LP Attacks Rand Paul Over Latest Stance on Drug War

LP Facebook post on May 14th:

Many of you planned to support Rand Paul in 2016, hoping that he was serious about ending the wasteful and expensive War on Drugs.


The bad news: he is not. (http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/13/rand-paul-assures-evangelicals-that-he-d)

The good news: there are hundreds of Libertarian candidates who are. We are working to keep them on the ballot (which involves fighting legal battles from both Republicans and Democrats), and promote them. To contribute, please visitwww.lp.org/contribute, and write “Rand Paul’s donation” in the comments!

Or, if you have not already done so, become a supporting member at www.lp.org/membership!

Published with the Facebook post:

58 thoughts on “LP Attacks Rand Paul Over Latest Stance on Drug War

  1. James Babb

    Let’s just hope that the LP nominates a candidate who opposes the entire drug war as a matter of principle (unlike Barr and Johnson who just want to tinker with some drugs laws.)

  2. Henry Thoreau

    Let me help you 1 dimensional thinkers, calling yourself Libertarian(Freedom + RESPONSIBILITY) for just a second.

    If all drugs were legalized tomorrow, who will be hurt? All of us will be hurt, because we have a SOCIALIST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM NOW.

    So, how about you re-evalute your lack of situational awareness and engage your brain. First, we must ensure that some dipshit like you can die of an overdose without it taking food out of everyone else’s mouth. Then, we can legalize drugs, there will be no more drug war, all the stupid people will die, and I get all of their women. Hugs and kisses all around.

    How does that work for you, “Libertarian”. Liberty only exists when your stupidity doesn’t harm anyone else. Can ya see it now. That whole 2 steps ahead thing. I know it’s tough, but please try. It’ll keep those chains from getting tighter.

  3. paulie

    @1 Johnson opposes the entire drug war, he just wants to focus on the part of it that is most vulnerable to change right now, which is smart.

    He says nothing about supporting any part of the drug war (because he doesn’t), unlike Rand Paul.

  4. paulie

    @2 Your screed depends on prohibition laws being effective in reducing drug abuse. They are not even slightly effective in that, if anything they increase drug abuse. And cause many additional problems.

  5. James Babb

    So Henry, because a bunch of crooks were granted a monopoly on healthcare, we need to give those same crooks even more power. Let’s have them cage a million people peaceful people in the interest of “responsibility.”

    Sounds legit.

  6. paulie

    That’s 2011. I’ve talked to him in person about it more recently.

    He doesn’t want to be deflected by publicly defending legalizing hard drugs, which makes him look crazy to a lot of people who might otherwise support him if he only talks about pot.

    Even if he still answers that question that way (I don’t think he does; remember that he was running for the Republican nomination then, that makes a difference), that’s only in response to a question, which is a lot different than what Rand Paul chose to do, affirmatively supporting the drug war as a talking point all on his own.

  7. paulie

    Let me make sure that was not unclear, Johnson personally told me he would legalize all drugs if he could.

  8. James Babb

    What good are GJ’s secret positions, if he says the opposite publicly whenever he feels it’s politically advantageous?

    I’m sure the Rand believers will say he’s also just lying to “sound credible.”

    A principled libertarian could explain why the entire drug war must end. It would be nice if the LP found a candidate that believed in the platform, and knew how to sell it.

  9. Michael H. Wilson

    re: @2 I have had friends die from drug overdoses. I have also worked alongside people who were addicts and they had no problems doing their jobs. And as a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard I can assure you that the drug war is more about getting equipment and having something for the many government agencies to do than protecting anyone from anything. To put it bluntly some people have to give up their civil liberties so that others can have an income. That is what the damn war is about and nothing more at this time in history.

  10. Jill Pyeatt

    Just when Rand starts to sound like a possible candidate to support in 2016, he says something bonehead like this.

    We need to keep remembering how haqrd he worksm to make sure no one thinks he’s a Libertarian.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    HT @ 2: When I think about drug laws being abolished, I don’t worry about the healthcare system, since I don’t really think a huge percent of drug users really have a life-challenging problem with it. I do, however, recognize the economic problems in the category of jobs lost. I’m sure there would be way less policemen needed, jail workers and security guards, and people working in the justice system. Having said that, I ‘d still like it to happen overnight. Gradual changes offer too much opportunity for the path (of abolition) to be altered.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    What this illustrates is just how pathetic the GOP is. My guess is Rand’s view of drug laws is more peaceful than his statement to the evangelicals. But, because the GOP is still dominated by the small-minded, he has to dance this dance that he’s dancing.

    GJ’s approach seems abundantly sensible. Frightened children (the masses) have been so inculcated on the matter of drugs that to shock them with “bold” statements is, at this stage in the game, counterproductive. “Legalize Heroin Tomorrow” might feel good to enunciate in public, but it’s probably not gonna attract many to the larger cause of liberty. In fact, it will most likely repel.

    Why do that? To feel good in a sanctimonious way? Nothing “wrong” with that, but don’t confuse oneself that one is doing politics, which is about – first and foremost – persuasion….

  13. langa

    Let me make sure that was not unclear, Johnson personally told me he would legalize all drugs if he could.

    Considering Johnson’s failure to pardon a single nonviolent drug offender as Governor of New Mexico, I would take all his promises about the War on Drugs with a grain of salt.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    jp: Gradual changes offer too much opportunity for the path (of abolition) to be altered.

    me: Is that true? If something is a “path,” that generally indicates a gradual process, not a step function. Most things, it appears to me, involve gradual change, transitions. I can’t think of overnight, ubiquitous shifts to the social order off hand. Can you?

    Even slavery was not abolished overnight. It in fact involved one of the most arduous, relatively rapid, very wrenching process to effect.

    But, as ever, I’m open to changing my mind. Make an actual case, not a blanket assertion, please….

  15. Robert Capozzi

    15L, did GJ ever promise to pardon nonviolent drug offenders?

    If not, care to rephrase?

    You may consider the Johnson Administration to’ve been a failure, a massive setback in the cause of liberty for NMans given that he didn’t unilaterally pardon wrongly convicted prisoners. I’m sure he failed on a number of scores, not stretching the bounds of what a Guv can do unilaterally to expand liberty during his watch. Disappointments abound, no doubt.

    Is it your contention that Gov. Johnson was, ATC, a failure? Or do you forever hold him in contempt for not doing what you might have done were you in his shoes?

  16. paulie

    What good are GJ’s secret positions, if he says the opposite publicly whenever he feels it’s politically advantageous?

    You have an example of Johnson saying this as the LP candidate? To the extent that I saw any comment it was along the lines of end the drug war. Or, he would bypass the subject of other drugs. I never once saw him say or write anything like that as the LP candidate, and I kept very close watch on all campaign communications – speeches, ads, blog posts, media interviews, twitter, facebook, debates.

    I’m sure the Rand believers will say he’s also just lying to “sound credible.”

    There’s a material difference. Rand Paul went out of his way to say he supports the drug war, not in response to a question but all on his own, and not in 2011 but in 2013. Consider the possibility that Johnson’s position has evolved, or that it’s been legalization all along, but that now that he is out of the Republican Party he doesn’t have to hide it…even if he still emphasizes the attack on where support for the drug war is weakest.

    A principled libertarian could explain why the entire drug war must end.

    It’s entirely possible to be principled and yet emphasize the more popular parts of our message first. And a principled candidate may have other weaknesses, such as poor communication skills or lack of leadership resume in any profession or field of endeavor, inability to raise money or earn media coverage, and so on. No candidate is perfect, and there are a variety of criteria to consider.

    And in any case, the emphasis now is on non-presidential candidates. What we are hoping to do here is chip away some of the people who may think Rand Paul is more libertarian than he actually is and get them to support Libertarians running in 2013 and 2014 and the party as a whole. Johnson may or may not run again; it’s not all about him.

  17. paulie

    I have had friends die from drug overdoses.

    Me too. However, the vast majority of actual drug overdoes are from legal drugs – alcohol, caffeine, prescription medication.

    The vast majority of so called illegal drug overdoses are actually deaths from poorly manufactured black market drugs adulterated with poisons due to a lack of quality control on a black market. There are also all the deaths and injuries from the violence created because drugs are outlawed and because prohibition raises prices, thus profits and the violence to control those profits, and makes addicts need a lot more money to afford their habits. It creates the sanitation problem of dirty needles, the need to conceal drugs for smuggling and concentrate them due to their high cost that leads people to use needles to begin with, the high health costs associated with incarceration…overall, prohibition greatly increases health care costs, and in no way decreases them.

  18. paulie

    I do, however, recognize the economic problems in the category of jobs lost. I’m sure there would be way less policemen needed, jail workers and security guards, and people working in the justice system.

    True. However, a lot more private sector jobs would be created instead.

  19. Erik Viker

    And yet again, the national LP gets caught up in what some Republican Party politician is doing. This is why I stopped sending money to the national LP. When the national LP stops publicizing Republicans, I’ll support it again.

  20. paulie

    It’s not publicizing Republicans except to show that they are not libertarian, even in many cases where the media calls them libertarian and where many libertarians or would-be libertarians think they are libertarian. Since that is happening so often with Rand Paul, we are pointing out various ways in which he is not libertarian.

  21. Robert Capozzi

    p, agreed, to call this “publicizing” seems twisted, distorted. Whether this ad is advisable is another matter. I’m ambivalent, which generally means it’s not an optimal approach. Taking a swing at Rand can easily backfire…then again, I wasn’t a fan of the “Wall of Shame,” either, mostly because I prefer to take the high road in all things.

  22. Eric Blitz

    Let the ‘record’ show that in a discussion about legalization of drugs, Robert prefers to take the high road… 🙂

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    re: @ 19 paulie thanks for the additional comments on that issue. The last funeral I went to was of a friend who died from some bad product.

    For what it is worth I will be using Rand’s comments in a recruiting letter. Let’s see how that works out.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    eb 24, amusing. But, in case you didn’t get it, I was referring to taking the high road regarding other people’s positions. I’m with Gandhi in such matters: “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

    Attacking RP on a matter where he disappoints degrades the attacker’s strength, making them (in this case, the LP) small. It seems especially counterproductive when we see that RP is one of the most liberty-minded pols on the scene today, despite his deviations.

    It’s interesting that the LP generally overlooked Ron’s deviations, but some in the leadership find Rand’s fair game.

  25. Nicholas Sarwark

    It’s interesting that the LP generally overlooked Ron’s deviations, but some in the leadership find Rand’s fair game.

    Running on the LP ticket and maintaining a life membership in the party justified cutting some slack. Rand Paul has been explicit in disavowing libertarianism.

    I take that as no quarter asked for and none should be given.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    27 NS: Rand Paul has been explicit in disavowing libertarianism.

    Reason quoting Rand: “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”

    me: You may have a far more hard-edged definition of “disavowal” than I do, Counselor. That doesn’t sound like a “disavowal” to me, although it does sound like a distancing from fringy L-ism.

    I do see Rand as different than Ron for the reasons you cite. I share the disappointment in what he said at this gathering, especially his FALSE, caricaturing statement: ““I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot.”

    But, then, I’m one who believes the truth shall set you free, so it would be well within bounds for Rand to be corrected for his error.

    However, I’d also take into account that the dude has already done some phenomenally positive things in his short career, like his old-school filibuster on drones.

    I do admit that if he gets the GOP nod in 2016, I might vote for Rand, even if GJ or another non-fringe L is our standard-bearer. Rand has overall impressed me to date, and in some ways I prefer him to Ron, and I certainly find him WAY more skilled as a communicator…even when I disagree with him. (Then again, who among us can say we always agree with another on EVERY issue?)

    Now, if Rand disappoints me with more of these sorts of panderings (which I understand but happen to believe are not necessary), I may change my mind. My perogative.

  27. langa

    15L, did GJ ever promise to pardon nonviolent drug offenders?

    If not, care to rephrase?

    Fair enough. How about this: “Considering Johnson’s failure to pardon a single nonviolent drug offender as Governor of New Mexico, I would take all his talk about opposing the War on Drugs with a grain of salt.”

    Is it your contention that Gov. Johnson was, ATC, a failure? Or do you forever hold him in contempt for not doing what you might have done were you in his shoes?

    It is my contention that, from a libertarian standpoint, he was a slightly above average Governor, who talked a way above average game. In many ways, Rand Paul’s record has been better than Johnson’s, although his rhetoric has been much worse. (And for the record, I’m not a big fan of Rand.)

    As for being forever held in contempt, there’s an easy way for him to avoid that fate. All he has to do is admit he made a mistake, issue a sincere apology, and pledge not to make the same mistake if he ever finds himself in a similar position. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to expect, considering that the mistake he made was one that left thousands of innocent people to rot in prison, all for the sake of maintaining his credibility with the mainstream GOP.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    30 l, thanks for clarifying. I wonder if GJ even considered such a move. I also wonder how many things a Guv in NM can do unilaterally.

    It might be interesting to hear GJ’s thought process on the matter. I’m not sure non-pardon is a “mistake,” per se, since – for me – it’s not a pol’s job to fix each and every dysfunction that s/he COULD fix. Maintaining a sense of proportion in such matters seems indicated.

    Put another way, while it’s tragic that people end up in prison for crimes that should not be crimes, GJ didn’t set the situation up. He didn’t create the wars on drugs.

    I oppose the death penalty, for ex. Many guvs do, in states that have it. Sometimes, they decide not to pardon because, I suspect, they recognize they have just so much political capital, and can fix just so many things (from their perspective).

    I find that understandable. You may not.

  29. Darryl W. Perry

    From GaryJohnson2012.com Gary Johnson supports “managing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco – regulating, taxing and enforcing its lawful use”

    Even in his video “GARY JOHNSON will END the War on Drugs” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdpcggfIt0U ) he only mentions marijuana and says “legalize it, tax it, regulate it”

    doesn’t exactly sound like he wants to end the drug war

  30. langa

    I find that understandable. You may not.

    I wonder if the guys rotting in prison (especially the ones on death row) find it understandable.

    And how about those prisoners’ families? I wonder just how concerned they are with Governor Johnson’s precious political capital.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    33 L, it doesn’t take TOO much imagination to form a pretty good guess. Very few enjoy prison. I wonder how many imprisoned for drug-law violations, however, were unaware of the law. My guess is: Almost none.

    They took a calculated risk.

    If you expect anyone elected to right every wrong, including those that are the consequence of ill-advised laws, then I submit that you are in for a world of disappointment.

    The War on Drugs sucks just about any way you look at it. The more productive question is: How to undo it? I certainly agree that IF GJ had you as his Chief Counselor, and he had pardoned those in NM prisons, the War would still be raging today, as it is. Yes, the Langa Initiative would have made a few lives better, agreed.

    That you seem to condemn GJ for something he didn’t do a decade ago seems to corrode your experience now. Consider letting this grievance go, for it doesn’t help anyone, especially yourself.

  32. David

    Johnson wanted to start small in ending the drug war, then when things were working OK, start with the other drugs. We would all like to end every thing at once, but that will never happen. By starting small you can convince, a lot more people to end the war on drugs, when things do work out.

  33. Paulie

    Darryl: See @28. Johnson is talking about legalizing heroin now. He emphasizes marijuana because that is more sellable, but he is for ending the whole drug war. The GJ2012 issues page was never updated from his Republican run. He had to make himself somewhat acceptable to Republicans and toned things down for that. Also, my impression is that he has genuinely become more hardcore after spending more time with hardcore libertarians.

    As far as pardons I can’t remember where, but I remember him saying he would issue a lot more pardons if he had it to do over. I too wish he had a better record on that. Can’t really compare that to Rand Paul, who hasn’t had an executive position.

    Robert

    It’s interesting that the LP generally overlooked Ron’s deviations, but some in the leadership find Rand’s fair game.

    Rand Paul is a lot less libertarian than Ron Paul. Ron Paul is an LP member and former LP candidate, has spoken to many LP conventions since then, and has had good things to say about the LP recently. He has endorsed and voted for many LP candidates, albeit not consistently. He did not formally endorse Johnson or reveal publicly who he voted for, but hinted at it strongly and mutual friends tell me he has told them he did vote for Johnson.

    Ron Paul is for ending the war on drugs, closing down Gitmo, against sanctions against Iran, etc.

    Rand Paul on the other hand endorsed Mitt Romney (even while his dad was still running), has never as far as I know been an LP member or had anything good to say about the LP, will almost certainly endorse and campaign for whatever big government Republican gets their nomination in 2016 (yes he will run; no he won’t win).

    Rand Paul has gone out of his way to say that he is a conservative, not a libertarian. LPKY has said he is not a libertarian or a Libertarian. He supports the drug war, and quite a few non-libertarian policies that his father opposes.

    However, he is still very good for a duopoly politician, especially in the Senate.

  34. langa

    If you expect anyone elected to right every wrong, including those that are the consequence of ill-advised laws, then I submit that you are in for a world of disappointment.

    This is a total strawman. I never criticized Johnson for failing to right every wrong. I criticized him for failing to right one specific wrong that was easily within his power to do so.

    Let me ask you this. If someone had a unique opportunity to free some slaves in the antebellum South or to free some of the Jews from Hitler’s concentration camps, would you find it “understandable” for that person to do nothing?

    Using your logic, they could easily say, “Why bother? After all, you can’t right every wrong. Besides, this might get me in hot water with the powers that be. Better not risk it.”

    Yes, the Langa Initiative would have made a few lives better, agreed.

    If New Mexico is anything like most states, there are more than “a few” innocent people in jail for drug-related offenses. And as for your claim that they knew it was against the law, slaves knew trying to escape was against the law, and that they would be punished if they got caught. Are you implying that the ones who did get caught deserved their punishment, because they took a “calculated gamble” and lost?

    The fact is that Johnson had a chance to make thousands of lives better, and if he had done so, he would have done more good than any Governor has ever done, at least as far as I’m aware of. Not only that, but issuing that many pardons would have undoubtedly generated tons of publicity, which he could have used as an opportunity to educate the public about the massive problems caused by the Drug War.

    Instead, he chose to do nothing, for fear of wasting his precious political capital. On the other hand, look at all the good he’s done with that political capital. I mean, he’s used it to … uh … well, he’s, umm … and then there’s … no, wait … uh … well, I’m sure he’s done something with it.

    Yes, in retrospect, I think it’s clear he made a very “understandable” decision.

  35. James Babb

    I’m continually astounded by folks’ ability to project their own values on to political figures, even when the facts to the contrary are so obvious.

    I call these people the “want to believe” crowd. When Obama pledged to escalate the middle east wars, believers called him the peace candidate. He voted for the Patriot Act, yet folks believed he’d defend civil liberties.

    Mitt Romney expanded socialist medicine in Massachusetts, and GOP believers thought he’d be the guy to repeal Obamacare.

    When Rand Paul advocated for all the usual Republican statism, including sanctions (war) against Iran, believers called him a “Liberty Candidate.”

    Gary Johnson has a track record of statism (including committing state-sanctioned murder). He campaigned for the LP ticket with his new massive tax scheme, strong military alliance with Israel, preserving gitmo and the Fed… He states publicly that he doesn’t want to legalize all drugs or pardon every victimless “criminal”…

    And the believers imagine that he’s just lying to sound “credible.” (As if the non-aggression principle isn’t credible?)

    You’d think Libertarians would be a little more savvy than the typical Obama follower.

    The LP ad would be very effective, if the top candidate wasn’t just as bad as Rand. At least Rand has the integrity to say that he’s not a libertarian.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    L 37: I never criticized Johnson for failing to right every wrong. I criticized him for failing to right one specific wrong that was easily within his power to do so.

    me: Right. Whether it would have been “easy” is an interesting question. An even better question is: Did he even consider it as an option? My point may be a strawman for you, but for me, the point is: There are many wrongs that governments do. A person like GJ had some options (conscious or not), and he used his best judgment in addressing the ones he considered most important. He failed by YOUR standards, but not by mine or his own, presumably. You indeed are picking ONE issue where he might have made somewhat of a difference in the short term, with no reference to the bigger picture. That feels myopic to me.

    L: Let me ask you this. If someone had a unique opportunity to free some slaves in the antebellum South or to free some of the Jews from Hitler’s concentration camps, would you find it “understandable” for that person to do nothing?

    me: Yes. But, again, you are employing a myopic approach, as I see it. There are a number of options in any situation. I would applaud freeing slaves or concentration camp prisoners, but that doesn’t mean that I would castigate someone who didn’t.

    L: Using your logic, they could easily say, “Why bother? After all, you can’t right every wrong. Besides, this might get me in hot water with the powers that be. Better not risk it.”

    me: Yes, they could. I don’t expect everyone to play the hero, against all odds.

    L: Are you implying that the ones who did get caught deserved their punishment, because they took a “calculated gamble” and lost?

    me: Ahhh, no. I don’t support slavery or the drug war. But, like tax protesters, I note that drug-law violators know they are taking a risk. I’da thunk this would be non-controversial. Slavery is 100% non-volitional by definition, so I see that as different.

    Still, I don’t happen to believe that an individual is his/her brother’s/sister’s keeper, do you? If you agree, that it should clearly follow that we should not expect that GJ to’ve righted the drug-law incarcerated.

    L: The fact is that Johnson had a chance to make thousands of lives better, and if he had done so, he would have done more good than any Governor has ever done, at least as far as I’m aware of. Not only that, but issuing that many pardons would have undoubtedly generated tons of publicity, which he could have used as an opportunity to educate the public about the massive problems caused by the Drug War.

    me: Maybe. Or maybe he saw that it might have backfired IF he’d even considered the Langa Initiative.

    L: Instead, he chose to do nothing, for fear of wasting his precious political capital.

    me: You are guessing here, yes?

    L: On the other hand, look at all the good he’s done with that political capital. I mean, he’s used it to … uh … well, he’s, umm … and then there’s … no, wait … uh … well, I’m sure he’s done something with it.

    me: Umm, I’d say GJ’s record as guv was the most positive one I’m aware of in the modern era. I’m sorry his track record disappoints you so. You can’t please everyone, as they say.

    L: Yes, in retrospect, I think it’s clear he made a very “understandable” decision.

    me: A decision requires a conscious choice.
    Did GJ make a choice? Or did the Langa Initiative not come to his attention?

  37. paulie

    strong military alliance with Israel, preserving gitmo and the Fed… He states publicly that he doesn’t want to legalize all drugs or pardon every victimless “criminal”…

    Wrong on all counts other than the one about the new tax scheme – you are absolutely right about that. You are quoting things he said when he was running as a Republican, not things he has said as a Libertarian, and he did reverse himself on all of those during the LP campaign. I was tracking that very closely, but don’t have time to track down the references now, other than @28 which proves that he now is publicly saying that hard drugs should be legalized. I clearly remember him saying quite a few times end the fed, bring the troops home and end the wars, close gitmo and that he would issue pardons.

    , if the top candidate wasn’t just as bad as Rand.

    Johnson is much, much better.

  38. James Babb

    Paulie, everything I wrote can be documented. Did GJ views suddenly change when he became an L candidate or are you calling him a liar?

    This is exactly what I mean by “want to believe.” Ignoring the politicians words to project your own values.

  39. Alan Pyeatt

    JB @ 38: “When Obama pledged to escalate the middle east wars, believers called him the peace candidate. He voted for the Patriot Act, yet folks believed he’d defend civil liberties.

    “Mitt Romney expanded socialist medicine in Massachusetts, and GOP believers thought he’d be the guy to repeal Obamacare.”

    I’m certainly not arguing with either of those statements! OTOH, don’t forget that most politicians get into office by encouraging people to read what they want into their statements. Most people are more willing to vote against a candidate based on something they don’t like than to vote for him/her based on something they do like. That’s why it’s often hard to pin down candidates on the issues: they know they are likely to alienate more people than they attract. So, they intentionally leave room for people to read what they want into the candidate’s statements.

    I also agree with you that, “You’d think Libertarians would be a little more savvy than the typical Obama follower.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, it seems to me that many LP members allowed themselves to be flim-flammed in 2008.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    36P: Rand Paul is a lot less libertarian than Ron Paul.

    me: I see why you conclude that, but again since there is no metric to measure “libertarianess,” such a statement is subjective.

    Rand doesn’t have the taint of NewsletterGate 1.0 and 2.0. For me, while I might agree with Ron on more issues, I might vote for Rand were they to run against one another. Associating with haters is an X factor that is harder for me to overlook.

    Obviously, I challenge the methodology that many L discern whom they support. The toting of deviations seems to suggest a quantitative precision that I submit misses the forest for the trees.

    Candidates are not simply the sum total of their positions and track records. It doesn’t work that way. I for ex. will take a 20% deviationist with A+ communications skills over a 5% deviationist with C+ communications skills.

    And, of course, deviations themselves are not b/w. It’s nowhere’s near that simple.

  41. paulie

    Did GJ views suddenly change when he became an L candidate or are you calling him a liar?

    Neither. Some of his views may have been toned down for the Republican race, while others evolved during the course of the campaign as he spent more time talking with Libertarians.

    ” Ignoring the politicians words to project your own values.

    I don’t ignore his words. Everything I say is based on what I have heard him say. I kept a lot closer track of the campaign than just about anybody else, spending hundreds of hours reading, watching and listening to all their public messaging.

    Everything I say can be documented too, I just don’t have a lot of time to find my sources again; but I assure you I am not projecting or making anything up, and I spent a lot of time keeping a very close watch on all the issue positioning.

  42. paulie

    Babb is right.

    Not about Johnson’s current views he’s not.

    But that’s what you get when you nominate a Republican turncoat as a candidate.

    Johnson was a Libertarian before he was a Republican, and never revoked his membership oath, so technically he was a Libertarian all that time too.

  43. James Babb

    None of following documented positions are compatible with the LP platform or (more importantly) the NIF pledge. These aren’t “toned down” Libertarian positions.

    Gary Johnson: “I wouldn’t say the Fed needs to be abolished.”
    http://www.rlc.org/2010/01/19/interview-with-governor-gary-earl-johnson/

    At the Manhattan LP convention he bragged about his new massive “fair” tax as one that no one will be able to avoid.

    “When it comes to military alliances, Israel is a key military ally, and will remain so.”
    http://newhampshire.watchdog.org/7502/gary-johnson-talks-national-debt-and-national-security/

    Gary Johnson: “I would not close Gitmo”

  44. paulie

    Those are all outdated positions. He has more current statements that are the opposite of those. Other than the “fair” tax, which he still unfortunately supports.

  45. James Babb

    Sorry Paulie, these positions are all within the past few years. He confirmed his entangling alliance position at the Manhattan LP convention last year.

    What exactly is an “outdated position” anyway? One that no longer serves a political agenda? Who needs a candidate that changes positions according to his audience? That’s what Mitt Romney is for.

  46. James Babb

    The same way I knew that Bob Barr hadn’t suddenly “evolved” into a libertarian.

    I hear the words that come out of his mouth without the “I want to believe” emotional distortion.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    P, the more likely explanation is that JB is a mind reader. He may also have been born a L, a copy of FOR A NEW LIBERTY tucked under his infant arm. At birth, Baby Babb was heard to say, “Fancy that, just moments ago, I was a parasite. Now I’m not!” 😉

    It’s the VERY rare person who doesn’t evolve his/her views over time. It’s even rarer when a person views evolution as a weakness!!!!

  48. James Babb

    You’re right Capozzi.

    So what if GJ dreams of a new tax and pledges to go to war if asked by the Israel government? STFU ‘cuz he’s famous!

    After all, he only murdered one guy. That’s a serious improvement over the mass-murdering LP pres candidate of 2008. Nobody’s born a libertarian.

    Those pesky purists who cling to libertarianism are holding back the LP.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    53 jb, I would not describe those who pose as “purists” as “pesky.” The word that comes up for me is “confused.”

    Many claim that there’s such a thing as “libertarianism,” and yet, despite my years of searching, I’ve not found it. Where is this dogma codified? Where is the stone with the doctrine etched deeply in?

    I’m certain I have disagreed with something that every L candidate has ever taken. My guess is that I’m not alone in this…for humans rarely agree on everything. I didn’t vote for Browne, Marrou and Bergland because their positions and approaches were too caustic for my tastes, I speculate because they were simply too confused to realize that what they were saying sounded deeply fringy.

    I also disagree with GJ, BB, RP, and EC, but I voted for them, because on balance I thought they were reasonably effective exponents for liberty, and because I’d like to see a party dedicated to enhancing liberty across the board emerge and become an actual force in American politics, as opposed to an asterisk.

    Fame is not my only criterion. Jesse Ventura is famous, but given his longstanding commitment to promoting conspiracy theories, I doubt I could support him (although I can’t say I’m in cement on the matter…I kinda like the guy and admire his ability to communicate).

    It’s news to me that GJ is a murderer, btw. I’da thunk I’da heard of that by now. Please elaborate.

    And if Barr is a mass murderer, this is also news to me. Dish!

    I do agree that no one’s born a L, as infants (former parasites) never have political views of any kind. Perhaps we can build on this agreement!

    As a radical, I favor going back to square one frequently, as a kind of sanity check. I too often see a kind of faux radicalism that depends on false assumptions and macho flash to strike a “radical” pose.

    To them I say: Wake up! Stop being poseurs! Check your freakin’ premises!

    That is all.

  50. James Babb

    The man GJ murdered was Terry D. Clark, November 6, 2001.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_executed_in_New_Mexico

    Bob Barr signed the death warrant for hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2002/roll455.xml

    I guess if you have no definition for libertarianism, then you shouldn’t let a little murder interfere with your support.

    Some of us believe in the non-aggression principle. Is that what you mean by “faux radical?”

  51. Alan Pyeatt

    “Fame is not my only criterion. Jesse Ventura is famous, but given his longstanding commitment to promoting conspiracy theories, I doubt I could support him (although I can’t say I’m in cement on the matter…I kinda like the guy and admire his ability to communicate).”

    Let me suggest that better criteria would be whether the conspiracy theories in question make sense, and whether they have some reasonable evidence to support them. That may not necessarily change your opinion of Jesse Ventura, but still! 🙂

  52. Robert Capozzi

    ap 55, thanks for the counsel. None of the conspiracy theories that JV espouses makes a lot of sense to me. But, even if they did, when I’m considering a L prez candidate, I put my casting director hat on. The candidate is an actor in a role. Which actor would be best in a particular role.

    Jack Nicholson’s a great actor, but he’da been a poor selection to play Jack Dawson in TITANIC. DiCaprio’da be a poor choice to play the lead in ABOUT SCHMIDT.

    L ideas are threatening enough to the status quo.

  53. paulie

    The same way I knew that Bob Barr hadn’t suddenly “evolved” into a libertarian.

    I hear the words that come out of his mouth without the “I want to believe” emotional distortion.

    That’s way different, and perhaps you hear them with a “I don’t want to believe” distortion. Or perhaps you haven’t heard nearly as many of them as I have (few people have).

    I have no problem saying when Johnson is wrong – “fair” tax for example – or when he flubs his delivery.

    However, he was much better as a Republican politician than Barr was. He was much better as a Libertarian candidate than Barr was. Both of them were better ideologically as LP candidates than as Republican politicians, but Barr is a Republican again and Johnson is not.

    Johnson is much better than Barr, much better than Rand Paul, and better on some things while worse on others than Ron Paul. None of them are perfect, and there is no “I want to believe distortion” – I spend a tremendous amount of time observing these candidates and give my honest assessment of both the good and the bad in each.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *