Libertarian Party Updates

—Libertarian Party regional formation begins today. From the LP Bylaws:

Affiliate parties may, by mutual consent, band together to form “representative regions,” and each such “region” with an aggregate national party sustaining membership of 10% or more shall be entitled to one National Committee representative and one alternate for each 10% of national party sustaining membership. “Representative regions” may be formed or dissolved once every two years during a period beginning 90 days before the beginning of and ending on the second day of the National Convention, and notice of new formations or dissolutions must be given in writing to the national Secretary prior to the close of the Convention at which they take place.

—Brian Holtz tries to provide statistical evidence that being opposed to the Iraq War harms the Libertarian Party. I’m not even looking at his data closely enough to debate it, though. My opinion: Sometimes one has to do the right thing, regardless of the prevailing direction of the political winds. I’m proud to have been opposed to the Iraq War before it was the cool thing to do. And I’m one of those folks described by others as a pragmatist.

From Ballot Access News:

The lawsuit filed in January by the Tennessee Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties has a procedural hearing in federal court on March 17. The case, called Libertarian Party of Tennessee v Thompson, challenges the procedures for new and previously unqualified parties to get on the ballot. No one has used those procedures since 1968. The hearing won’t get to the merits of the case, but will establish the ground rules to proceed.

—Former Alabama LP gubernatorial Loretta Nall has just published a must-read story of her recent attendance at a Federalist Society event in Alabama relating to the Drug War. It’s must-read for those who enjoy her reading style or are concerned about the War on Drugs, at least.


This single article
contains a lot of LP news tidbits:

  • Last week during a meeting at the International House of Pancakes in Benton Harbor, the Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan Executive Committee endorsed Coloma resident Bob Jackson’s bid for the national Libertarian presidential nomination…
  • Jason Gatties of St. Joseph and Bill Bradley of South Haven announced their intention to run for State Representative in the 79th and 80th House Districts, respectively.
  • The third member of the trio is Bill Parker of Dowagiac who announced he will run for sheriff in Cass County.
  • Speaking to Libertarians present at the meeting, Dan Grow, re-elected as chairman of the Southwest Michigan Libertarian Party last month, said, “It is the Michigan Libertarian Party’s goal to have 200 Libertarians running for public office this year in Michigan and we are doing our part.

—The LA Times blog is suggesting that Ron Paul is back in the presidential race. I’m aware that some ardent Ron Paul supporters will suggest that Paul never left the race, but that’s not the way most of the country has perceived it.

But Wednesday he struck a different note. “I will stay in as long as my supporters want me to,” the Texas congressman promised CNN. “And I say as long as the number of volunteers continues to grow, and the money comes in, and there are primaries out there, and they want me to be involved, I am going to stay involved.”

38 Responses to “Libertarian Party Updates”

  1. Andy Says:

    “—Brian Holtz tries to provide statistical evidence that being opposed to the Iraq War harms the Libertarian Party. I’m not even looking at his data closely enough to debate it, though. My opinion: Sometimes one has to do the right thing, regardless of the prevailing direction of the political winds. I’m proud to have been opposed to the Iraq War before it was the cool thing to do. And I’m one of those folks described by others as a pragmatist.”

    LOL! Talk about a self serving agenda. Going by this “logic” the LP should abandon opposition to the War on Drugs and legalized prostitution since a majority of people are not for these things.

    In REALITY, the war in Iraq is very unpopular. The only people who support it are delusional neo-cons, which fortunately do not make up the majority of the population.

  2. Jeffrey Quick Says:

    If people perceive that Paul left, it was due to both the MSM and the Libertarian press. There was nothing in his announcement to suggest he was actually dropping out (as opposed to reallocating resources). A bunch of us had to set David Macko right on that score (would that it were so easy to do on other matters). Truth is, beltway-libertarian actions on the Paul front have sent me screaming into the arms of the paleocon/LRC camp.

  3. Kevin Houston Says:

    “Sometimes one has to do the right thing, regardless of the prevailing direction of the political winds.”

    Exactly!

    A majority of voters in the ante-bellum south thought certain humans could be owned as slaves.

    A majority of voters in 1938 Germany thought Jews should be expelled or outright killed.

    A majority of people there at the time, thought Jesus should be crucified.

    When a majority support evil, that doesn’t make it righteous- it only makes it possible.

  4. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Steve,

    I agree that standing up for peace vs. the Iraq War is the right thing to do, and it’s probably good politics as well.

    I do agree with Brian, however, that the revisionist Rothbardian approach is both wrong-headed and false. Being “anti war” feels pretty good, but sometimes a nation should protect itself and its citizens.

    Libertarians should not be pacificists, IMO.

  5. disinter Says:

    being opposed to the Iraq War harms the Libertarian Party.

    Heaven forbid the LP contrast the Republicrats.

  6. Dave Williams Says:

    Defending our freedom and liberty is one thing, nation building at gunpoint is another. I believe the LP should support a strong defensive military, while opposing extremists on the left ‘disinter’, and on the right ‘Eric Dondero’.

  7. Hugh Jass Says:

    I am a libertarian who supports the 2004 platform on most things, except a need for border security. Which of the LP candidates would fit me best?

  8. Andy Says:

    “Libertarians should not be pacificists, IMO.”

    I’m not a pacifist. I just happen to think that this war is bullshit, as are most wars.

  9. Brian Holtz Says:

    Steve, my article doesn’t say that being opposed to the Iraq war “harms the LP”. It says that emphasizing our anti-war position “doesn’t grow” the LP, and offers data from the natural experiment of 2000/2004. Your readers should look at the data and decide for themselves. A more friently URL is http://knowinghumans.net/2007/06/anti-war-doesnt-grow-lp.html.

    My article also nowhere says that the LP should not “do the right thing”. I’ve never said any such thing, so if by chance you think you’re disagreeing with me on that score, you’re not.

  10. Jason Gatties Says:

    Sweet, I got covered at TPW!

  11. Nigel Watt Says:

    Truth is, beltway-libertarian actions on the Paul front have sent me screaming into the arms of the paleocon/LRC camp.

    Me too. Reason Hit & Run isn’t even in my RSS feeds anymore. LewRockwell.com and the LRC blog are, however.

  12. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Um, guys. This isn’t the sign of an active presidential campaign. Are beltway libertarians to blame for Paul chickening out of a presidential forum with Hillary near his congressional district, too?

  13. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “Harms”/”Doesn’t Grow”? If it makes you feel better, “Doesn’t Grow” is fine with me. The point I was trying to make was a much larger one.

  14. Wes Benedict Says:

    Steve Gordon says:
    Um, guys. This isn’t the sign of an active presidential campaign. Are beltway libertarians to blame for Paul chickening out of a presidential forum with Hillary near his congressional district, too?

    Wes says:
    Steve, you mischaracterized the situation. Are beltway libertarians to blame for McCain, Obama, and Huckabee chickening out of this presidential forum?

    I can imagine the possibility Paul might find better use of his time. This won’t put him on the stage with Hillary.

  15. Fred C. Says:

    Nice, we’re back to “no plans” language.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5564853.html

    “I have no plans to do that,” Paul told a small group of reporters before a rally. “I would suspect that if we don’t win, if the trends continue we’re not likely to win, that I will run for Congress.”

  16. johncjackson Says:

    The failures of the Ron Paul campaign and his terrible campaign team ( reminiscent of his previous mismanagement of employees, perhaps?) surely drove me away from “beltway” ( ie, normal humane libertarians) into the arms of the LRC/LVMI “populist” ( meaning not libertarian) states rights ( meaning anti- individual rights) paleo-cons…....

    NOT.

  17. Eric Dondero Says:

    Reason Magazine editor Nick Gillespie was on MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson show on Friday with Pat Buchanan.

    At the outset, Gillsepie said strongly and without trepidation that Ron Paul was “out of the race.”

    I’d say when you have the Number Two movement libertarian in the US (Ed Crane numero uno with Redpath a strong 3rd), saying that he’s out, that probably means he’s indeed out.

    You can see the link for the clip at www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com Scroll down a couple articles.

  18. Eric Dondero Says:

    Andy, do you or do you not support the death penalty for those who commit murders here in the United States, most especially those who muder children, and serial killers?

    If you are not a pacifist, then surely you would be pro-death penalty at least?

    Pacifist = Anti-Death Penalty, Anti-War

    Honest & Sincere Anti-War non-Pacifist = Anti-War, Pro-Death Penalty

    I note that Ron Paul is both Anti-War and Anti-Death Penalty.

  19. Eric Dondero Says:

    Dave, what would have happened if the US Military had invaded Iraq in 2003, found Saddam, captured him, and then proceeded to undertake a complete and immediate withdrawal of all forces?

    Complete and utter chaos and anarchy and murder on a scale never seen before in human history. It would have made the Killing Fields of Cambodia look like a picnic.

    And imagine the outcry from world opinion, the US media, and American liberals and Democrats.

    George W. Bush would have been literally run out of office, for causing such massive bloodshed.

    There were three choices:

    1. Leave Saddam Hussein in power, with his WMD program growing and growing by the year, and his two even worse sons prepared to take over the thrown upon his death. Translation: another 50 to 60 years at least of
    a Hitler like Dictator in the heart of the Middle East with nuclear weapons that could destroy Israel, and even southern Europe.

    2. Invade Iraq, get rid of Saddam, and help the country to build a young democracy. Price: 4000 American dead and billions of dollars of American taxpayer money spent.

    3. Invade Iraq, capture Saddam, and leave immediately, and be responsible for the greatest human carnage in the history of civilization.

    I’d say option 2, is clearly the best choice.

  20. Robert Capozzi Says:

    I’ll bite: I’m anti-death penalty because mistakes have been made and that penalty is irreversible. I don’t need to get into the “morality” of eye for an eye. My practical objection is sufficient, although I do note that the death penalty does nothing to bring back the victim.

    Anti-war is a continuum, I’d suggest. Most US wars have been disproportional and wrong-headed, but not all are, IMO. Heck, under the right circumstances, I might even buy UN-type actions to stop genocides.

  21. Eric Dondero Says:

    Andy, was there ever a War in our Nation’s 235 year history that you supported?

    1776?

    War of 1812 when the British burned down Washington?

    Barbary Pirates in Northern Africa?

    Mexican-American War when we won the Southwest?

    Civil War which freed the slaves?

    Spanish-American War when we won Puerto Rico?

    WWI

    WWII against the Nazis, when the Japanese directly attacked us at Pearl Harbor and occupied part of Alaska?

    Korea?

    Vietnam?

    Cold War against the Soviets?

    Grenada?

    Panama?

    Persian Gulf War when Saddam threated our oil reserves?

    War in Afghanistan in retaliation for 9/11?

  22. Dave Williams Says:

    Eric,

    I agree that our survival as a nation demands warfare at times. (Ok, let’s go get the terrorists, the very ones we created.) But that fact should not give a POTUS a blank check to nation build. I grew up watching this entire middle-east scenario unfold. I was part of the ‘Cold War’ military & I worked as a government contractor for many years, several on the ‘tip of the spear’. Those countries over there need to handle those affairs, not the US military. We need to stop meddling and let those people work out their own issues.

    Our main concern politically during the cold war was that if we used to much force, we would push that region to the Soviets and loose all of that oil. One example out of many would be Ronnie pulling back from Lebanon after the Beirut barracks bombing. He did this not because we were soft or didn’t have any targets but because our nation is addicted to oil. And he knew our very survival depended on that oil. So, he played the game.

    After the failure of the USSR, we escalated everything, after all, who was left to challenge us? Our involvement in that part of the world has done nothing but stir up a hornets nest, give birth to extremist regimes, terrorist cells, $100 barrel oil, etc… The sad thing is we could have avoided all of that and more.

    Here’s what our government should have done…
    They should have mandated transitioning to alternative fuel sources 30 years ago as national & economic security issues. We’d probably be totally free of needing other countries resources at this time had we done that. We could have avoided pissing off over half the world, the loss of so many lives and the need for total war. Now we must continue to play the same global resource grab game due to improper planning.

    ‘Iraq II’ is a play at slowing the hemorrhaging, at making up for the mother of all fuck-ups. Bush started pushing his energy agenda hard the last few years for a reason. Also, just look at all of the major POTUS candidates platforms for energy independence, they are stepping on each others dicks (yes, even hers) to push this through because they know the gravity of the situation. ‘Iraq II’ isn’t about stopping terrorism or bringing freedom, those items are just feel good side affects. (Also, I know the NEO-CONS want to believe it has a lot to do with their Zion dream, so that’s why they signed on.) But in reality, it is simply a measure designed to give us the time we need to become free of foreign oil, and of course, escape the ‘peak oil’ situation. We must have fuel, we must remain a superpower, or the world, as unbelievable as it sounds, will be worse off without us.

    I blame all of the administrations over the past 40 years for the incompetent handling of our foreign & domestic policies.

    Cue the hindsight is 20/20, & Dave sucks remarks.

  23. Eric Dondero Says:

    No, Dave doesn’t “suck.” It was a nice history. But hardly relevent.

    What does this all have to do with Radical Muslims wanting to take over Europe, already rampaging in Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and running one of their own for POTUS under the guise of a nice friendly downhome Senator from Illinois?

  24. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Wes,

    My key point is that beltway libertarians (most of whom, at least of my acquaintence, do actively support Ron Paul) aren’t to blame for the perception that the Paul campaign is drawing down.

  25. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Robert,

    This military veteran and gun enthusiast is far from being a pacifist. I am, however, against preemptive wars, empire and nation building.

  26. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Steve,

    I’m not a vet and have never fired a gun, but I too am not a pacificist. I agree on empire and nation building. I can’t say I’m 100% opposed to any preemption ever, but certainly I oppose Iraq. I would like to see evidence of an imminent attack, of course.

  27. Eric Dondero Says:

    Stephen, how are you on the death penalty?

    The co-worker of the wife of your own Alabama Libertarian Party Vice-Chairman was shot and killed by the Radical Muslim Beltway Sniper John Muhammed at a suburban Birmingham Liquor Store in 2003. The wife of the AL Vice Chair herself was shot in the neck and crippled for life.

    Would you support the death penalty for John Muhammed?

  28. Eric Dondero Says:

    Again, if you support the Death Penalty but oppose most Wars, or only Wars in self-defense of the Nation, you are not considered to be a “Pacifist.”

    If however, you oppose all Wars and also oppose the Death Penalty for Capital Murder cases, you cannot escape the label. Whether you like it or not, you are by definition a Pacifist, no if, ands or buts.

    Stephen, Andy, David, Robert, others here how ‘bout it? Let’s get you all on record? Death Penalty opponents or not?

  29. Dave Williams Says:

    “No, Dave doesn’t “suck.” It was a nice history. But hardly relevent.

    What does this all have to do with Radical Muslims wanting to take over Europe, already rampaging in Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and running one of their own for POTUS under the guise of a nice friendly downhome Senator from Illinois?”

    Eric,

    1.) Yes it was a bit of history, however, I disagree with you on its relevancy. The Statists playbook obviously needs an enema!

    2.) Those countries finding themselves under attack from within by any radicals, not just ‘Muslim extremists’, need to handle it just like a police action if crime is involved. Remember, all countries at some point in time are changed by demographics…just as when our ancestors the Spaniards, the French and the English took over the Americas. Also, as it is now within the USA. We must get immigrants assimilated ASAP or kick them out. The quicker we bring them up the financial ladder & out of poverty, the quicker they start voting for less government, less taxes, etc…

    3.) We all know what we’re facing. Those cities you mention, Paris, for example, the French are rather bigoted as I recall. When peoples are oppressed into indentured servitude and are not allowed a path to greater achievements…revolution is a natural process. Which brings us to BHO. I think that this guy is leading a populist based revolt, nothing more. It’s been proven that almost none of his supporters know of any of his prior accomplishments, other than the fact that he is a Senator, and he’s about to be our next POTUS. I can tell you this, if push were to come to shove from his administration, I’ll be one of the first on the front lines trying to stop him. After all, isn’t that what are founders intended as they granted us the right to keep and to bare arms?

    4.) “Death Penalty opponents, Pacifist or not?” I’ve always been a self defense advocate. I never started any fights, but I damn sure did finish some. If the death penalty is a tool that is properly used, I think it does serve a valuable purpose as a deterrent. I’m from Texas, we have the death penalty, I support it. If our U.S. interests are attacked we reserve the right, as does any sovereign nation, to retaliate in self defense. So, I’m not a Pacifist.
    I’d like to point out that there are inherent problems with the death penalty as there is with going to war. And that is why it is imperative that our court systems and federal government be overhauled to prevent previous ‘historical’ mistakes from recurring. No system is ever perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we stop trying to perfect them.

  30. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Eric,

    I’m not evading your question, but don’t have time to answer in detail at the moment. It also requires a bit of depth and can’t be answered in a quick soundbyte. Give me a call if you want more; you have my number.

    Have you ever watched a movie where every scene shot (in multiple cities) occurs in neighborhoods which you know well? This is such a case for me.

    Remember, I’m personally connected (was elected Vice Chair of the Alabama LP a few times and am the current Chair) to the specific case you brought up. In addition to Alabama, it’s well known that I spend a lot of time in DC/NOVA/Maryland. What you may not know is that I have spent a lot of time in Washington state, where the two culprits allegedly met. For a whole lot of reasons, this particular case hits very close to home for me.

    Another not-so-well-known fact about my life is that I worked, for a short period of time during a break in military service, on death row in a state prison. I’ve met mass murderers face-to-face and actually spent a fair amount of time around a very heinous one named John Joubert. I was involved in the Boy Scout program (was an Assistant Scoutmaster in Lincoln until I went on active duty) in Nebraska, too—providing yet another tie to this set of murders. I probably met Joubert at some event in the early 80s, a few years prior to when I heard him bragging about the very literal taste of young boys in a death row setting.

    Joubert was just as Christian as Muhammad was Islamic, in my personal opinion. Sometimes people of all religions are equally disturbed. Take a look at the treatment of the Cathars by the Holy Roman Church (or the rest of the Inquisition). I’m not indicting all Islam, Judaism or Christianity—they all have their positives and all have their negatives. Here’s a simple fact for you to digest: Some folks are bad; some are good. One can’t condemn an entire race or belief system on the actions of a few depraved individual members.

    A quick short answer is that I prefer the death penalty to be administered up close and personal. Depending upon the range, proper administration of the death penalty to someone who messes with my family or property would properly be executed in the following order: my bare hands, .357, .44 or 30.06 (and my scope is properly sighted in—although I find the thought of shooting someone in the back somewhat distasteful).

    When the government becomes involved, it becomes more complicated. Bad jury pools, deal cutting with prosecuters, and even torture cloud the picture on potentially “good convictions.” In many cases, DNA evidence provides some great solutions. Unfortunately, the government often fights compelling empirical evidence in order to hang someone (anyone) quickly.

    Specifically, in the Muhammad/Malvo case, government incompetence or overreaction doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve no problem with the execution of either of them.

    However, I’d strongly support some major changes to our judicial system to ensure that sentencing issues ranging from the death penalty to the disparity of sentences between white and black people (i.e. powdered vs. crack cocaine) are more properly administered. I’m opposed to executing seriously mentally retarded people who don’t understand the nature of the crime and are no longer a threat to anyone. I’m also opposed to releasing such people back on to the streets. I believe that anyone charged with a crime, most especially capital ones, deserves reasonable representation in court.

    If we, as a society, are going to execute someone, we’d damn better insure that there is no chance that we have made some mistake along the way. We need to balance our lust for vengeance with a modicum of intelligence and compassion. Likewise, we need to consider the desires of the victim/family of the victim.

  31. Andy Says:

    “Eric Dondero Says:

    February 24th, 2008 at 10:13 am
    Andy, was there ever a War in our Nation’s 235 year history that you supported?

    1776?”

    The only war that I would have supported would have been the revolution against England.

  32. Andy Says:

    “Stephen, Andy, David, Robert, others here how ‘bout it? Let’s get you all on record? Death Penalty opponents or not?”

    I support the death penalty for politicians and government bureacrats who violate the Constitition.

  33. Andy Says:

    “Eric Dondero Says:

    February 24th, 2008 at 10:02 am
    Andy, do you or do you not support the death penalty for those who commit murders here in the United States, most especially those who muder children, and serial killers?

    If you are not a pacifist, then surely you would be pro-death penalty at least?

    Pacifist = Anti-Death Penalty, Anti-War

    Honest & Sincere Anti-War non-Pacifist = Anti-War, Pro-Death Penalty

    I note that Ron Paul is both Anti-War and Anti-Death Penalty.”

    I don’t have a problem in principle with executing murders, however, the problem is – as Stephen Gordon pointed out – that the criminal justice system is not run in a fair manner. Considering how screwed up the criminal justice system is can we really trust the death penalty to be handled right?

    The best time to give out the death penalty is while the crime is taking place, which is why I’m a strong advocate of the right to keep & bear arms.

    I am not neccessarily anti-war, I am just wise to the fact that the majority of wars are either based on lies or could have been avoided. As General Smedley Butler said, “War is a racket.” and as Randolph Bourne said, “War is the health of the state.”

  34. Dave Williams Says:

    “1776? The only war that I would have supported would have been the revolution against England.”

    Andy, don’t be ridiculous. 1941 SHOULD BE on your list!

  35. Andy Says:

    “Andy, don’t be ridiculous. 1941 SHOULD BE on your list!”

    It is not on there because it is a war that could have and should have been avoided.

  36. Dave Williams Says:

    Hahahaha….Enemy at the gates Andy. Are telling me that Pearl Harbor was executed by the US Gov like your bullshit 9/11 conspiracy?

  37. Eric Dondero Says:

    And the Japanese never invaded and captured and held for two years the Alaska Aleutian Islands chain either. That was just some misguided whale boaters from Japan who lost their way. Oh, yeah, and those guns they had were for shooting seals.

  38. Andy Says:

    “Eric Dondero Says:

    February 26th, 2008 at 9:20 pm
    And the Japanese never invaded and captured and held for two years the Alaska Aleutian Islands chain either. That was just some misguided whale boaters from Japan who lost their way. Oh, yeah, and those guns they had were for shooting seals.”

    I never said that the Japense didn’t do any of that stuff. My point is that it is part of the historical record that the FDR adminstration baited the Japense into attacking Pearl Harbor and that they even knew that the attack was comming and even knew when it was comming and that they ALLOWED it to happen WITHOUT BOTHERING TO NOTIFY THE MILITARY FORCES THAT WERE STATIONED THERE. The FDR adminstration set up their own military. This was TREASON.

    The fact of the matter is that World War II could have been avoided.

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