Lincoln Chafee Announces 2020 Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign

Today, at the National Press Club in Washington, former Republican Senator, Independent Governor, and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, formally announced he is seeking the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Born into a politically connected family, Chafee succeeded his father, John Chafee, as U.S. Senator in 1999 and established himself as a Liberal Republican, emphasizing support for gun control and environmental protections.  He was the only Senate Republican to vote against the authorization for the Iraq War in 2002, but supported the Patriot Act the previous year.  In the 2004 presidential election, he wrote-in former President George H.W. Bush.  Chafee was voted out of office in the Democratic wave election of 2006.  The next year he publicly endorsed the presidential campaign of future president Barack Obama and officially left the Republican Party.  He was elected Governor of Rhode Island as an Independent in 2010 but did not seek re-election.  He endorsed the re-election of President Obama in 2012 and joined the Democratic Party in 2013.  He sought the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination and participated in a widely criticized Democratic debate in which he called for the adoption of the metric system. Due to a lack of support, he withdrew before the primaries and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Chafee joined the Libertarian Party last March and said he was open to a presidential run in August.  He filed his candidacy with the FEC on January 5.

See video of his official announcement below:

Chafee joins a growing field of candidates that includes New Hampshire representative Max Abramson, anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, businessman John McAfee, former Vice chair Arvin Vohra, 1996 Vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, 2000 presidential candidate Jacob Hornberger, software engineer Dan Behrman, Radical caucus vice chair Kim Ruff and performance artist Vermin Supreme.

Others speculated to make a run include former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, Independent Congressman Justin Amash, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, and businessman Rocky De La Fuente.

137 thoughts on “Lincoln Chafee Announces 2020 Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign

  1. William Saturn Post author

    Interesting discussion on this topic from Ballot Access News:

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 8:35 am said:
    Going back one year ago, did anybody out there every consider Lincoln Chafee to be a libertarian, or consider him to be somebody they’d want as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President in 2020?

    I have been involved in the Libertarian Party and movement since the 1990’s, and I’d never heard anyone in the party or movement ever mention Lincoln Chafee as being a amall “l” libertarian, or even a libertarian leaner, or as someone they’d want to back as a candidate for office.

    So why would anyone in the Libertarian Party support, or even consider, him as a candidate for the LP’s presidential nomination now? What has Lincoln Chafee done to make himself a libertarian? Sure, he showed up in the party, filled out a membership form, and sent in a donation, but how can this be considered to be enough to justify nominating somebody to be at the top of the Libertarian Party’s ticket in 2020, especially given that as an elected Governor and Senator, he violated multiple libertarian principles, and was never even considered to be a small “l” libertarian by anyone? Sure, he’s got a few things on his record that could be considered to be libertarian, or libertarian leaning, but he’s also go a lot of things on his record that a not libertarian at all. Since he’s been out of political office, he’s engaged in a grand total of ZERO libertarian activism. I am not even aware of him having donated money to any libertarian organization prior to him recently joining the Libertarian Party, nor am I aware of him ever endorsing any Libertarian Party candidates, or even anyone who could be considered to be a small “l” libertarian running under a different party label (like Ron Paul or Rand Paul or etc…).

    So given Lincoln Chafee’s track record, and lack of libertarian activism, why would anyone in the Libertarian Party take him seriously as a candidate? He deserves to be laughed, or booed, out of the room.

    Richard Winger on January 8, 2020 at 8:55 am said:
    Andy, every two years, there are 435 US House elections, 33 or 34 US Senate elections, and about 8,000 state legislative elections. Have you ever thought that the party platform, as presented to the public, can be expressed by the Libertarians who run for those offices? Why should the presidential nominee be the only face of the party? Have you ever tried to recruit people to run for other federal and state offices that present libertarianism the way you think it should be presented?

    Demo Rep on January 8, 2020 at 9:37 am said:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Chafee

    Enough machinations to get him to be the 2020 Prez candidate ??? Stay tuned.


    Any LC ballot access machinations in little RI ???

    One more National DNC scheme to have LC divide and conquer Trump in 8-10 marginal EC States ??? Duh.

    Richard Winger on January 8, 2020 at 9:43 am said:
    Rhode Island is one of only six states in which the Libertarian Party has never been a qualified party. But if the party could ever get 5% for president in Rhode Island, it would then be a qualified party for the next two elections.

    Casual Observer on January 8, 2020 at 9:55 am said:
    Richard- Do you view Lincoln Chafee favorably?

    me on January 8, 2020 at 10:33 am said:
    It sure sounds like Richard Winger is in the tank for Chafee.

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 10:48 am said:
    Richard, I certainly agree that the Libertarian Party’s platform/philosophy can be represented by candidates at all levels, however, reality is that the highest percentage of the public pays attention to the presidential ticket, and in the minds of most of the public, the presidential ticket IS the public face/standard bearers for the party. If the candidates on the presidential ticket do not accurately represent the party’s platform and philosophy, or even come close to representing it, they are giving the public a false impression of what the party is about, and they make the party look bad, especially to anyone paying attention.

    What is the point of having a Libertarian Party if the party is going to run candidates who are not really libertarians?

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 10:53 am said:
    Also, who really cares about Lincoln Chafee anyway? He did poorly when he ran in the Democrat presidential primary in 2016, and there was no great demand to “draft” Lincoln Chafee for President, especially among the Libertarian Party and movement. I NEVER heard any Libertarians, or small “I” libertarians say anything like, “Gee, I sure wish we could get Lincoln Chafee as a presidential candidate.”

    Richard Winger on January 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm said:
    Lincoln Chafee is the only person since 1875 (who was not a Dem or Rep nominee) to win a statewide election in Rhode Island. There was an independent elected Governor in 1875 also, Rowland Hazard.

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 12:48 pm said:
    That is nice, but it does not make him a libertarian, nor does it invalidate my assertion that there was basically zero demand for him to run for President, particularly from libertarians.

    Casual Observer on January 8, 2020 at 12:48 pm said:
    Richard- an independent can be anything philosophically. Do you believe Chafee is a libertarian?

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm said:
    If Chafee is actually serious about promoting liberty, why doesn’t he just support one of the actual libertarian Libertarians that is already running, in Adam Kokesh, or Jacob Hornberger, or Arvin Vohara, or Kim Ruff, or Jo Jorgenson, or Dan Behrman? Why does he have to run himself when we already have several long time libertarian activist candidates in the race? Ego trip? Sabotage? Opportunity to make some money? Wants to run but knows he can’t win a major party primary, and knows it is to difficult to get on the ballot nationally as an independent, so he figures his best bet is to hijack the LP’s ballot access since it is the “third” party that has the most ballot access?

    Demo Rep on January 8, 2020 at 1:26 pm said:
    How many folks look at the LP Platform due to the LP Prez candidate ???

    Abolish the EC.

    PR – legis
    NONPARTISAN AppV – exec/judic
    TOTSOP


    me on January 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm said:

    Richard keeps dodging questions on his support of Chafee.

    Chafee is doing this for his ego. He knows the LP is easy to take over. When he fails either at convention or the general election, he’ll switch to either the Green or Consitution Party in time for 2024.

    Jeff Becker on January 8, 2020 at 1:54 pm said:
    He did. Here is the link to the video of his speech: https://turnto10.com/politics/chafee-to-formally-launch-presidential-bid-as-libertarian

    Howie Hawkins for President on January 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm said:
    Casual Observer,

    I don’t think Richard would answer this way, but in response to your question I think a libertarian philosophy is one that permits someone the freedom to change their mind and think differently on different issues. I don’t think Chafee is a libertarian in a strict sense. But his career suggests a determination not to be identified as a strict adherent to any particular ideology. I think he’s a libertarian in a rough sense. And that might be good enough to help the party achieve some kind of success.

    Casual Observer on January 8, 2020 at 5:31 pm said:
    If a libertarian is one who wants less government involvement in virtually every issue and more individual choice then I don’t see Chafee (or Weld or even Johnson) as being libertarian. Having said that I can understand the desire by some party members to want to nominate a “big name” candidate and hope to increase vote totals and contributions. In the last three presidential election cycles that is exactly what the party has done. I haven’t seen any significant breakthrough.

    Andy on January 8, 2020 at 9:17 pm said:
    There was statistically no real increase in vote percent with Barr. There was a vote increase percent with Johnson, but a lot of it had to do with the highly favorable circumstances under which he ran, but in terms of party growth, dues paying membership numbers have been pretty stagnant. The last time I checked exact numbers, which was close to a year ago, the LP had around 15,100 dues paying members, which is less than half of what it had in 2000-2001, and around what it had back around 1994 or 1995, and keep in mind that US population has increased quite a bit since then. The number of elected Libertarians is less than half of what it was in 2003, and it has been about two decades since the LP elected anyone to a state legislature. Also, since the last three LP Prez tickets were so weak philosophically, the party’s image has been tarnished (Is a Libertarian Party that nominates the likes of Bob Barr and Bill Weld really “the party of principle” anymore? I think not.), and the party has failed to bring more people to adopt a hardcore libertarian philosophy than it could have otherwise.

    I just hope the LP does not throw away a fourth presidential election by nominating Lincoln Chafee, or anyone like him.

    Egyptian God on January 8, 2020 at 9:28 pm said:
    According to the IPR-X article “did-gary-johnson-use-my-idea-to-win-votes” the reason for Gary Johnson’s increase in the vote share may be because he stole campaign ideas from Nathan Norman.

    Jim on January 9, 2020 at 2:22 am said:
    Weld and Chafee are Modern Liberals. Not too long ago they fit comfortably in either of the major parties, depending on where they came down on a few issues. Now that the Republicans have shifted toward nationalism and the Democrats toward socialism, the Modern Liberals no longer feel comfortable in either place. The LP is the best fit for them. But not a perfect fit.

    We’re going to get a lot more of them. And there are a lot more of them than there are ancaps or minarchists. Maybe enough to win a plurality in a national election. Ancaps and minarchists are never going to win federal elections on their own, but by staying active in the party they might be able to influence the Modern Liberals while we wait on the cryptocurrency revolution to wreck havoc on the government’s tax confiscations.

    J.T.S. ’92LP US Senate candidate on January 9, 2020 at 4:46 am said:
    Chafee like weld is a Rockefeller Republican. A globalist who wants the LP’s ballot access to pull support away from Trump. This libertarian isn’t gung-ho to turn the POTUS over to these dangerous dimwitted socialist Dems.
    I continue to hold out hope the LP can nominate a TRUE Libertarian that can garner widespread support for the true libertarian principles not just another Republican Lite.

    Andy on January 9, 2020 at 6:06 am said:
    These supposed “modern liberals” (as Jim describes them) like Lincoln Chafee and Bill Weld,
    should have no place in the Libertarian Party. They are not remotely libertarian. They come in to hijack ballot access, subvert the message, and turn the party into controlled opposition.

    Casual Observer on January 9, 2020 at 6:36 am said:
    I also hope the party is not overrun by “modern liberals”. The party just needs more “classical liberals” and everything will be just fine. BTW, the party does NOT need “compassionate conservatives” like G.W. Bush described himself, either. Perhaps “constitutional conservatives” like Rand Paul or Justin Amash are a closer fit to the party than politians that advocate gun control measures or eschew free markets.

    Andy on January 9, 2020 at 7:35 am said:
    “Compassionate conservatives” who engage in acts of military aggression against people who never attacked attacked the country in which we live.

    Demo Rep on January 9, 2020 at 8:18 am said:
    RE- update

    Did LC smoke some MJ before/during/after his Prez announcement ???

    WalterZiobro on January 9, 2020 at 8:28 am said:
    @ Jim:

    You make a good point. Liberals are being forced out of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and are looking for a new home. While the Libertarian Party looks like an opportunity, even they know it’s not the best option. This may sound a bit absurd, but IMO, it might be a good idea for the Libertarians to encourage the formation of a Liberal Party so these homeless liberals will stop squatting on the Libertarian Party.

    ROBERT MILNES on January 9, 2020 at 8:41 am said:
    The GP and LP are SO GONE already, down the path of losing-AGAIN. Howie Hawkins is owned somehow and has been selected by the powers that be for a controlled loss in 2020. Vermin WAS selected but since I outed paulie here at BAN comments, he has withdrawn, taking Vermin with him. Now the replacement has materialized, Lincoln Chaffee with Richard himself as his de facto sponsor.
    We do not need legislation to have fair and representative debates and elections. The infrastructure is in place. Top Ten Plus PLAS. Once support for it is announced by EITHER GP or LP or BOTH ideally, game on. Support will immediately and vastly come from the left and right from people who realize they no longer have to hold their nose and chose between the lesser of two evils or throw away their vote to a losing third party or not vote at all.
    I think it is still not too late for 2020, but the die has been cast. The GP and LP conventions are rigged.
    I have called -again-for a Boycott!/Strike against the GP and LP until they announce that tey will give Top Ten Plus PLAS a fair try.
    Call or email the GP and LP that you are boycotting and striking. NOW!
    And have a nice day.

    ROBERT MILNES on January 9, 2020 at 9:39 am said:
    BTW, I have decided to out William S. Saturn here at BAN comments. I think he exists as an online persona only. Run by the Israelis. He lives as a program in a supercomputer in Tel Aviv. Has anyone ever met him? I tried and failed. Is there a photo of him online anywhere? I do not think so.
    Also I have asked Kris Lesiak to interview alleged Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers. I hope to champion his defense soon. I will simply put Israel on trial. An American jury will acquit him by reason of self defense of oneself and/or others.
    And I stand by what I have said throughout my life. Debarah Knapp tv anchor in Philadelphia and now San Antonio was not pregnant. Alicia is not her daughter by Henry Bonill, former Texas Congressman. She was reading psychoanalytic letters by me and developed neurotic symptoms. The FBI knows this.
    And I stand by my belief that Nancy McCusker Benson, PhD is not dead. She was kidnapped by the Israeli Mossad and given a fake funeral. So was Dr. Robert McFarland MD, also of Boulder.
    And also my father. I was the last person to leave the viewing room in the funeral parlor. I considered taking his photo then cutting off his face to find out if it was a mask over a wax dummy or mannequin. But I decided to not do that but rather be patient and find out what is going on some other way.
    My father, my uncle, Nancy and McFarland and others are being held somewhere. I do not know where.

    Robert Stock on January 9, 2020 at 10:06 am said:
    Boy, are there some lunatics posting on this site! Wow.

    ROBERT MILNES on January 9, 2020 at 10:55 am said:
    And you think the warmongering, corrupt, treacherous democrats and republicans are not crazy?

    WalterZiobro on January 9, 2020 at 11:01 am said:
    The educational and entertainment quality of BAN comments are unsurpassed.

    Demo Rep on January 9, 2020 at 3:11 pm said:
    Again – how about a quite separate website for the many pre-skoool juveniles, agents, spies, con law morons, X-files types, etc. on this list ???

    — so that adults can deal with the zillion statist machinations reported by RW.

  2. William Saturn Post author

    I suspect it had something to do with the technical issues on here. People would post comments and they wouldn’t show up until the next day. I guess most went to BAN after getting frustrated with it.

  3. George Phillies

    Here comes the carpetbagger!

    We really should change the party rules on eligibility to run for our Presidential nomination. Five or ten years, with no participation in the activity or election of any other party, comes to mind.

  4. Tony From Long Island

    From long rambling craziness:

    Andy: . . . . He did poorly when he ran in the Democrat presidential primary in 2016 . . . .”

    That’s DemocratIC . . . . you’re welcome.

    btw. . . . that Robert Milnes guy is a nut job. Makes me long for our old Andy . . .

  5. paulie

    Comments by or about Milnes are not welcome on IPR except on April 1st. Since Warren has chosen to ban Andy, that should apply to him as well.

  6. paulie

    I suspect it had something to do with the technical issues on here. People would post comments and they wouldn’t show up until the next day.

    That does have a lot to do with it but there’s also the fact that it has caused our article authors to no longer be interested in posting much in the way of articles. It’s just not fun where there is not much conversation or when it’s the same people saying the same things to each other thousands of times over and over.

  7. paulie

    There’s one comment in that discussion which actually makes sense:

    Weld and Chafee are Modern Liberals. Not too long ago they fit comfortably in either of the major parties, depending on where they came down on a few issues. Now that the Republicans have shifted toward nationalism and the Democrats toward socialism, the Modern Liberals no longer feel comfortable in either place. The LP is the best fit for them. But not a perfect fit.

    We’re going to get a lot more of them. And there are a lot more of them than there are ancaps or minarchists. Maybe enough to win a plurality in a national election. Ancaps and minarchists are never going to win federal elections on their own, but by staying active in the party they might be able to influence the Modern Liberals while we wait on the cryptocurrency revolution to wreck havoc on the government’s tax confiscations.

    Kudos, Jim, good point.

  8. paulie

    I wonder why there isn’t this level of conversation and dialogue at IPR?

    I don’t want that level of constantly repeating trolling and nutjob nonsense on IPR. If you do, BAN provides a place for it. Please enjoy it there and don’t bring it over here through cut and paste or further discussion.

  9. paulie

    It’s also unfair to the banned trolls and nut jobs to cross post their comments here, where they can’t respond to the responses. And it’s unfair to IPR rules if you are going to be ferrying responses back and forth from and to them. Just don’t do it.

  10. paulie

    That does have a lot to do with it but there’s also the fact that it has caused our article authors to no longer be interested in posting much in the way of articles. It’s just not fun where there is not much conversation or when it’s the same people saying the same things to each other thousands of times over and over.

    Kudos to Richard Winger, he doesn’t live for the comment discussion the way I do; he manages to stay focused on posting new articles. I wish I had that determination, but I really lose interest when there’s not a bunch of people doing it, when people give me crap about what I do or don’t post or nitpick stuff to death, when there is not an interesting comment exchange (and no, I don’t count Andy Jacobs, Nathan Norman/Egyptian God or Robert Milnes as such), when there’s not much of a comment exchange of any kind, etc, etc. IPR just has not been firing on all cylinders in recent years and I don’t know whether than can or even should be fixed, much less how.

  11. dL

    We really should change the party rules on eligibility to run for our Presidential nomination.

    citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. It’s up to the membership not to keep nominating retreads.

  12. dL

    Kudos, Jim, good point.

    The Dems have not shifted toward socialism. While there is a Sanders-Cortez wing, the Democrats nonetheless remain a majority center-right capitalist party.

  13. paulie

    The Dems have not shifted toward socialism. While there is a Sanders-Cortez wing, the Democrats nonetheless remain a majority center-right capitalist party.

    In part, but there’s a strong wing that is more and more comfortable with socialism. They control much of the party’s youth wing and are by no means limited to that demographic. Sanders likely would have won the nomination last time if Clinton and the DNC had not cheated. It’s plausible he might this time. If not, it’s quite likely AOC or someone will win it before too long.

    While not exactly socialism, government employee unions maintain veto power inside the DP and candidates such as Biden and Clinton have to kowtow to them enough to not totally lose their support. Thus, while the Welds and Chaffees of the world may find a Clinton or a Biden preferable to a Trump, they are still not quite in line with today’s Democrats, and certainly not in line with today’s Republiklan.

  14. paulie

    citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.

    Rules of eligibility to be elected and rules of eligibility for LP nomination are different. The party has every right to choose its own rules for who is deemed ineligible to seek its nomination. If the party chooses to make people who constitutionally not eligible for the office eligible for its nomination, it would have to deal with the consequence if that’s who the delegates choose. But it has every right to add qualifications for its nomination, and I believe already has, such as being a dues paying party member.

  15. Jim

    George Phillies “We really should change the party rules on eligibility to run for our Presidential nomination. Five or ten years, with no participation in the activity or election of any other party, comes to mind.”

    Yeah. I’d say 5 years as a member of the LP to run for President, or 2 years if they have already run for a lower office as a Libertarian. And at least 1 year of party membership for delegates.

  16. Jim

    dL “The Dems have not shifted toward socialism. While there is a Sanders-Cortez wing, the Democrats nonetheless remain a majority center-right capitalist party.”

    At best, that majority is down to razor thin and the socialist faction may now be a majority. There should be little doubt that these numbers have shifted sharply in recent years:

    https://i.imgur.com/UiVlWW8.png

    But today’s socialist Democrats, for the most part, are New Left socialists, not Old Left Socialists. Where the Old Left organized around workers, the New Left recognized that workers were too satisfied with consumerism to get them all riled up for radical change. So the New Left organizes around either historically marginalized groups – women, gays, blacks, immigrants, etc, or certain causes, like environmentalism (Green is the new Red.) So they argue for redistribution based on historical injustices, like slavery reparations, along with free goodies, like universal healthcare. The end goal for the New Left is still the same as for old school socialism – political and economic equality. But the Old Left, of course, begins its autistic “not real socialism” refrain anytime the claim is made that something can be socialist without workers owning the means of production. It’s like they forgot that workers owning the means of production was a means to an end, not the end itself.

  17. Gene Berkman

    Senator Lincoln Chafee voted against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq. President The Donald just used this AUMF as his authority for the assassination of the Iranian General, making the AUMF a current issue again. There are now several proposals to repeal the AUMF supported by most Democrats and by Rand Paul, Justin Amash etc.

    Ron Paul has praised Tulsi Gabbard because she is antiwar, and he praised Dennis Kucinich in the past for
    his antiwar views. Kucinich is definitely socialistic, and Tulsi Gabbard supports a more active government than Lincoln Chafee does. Opposing interventionism is a really important issue right now, and Lincoln Chafee has an antiwar record.

  18. NewFederalist

    Gene- do you view Chafee favorably on issues other than his anti-war position? Do you consider him to be libertarian?

  19. paulie

    do you view Chafee favorably on issues other than his anti-war position?

    At least some of them. See

    https://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.com/2020/01/lincoln-chafee-backs-drug.html

    https://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.com/2020/01/chafee-files-with-fec-to-run-for.html

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/rhode-island/2019/07/19/the-party-peace-why-joined-libertarian-party/6syxdoJgnN04qcmJpAFwyH/story.html

    Do you consider him to be libertarian?

    That depends on your criteria, whether you believe him about his evolution on issues since his time in office, what issues you consider litmus tests, and so on.

  20. paulie

    What I don’t view favorably is the optics of nominating a presidential candidate 4 times in a row who was a politician with another party, had nonlibertarian positions or actions in office, joined the LP during or not too long before the presidential election they run in, and have only a partial and perhaps strategic conversion on the issues. Of those candidates, Barr was back in the Republican Party before the following presidential election, as were VP candidates Wayne Root and Bill Weld; none of these candidates ran as LP candidates for any other office except Johnson, and none of them ran as LP candidates for any other office before running for president.

    On the positive side, at least Chafee’s most recent run was as a Democrat, countering the perception that we are right wing or “GOP Jr” – but he also looks inconsistent, having been a Republican, Independent, Democrat and publicly pondering joining the Greens before joining the LP. He’s best known as a Republican, which is not good, and in any case it’s counter to making a case that we are a party separate and distinct from all others.

    I’d prefer someone who has a resume as an LP or movement activist rather than a party switching politician, especially since we haven’t tried running the former for president in over a decade and a half. But I also bristle at the idea that there is nothing libertarian about him, especially when it comes from those who make any number of excuses for right wing “republitarian” politicians who are coercive far right social conservatives and in some cases also warmongers.

  21. Thomas Knapp

    “none of them ran as LP candidates for any other office before running for president”

    Weld did (governor of New York), for about a minute and a half before breaking his promise not to drop out if he didn’t get the Republican nomination too.

    We knew he was a liar before he lied to us in 2016.

  22. Thomas Knapp

    Naturally, I’m suspicious of just how real and how thorough Chafee’s “conversion” on the issues is.

    And I do think it’s bad branding to nominate a “major party retread” every damn time (this would be the fourth time in a row).

    So far, though, he does seem to be sticking to issues where he seems to honestly and pre-existingly agree with the LP’s platform (war in general and the war on drugs), instead of e.g. the “Fair Tax” or “states’ rights is the essence of libertarianism” or “no gun or due process rights for people on secret government enemies lists.” So there’s that, anyway.

    I still think we can do better, but we’ve definitely done worse.

  23. Tony From Long Island

    Paulie: ” . . . . .Comments by or about {RM} are not welcome on IPR except on April 1st. . . . ”

    Wasn’t aware he was among the banned. Sorry my friend.

  24. NewFederalist

    I guess the one big issue I want to see clarification on is gun rights. With all the “red flag” laws and proposed laws which clearly violate due process I want a nominee who really believes in “innocent until proven guilty” or at the very least the right to confront the accuser BEFORE property is siezed.

    My first impression of Mr. Chafee is that he is NOT good on gun rights.

  25. Bondurant

    When did IPR become infused with spam on mobile? It’s so intrusive that parts of the article are obstructed.

    Chafee does nothing to excite me. Just another entitled career politician struggling with irrelevance.

  26. dL

    Senator Lincoln Chafee voted against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq.

    He voted against the 2002 Iraq AUMF. However, he voted for the 2001 AUMF(he spent a good deal of time in that press conference conducting a shoulda/coulda/woulda why he didn’t vote w/ Barbara Lee on that one). Chafee also voted for the Patriot Act.

    The Donald just used this AUMF

    Outside of Iraq, which had its own AUFM, every other war/action has relied on the 2001 AUFM.

  27. paulie

    When did IPR become infused with spam on mobile? It’s so intrusive that parts of the article are obstructed.

    No one here can do anything about that except Warren Redlich and he doesn’t read most of these comments. His contact info is above at the about IPR link.

  28. JamesT

    Is Lincoln Chafee a libertarian…no

    But comparing a guy who voted against the Iraq War, AUMF, etc to Bill Weld is just offensive and disrespectful to someone who actually took a stand for liberty when it mattered.

    I don’t think this guy would make a great candidate but he’s not Weld and his consistent anti-war stance putS him above Bob Barr. So the LP could do a lot worse.

  29. Darcy G. Richardson

    “Naturally, I’m suspicious of just how real and how thorough Chafee’s “conversion” on the issues is.” — Tom Knapp

    It seems like this has become a quadrennial exercise for the Libertarian Party — is he really a libertarian? — but that’s only to be expected from a party that has become a kind of halfway house for recovering failed politicians from the major parties, some of whom like Bob Barr and Bill Weld eventually return like a dog to their original vomit, and is now little more than a meaningless depository for the country’s “protest” votes.

    It’s a shame those votes don’t actually mean something.

    Given that the 2020 presidential election is almost certainly going to be a referendum on the megalomaniacal man in the White House and will probably be a fairly lean year for the country’s nationally-organized third parties, the LP should nominate a tried and true libertarian or someone outside the “political class,” or get out of the way for a new movement to challenge the duopoly.

    I think it’s safe to say that those inclined to vote for an independent or third-party candidate this year have had their fill with politicians from both parties. It deserves better than three candidates from the same two parties for a change. Maybe the country wants something different. Just saying…

  30. robert capozzi

    DGR: It deserves better than three candidates from the same two parties for a change. Maybe the country wants something different. Just saying…

    Me: DJT *is* different…in so many ways. Not sure that DIFFERENT is necessarily a positive in this environment.

    LC sounds like a lessarchist with resume and skills to plausibly sit in the Oval and actually govern. Attracting people to lessarchy is more likely to be accomplished by such a person. LC has the extra added advantage of showing a disaffection with the major parties.

  31. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    The leaders and elected office holders of the Dem and Repub parties are both more moderate than their bases.

    Dem voters want harsher regulations against Wall Street, and higher taxes on the super-rich, than Dem leaders will allow. GOP voters want harsher immigration enforcement than Repub leaders will allow. Both bases are more anti-war than their party leaders will allow.

    Both major parties are more centrist than their bases, which is one reason so many people are disgusted with politicians. Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and foreign lobbies have veto power over the people’s vote, thus maintaining the centrist status quo that works for the establishment.

  32. Thomas Knapp

    Darcy,

    Just to be clear here, my preferred candidate of those thus far announced is Jacob Hornberger.

    AND I think that this “other party’s discards” thing is incredibly bad branding.

    BUT: I also assume that it’s possible for someone originally from another party to genuinely have changes of mind (if for no other reason than that most LP members come from other parties themselves).

    So, with respect to Chafee, I would urge those who are considering him to look at what changes of mind — away from past positions and to libertarian positions — he is claiming, with an eye toward the evidence for those changes of mind and whether those changes of mind seem plausible or merely opportunistic. And I would hope for a general take from those people on just how honest or dishonest he seems to them in general.

    The concern above and beyond branding is that — for example — Barr came rumbling into the 2008 convention claiming to have changed his mind about all sorts of things. Within days of becoming the nominee it became clear that he was lying about those changes of mind, as anyone who was following his public writings even as he sought the nomination could have predicted. Ditto Weld, who was literally telling the 2016 delegates one thing in the convention hall (“I’ve changed on guns”), then going outside to tell CNN the opposite (“I haven’t changed on guns”).

    Bad branding plus dishonesty is far worse than bad branding by itself. Chafee is poor branding from my perspective, but I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude as to his honesty.

  33. dL

    No one here can do anything about that except Warren Redlich

    Who installed the wordfence plugin? I can no longer embed tweets 🙁

  34. paulie

    They hate the word socialism. They love government redistribution of wealth (except to people they perceive as “the other.”)

  35. Jim

    paulie “They hate the word socialism. They love government redistribution of wealth (except to people they perceive as “the other.”)”

    Close. They care about “the other”. They don’t care about socialism one way or the other. If Trump says he’ll build the wall and hates socialism, they’ll hate socialism, too. If Trump says he’ll round-em-up and kick-em-out and wants socialism for farmers, they’ll support socialism for farmers, too. They’ll do whatever mental gymnastics are needed.

    But, I’m not sure the farmer bailout qualifies as socialism, although I would put them adjacent to socialism. It’s just a type of progressivism – economic nationalism. The purpose of the farmer bailout wasn’t to redistribute wealth, it was to compensate them for damages from Trump’s idiotic tariff war after farm exports got caught up in that. It isn’t socialism when the government deliberately destroys your business and then gives you a check for the damages.

    It’s the same sort of shit Perot and the Reform party wanted. Or Nader, if I remember his positions right. Teddy Roosevelt. The Greenback Party. They’re all in that same tradition.

  36. Pingback: “I Guess the Libertarian Party Is Now the Party of Lincoln” | Saturn's Repository

  37. dL

    It isn’t socialism when the government deliberately destroys your business and then gives you a check for the damages.

    Jim, are you are really going to resort to a “not true socialism” defense when it comes to the GOP?

  38. dL

    LC sounds like a lessarchist with resume and skills to plausibly sit in the Oval

    “A resume and skill set” to plausibly sit in the Oval Office entails the plausible prospect of raising >=500 million dollars. Chafee can’t even roll his own donation page.

  39. dL

    Both major parties are more centrist than their bases

    The democrats, maybe. Not the Repubs. Trump is not a moderating influence on the conservative base, and any stipulation that the GOP establishment is privately seething about Trump suggests that that the base is powerful enough to keep those sentiments private. Personally, I think Nancy Pelosi(“We are capitalists”) represents the Democratic party pretty well, and those who want to cite Sanders as refutation forget that Sanders is not actually a democrat. He is an independent that caucuses w/ the democrats.

  40. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    dl: Not the Repubs. Trump is not a moderating influence on the conservative base, and any stipulation that the GOP establishment is privately seething about Trump suggests that that the base is powerful enough to keep those sentiments private.

    Yes, the GOP leadership is more moderate than the base. The base wanted a wall. The GOP controlled the presidency, and both houses of Congress, for two years, yet made no serious attempt to build a wall. Instead, they focused on tax reform, a favorite of the GOP establishment.

  41. Jim

    dL “Jim, are you are really going to resort to a “not true socialism” defense when it comes to the GOP?”

    It’s an issue by issue basis. The Republicans and Democrats are both progressive parties, with the Democrat’s progressivism being influenced more by socialism and the Republican’s more by nationalism. There is some crossover by both. If you wanted to use Republican support for Social Security or Romneycare as an example, then that would be more in line with socialist progressivism. But the farmer bailout resulting from the trade war is an economic nationalist progressivism, not a socialist progressivism. One has the intent of protecting and promoting American wealth, the other the intent of leveling wealth through redistribution.

  42. dL

    One has the intent of protecting and promoting American wealth, the other the intent of leveling wealth through redistribution.

    Following Bastiat, the republican version(plunder of the privileged classes) leads to the democratic version(the poor man’s plunder, the right to relief). Socialism both. But Bastiat was a bit more sympathetic to the poor man’s plunder version.

  43. J.R.Myers

    Political parties are vehicles for campaigns and candidates. They are repositories of institutional knowledge, such as ballot qualifications and elections. They are supposed to be the boots on the ground. The grassroots public expression of our political ideologies. As the ballot access laws become more restrictive, and more parties are removed from, or prevented from obtaining ballot qualification, candidates will have to become more creative in their approach to campaigning. It is only natural to expect that parties with ballot access will attract those who are seeking alternatives to the status quo. We should embrace the concept of political party fluidity, in response to ever more oppressive State imposed political restrictions. It is truly a case of United We Stand, Divided We Fall. So far, we have been successfully divided into our little third party fiefdoms. Let’s not be shackled in our minds by a political power construct meant to divide and conquer us. We deserve better than the false choice offered to us by the American Oligarchs. Beyond the false left/right narrative, 2020 is a chance for a new vision of unity for the American people.

  44. Gene Berkman

    DL said:
    “Outside of Iraq, which had its own AUFM, every other war/action has relied on the 2001 AUFM.”

    All news reports indicate that Presiden Trump invoked the AUMF against Iraq as his legal basis for the assassination of the Iran general. Sen Rand Paul specifically mentioned that it is wrong to invoke the AUMF against Iraq to justify Trump’s actions, and he and several progressive Democrats have renewed their calls to repeal the AUMF against Iraq, specifically because of Trump’s actions.

  45. Gene Berkman

    I think Lincoln Chafee has libertarian tendencies, and probably will become more comfortable with libertarian views as he associates with libertarians. But he is already for less government than Dennis Kucinich or Tulsi Gabbard, and Ron Paul has praised both for their antiwar stands.

    In 2004 I was willing to support Howard Dean because he seemed the strongest antiwar candidate for President. This year backing a strong antiwar candidate – Justin Amash or Lincoln Chafee – will have more significance for building the Libertarian Party than running some person who always presents the libertarian argument in a fringe manner designed to alienate people – I won’t name names, because I don’t want this comment to be too long.

  46. dL

    I won’t name names

    Why not? Name names…

    This year backing a strong antiwar candidate – Justin Amash or Lincoln Chafee – will have more significance for building the Libertarian Party

    It’s the same story every four years. The LP needs GOP retreads to advance. To me, that’s not an advancement; it’s a regression. Essentially, an admission that the LP needs to be what the GOP was 10-15 years ago. But I don’t recall anyone thinking the GOP was all that great a decade ago and begs the question: why was the LP even around 10-15 years ago if the the GOP from that period is now somehow an acceptable alternative? Anti-war credentials for a libertarian should be no more remarkable than 98.7 body temperature. And if holding such credentials/views has now become extra-ordinary, what does that they say about the effect of 3 straight republican retread tickets has had on the level of expectations? Lincoln Chafee is a low bar…

    running some person who always presents the libertarian argument in a fringe manner

    What, you don’t think Bob Barr, Wayne Allyn Root and William Weld didn’t alienate people? Is it too much to ask for a candidate who didn’t vote fro the freakin Patriot Act?

  47. NewFederalist

    Lincoln Chafee is fine on the endless war issue but he is really bad on the 2nd Amendment and while he talks about reducing spending he seems to referring to the deficit not the debt. Reducing the deficit is not going to avert economic calamity unless the deficit is eliminated and we begin reducing the debt. That and the bad public perception that the Libertarian Party is just a minor league affiliate of a major party is enough to make me prefer another alternative.

  48. George Dance

    Gene: “I won’t name names”
    dl: “Why not? Name names…”

    Okay, Adam Kokesh. The centerpiece of his platform is to repeal the U.S. government (which means either amending or outright repealing the Constitution) by Executive Order. The downside of that is that it’s not just a ‘fringe’ idea, but a ‘kook’ idea. What’s the upside; that it educates the voter in libertarianism? How?

  49. George Dance

    dl – “Adam Kokesh vs the year’s GOP retread is a false dilemma, but if we have to choose which version of the angry white male to put out there to voters, I’ll take Kokesh over an earl shribe shiny badger like Wayne Allyn Root.”

    Root isn’t running; let’s stick to the actual field. Of those, you prefer Kokesh to Abramson and Chafee.

  50. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Gene Berkman: I think Lincoln Chafee has libertarian tendencies …

    I suppose you could justifiably say that Barr, Root, and Johnson also had “libertarian tendencies” — and I hated Root.

    For that matter, Sanders, Trump, and almost any establishment candidate can be found to have “libertarian tendencies” if you focus on one issue, and don’t require an “extremist” position on even that one issue. Sanders is a bit more anti-war than is Biden. Trump a bit more pro-gun rights than is Warren. None of this makes any of them a libertarian, or even close.

    “Libertarian tendencies” is a very vague term, and, depending on how you define it, can allow for a very low bar.

  51. Chuck Moulton

    dL wrote:

    Adam Kokesh vs the year’s GOP retread is a false dilemma

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious: it is a false dilemma because Kokesh is also a GOP retread. He ran Republican for the U.S. Congress.

  52. dL

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious

    yeah, I forgot about that, but to be fair, I forgot about it b/c he was the road kill, not the tire, in a GOP primary.

  53. dL

    Root isn’t running; let’s stick to the actual field.

    Your judgement RE: Barr/Root circa 2008 is pertinent to your judgements now RE: which candidates will end up embarrassing the LP.

    Of those, you prefer Kokesh to Abramson and Chafee.

    I prefer none of the above three . But under no circumstance would I support or tolerate a pro-life[sic], bordertarian Republican like Max Abramson.

  54. George Dance

    Gallup uses 2 questions to set the bar; in paraphrase, (1) should the government do more or less to solve the country’s problems; (2) should the government promote American values, or not promote values at all? They use the answers to divide the respondents into 4 quadrants, each of 20-30% of the voters; those who answer “less” and “not promote values” are the ‘libertarian’ quadrant, which was 27% last time I bothered looking.

  55. Gene Berkman

    Thanks Chuck, I was just about to mention Adam Kokesh as a Republican candidate for Congress.
    Of course he lost the primary, so he could be called a “Republican reject.”

    In response to some other comments – I did not like Bob Barr or Wayne Root as candidates. Barr did have libertarian tendencies but too many problems in his record. Wayne Root just came across as a con man – I did meet him and was quite turned off.

    Bill Weld may have alienated people, but he raised more money than any previous LP candidate, and the Johnson Weld ticket did get a record vote total, exceeding the previous record set by Gary Johnson in 2012.

    Supporting people who have been elected as Republicans does not mean we want the Libertarian Party to be like the Republican Party from a few years ago. The ex-Republicans we have nominated, except for Bob Barr, were all clearly out of the mainstream of the Republican Party. Gary Johnson not only backed legal marijuana, he was also pro-choice on abortion, and opposed the anti-Gay crusade of the modern conservatives.

    Bill Weld is pro-choice and pro-gay rights, and both Weld and Johnson had better records on spending than most Republican Governors. Their record in office was not perfect from a libertarian view, but have you looked at the records of local Libertarian office-holders? Until libertarian views are more widely accepted, there is little an office-holder can do except criticize around the edges. And the same is true of Ron Paul in Congress.

    The reason the Libertarian Party nominates former Republican office-holders is that few Libertarian officeholders are available. And it does not really impress people when you nominate a mayor pro-tem for President of the United States.

  56. George Dance

    Gene Berkman: “The reason the Libertarian Party nominates former Republican office-holders is that few Libertarian officeholders are available. And it does not really impress people when you nominate a may or pro-tem for President of the United States.

    I was reminded of that earlier this month, when I was reading Harry Browne’s New Year’s resolutions, and ran into this line: “No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.” I’m sure he meant things like wearing a suit and tie, and not F-bombing people, but I believe voters (and the media) are looking for more than that before they take a candidate seriously.

  57. dL

    No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.

    nope… politics is called “hollywood for the ugly” for a reason. politicos ain’t that beautiful, but people still listen.

    wearing a suit and tie

    Quite the anachronism. The suite and tie as a symbol of success and power has long since passed. Now it is more a symbol that you are in trouble or a lower class service worker…

  58. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    robert capozzi: And the bar should be set where, by whom….?

    Stupid question. The delegates set the bar. You mean you didn’t know even that?

    How long have you been in the Libertarian Party?

  59. dL

    Stupid question. The delegates set the bar. You mean you didn’t know even that?

    The delegates have been setting a low bar. So low that some people want the LP to set more restrictive requirements for candidate eligibility. Requirements that would be more restrictive than the major parties require. Not a good look. A party that advocates for the abolition of prior restraint on trade(i.e, government regulations) but has to impose a prior restraint on free to chose b/c the membership is too fickle and unprincipled to be trusted.

  60. robert capozzi

    RTAA,

    I lapsed years ago, but i joined in 1980. Some NAP Fundamentalists use NAP and platform adherence as their litmus tests, despite the fact that those positions are all-but-impossible to attain in four years. To me, that tells me the LP isn’t doing politics, but rather utopian philosophizing.

    My sense is that delegates intuitively get that political movement requires generalized aspirations but more modest specific positioning, along with credibility and communications skills. Die-hard NAP Fundamentalists continue to fight rear-guard actions to maintain a more “pure” philosophy club stance.

  61. Eric Sundwall

    Adopting the Metric System should be our highest priority as Citizens of Functionality.

    I’m tired of the Two Measurement System.

    Adopting Unix Time will take more time.

  62. George Dance

    “Some NAP Fundamentalists use NAP and platform adherence as their litmus tests, despite the fact that those positions are all-but-impossible to attain in four years. To me, that tells me the LP isn’t doing politics, but rather utopian philosophizing.”

    I understand what you’re saying, but i think you’re wrong to place the blame on NAP. The attempt of some libertarians to run as more-libertarian-than-thou is not always motivated by NAP – witness Austin Petersen, whose 2016 campaign was almost entirely an attempt to out-libertarian Gary Johnson, but who repudiated and campaigned against NAP at the same time.

    Nor does a believer in NAP have to back the candidate who sounds the most libertarian. Witness me: I’m a firm believe in NAP on ethical grounds, but at the same time I believe a Presidential campaign should adopt a gradualist or incremental or approach: it should not hide what libertarian means, but it should make clear that the campaign is about what a Libertarian President, if elected, plans to do over the next four years.

  63. dL

    but at the same time I believe a Presidential campaign should adopt a gradualist or incremental or approach: it should not hide what libertarian means, but it should make clear that the campaign is about what a Libertarian President, if elected, plans to do over the next four years.

    isn’t there a video game out there you guys can buy that comes with a cheat code depositing 1/2 billion dollars into a campaign budget that would at least allow you to graduate from delusion to simulation?

  64. Jim

    George Dance “I’m a firm believe in NAP on ethical grounds, but at the same time I believe a Presidential campaign should adopt a gradualist or incremental or approach: it should not hide what libertarian means, but it should make clear that the campaign is about what a Libertarian President, if elected, plans to do over the next four years.”

    I think that’s the position that has been driving LP growth over the last 6 years. I see a lot of it online from people who are relatively new to the party.

  65. robert capozzi

    GD,

    You and AP are not what I’d characterize as NAP Fundamentalists. I myself am highly syriginmpathetic to the NAP as a GENERAL sentiment. Rolling back state aggression strikes me as the right way to go. The question for me is HOW one reduces the net incidence of state coercion.

    NAP Fundamentalists have little to no concern about the HOW; they reduce politics to binary moral questions, issue by issue. The Fundamentalists support any and all tax cuts, for ex., even though the federal deficit is ballooning.

    NAP Fundamentalists rigidly cling to the LP Platform as a serial litmus test. They use the SoP as overarching litmus test. They seem to expect fealty to the Platform and SoP from all candidates. They expect robotic recitations of any and all deviations — I support X which is not NAP pre-approved.

    This appoach is not politically viable.

  66. Tony From Long Island

    Eric S: ” . . . . Adopting the Metric System should be our highest priority as Citizens of Functionality. . . . .
    Adopting Unix Time will take more time. . . . ”

    Can’t we just skip ahead to stardates?

  67. Thomas Knapp

    George,

    It’s important to remember that the term “NAP fundamentalists” doesn’t correspond to the holdings or actions of any real-life people. “NAP fundamentalists” exist in Bob Capozzi’s brain and nowhere else, and are responsible for all bad things, including him not being able to find his car keys.

  68. paulie

    Can’t we just skip ahead to stardates?

    I don’t see why not. Trump already has the Space Force using Starfleet’s logo.

  69. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Amusing. I’d say — from what I’ve seen — all the LP prez aspirants (except Chafee and Supreme) sound like NAP Fundamentalists to me.

  70. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    “all the LP prez aspirants (except Chafee and Supreme) sound like NAP Fundamentalists to me.”

    Of course they do — because the definition of “NAP fundamentalist” morphs every time you don’t like what you hear.

    You call me an “NAP fundamentalist.”

    But according to the definition you’re using at this moment, that would mean I “support any and all tax cuts, for ex., even though the federal deficit is ballooning,” even though I specifically hold that if spending isn’t being reduced, taxes aren’t actually being cut (borrowing money is taxation with deferred payment).

    I also happen to encourage presidential candidates to run on four-year deliverables, which according to you is contrary to NAP Fundamentalist doctrine (today, anyway).

  71. dL

    all the LP prez aspirants (except Chafee and Supreme) sound like NAP Fundamentalists to me.

    Actually, Vermin’s Policy page is a full endorsement of the SoP and the Platform.
    https://verminsupreme2020.com/platform/

    Chaffey apparently can’t afford a website at the moment. His campaign treasurer, Caswell Cooke, is too busy promoting Luke Duke for his own radio show to comment…

  72. robert capozzi

    tk: I also happen to encourage presidential candidates to run on four-year deliverables

    me: Excellent. And, yet, if memory serves, you want candidates to be NAP and platform compliant. While anything is possible, my assessment is that most of those positions will not and cannot be instituted in the next 4 years.

    My sense is that you are a NAP Fundamentalist, but you are also more sophisticated and nuanced in your thinking than most NAP Fundamentalists one encounters.

  73. robert capozzi

    more….

    To the extent I continue to use the NAP as a political North Star, I find myself answering deeply speculative questions by saying something like: “In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have X law, but in the meantime, I accept that that law is not something I advocate changing in the near term.”

  74. Thomas Knapp

    “And, yet, if memory serves, you want candidates to be NAP and platform compliant. While anything is possible, my assessment is that most of those positions will not and cannot be instituted in the next 4 years.”

    There’s no conflict. If the platform says we should go to Milwaukee, and the nominee says that he’s going to leave Austin and start walking north, I’m fine with that.

    If he says that driving to Lima, taking a bus to Buenos Aires, catching a plane to Spain, riding a boat across the Atlantic, up the Hudson, into the canals, and across the great lakes to get to Milwaukee will result in “net reduced yada yada yada,” I’ll call bullshit.

  75. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Cool. But unfortunately politics are not so simple as geography. GJ was pilloried by the NFs when he wouldn’t call for heroin legalization, iirc. You’ve been relentless in attacking him for the pre-bate component of the FAIR tax (which I’m not a fan of).

    I’ve heard that the nuclear missile silos are still using floppy disk computers. I suspect an NF would oppose increased expenditures to upgrade those systems. NFs would not be satisfied if a candidate called for a cut in overall military spending. EVERYTHING would have to be cut. No backsliding! No compromise! It’s the “principled” position!

  76. Thomas Knapp

    “GJ was pilloried by the NFs when he wouldn’t call for heroin legalization, iirc.”

    You don’t recall correctly (whatever an NF is). GJ was pilloried for specifically stating that he opposed legalization of any drugs other than marijuana. There’s a difference. He could have campaigned only for marijuana legalization without campaigning 180 degrees against the LP’s platform.

    “You’ve been relentless in attacking him for the pre-bate component of the FAIR tax (which I’m not a fan of).”

    Absolutely. Putting every man, woman, and child in the US on a monthly welfare check from the federal government isn’t walking toward Milwaukee, it’s walking away from Milwaukee.

  77. dL

    Please tell Bob that I have his keys.

    More worrisome, who has Bob’s keys to the private nuke stash he procured during his days as a NAP fundamentalist?

  78. paulie

    According to wikipedia:

    Companies and organizations

    Air Vanuatu (IATA airline designator NF), the national airline of Vanuatu
    National Front (disambiguation), the name of many political parties
    N.F.-Board, a defunct international football association
    Nuestra Familia, a Mexican American criminal organization
    National Forum (Croatia), a political party in Croatia
    Northwest Front, an American white nationalist group founded by Harold Covington
    Netflix, a US-based worldwide entertainment media provider

    Places

    Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian province, former postal code NF
    Norfolk Island, part of the Commonwealth of Australia

    Science, technology, and mathematics

    .nf, the internet country code top-level domain for Norfolk Island
    National Formulary, a manual of medicines
    Necrotizing fasciitis, a disease commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria
    Neurofibromatosis, a medical disorder in which nerve tissues grow tumors
    New Foundations, an axiomatic set theory in mathematical logic
    NF mark, certification mark by the French AFNOR standards organization
    Nitrogen monofluoride
    Nod factor, a kind of molecule
    Noise figure, in radio and radar signal processing
    Normal forms, criteria for determining a table’s degree of vulnerability to logical inconsistencies and anomalies

    Other uses

    NF (rapper), American hip hop musician
    Night Fighter, is a fighter aircraft adapted for use in times of bad visibility

  79. 48 years of debate. No action.

    NAP = NF = Milwaukee

    Look how far the LP has come. We have found Xanadu at last …
    Who knew we could get there with a bus ticket.

    … driving to Lima, taking a bus to Buenos Aires, catching a plane to Spain, riding a boat across the Atlantic, up the Hudson, into the canals, and across the great lakes to get to Milwaukee will result in …

    … a more enjoyable trip cause Milwaukee ain’t it …

  80. NewFederalist

    “NF= NAP Fundamentalists” – Robert Capozzi

    Really, Bobito? Wouldn’t that be NAPF? Jeez….

  81. robert capozzi

    tk: You don’t recall correctly (whatever an NF is). GJ was pilloried for specifically stating that he opposed legalization of any drugs other than marijuana. There’s a difference. He could have campaigned only for marijuana legalization without campaigning 180 degrees against the LP’s platform.

    me: Like he did on many issues, his answer was inartful. Candidates are generally not asked that question, but because of the NAP Fundamentalism at the root of the LP, he was asked that gotcha question. His inarticulateness coupled with his party’s fringe positioning led to an unfortunate outcome in that case. He was trying to run a center-libertarian campaign on a fringe-libertarian party platform, which was a challenge for him and anyone in that position.

  82. George Dance

    Mr. Knapp: “GJ was pilloried for specifically stating that he opposed legalization of any drugs other than marijuana. There’s a difference. He could have campaigned only for marijuana legalization without campaigning 180 degrees against the LP’s platform.”

    He was asked specifically about other drugs: Legal or illegal? And he said: Illegal. He blew the answer. He said plenty of other times: Illegal but not criminal (as in Portugal). And he specifically referred to the Portuguese model different times in the campaign. He should have got that in there; but it’s not the only time he forgot his lines. The incident shows he was a flawed candidate – someone who didn’t bother to train properly for the campaign, when (as a mountain climber) he should have realized the importance of training. It’s one of maybe a hundred examples of the same thing. But it was no reason to call him a drug warrior, as was done.

  83. Thomas Knapp

    “He was asked specifically about other drugs: Legal or illegal? And he said: Illegal. He blew the answer. He said plenty of other times: Illegal but not criminal (as in Portugal).”

    I’m not talking about blowing an answer in an interview. The campaign web site specifically said (as verbatim as I can get from memory: “Governors Johnson and Weld oppose the legalization of any drugs other than marijuana.”

    And it said that for months. It wasn’t a blown answer in the moment. It was a position they clearly stated, then stuck to when it was brought to their attention.

  84. dL

    He was asked specifically about other drugs: Legal or illegal? And he said: Illegal. He blew the answer. He said plenty of other times: Illegal but not criminal (as in Portugal). And he specifically referred to the Portuguese model different times in the campaign.

    Gary Johnson had different positions on drug legalization before Johnson/Weld 2016. Johnson had to walk back his previous positions on the matter in order to court the speculation of a Mitt Romney endorsement. lulz

  85. paulie

    Johnson told me personally he was for ending the drug war completely, not just in regards to pot. It’s not the only time he told me things differently from what he said in interviews before and after or what he allowed staff to put on his websites. I somehow managed to not talk to Weld in person, but based on what I know of him, his associates, his history, his public and private statements, etc, I didn’t miss anything and wouldn’t believe anything he says whether in public or private anyway.

    I did recently meet Lincoln Chafee a couple of times; he has a lot of room for improvement but is not the type of weasel that Weld is. I don’t think he’s a very good or convincing speaker though; he seems halting and not very good at reading the room. I would not describe him as rousing in any way. In Georgia, he was not among the top four of nine candidates in the straw poll after the debate (the bottom five were not announced in terms of how many votes each got). He had one staffer (Chris Thrasher) with him in both Tennessee and Georgia. It may be that after three establishment party crossovers in a row the LP is finally fed up with that and ready to nominate someone who is not an establishment party crossover. I know I am, but we shall see.

  86. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Would you prefer Vohra or Kokesh over Chafee, in concept, if it comes down to these three?

  87. paulie

    I’d probably find something else to pay attention to. The LP presidential ticket is not the end all be all and I don’t have to choose if it comes down to bad choices. If I am a delegate at all (considering going as just a reporter for a change), I might let an alternate vote instead.

    If I do choose, it will depend on how the campaigns shape up between now and then, how I feel that moment of that day, or maybe a coin toss. If someone’s buying, maybe I could sell my vote? Probably not, but honestly I care less and less all the time. It just feels like it’s not the best use of my time and I’m not seeing anything being made better by my participation. Mostly operating on inertia at this point and slowing down.

    This year’s national might be my last convention. We’ll see.

  88. NewFederalist

    Señor Capozzi always seems to find the most extreme examples from which he asks one to choose. Vohra and Kokesh are as outrageous as Vermin Supreme without the boot. Chafee? Really? Why even HAVE a Libertarian Party if the intent is NOT to nominate a libertarian?

  89. robert capozzi

    NF,

    I’d prefer Supreme to Kokesh or Vohra. He’s entertaining, at least.

    Chafee is at least semi-credible. Whether he’s worthy of my vote will depend on whether he’s lessarchistic enough for me.

  90. paulie

    I’d prefer Supreme to Kokesh or Vohra. He’s entertaining, at least.

    Chafee is at least semi-credible. Whether he’s worthy of my vote will depend on whether he’s lessarchistic enough for me.

    Remarkably enough, agreed.

    It’s not the end of the world no matter what happens. LP survived everything from Bergland ’84 to Barr-Root, and will almost certainly survive any of the candidates named above being nominated. Some people thought Badnarik’s tax resistance or refusal to get a drivers license would be some kind of big deal, but it turned out they were pretty much the only ones who cared.

    Pretty much every time there are people getting worked up predicting some kind of disaster if X gets nominated or gazillions in contributions and “gold states” if Y gets nominated. None of it pans out, so far as I have seen. The LP muddles on, and on balance I still think does some good, but it becomes harder and harder to believe it does the longer I stay closely involved and watch all the minutia obsession play out.

    I think I’ve stayed this long in part because I’ve been doing this stuff for a living, but that has pretty much run its course. I need to find something else to do with my life. In part due to life membership and sunk costs, but at some point even I have to stop chasing good time and money after bad. In part because of my reaction to the platform wipeout in 2006, but I’m not a platform wonk by any means, and it’s been good enough for me for quite a while. And, I’ve learned the hard way that I have very little impact on what happens even within the LP, anyway.

    I can’t travel as easily now, not even having an expired state ID anymore. Blogging has lost its charm as it’s become endless repetition with the same few people while most of the discussion has moved to FB, which is crappy and getting worse.

    Who would I support? Who cares? increasingly, not even me. I’m at best one delegate vote out of a thousand or so. I’m leaning more and more toward not even being that.

  91. Jim

    Johnson’s campaign site on November 5th 2016 said that he personally supported legalizing marijuana, he would remove marijuana as a schedule 1 federal drug, and he would not oppose any state that legalized it. It made few arguments in support of that position. Then at the bottom it said that Johnson and Weld do not support the legalization of other drugs… but they opposed incarceration for the use of other drugs.

    Basically, he campaigned on legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing the usage of all other drugs.

  92. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Thing is, Trump v Sanders or Biden as it’s shaping up is even worse than Clinton v Trump. We now know how bad Trump is, which isn’t quite as bad as I thought he might be, but bad. A REALLY old guy as his opponent, one an outright socialist, the other a complete swamp creature, does open up the possibility of a Perot-type challenge.

    Amash/Chafee or Chafee/Amash has the potential in concept to do far better than J/W. Amash seems far more articulate than Chafee and certainly GJ.

    Much would have to break right.

    Here’s one to ensure my complete banishment to NAP Hell: Amash/Bloomberg. It’s a stretch, but if he’s willing to spend $2B, I’m interested.

    Yes, bomb-throwing Badnarik types probably don’t do ABSOLUTE damage to the fringy LP, but I’d say this cycle has far more upside potential to breakthrough than there was in 04. The opportunity cost is high to nominate a NAP Fundamentalist, who mercifully would be largely ignored.

  93. dL

    but they opposed incarceration for the use of other drugs.

    Basically, he campaigned on legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing the usage of all other drugs.

    IIRC, Johnson didn’t campaign for drug decriminalization on the CNN townhall. His response to some whiny soccer mom’s tirade against heroin was a hardline stance against drug legalization, sans weed. And that was it. Of course, decriminalization itself can be a loaded term. It doesn’t necessarily mean the elimination of punitive, coercive punishments(E.g, mandatory treatment).

  94. dL

    Here’s one to ensure my complete banishment to NAP Hell: Amash/Bloomberg. It’s a stretch, but if he’s willing to spend $2B, I’m interested.

    It’s a shame Casto’s dead.

  95. Jim

    Decriminalization means no jail time, but not fully legal. So, yeah, fines, mandatory rehab, or something along those lines. Like non-criminal driving infractions. If you roll through a stop sign you get a ticket and a couple of points against your license and if you get enough points on your license it can be suspended and you are required to take driver’s ed.

    Johnson’s CNN town hall was a disaster, but Thomas Knapp said he wasn’t talking about what was on his web site, not a blown interview question.

  96. paulie

    Thing is, Trump v Sanders or Biden as it’s shaping up is even worse than Clinton v Trump.

    I think either Biden or Sanders is probably better than Clinton at reaching the usual or likely Democratic voters who stayed home, voted for Trump on a lark, or the few who voted for Johnson or Stein or whoever else. Not as good as say Obama, but better than Clinton. They’ll probably be smart enough enough to pick a black VP in order to increase black turnout as well.

    If it’s Sanders, as far as I know he is not all that scandal ridden. It remains to be seen whether anything in regards to Burisma or whatever can be made to stick to Biden in the way email leaks and FBI investigation did to Clinton. Sanders would not do well with suburban moderates who are wary of Trump, but Biden might. On the other hand Sanders would do better with voters who are angry with the bipartisan establishment. It’s unlikely that Trump would do as well with both of these groups simultaneously as he did last time.

    Suburban moderates were more likely to vote for him in the hopes he would govern in a more mature way than he campaigned. That has not happened. They might vote for him again anyway if it’s Sanders, out of fear of socialism, but in that case the angry antiestablishment vote is more likely to break for Sanders, especially since it’s harder to run as antiestablishment when you’re the incumbent. If Democrats pick Biden the antiestablishment vote may be relatively more likely to break for Trump, but Biden would probably end up doing better with suburban moderates than Clinton did, in addition to probably being better than Clinton in turning out the black vote.

    We now know how bad Trump is, which isn’t quite as bad as I thought he might be, but bad.

    He’s every bit as bad as I thought he would be. It’s just that he still has a good bit in the way of institutional safeguards against his tyrannical impulses. However, he’s wearing those down, slowly but surely, and getting worse. He’ll be worse in the coming year than in the last three and far worse if he gets a second term. My prediction all along was that what I said would be the worst things to come out of his presidency would take time to materialize, because of those safeguards. I said all along that I did not know how long that process would take.

    It took quite a while in Russia for Putin to become as bad as he is now. The first few years he was in office he did not seem dramatically different from Yeltsin. Even Hitler didn’t become the Hitler we think of now in his first few years; despite coming to power in an economic and social crisis, it took him years to work up to genocidal levels. The USSR and Mao were far less deadly in their first few years as well. The height of Stalin’s mass starvation, purges, etc was in the 1930s and 40s, quite a few years after the revolution. Mao took years to build up to the mass insanity of the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.

    Every indication is that Trump intends to be, and is, on the same path. It’s taking him some time to get there, but he’s getting there. You should not assume that he’ll be limited to two terms, either. That safeguard can be done away with like everything else.

    A REALLY old guy as his opponent, one an outright socialist, the other a complete swamp creature, does open up the possibility of a Perot-type challenge.

    Well let’s see… Born: Trump born June 14, 1946 (age 73 years), Biden Born: November 20, 1942 (age 77 years), Sanders Born: September 8, 1941 (age 78 years), HRC Born: October 26, 1947 (age 72 years). Are some of these people really old and others not? Biden, Sanders and Trump are all between 73 and 78, so pretty much the same age.

    Biden is a swamp creature, true. But it’s pretty hard for Trump to maintain he’s draining the swamp when he is raking in money for himself and his family with both hands by peddling influence, in a rather open and brazen fashion, and surrounding himself with numerous swamp creatures in his administration (granted they come and go, but still, he picked them).

    Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Biden and Sanders were not, but both have been in DC for decades. All of their antiestablishment credentials are bullshit. Trump might not be old money New York but he’s been in those circles for decades. They are all well into their 70s so none of them is in any credible way the youth candidate.

    Perot style challenge…who’s the Perot? You’d need a billionaire who is willing to spend a lot of money – much more than Perot did to be relatively equivalent in spending to Trump and the Democratic nominee. He’d need a fair amount of name recognition and to be good on TV and on the stump, and to be willing to run outside the duopoly. I don’t see that person out there. Bloomberg has the money, but won’t buck the duopoly, and isn’t nearly as good as Perot on TV. Additionally, Pappy Bush had to contend with a crappy economy. While there is still time for that to happen before the election, it has not happened yet, and may still be held off until after the election. I don’t see a Perot style challenge happening this year.

    Amash/Chafee or Chafee/Amash has the potential in concept to do far better than J/W. Amash seems far more articulate than Chafee and certainly GJ.

    I don’t see that amounting to anything like a Perot. For one thing I don’t think it will happen. Amash has laid out a well articulated argument against all parties when he quit the Republicans and would be hypocritical to join the LP. He has shown no interest in doing so, either. Neither of them is nearly as wealthy as Perot, and Chafee is not that great on the stump from what I’ve seen. Even if this “dream ticket” was to happen, I don’t see it doing much better than Johnson/Weld, if better at all.

    Here’s one to ensure my complete banishment to NAP Hell: Amash/Bloomberg. It’s a stretch, but if he’s willing to spend $2B, I’m interested.

    Yeah, that’s not going to happen. They are not a fit ideologically, for starters. For another, if you are thinking LP, I don’t see a chance in hell that LP delegates would nominate Bloomberg for anything. Bloomberg has already made clear that he will be backing the Democratic nominee, even in the highly likely case it’s not him. And if that was not the case why would he want to run on the bottom of a ticket for someone he disagrees with on most issues, has more name recognition and money than, and has held a higher office than? If Bloomberg wanted to buck the duopoly, which he does not, what does he need Amash for? Likewise, what would Amash need Chafee for? None of this adds up.

    Bloomberg wants to get Trump out of office. It’s not clear whether your silly hypothetical ticket would help or hurt the chances of that. And that’s if Amash and or the LP wanted him, which would not happen either. It’s a non-starter.

    The opportunity cost is high to nominate a NAP Fundamentalist, who mercifully would be largely ignored.

    The opportunity cost appears to be an extremely implausible scenario and as for being ignored that depends. I don’t think Vermin Supreme will be ignored, for example. And he is running a serious platform as well as a satiric one, so his serious points will get across, not just his jokes. Jorgensen could plausibly run a Browne style campaign and build party infrastucture, starting from a larger base of name recognition for the LP and “L word”, a larger small l movement, and more advanced technology than 20 years ago. The real opportunity cost would be in running yet another duopoly crossover ticket which doesn’t build the movement or for that matter the party in any sustained fashion.

  97. paulie

    Johnson’s CNN town hall was a disaster, but Thomas Knapp said he wasn’t talking about what was on his web site, not a blown interview question.

    Knapp knows full well that the boilerplate on candidate websites is largely written by staff, and has said so himself (and written some of it for various candidates). The blown question is actually more indicative: Johnson was either allowing staff to manipulate his public in person answers as well as his website, or he was blowing smoke up my ass when he told me he was for ending the drug war completely. In either case, the same sort of decisionmaking process would have almost certainly carried over had he somehow been elected.

  98. Jim

    paulie “who’s the Perot?”

    Can’t rule out Mark Cuban, although, as of mid-November, he said he wasn’t going to run because his family voted it down. But he’s talked about it a lot and it’s obviously something he wants to do.

    Paulie “I think either Biden or Sanders is probably better than Clinton at reaching the usual or likely Democratic voters who stayed home, voted for Trump on a lark, or the few who voted for Johnson or Stein or whoever else. Not as good as say Obama, but better than Clinton.”

    Biden, yes. Sanders, no. Old school Democrats can’t stand Sanders.

  99. Jim

    paulie “Knapp knows full well that the boilerplate on candidate websites is largely written by staff”

    I’m sure he does. But see his comment on January 28, 2020 at 21:08

    paulie “Blogging has lost its charm as it’s become endless repetition with the same few people while most of the discussion has moved to FB, which is crappy and getting worse.”

    I’ve mentioned it once before, but if you’re looking for a more diverse audience that isn’t facebook, you can go to reddit. r/LibertarianPartyUSA for party stuff, r/GoldandBlack for discussion with a more ancap slant, or r/Libertarian for a large general audience that includes libertarians, socialists, Republicans, and Democrats.

  100. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, DJT is old, too, no argument and haven’t said otherwise.

    Trump v Sanders is especially concerning to me – alarming, actually. Either winning presents especially dark potentialities. In that context, my wild idea is that someone like Bloomberg would be alarmed as well, and he might do something highly unconventional. So might someone like Mark Cuban.

    You are probably correct that the LP Conventioneers, who are largely NAP Fundamentalist or Adjacent, would oppose Commander Big Gulp most vociferously. Ordinarily, I would as well, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Yes, I am a full-blown heretic! 😉

    While Trump troubles me on many levels, I don’t sense he’s the next Hitler or something. Near as I can tell, he has no particular ideological agenda. Instead, his agenda seems almost entirely about personal power and attention-grabbing aggrandizement. My concern is his ego and apparent rudderless impulsiveness could cause him to do incredible damage…an “evil Chauncey Gardener” seems to be a directionally correct assessment (though “evil” is far too Manichaean for this hombre).

    I’m actually stunned that people support him, and seem to have limitless abilities to rationalize his hijinks. And his supporters include some reasonably bright and even very bright people. They don’t seem to recognize that “unemployment is low” is a partial fact, but it says nothing about the nation’s prospects. (Somehow or other, I suspect we muddle through, btw, but I fear the road’s soon to become quite bumpy.)

  101. paulie

    Can’t rule out Mark Cuban, although, as of mid-November, he said he wasn’t going to run because his family voted it down. But he’s talked about it a lot and it’s obviously something he wants to do.

    Cuban is all over the place. One minute he likes Trump, the next he does not. I don’t think he is running though.

    Biden, yes. Sanders, no. Old school Democrats can’t stand Sanders.

    I’m not sure exactly who they are. A lot of people who voted for Obama did not vote for H Clinton. A few voted for Trump and an even smaller number for other candidates, but the largest number stayed home. The biggest groups among these were young people, black people, and blue/pink collar folks who were unemployed, underemployed or economically insecure. I think Sanders appeals to all these demographics better than HRC did, especially with a black VP candidate.

  102. paulie

    Ordinarily, I would as well, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Yeah, but Bloomberg is just as bad as Trump and Sanders, just in different ways. Are you really sure you want to go there?

    While Trump troubles me on many levels, I don’t sense he’s the next Hitler or something.

    Most Germans didn’t think Hitler was that bad, especially at the start. They thought he was just saying some things for attention and effect, or that various institutions would constrain him, or something. And for some time they did. Trump gets treated like that, but you have to pay attention to what he actually says. And to how these things have gone and played out in other countries.

    Near as I can tell, he has no particular ideological agenda. Instead, his agenda seems almost entirely about personal power and attention-grabbing aggrandizement.

    That’s certainly part of it. Part of that is creating a dictatorial system where the dear leader may not be criticized or constrained by journalists, courts, bureaucrats, investigators, congress, protesters, etc, etc. He is working on that. And on creating a propaganda press that reports things the way he wants, and nothing he doesn’t. And a legislature and court system and bureaucracy under his autocratic control. All in progress.

    What else does he want? What has he been consistent on over the years? Well, for starters, lots more cops beating up more people. Fewer rights for defendants in court (unless they are himself or his friends or relatives or people he admires). More people being locked up for longer in prisons and prison camps. More executions with less judicial review. More and worse torture.

    He’s always opposed free trade. He wants managed trade and mercantilism, where the dictator – himself – calls the shots as if the country was a giant corporation, and corporate leaders must bow to him, follow his orders and seek favors from him. This of course increases his power and opportunities for profit. The same goes for foreign nations. And he likes those to be led by dictators, whom he openly admires and seeks to have the powers of. He’s joined in this endeavor by an illiberal international – Putin, Eurofascists, Xi, Kim, Duterte, Bolsonaro, Modi, Netanyahu, Assad, MBS, fascists, nationalists, theocrats, autocrats and absolutists all over the world who see the vestiges of liberal democracy as a roadblock to their absolute power.

    He likes military parades and military spending. He’s not keen on multilateral military alliances, but that doesn’t mean he’s averse to war – in fact, his trade and immigration policies and staggering piling on of debt and policies that have historically led to wars all over the world. War(s) would also logically play into his desire to use emergency powers to seize dictatorial control. They give the economy a short term shot in the arm, while being destructive in the long term. This is why dictators such as Hitler end up in wars after their policies run out of steam economically and when they need a bigger and bigger payoff in nationalistic fervor. There’s nothing like a war for that.

    Once wars start, Trump has been clear that he wants to do away with more recent restraints on crimes against humanity, war crimes, etc. He has praised war criminals, called for war crimes, said he wouldn’t be opposed to first use of nuclear weapons, said he would destroy cultural and religious sites, said waterboarding does not go far enough, and so on.

    Like other dictators he likes to have internal scapegoats: Muslims, Mexicans and other Latinos, immigrants, and so on. I mean, it’s all the same playbook. It’s played out in many countries many times. It’s playing out here, slowly, but the pace is stepping up.

    I’m actually stunned that people support him, and seem to have limitless abilities to rationalize his hijinks.

    But that’s also not surprising. The same was true of other dictators he admires and emulates. Cult leaders, con men, corrupt and dictatorial leaders throughout history. What’s new or surprising here?

  103. paulie

    I’m sure he does. But see his comment on January 28, 2020 at 21:08

    I saw it. I’m just pointing out he knows better.

    I’ve mentioned it once before, but if you’re looking for a more diverse audience that isn’t facebook, you can go to reddit. r/LibertarianPartyUSA for party stuff, r/GoldandBlack for discussion with a more ancap slant, or r/Libertarian for a large general audience that includes libertarians, socialists, Republicans, and Democrats.

    I’ve played around with it, but it doesn’t appeal to me. For one thing like FB it’s owned by a company, which owns reddit; they may let people run subreddits with their own rules but they are ultimately under control of reddit, and they set the rules which they change whenever they want, kick users off, etc, etc. For another I don’t like nested/expandable comments. I think the bigger issue is that all these arguments are getting old to me. I’ve had them all and or seen them all too many times. It’s becoming like groundhog day, and not just because that’s coming up.

  104. Thomas Knapp

    “I saw it. I’m just pointing out he knows better.”

    Knows better than what?

    Yes, campaign staff write a lot of a candidate’s stuff.

    And the candidate is responsible for that stuff.

    The conflict between his published position and the LP’s platform was pointed out. The conflict stayed there (someone now says it was slightly diluted by election day — I wasn’t paying attention to his web site by then). So either it was his actual position, or he just didn’t care enough about what positions his staff advertised in his name to do anything about it. Six of one, etc.

  105. dL

    Perot style challenge…who’s the Perot? You’d need a billionaire who is willing to spend a lot of money – much more than Perot did to be relatively equivalent in spending to Trump and the Democratic nominee.

    POTUS campaign spending circa 1992 was quite a bit less versus today. Firstly, the major party candidates would get a welfare check and then spend privately an amount roughly equal to the welfare check. So, it was something like 50 million in private spending + 50 million dollars in matching federal funds. Perot declined the matching funds and privately spent ~ 70 million. Today, a a billionaire would literally have to spend a billion dollars(if not more), so a simple billionaire is actually not rich enough. One would have to be a multi-multi-multi billionaire. Of course, multi-multi-multi billionaires have no need for a LP…

  106. robert capozzi

    pf,

    No, I don’t like Bloomberg. I don’t like Bill Kristol, either, but he once said he considered voting for GJ because afterwards, he would not feel like taking a shower. Amash is not people like that’s cup of tea, but he’d be not nearly as dangerous as DJT or BS from *their* perspective. Things could get QUITE dire under them, but a level-headed lessarchist like JA is more likely to have better instincts.

    A well-funded congressman who is bright, articulate, ethical (by all indications) vs 2 Septuagenarians wackos who happen to have an R or D label could breakthrough. It’s a long shot, certainly.

    Adding a few thousand to the NAP cadres is hardly worth the effort, in my estimation.

    Yes, there’ve long been knuckle-dragging types who can get sucked up in a Demagogue’s wake. What shocks me as a lot of otherwise bright people are buying into Trumpism. Everyone has blindspots, but these folks of whom I speak were previously discerning and analytical. They seem almost brainwashed to me.

    Haven’t you run into people you’d previously respected who now suffer from Trump Trance?

  107. paulie

    The conflict between his published position and the LP’s platform was pointed out.

    I don’t think that was a campaign consideration at all after the nomination, and only slightly before. They were much more concerned with what they thought was plausible or disqualifying to large numbers of the general public, not with the LP platform. No one, or practically no one, among DnR candidates cares what’s in their party platform. GJ campaign looked at the LP platform in the same way.

  108. paulie

    POTUS campaign spending circa 1992 was quite a bit less versus today.

    Yes, that’s why I said “willing to spend a lot of money – much more than Perot did to be relatively equivalent in spending to Trump and the Democratic nominee”

  109. paulie

    so a simple billionaire is actually not rich enough. One would have to be a multi-multi-multi billionaire. Of course, multi-multi-multi billionaires have no need for a LP…

    Simple billionaires don’t either. Anyone willing and able to spend 5-10 million or more has zero need for the LP.

  110. paulie

    Yes, there’ve long been knuckle-dragging types who can get sucked up in a Demagogue’s wake. What shocks me as a lot of otherwise bright people are buying into Trumpism. Everyone has blindspots, but these folks of whom I speak were previously discerning and analytical. They seem almost brainwashed to me.

    Again, the same holds true of other conmen, cults, demagogues etc. They sucker brilliant people, too. Brilliant people, it turns out, have gnawing emotional needs that these types are good at manipulating. Intellect is a thin veneer, and brilliant people are great at coming up with rationalizations for being manipulated at an emotional level.

  111. robert capozzi

    P,

    I dunno, outright political demagogues seem kinda rare to me. I’m thinking George Wallace, Joseph McCarthy, and Huey Long. My impression is that most of their support came from the lumpen.

    I know one woman who used to work for RP1 on the Hill, who is bright, reasonably cosmo, and yet she’s now all about Trump and his transparently ridiculous narrative.

    Religious cults are different. is my sense. They do prey on some brighter bulbs. They’re selling something different.

  112. dL

    Simple billionaires don’t either. Anyone willing and able to spend 5-10 million or more has zero need for the LP.

    Well, it would depend on the race/office. Generally, anyone who has the money to be competitive for a particular race would have the means to procure ballot access as an independent for that race. For POTUS, however, 5-10 million is simply not enough to be competitive, so it wouldn’t make much sense to waste your nut on procuring something that is already available.

  113. dL

    Yes, that’s why I said “willing to spend a lot of money – much more than Perot did to be relatively equivalent in spending to Trump and the Democratic nominee”

    I was elaborating, not objecting…

  114. paulie

    I dunno, outright political demagogues seem kinda rare to me. I’m thinking George Wallace, Joseph McCarthy, and Huey Long. My impression is that most of their support came from the lumpen.

    They’re not as rare globally. In the US, religion, medical quackery and business investment have been more common for that sort of thing but that may be changing.

    Religious cults are different. is my sense. They do prey on some brighter bulbs. They’re selling something different.

    Not entirely different.

  115. paulie

    For POTUS, however, 5-10 million is simply not enough to be competitive, so it wouldn’t make much sense to waste your nut on procuring something that is already available.

    Unless that plus your name recognition or ability to propel yourself to same leads you to enough outside donations to carry you through the rest of your race, or if your goal is to, say, launder money through a campaign that has no chance of success so you don’t need much beyond ballot access.

    Running for LP nomination has risks (being defeated for the nomination) and costs (having to at least pretend to be somewhat in line with party views to get the nomination, travel to state conventions, being attacked with the party platform, being attacked for not being in line with the party platform, greater popularity of independent ballot label). It can easily cost more than 5-10 million in general election fundraising potential, and the LP base is good for maybe a million there.

    If you can put 5-10 million into ballot access on the front end and get decent media ramp up, you can more than make up the 5-10 in FR on the back, unless you rely on gimmicks like government matching funds and misrepresenting what 5% in a general election yields. None of that crap panned out well for Johnson though. Of course, this relies on a fairly media savvy and fundraising savvy candidate and team. There’s only so much you can do if you suck on the stump and are not very good in personnel decisions and management, even if you happen to have a bunch of money (or more money than sense).

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I don’t think that was a campaign consideration at all after the nomination, and only slightly before.”

    Correct.

    And that’s the problem.

    “Winning elections” or “maximizing vote totals” are the LP’s means, not the LP’s ends.

    The LP’s ends are about changing policy to match the party’s platform and Statement of Principles.

    When the LP nominates candidates who run against the party’s platform and SoP, the party is nominating candidates who run against the party itself.

    And doing that is stupid.

    If the party gets LUCKY, it’s a wash — nobody notices, nobody cares, and all we did was fuck away yet another election cycle instead of making good use of it.

    On the other hand, to the extent that such candidates do “maximize vote totals” or “win elections,” the party loses ground because its goals have been falsely advertised — damage that now has to be un-done — instead of truthfully promoted.

  117. dL

    I dunno, outright political demagogues seem kinda rare to me

    Demagoguery follows the Heimatschutz state like stink on shit. Why is anyone who has ever picked up a history book surprised by this?

    I know one woman who used to work for RP1 on the Hill, who is bright, reasonably cosmo, and yet she’s now all about Trump and his transparently ridiculous narrative.

    Because conservatism and evangelical christianity have always had a persecution complex vis a vis “the world” and liberal secularism. The the Heimatschutz state has only gas lit this. In the “homeland” it’s not about persuasion; it’s about protection. The homeland serves to protect the judeo-christian identity of “the nation.” Crush the enemy by any means necessary. The enemy is the left. Conservatism had been operating as zombie Reaganism for a generation. It was ripe for a demagogue like Trump. Of course, it certainly helped the Trump cult that he actually won and beat satan herself, Clinton. And the whole thing is very self-reinforcing. The democrats react by lining up their candidates to run a gauntlet of executive orders. Transparent grifter or not, in the context of political domination, no one cares.

  118. George Dance

    tk: ““Winning elections” or “maximizing vote totals” are the LP’s means, not the LP’s ends.
    The LP’s ends are about changing policy to match the party’s platform and Statement of Principles.”

    Yes, Tom. But changing policy can be either an immediate matchup (absolutism) or an incremental move in a libertarian direction (gradualism). You decide between those two options on a case-by-case basis. One consideration is the end: which option is closest to the platform. The other is the means: which option will let the party gain and keep the votes needed to actually influence policy?

    David Bergland ran probably the most absolutist campaign in party history: good on all the ends. But he netted us 1/4 million votes: bad on the means. Gary Johnson’s campaign was absolutist on maybe 3 issues, gradualist on most, and even clearly contradicted the platform on one issue (private business’s right to refuse service to people by race or sexual orientation) – bad on the ends. But he got 4 million votes – good on the means.

    It’s important in 2020 that the Libertarian candidate’s campaign be consistent with the platform and the Statement of Principles. But it’s also important that the party keep the 4 million people who voted for it, and if possible increase it. The LP delegates need to consider both ends and means.

    If the delegates cared only for ends, they’d choose someone like Arvin Vohra, whose message would be in tune with the platform than anyone else: after all, who else would have the courage to speak out against age of consent laws? But from the point of view of the means, that would be disastrous: a candidate campaigning against age of consent laws almost guarantees that no one will even listen to the rest of the message.

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