  43. Austin Battenberg

    Well it seems like there are two choices. Both don’t sound that good.

    1. Attempt to infiltrate the two party duopoly aparatus. Use the system to get libertarian people into posistions of power within the party structure, then help other libertarians get elected. This may work in SOME states and SOME counties, but obviously not country wide, and doubtful for US Senate and President. I do believe it is possible to get elected as a libertarian Republican. Case in point: Justin Amash.

    2. Join the LP, the CP, or some other third party, campaign your ass off and hope you can convince people they aren’t wasting their vote. Star power and money isn’t enough. In order to be viable candidates have to be running EVERYWHERE and must be seen as a viable alternative to the two parties. With the media behind the R’s and the D’s this will be very difficult to achieve.

    Either way, I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing both. Perhaps someone would argue we should focus all of our effort into one thing, and it would thus be more successful. But I think every individual who considers themselves libertarian must find their own path and do what they can to promote the cause of liberty, regardless of what others might think.

    Who knows, maybe a Libertarian candidate might break through in a congressional race and help begin to build the LP. Or maybe Ron Paul could help change the GOP to a more libertarian direction. In the end, I don’t think we should discourage either.

  44. Brian Holtz

    If Teeth was referencing an alleged ratchet effect on wartime curtailment of civil liberties, then I’d like to see actual argument/evidence rather than appeals to authority (and references to the Civil War). I don’t see any such ratchet effect. Despite its “empire” and various cold and hot wars, America has seen a near-monotonic increase in civil liberties over the last century or so. At the same time, we’ve seen a striking long-term decrease in economic liberty — even as the warfare state’s share of GDP has been shrinking.

    For the details of my argument, see http://blog.knowinghumans.net/2006/07/fear-neophobia-not-police-state.html

  45. Robert Capozzi

    12 cm, ya know, politics seems to bring out people’s whiniest side. I’m sure the campaign staff of RP12 could’ve done many things better, but even if it performed optimally, RP’d still not get the nomination.

    Whiners and Monday morning QBs always have gripes and incomplete information.

  46. Melty

    Of course they’ll say ‘no endorsement’ til after Tampa.

    Libertarian efforts within the Republican Party’ve already made a difference.

  47. Austin Battenberg

    @50 That’s why marijuana and other drugs is still illegal, including innocent lives lost in the pointless war on drugs, why gay marriage is still illegal, why we have warrant-less searches and seizure, why they tap our phones and have drones spying on us, why they can indefinitely detain and even assassinate us.

    Yup, totally more free than before.

  48. Brian Holtz

    Both marriage inequality and The War on Some Drugs are abominations, but one cannot deny that liberty has been increasing in both areas.

    they tap our phones and have drones spying on us, why they can indefinitely detain and even assassinate us

    Yes, I hate it when those things happen to us.

  49. Gene Berkman

    Wartime curtailment of personal liberties is a consistent theme in history.

    We got a peacetime draft to prepare for World War II, and still had the same draft up until 1973. Since 1979 we have had draft registration, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, even though the Afghans expelled the Soviet troops by 1991.

    The various housing programs funded by the federal government, including government insured mortgages, were started after World War II to help returning veterans buy homes.

    Urban Renewal, now called Community Redevelopment, was also started after World War II to make housing more available for returning veterans.

    The Veterans Administration runs one of the larger taxpayer funded medical care programs.

    In case you are not aware, Brian, one of the reasons used to promote alcohol prohibition was the need to conserve grain for the war effort in World War I.

    When Richard Nixon was President, he imposed a surtax on the income tax, along with a phone tax, to pay the costs of the Vietnam War. This was the official reason for both.

    Fed printing press money to cover the continuing deficit, made worse by the Vietnam War, led to the higher prices that caused Nixon to impose Wage & Price Controls.

    It is true that the welfare state promotes growth of government, but so too does the warfare state. Libertarians are distinguished from other political trends by our opposition to the welfare-warfare state.

  50. Steven Berson

    @42 – Trent – do you think once RP is retired that “Ron Paul Revolutionaries” will still maintain control over the GOP party apparatus of the States you mentioned in 2014
    – in order to maintain an actual libertarian message –
    or will it go towards promoting a Rand Paul campaign come 2016 –
    or will it just disintegrate into a mishmash of a weakened liberty message, paleo-conservatism, masked social conservatism and no real focus once the central figure it rallied behind is no longer there for them?

  51. Mark Hilgenberg

    “disintegrate into a mishmash of a weakened liberty message, paleo-conservatism, masked social conservatism and no real focus once the central figure it rallied behind is no longer there for them?”

    Exactly! With Rand Paul bashing homosexuals.

  52. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote (@51):

    12 cm, ya know, politics seems to bring out people’s whiniest side. I’m sure the campaign staff of RP12 could’ve done many things better, but even if it performed optimally, RP’d still not get the nomination.

    Whiners and Monday morning QBs always have gripes and incomplete information.

    Your denigration of my statement as misinformed and/or whining is way off the mark. I am very informed about the operation of the Ron Paul campaign both through my D.C. friends (as you yourself know as a former frequent attender of the SNS with several Ron Paul staffers) and my many friends in the Ron Paul grassroots (e.g., Pennsylvania, Virginia, and many other states).

    The Ron Paul campaign isn’t just a few notches short of perfect. Instead they have ignored basic politics to a negligent degree. Can you name any campaign staffer who regularly looks at the crosstabs of polls? You can’t because there isn’t anyone in the campaign doing that. Crosstabs are the bread and butter of practically all serious campaigns. That’s just one of many huge errors in strategy.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    58 cm, I wasn’t saying YOU are a whiner, sorry, I was saying it sounds like your sources sounded like whiners, esp. if they are grassroots types.

    Not looking at crosstabs sounds weak, but it’s not obvious what that information might have elicited. Maybe slightly better targeting and results.

  54. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote (@59):

    58 cm, I wasn’t saying YOU are a whiner, sorry, I was saying it sounds like your sources sounded like whiners, esp. if they are grassroots types.

    I always get multiple sources and I discount veracity if I know someone has a personal gripe that colors his judgements.

    Talk to the grassroots, get the facts, and make your own assessments. The stories I’ve heard are shocking.

    Robert Capozzi wrote (@59):

    Not looking at crosstabs sounds weak, but it’s not obvious what that information might have elicited. Maybe slightly better targeting and results.

    Crosstabs are the bread and butter of campaigns. In order to build a winning coalition of voters, you need to know what the voters care about. Instead the Ron Paul campaign has been aimless and haphazard about its messaging, hoping a win to happen by some sort of miracle rather than through the science of real campaigning.

    Many politicians use crosstabs to pick their views on issues. A more scrupulous politician (like Ron Paul) can keep his views the same, but use crosstabs to pick what issues to emphasize at what times and in what areas.

    The Ron Paul campaign has been basically stumbling around in the dark not using readily available resources to map out a winning strategy from day 1 to Tampa. Its use of funds has therefore been outrageously ineffective.

    I have no dog in this fight: I’ve never tried to get a paid position on the campaign, nor do I particularly care who else gets paid positions. I just want Ron Paul to win — or barring that to do the best he can getting the message out converting apathetic voters and conservatives and liberals to libertarians. The Ron Paul campaign has tried its best to re-invent the wheel… and its re-imagined wheel is square, so it has been a very bumpy ride.

  55. Steven Berson

    One thing I can say strongly against the “change the GOP from the inside” crowd is that this current Ron Paul campaign shows that strategy yields horrible “bang for buck”.

    i.e. the Rick Santorum campaign spent about $15 million yielding supposedly 3,577,942 popular votes. Where as Ron Paul campaign has spent around $35 million yielding 1,553,448 popular votes.
    So Santorum with a theocratic-fascist message spent very roughly rounding it $4.28 a vote – versus Ron Paul with a paleo-conservative/libertarian message spent rougly rounding $23.33 a vote.

    What if that $35 million had been mainly focused into a General Election campaign instead? (as I’d say that RP arguably could have had a relatively easy time of gaining either LP or Constitution nomination if he had truly wanted them)

    Anyway – what is done is done. To me RP has done us all a service by getting a message of fiscal responsibility, being aware of the malevolences of the Federal Reserve, and most especially to me advocating a non-interventionist foreign policy – and for those things I think we should be grateful for. Regardless of what happens from this point forward in terms of endorsements or lack thereof – I’m thankful to the man and wish him the best in what most likely will be a retirement from public office after his Congressional term is over this year.

  56. Steven Berson

    @ 60 – Chuck – are you getting the GJ campaign (and all the other LP candidate runs this cycle that are worthy of an extra push) on the same page about crosstabs?? I have a feeling this type of strategizing would help them a good bit as well.

  57. Steven Berson

    @ 31 Paulie – regarding your proposal to
    “Debate Goode and Stein early and often. Leave empty chairs and maybe cardboard cutoffs of Obama and Romney. When their debates happen project their answers on a screen and “virtually debate” them, etc.” –
    I called Ron Nielson – GJ’s campaign director – a few days ago to propose this very same idea to him.
    I spoke with Ron Nielson (GJ’s campaign director) today to see if the campaign was possibly interested in my idea – and I got at best what could be called a lukewarm reception to the idea. Ron let me know that they’ve already been invited to something like 3 “alternative party” debates but that they haven’t decided whether to do these yet as they were fairly low profile. He let me know that they weren’t so keen on the idea of 3rd party debates as they wanted not to be seen as a minor party but instead as the only real alternative to the D’s and R’s. So it seems they only want to get GJ on the debate stage with Obama and Romney and not deal with the other third party candidates.

    I can understand this idea – in that they don’t want to bring down the campaign to the level of “minor leagues” via association (i.e. you’re known by the company you keep) but I let him know that this approach didn’t really work out for the Bob Barr campaign. I also think having videos of these debates that can be re-YouTube’d and potentially made a little bit viral makes for yet another tool that can be used in the future. i.e. the Badnarik vs. Cobb debates from 2004 can be still be viewed on and imho give a nice intro into the ideas of the LP and contrasts them sharply with what is comingi from a hard left point of view being espoused by the Green candidate. Anyway – at this point since the initial contact with the GJ campaign show they don’t seem that enthused about the idea I’m not going to push this anymore besides maybe asking folks who also think it’s a good idea to also push GJ towards thinking about it more. Hopefully they will change their minds about this and go ahead and participate in 3rd party debates.

  58. Austin Battenberg

    @54 I’m guessing your last sentence was sarcasm. I don’t think I need to remind you that the US Government DID assassinate American citizens recently. And they ARE going to start having drones patrol inside of America. Hell, even neocon Charles Krauthammer says its too far.

    @57 So a joke where he said, “I thought Obamas position couldn’t get any gayer” is going to be construed as homophobic? What are you a liberal? I’m not saying he is a libertarian on that issue, but considering he hasn’t really had a chance to vote on anything regarding marriage isn’t it a little premature to accuse him of being anti-gay?

    @56 I don’t know what is going to happen to the Ron Paul movement myself. But trust me there is a plenty of people who don’t like Rand, just like there are plenty of people who don’t like Johnson. My thoughts are that the Ron Paul movement will be in to stay. They might never be unified behind any one candidate for President, but most of us have been awakened because of Ron Paul, and our views have been changed as a result of that. None of us are going back to being liberals or neocons. We are ‘out of the closet’ you could say. So as long as we keep electing people who represent similar views as Ron Paul, and get people into the party apparatus, who knows what might happen in the future. There are plenty of candidates running across the country running under Ron Paul’s message. I would say that a good number of them can win the primary. Many won’t be able to defeat the incumbents. But the fact that our views are spreading should be a good thing regardless.

    @61 But the neocons and social conservatives have been wedded to the Republican Party for decades. It is unfair to compare Santorums dollar per vote to Paul’s dollar per vote because Santorum was just pandering to the voters that are already in the party. Paul is bringing in new people (such as myself) and is converting others from conservatism to libertarianism. So its an upward battle for him. We can’t expect the Republican Party to turn libertarian overnight. But consider how much more votes he got compared to last time, and how much more his message is resonating with younger people and how issues that he cares about is finally being discussed like the Federal Reserve. Despite having conservative rhetoric, my congressman Tom McClintock has a very libertarian voting record, probably due in part to Ron Paul. He voted against the re-authorization of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, and Libya to name a few. There isn’t a Libertarian running for Congress in my district, but I’m going to be happy to vote for him this year.

  59. Steven Berson

    @ 64 Austin – you are absolutely right. Based on his number increases of 2012 vs 2008 – all Ron Paul has to do is show similar increases by running in 2016 and then continue that trend once more to set up his clear GOP primary win in 2020. We’ve never had an 85 year old President inaugurated before but no reason we can’t do it then!

  60. Steven Berson

    @ 64 Austin – I do agree that RP’s getting his message out broader this election cycle has indeed had a very positive effect on what issues are getting talked about and on how many candidates for other offices are taking on a more libertarian message as well.

  61. Austin Battenberg

    I don’t think I have ever suggested Ron Paul should run in 2016 (unless its for his reelection of course 😉 )

    He is planting the seeds for others to succeed.

    As I said there are many candidates running under Ron Paul’s platform. Ron Paul is clearly paving the way for his son, but there are many others that the torch could be passed to. Just like here in the LP, its a movement with members who want to see libertarianism flourish. We should work together not against each other.

    I know there are many here who don’t like Ron because of his social conservative leanings. But he awakened me and many others to libertarians. Otherwise I wouldn’t even be on this board posting.

  62. Steven Berson

    Austin – I think we do agree on all this. What I question is whether all the organizational ground work that has been laid down within the GOP will remain intact and for good purpose after Ron Paul has retired from public office. I’d say if he remains active in “C4L” and other such things it’s more possible that it will. But from what I’ve seen it seems there are in fact a good number of Ron Paul supporters who seem to focus on the man rather than the message (i.e. the types who post things like “Ron Paul is our only hope!” or “Ron Paul or No One”) that might not be as active once he is no longer a central focus. I also wonder if Ron Paul is not being active as a focus for the “R3volution” whether or not the group will get astroturfed and the message kidnapped to the point that it is diluted and dispersed – similar to what I think has happened to the various Tea Party groups the past year and a half. Guess we’l all see.

  63. Austin Battenberg

    I agree. Many of those style of Ron Paul supporters give the rest of us a bad name. But like most other libertarians, they don’t have a true political home. I think it would be near impossible to astroturf libertarianism because your either for government or your against it. And every time something happens like Rand Paul voting for sanctions or endorsing someone who is less libertarian then someone else, the supporters cry foul. Most like Rand (as do I), but do not share the enthusiasm like they do for his father. Ultimately that is a good thing because it means that the supporters are rigidlly principled. It might be difficult to find a true successor for national office, but when it comes to more local races, I think Ron Paul supporters can, and will have a long term impact.

    I don’t think the movement will be co-opted. I sure hope it doesn’t. I haven’t been involved in politics long enough to see it happen to a political movement I’m proudly a part of. So only time can tell. But my views will not change, and I’m sure many others won’t change either. And while many are on the whole, “Only Ron Paul can save us”, 10 years down the road obviously they will be working somehow to advance the cause of liberty in their own unique way, with or without a leader to be their champion. That’s my take on it I guess.

  64. Trent Hill

    “do you think once RP is retired that “Ron Paul Revolutionaries” will still maintain control over the GOP party apparatus of the States you mentioned in 2014
    – in order to maintain an actual libertarian message –
    or will it go towards promoting a Rand Paul campaign come 2016 –
    or will it just disintegrate into a mishmash of a weakened liberty message, paleo-conservatism, masked social conservatism and no real focus once the central figure it rallied behind is no longer there for them?”

    @56,

    I don’t know. No one does. What I do know is that Ron Paul isn’t going to disappear–nor are his advisors and many of the most trusted movement people.

    No, Rand Paul isn’t perfect. He is, though, a chip off the old block. He’s as perfect as Ron Paul is, he just knows messaging important to get elected before you can govern the way you want. Have you ever heard of Justin Amash? This kid is the true — Next Ron Paul. Thomas Massie could be a newcomer too.

  65. Trent Hill

    With all of that said–2014 will be THE crucial year. The year between Ron retiring and Rand taking over.

  66. Trent Hill

    “I wasn’t saying YOU are a whiner, sorry, I was saying it sounds like your sources sounded like whiners, esp. if they are grassroots types.”

    This. I’ve met lots of grassroots types, even trustable ones, who gave an outrageous version of a story. When I sought the official story from campaign staffers–there version made everything much clearer. Even if I disagreed with the particular decision that was made, I understood the rationale.

    Hell, I ran across a grassroots “leader” the other day who was pissed off that the Ron Paul campaign wouldn’t release a list of volunteers in his state to him. Well no shit Sherlock, they don’t know you, can’t verify you, and they realize that giving you a volunteer list for your state would essentially make you a staffer and mean endorsing every action you did with those lists and every view you expressed in your capacity as a “staffer”. Mere hearsay is not good enough. I’m perfectly willing to criticize Benton for his email–but it’s hardly a death sentence or anything. Benton made it sound a little too…resigned, but that’s all.

  67. Trent Hill

    “So a joke where he said, “I thought Obamas position couldn’t get any gayer” is going to be construed as homophobic? What are you a liberal? I’m not saying he is a libertarian on that issue, but considering he hasn’t really had a chance to vote on anything regarding marriage isn’t it a little premature to accuse him of being anti-gay?”

    This. I’ve had very intensive conversations with Rand in the past (pre-2010) and I can assure you…he isn’t a homophobe.

  68. Cynical in New York

    RE: 11 Austin Battenberg

    I agree, I’m so sick of Libertarians attempting to forge “alliances” with conservatives. Conservatives don’t want liberty, they only want to be in control of big government not reduce it. They’ve had several chances to actually reduce government but do jack. This is one of the reasons why I like people like Lew Rockwell, he has no problems calling conservatives out for they really are.

  69. Who will Ron Paul endorse?

    In 2008 Ron Paul endorsed a number of big-government Republicans in races that also had a Libertarian candidate. It was kind of appalling.

  70. Steven Berson

    @ 75 – yup as this video shows RP endorsed neo-con Lamar Smith for re-election in Congress – even though a much more libertarian candidate Stephen Schoppe (who had actually volunteered for the RP campaign) was challenging Smith in the GOP primary

  71. Robert Capozzi

    60 cm: Crosstabs are the bread and butter of campaigns. In order to build a winning coalition of voters, you need to know what the voters care about. Instead the Ron Paul campaign has been aimless and haphazard about its messaging, hoping a win to happen by some sort of miracle rather than through the science of real campaigning.

    me: Yes, that makes sense to me, stipulating that I’ve never been involved in a campaign. Campaigns are marketing plans, which I have been involved in.

    My direct knowledge of RP and some who know him better is that he basically likes to wing it. He – and many Ls – bristle at the very idea of the “science” of campaigns. All one needs are one’s principles and the “Korrect Line” on how those principles apply to the issues of the day.

    Marketers understand that communication can only happen if the communicat-ee understands. The NAP is an abstraction, especially when applied to a host of contemporary issues in which the State has fused with the civil order, e.g., marriage equality.

  72. Sean Scallon

    There is coterie of top advisers to the Paul campaign (and maybe even Rand himself) who have an eye on 2016 and don’t want to do anything which would hurt his chances. If that means cutting deals with Romney or admonishing supporters to be more “civilized” so be it. This has been the Plan B of the campaign really since Iowa which is why the lines of communication have always been kept open to the Romney campaign and why the two campaigns have been coordial to each other.

    What they don’t understand is the grassroots is really beyond their control at this point. Since 2007 the movement has been built on grassroots support which has gone from being fanatical amateurs to being well versed in the politics of takeover. They’re not going to stop because Jesse Benton clumsily tries to tell them to. With support in Congressional District delegates and with alternates, Ron Paul should have a visible presence on the Tampa convention floor and the convention actually operate like one instead made-for-TV leader-worship spectacle.

    I believe this division will carry on after this year well to 2016. Rand will run in 2016 but he won’t have the depth of grassroots support his father did and maybe he really doesn’t want it considering the divisions between grassroots supporters and the “officials” of the main Paul campaign (the Benton/Kokesh dispute being one example). Certainly his effort will be much more conventional both in funding and support with more regular GOP types surrounding it like his Senate campaign.

    So in 2016 (assuming Obama’s re-election) there will be a pool of Paul’s grassroots supporters waiting for a candidate and cause to support. Maybe it will be Justin Amash or maybe even Gary Johnson if plays his cards right. Reaching out to Paul supporters in the wake of the press release fiasco last week from the “officials” is a good first step but more will need to be taken through the campaign this fall to show Johnson as a viable inheritor to the Revolution in either the Republican or Libertarian parties or perhaps in a fusion effort four years from now. The possibilities are potentially fascinating.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    74 cynical: This is one of the reasons why I like people like Lew Rockwell, he has no problems calling conservatives out for they really are.

    me: Has he called out Rand Paul? 😉 Curious that Rockwell positions himself as above politics except when it (apparently) suits him.

    Perhaps his paleo journey was an excellent classroom for him. I do wonder what his private thoughts are about NewsletterGate. Even if he didn’t write the hate, does he want us to believe that he didn’t READ the hate when it started appearing. Why didn’t he red-flag it, if so?

    (Actually, in many ways, I prefer Rand to Ron from a technical perspective, as I find Rand to be the far superior communicator. Policy-wise, I give a slight preference to Ron, although both lean too right for my tastes. I’d likely vote for either were I in a position to.)

  74. Steve LaBianca

    Bob Capozzi said, “The NAP is an abstraction” . . . ; somehow, it seems to me, that ALL statements are abstractions, until and unless they are applied to “real-world” scenarios.

    Bob, such proclamations are useless, and for the most part counterproductive toward achieving a widespread understanding and embrace of liberty.

  75. Steve LaBianca

    I said, “Bob, such proclamations are useless” . . . unless the purpose of such a statement is to root out fundamentals and or principles from the liberty (or libertarian) movement.

  76. Steve LaBianca

    Then again . . . politics and principles are mutually exclusive anyway. LOL!

  77. Brian Holtz

    @64 the US Government DID assassinate American citizens recently. And they ARE going to start having drones patrol inside of America

    There has indeed been a sharp increase in the number of American citizens killed while traveling with fugitive al-Qaeda leaders, but going from zero to one is an anecdote, not a trend. And as for the drones you think will soon be patrolling America’s skies, the overall trend will be sousveillance and encryption technology doing more to protect civil liberties than surveillance technology will be doing to infringe them. I’m more worried about the government killing a Kelly Thomas or an Oscar Grant than an Anwar al-Awlaki, and the clear trend is that the government is going to find it a lot harder to get away with such killings.

    Meanwhile, there remains no prospect of reversing the last half-century’s epic progress regarding racism, civil rights, conscription, divorce rights, sexual freedom, reproductive freedom, gay rights, criminal procedure, free expression, gambling, and even society’s attitude towards substance use.

    Gene@55: conscription is a counter-example to the ratchet argument for civil liberties, as the process of ending it began even as the Vietnam War was most intense. Conscription is so thoroughly over that the only politicians calling for it are leftists seeking antiwar publicity — or a “national service” program that is about the welfare state, not the warfare state.

    The ratchet also slipped on alcohol prohibition; thank you for yet another counter-example.

    The rest of the programs you mention @55 are all about economic liberty not civil liberty, and they all are dwarfed by analogous programs that have no warfare-state connection at all. And clearly, the warfare-seed theory does not explain the welfare statism that is rampant in the developed world:

    It is true that the welfare state promotes growth of government, but so too does the warfare state. Libertarians are distinguished from other political trends by our opposition to the welfare-warfare state.

    Yep — but that’s not what I’m disagreeing with. I’m disagreeing with the “(anti)war is the health” theses that 1) war is the primary driver for the growth of government, 2) the warfare state causes a ratcheted decrease in civil liberties, and 3) war should be the marquee issue for libertarians. (1) and (2) are demonstrably false, and the best “argument” for (3) — viz., “Evil!” — does not differentiate the libertarian brand.

    P.S. Regarding the widespread belief that antiwar is Ron Paul’s marquee issue, see actual data here.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@83,

    “Meanwhile, there remains no prospect of reversing the last half-century’s epic progress [in favor of civil liberties] regarding … criminal procedure”

    Snorted Diet Coke out my nose at that one. Any “progress” on that has been around the fringes (“you have to read them their rights before you interrogate them”), while the core of “criminal procedure” has “progressed” such that one in 32 Americans is now “under supervision” (incarcerated or on parole or probation), 92% of cases are disposed of through coercive “plea bargaining” (“just pretend you’re guilty and we’ll go easy on you”), vehicles are subject to search and seizure with neither warrant nor probable cause, and cops routinely rampage through homes killing pets (and sometimes residents) with impunity.

    The US passed the “Now Entering Police State” signpost years ago.

  79. Nick Kruse

    If Ron Paul truly believes he has enough delegates from the conventions in Iowa, Maine, Nevada, ect. to get things done in Tampa, then he needs to continue to play the Republican Party’s games at least until the end of August. By saying there is even the possibility he might endorse Gary Johnson, he could be disqualified from the Republican race.

    Everything will change in September after the Republican convention. Ron Paul would be more free to endorse the candidate he truly supports then.

  80. paulie Post author

    Nick,

    Except that Benton did leave open the possibility of endorsing Goode. And as for getting things done in Tampa what exactly? Platform changes quite possibly, but the (NS)GOP platform has always been a meaningless sop of bones to activist groups that bears no relation to what Republican politicians do in office.

    Speaking time in convention, maybe, but even that is not a given.

    Benton even admits they can’t stop Romney from being nominated. A VP spot, more likely for Rand than Ron, is a long shot. Setting Rand up for P 16 seems to be the game hence Benton’s talk of changing party rules for 16. But those rules can change again via RNC. Is RNC elected/appointed at convention? I’m thinking probably not?

  81. Brian Holtz

    From http://www.cqpress.com/context/constitution/docs/statutes.html:

    In the late 1930s the Supreme Court also began to adopt a more favorable attitude toward assertions of individual rights in areas such as freedom of speech, racial discrimination, and criminal law and procedure. (See Speech, Freedom of.) Over the next four decades the Court brought about what has been called a rights revolution. That phase lasted until a conservative majority formed in the 1970s and solidified in the 1980s. Although many of these rulings involved state laws, the Court’s new attitude toward individual rights also led to conflicts with Congress in several areas.

    Subversion

    Congress and the executive branch established a web of antisubversive laws and regulations at the beginning of the cold war after World War II. (See Communism.) In the 1950s the Court generally upheld such laws, but a solid liberal majority struck down several provisions in the 1960s. In three rulings the Court invalidated sections of the 1950 Subversive Activities Control Act that barred members of communist front organizations from obtaining a passport (1964) or working in defense plants (1967) and subjected Communist Party members to prosecution for failure to register as members of a subversive organization (1965). The Court in 1965 also invalidated a law barring Communist Party members from serving as union officers.

    Civil Rights

    The Court relied on the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in its historic ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. But the Fourteenth Amendment applied only to the states, not to the federal government. A less well-known companion decision, Bolling v. Sharpe, interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to contain an implicit equal protection requirement applicable to federal legislation. The ruling invalidated school segregation laws for the District of Columbia that dated from 1862. The legal principle provided the basis for the Court in the 1970s to strike down some provisions of federal benefits programs as illegal sex discrimination.

    Criminal Procedure

    On a handful of occasions before 1950, the Court had invoked the procedural protections for criminal defendants in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments to strike down provisions of federal laws. The Warren Court’s criminal procedure revolution of the 1950s and 1960s resulted in several more such rulings. The Court limited the jurisdiction of military courts in half a dozen cases between 1955 and 1967. Three decisions in the late 1960s relied on the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to restrict use of tax law provisions in prosecutions for gambling, firearms, and drugs. In 1968 the Court overturned the death penalty provision of the Lindbergh Kidnapping Act, saying that it penalized the right to jury trial by allowing imposition of the death penalty only if recommended by a jury.

    The Court in 1978 also gave businesses new Fourth Amendment protections by limiting warrantless inspections of workplaces under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

    Sex Discrimination

    The Court in the 1970s established restrictions against sex discrimination with rulings that invalidated sex-based provisions in federal benefits programs. The pivotal ruling, Frontiero v. Richardson (1973), struck down a provision that made it harder for women than men in the military to gain dependent benefits for a spouse. The vote was 8–1, but the Court was divided in its reasoning. Although that division persisted, the Court in 1975 and 1977 struck down sex-based provisions for Social Security benefits and continued to expand sex discrimination protections in other areas as well.

    Free Speech

    A handful of federal provisions fell as the Court expanded free speech protections—a trend that continued into the 1980s and 1990s. The Court struck down laws prohibiting demonstrations on the Capitol grounds (1972) or in front of the Supreme Court building (1983) or foreign embassies (1988). It overturned a ban on editorializing by public broadcasting stations (1984) and on “indecent” telephone messages (1989). In a dramatic confrontation with Congress and public opinion, the Court in 1990 struck down, by a vote of 5 to 4, a federal law against flag desecration, which Congress had passed four months after the Court’s 1989 ruling overturning a similar state statute.

    The Court’s solicitousness toward free speech grew in the 1990s and continued into the 2000s, even as it became more conservative on other issues. It strengthened protection for commercial speech with several rulings striking down advertising regulations in diverse areas such as beer labeling (1995), casinos (1999), tobacco advertising (2001), agricultural product promotions (2001), and prescription drugs (2002). The Court showed solicitude toward sexual expression with rulings that struck down part of a law aimed at limiting sexually indecent programming on cable television and, more significantly, invalidated Congress’s first attempt to prevent children from having access to indecency on the Internet.

    Political Speech

    The Court in the 1970s and 1980s created new First Amendment rights for political speech by striking down several major provisions of campaign finance reform laws. The decision in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) struck down limits on campaign spending and on the amount of money that candidates could contribute to their own campaign. Later the Court also struck down limits on “independent” campaign expenditures by individuals or groups.

  82. Charles Lupton

    I’m new to campaigning, but as a volunteer staff member for Gov. Johnson campaign, I have been looking at the cross-tabs in polling(where we are included). We are also not depending on a Ron Paul endorsement to get our message out. While it would be nice and appreciated, it’s not the be all end all. We have our own staff and grassroots which is contacting the polling companies to get in the polls and at least two more have said they will begin including us besides PPP(which began doing so due to a grassroots effort as well). I personally, while biased as a staff member, do believe 15% is possible to make on the, “Big Stage”. That happening would do more than any single person’s endorsement could(and Sept is too late to make the debate stage anyway, we have to work now at this). We are also putting together our endorsement process and will be announcing some soon and working with LP candidates across the country at joint fundraisers and events for both them and the LP in general.

    This is not 2008. When Gov. Johnson made the switch, it was permanent. He DOES plan to run again in 2016 no matter the outcome of this election and failing to win in 2012(even we realize that is a long shot), he will continue the message in 2013, 2014, and 2015 leading up to next cycle and be active in promoting LP candidates during the 2014 mid-terms. In short, we know the better the LP does as a whole the better we do as well.

    We will be working with Neale and Wrights and Root and R.J. Harris and the entire LP no what “faction” they may be a part of. In fact a Wrights town hall is happening May 22nd and after official announcement of R.J. Harris, we will likely be scheduling one with him as well.

  83. Charles Lupton

    @88 Yes, great progress was made in many areas in the 1900’s, but we must judge the direction of our country by present events not it’s past accomplishments. The Patriot Act, NDAA and other items listed earlier in this thread are post-9/11 items. The erosion of the great gains of the last century must be stopped.

  84. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Austin 64 “is going to be construed as homophobic? What are you a liberal? I’m not saying he is a libertarian on that issue, but considering he hasn’t really had a chance to vote on anything regarding marriage isn’t it a little premature to accuse him of being anti-gay?”

    Yes, you caught me, I am Liberal and proud of it! I believe in individual rights, not group rights and oppression or states’ rights and oppression.

    Why is it Libertarians insist we must all come from the right, mock gays, mock voluntary cooperation, hate all the same people etc.? Libertarian group think is very scary.

    Yes, I am talking about Rands “joke” the one where he said, “the family is a really important thing” and it was necessary to defend it to “save the Republic.” And “But that doesn’t mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We’ve got 6,000 years of tradition. There’s a lot of stability, even beyond religion, there’s stability in the family unit. Just from an anthropological point of view, the family is really important thing. We shouldn’t just give up on it.”
    So we need to use the force of government to stop people from entering into voluntary unions. Ya what a liberty lover!

    I am no longer giving the states’ rights, homophobic bigoted conservatives a pass because they are “good” on economic issues.

  85. Austin Battenberg

    @83

    You do realize that Awlaki’s 16 year old son was also killed in that drone strike.

    And while assassinating American’s isn’t widespread (yet), we DO have a policy that exists that COULD be misued in future adminstrations.

    And of course assassinations of foreigners is common place.

    Oh, and this is all information that is public. Imagine the amount of info that is still classified or has been done by the CIA etc.

  86. Austin Battenberg

    @90

    Sorry, I didn’t mean disrespect.

    I came from the left, so I am troubled by anti-gay remarks and anti-gay legislation as much as any libertarian. Perhaps because I am a Ron Paul supporter I am willing to look the other way on some issues, but I listened to the whole speech given by Rand before the media blew those words out of proportion, and at the time I didn’t think anything of it.

    But keep in mind he wasn’t talking about legislation or whether or not marriage should be legal. Ron Paul says he is in favor of ending the drug war, but that doesn’t mean he promotes drug use.

    In that same speech, Rand also says “Now that doesn’t mean we have to be harsh and mean and hate people. We understand sin and if we believe it’s a sin, we still understand that people sin. We understand we’re not out there preaching some hateful dogma against people.” Hardly hateful.

    To emphasize this anti-hate point, the very next story he tells is that of Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman, and the attack she suffered while at a Baltimore McDonald’s. Two thugs brutally kicked and beat Chrissy repeatedly until she fell into a seizure and began convulsing on the floor– all while a McDonald’s employee laughed and videotaped the attack. It is a horrific video. Many observers believed the attack was motivated solely by the fact that Chrissy is a transgender woman (born a man, believes herself to be a woman).

    So yes, I agree that I wish he could just be as like Gary Johnson on this issue, but we should know he is treading a tightrope of trying to keep the evangelicals on his side as well as libertarians.

    I’m willing to hold out judgement until a marriage vote comes up and WHEN he votes one way or another I will either praise him or criticize him. But to attack him for a few remarks in front of a crowd that would normally boo people like Johnson when it comes to those issues, I just can’t hate on him for that.

  87. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Austion 92,

    Thanks for the good reply.

    I am just very frustrated how we (Libertarians) have cuddled up to the conservatives for too long, we give winks and nods to all kinds of social oppression. I just got tired on the “I know buts” when talking about Ron or Rand, from the racist newsletters, to the speech in front of the confederate flag, to the white supremacist photo opps and now Rand on gay marriage. Even if it was a joke it plays into the stereotype that “gayer” means lesser or a negative thing.

    Rand has been consistant on gay rights.

    “Paul supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

    The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
    The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: “Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage”
    Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010 ”

    I am done with the “ya buts”!

  88. Austin Battenberg

    I definitely agree with the fact that libertarians have cuddled up to conservatives for too long. I think its because they believe they can get more votes that way. It might actually be true (for now). Think about it, Gary Johnson didn’t go anywhere in the Republican Party because he refused to pander to the evangelical vote when it came to same sex marriage or abortion. That’s why even though he is about as libertarian as Ron Paul (more so on some issues, less so on others), he never rose in the polls.

    And that leads to the fact that the Christian coalition is a HUGE voting bloc. They reliably vote. Libertarians don’t. That’s because libertarians either don’t approve of the system, so they don’t vote, or they sit at home because they believe their vote won’t matter. As a result our ideas only get lip service.

    And whenever you read comments on liberal websites like the Huffington Post, most say things like, “I like Ron Paul on foreign policy and the drug war, but could never vote for him because he wants to let sick people die.” For many, there is no convincing them of the benefits of a free market, and I think its that reason why so many libertarians lean right, because they believe that more votes can be achieved that way. Despite what you hear on talk radio and FOX News, most Republicans and conservatives I know don’t really care about gay marriage or marijuana.

    I agree that all in all, Rand’s position on gay marriage and some of his comments that day was in poor taste, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact he is in a very red state and got elected as a conservative, not as a libertarian. Not to mention I think everyone here will agree that he is likely to run for President in 2016 or 2020, and doesn’t want to scare away the evangelicals like his father did.

    While I would MUCH rather have a Johnson in the Senate then a Rand, I must admit that Rand’s overall voting record has been a net positive. Clearly he is the best Senator we have today (which isn’t saying much).

    If Rand runs for President, I would likely vote for him in the primary, but would probably still vote third party in the general. But we have four more years to see, and who knows what will happen before then.

  89. Austin Battenberg

    Could you also post a link to that CC Survey? I couldn’t find it.

  90. Austin Battenberg

    Never mind, I found it. I wish it wasn’t so vague. It’s almost like he filled out the form, but without putting any explanation or context behind it.

    I mean, I haven’t actually seen or heard him say, “I want to keep same sex marriage illegal.”

    It’s just like you can’t find Ron Paul in ANY audio or video making a racist statement. Maybe he just supports DOMA like Bob Barr did, but still supports state choice. If CC didn’t give an option for states rights, how was he to answer?

    Not that it means he gets a pass on this, but I still am willing to wait until he actually votes on something. Because its when you vote when what you believe counts.

  91. Mark Hilgenberg

    @ Austin 94,95,96 “I like Ron Paul on foreign policy and the drug war, but could never vote for him because he wants to let sick people die.” For many, there is no convincing them of the benefits of a free market, and I think its that reason why so many libertarians lean right,”

    I don’t believe that is true, our main problem is we try and convince them of free markets using conservative rhetoric, we defend non-libertarian conservative solutions and we don’t know how to paint a benefit based picture of our issues.

    We need to learn how to use concrete terms that espouse benefits and align ourselves with others in our mutual goals (Health CARE for all), before we start giving them concrete features. The conservatarians are very concrete (Gays shall not marry, etc.), this is why people know where they stand on those issues.

    I’ll keep reposting the below in hopes that more people start to pay attention to it.

    Most people active in politics and the largest segment of society are concrete communicators. Here is how Dr. David Keirsey describes this type of communication. “Some people talk primarily about the external, concrete world of everyday reality: facts and figures, work and play, home and family, news, sports and weather — all the who-what-when-where-and how much’s of life.”

    They are also cooperative in action, “they try to do the right thing, in keeping with agreed upon social rules, conventions, and codes of conduct, and only later do they concern themselves with the effectiveness of their actions.”

    “As Concrete Cooperators, Guardians speak mostly of their duties and responsibilities, of what they can keep an eye on and take good care of, and they’re careful to obey the laws, follow the rules, and respect the rights of others.” They make up 40-45% of the population.

    Most Libertarians are abstract communicators: “This group of people talk primarily about the internal, abstract world of ideas: theories and conjectures, dreams and philosophies, beliefs and fantasies –all the why’s, if’s, and what-might-be’s of life.”

    They are often Utilitarian in action: “act primarily in a utilitarian or pragmatic manner, that is, they do what gets results, what achieves their objectives as effectively or efficiently as possible, and only afterwards do they check to see if they are observing the rules or going through proper channels.”

    As Abstract Utilitarians, Rationals speak mostly of what new problems intrigue them and what new solutions they envision, and always pragmatic, they act as efficiently as possible to achieve their objectives, ignoring arbitrary rules and conventions if need be.

    This group makes up 5-10% of the population, yet they are the vast majority of Libertarians.

    How does this work out in a typical political conversation.

    Libertarian: “We need to cut government by 50%”

    Now in their thought process they are thinking abstract and tangentially, they see millions of forks in the road. Paths leading to various solutions, ideas abound in their vision of this simple statement. All of the benefits of the various liberty oriented ideas are wrapped up in that statement.

    Guardian: “What!!? You want chaos in the streets and people dying?”

    There thought process is concrete, they “hear” cut government and they immediately envision the removal of things they feel help (police, Fire, defense, etc.). No forks, no alternative paths or solutions, just an immediate thought to the worst case scenario.

    Unfortunately few rational will look into this stuff being that they think it isn’t scientific but more like astrology. It is ironic considering that for the most part “they do what gets results, what achieves their objectives as effectively or efficiently as possible.” Maybe more of them will realize that they are not being effective or getting results.

    This must be why I am an idealist.

    “As Abstract Cooperators, Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.”

  92. Austin Battenberg

    I read what you posted, and it is very interesting I must say. But how do we change our language to suit them?

    I can say something like, “I believe in healthcare for all, just not covered by the government.” and most who are liberals would disagree saying that if not government, then the evil corporations would be in charge.

    I understand its all a language barrier. Obviously Ron Paul is a decent enough communicator that he was able to convince me to go from, “I am okay with paying taxes in order to pay for the things we need in society.” to, “I believe anything done voluntarily at the free market can produce anything the government can do more effectively, efficiently, and cheaper.” I was just willing to listen to him because I agreed with his anti-war stance, and everything else he said just sounded like common sense. To be fair I wasn’t wedded to the Democratic Party for more then two years. Mostly because I opposed Bush. Prior to that I was apolitical.

    Great discussion.

  93. Mark Hilgenberg

    Hi Austin, thanks.

    The first thing to realize is we are not just talking about Liberals, about 70-80% of the population are concrete communicators. That is a small pool left if we want to stick with abstracts. We need to learn to communicate this way to attract the left, right and middle. It is all about positive benefits not abstract or scary sounding features.

    Another key in outreach is we need to stop trying to think we are going to say a magic phrase which will convert people on the spot; our number one goal should first be looked at as people who are looking out for other people. “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. We need to be seed planters. I have had some people say they will vote Libertarian just because I sound like I care. Sure, can they recite our entire platform, no but they get it in their hearts.

    Let’s examine your phrase. “I believe in healthcare for all, just not covered by the government.” It immediately pivots to a negative concrete phrase (Not by government). For this it is best to use what Marshall Fritz (Advocates Self Gov founder) called the Ransberger Pivot. Here is an example.

    “Like you I want to live in a society where all people have access to the highest quality healthcare and we don’t need to worry that an illness or sickness can bankrupt our families. Our current system is filled with government protections for corporations and other protected entities, artificially keeping our costs high but also the profits high for the very few.

    We would like to see a system where medical options including holistic medicine is fostered and promoted. We want there to be all kinds of choices and options, both in treatment and how it is paid for. We want individuals to decide, not corrupt corporations and government bureaucrats.“

    I will work on this, I just came up with this on the spot but you get the point.

    If we are going to be serious about liberty we need to get our noses out of the policy and abstract books and into learning how to communicate it. We have the best solution is the world and no one understands it. Join our Grassroots group; I will be sharing outreach methods there. http://www.facebook.com/GrassrootsLibertarians

    First go to http://www.keirsey.com and learn about concrete vs. abstract communication.

    Next read up on examples of the Ransberger pivot.

    Here are some my friend and I made up years ago.
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150182684657699

    A good “left” outreach piece. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150319912582699

    Here is a good article on the Pivot. http://archive.suite101.com/article.cfm/libertarian/106540

  94. just saying

    I think you need to point out how the corporate-medical complex is already in control of everything and the govt just exacerbates it.

    Focus on Paulian/libertarian support of alternative health lifestyles/cures etc.

    If the lefty you’re talking to is still so brainwashed by the Rockefeller/AMA-pharmaceutical complex that he thinks chemotherapy is a good idea he’s hopeless anyway. If you can’t break through that barrier it’s best to just wait for his doctor to kill him at a young age so he can contribute to a broader demographic shift.

  95. Dan Reale

    I think the RP Revolution (let alone anything libertarian) in the GOP is done. It’s over.

    IF the idea of endorsing Mittens Romney is on the table, it’s cooked.

    And Barr will be equally irrelevant for endorsing mittens. I say that as someone who gave the guy a decent chance in 08.

    It’s time to move on. The American people are ready. We don’t have a constructive use for this ball and chain any longer.

  96. Trent Hill

    “I think the RP Revolution (let alone anything libertarian) in the GOP is done. It’s over. ”

    I’d say the opposite. It seems to just be starting. Thomas Massie is about to go to Congress, Kurt Bills just won the GOP Senate nomination, etc.

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