Gravel and Root get scrappy over libertarianism

Joseph K. Cooper reports that Wayne Allyn Root may have some competition in his bid for the Libertarian Party nomination: Mike Gravel.

Root:

“[Gravel]’s not a Libertarian,” said Root. “There’s nothing about him that is Libertarian. I don’t think the Libertarian Party has any interest in a senator that was defeated twenty-five years ago who doesn’t believe in anything that resembles Libertarian philosophy.”

Although Root has won several Libertarian Party straw polls and non-binding primaries, the entrance of a high-profile figure like Gravel will almost certainly shake up the Libertarian field. An expected announcement by former Ga. Congressman Bob Barr may also seriously hurt Root’s chances of securing the nomination.

“The biggest issue [for Libertarians] is cutting government dramatically and Mike Gravel is a big-government, liberal Democrat. He doesn’t want to cut government dramatically; he spent his entire senate career trying to grow government. He’s the exact wrong guy for the Libertarian Party.”

Root added, “I’m flattered that he’s joining our party, he must think the Libertarian Party offers him something. I want everybody in the world to think it’s a good party and open up and bring more people in, give us more exposure, all good things. But he will never be the nominee of the Libertarian Party.”

Gravel:

Skyler McKinley, national media director of Gravel’s campaign, disputed that today.

“Of course Wayne Allyn Root is going to say that,” said McKinley. “Root has been searching for the nomination for a long time and he has been successful in doing this because he’s gotten a lot of media attention. Sen. Gravel is the biggest thing to hit the Libertarian Party in a long time.”

“Wayne Allyn Root is in a difficult position because he’s a pro-war Libertarian and that’s not going to sell very well. Sen. Gravel is very anti-war, he’s very anti-military industrial complex and there’s nothing more Libertarian than that.”

According to McKinley, Gravel had always intended to run for president this year as a third-party candidate, but had remained in the Democratic Party until recently so he could gain “debate time.”

“The debate time has been the most valuable tool in our campaign,” said McKinley.

While I like both Root and Gravel, I find the debate between the recent former Republican and the recent former Democrat interesting. Like two kids on the playground: I’m a libertarian, you’re not. Am so! Are not!

I think it’s time for them to duke it out, armed only with a set of YouTubes.

Root on the Iraq War (towards the end):

Gravel on health care:

78 Responses to “Gravel and Root get scrappy over libertarianism”

  1. Skyler McKinley Says:

    What I find hilarious is that Root calls out Senator Gravel’s record of public service, having never held office himself.

    The Senator can’t wait to debate Mr. Root on the 5th.

  2. G.E. Says:

    Of course Skyler criticizes Root for never receiving a government welfare check. This is one of the few good things about Root.

    Neither of the guys are truly libertarian, but Root is at least somewhat close to the Cato version of libertarianism.

  3. Skyler McKinley Says:

    The Senator received a paycheck during his time in the Senate.

    He no longer gets any benefits from his time in Congress. He does not receive a Senate pension, though some medical bills are paid by the VA, as the Senator served in the US army during the Korean War.

  4. Brent Burk Says:

    My birthday is on the 5th, I expect a great present. Barr announcing his candidacy and him attending the debate and owning face.

  5. Hugh Jass Says:

    Keep fighting Root and Gravel! Keep exposing each others’ libertarian deficiencies! Improve the odds of Barr or Ruwart winning the nomination.

  6. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Two spurless cowboys fighting over the saloon doors. Hilarious to watch and utterly meaningless in the end since neither will get in.

  7. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I’d rather an antiwar socialist over a pro-war … well, war is socialist, so there’s really no such thing as a pro-war person who’s for “smaller government” or “less taxes.”

    Thankfully, Root and Gravel are not the only choices. We have three decent choices: Kubby, Phillies, and Ruwart. And two “might have been” great choices: Ron Paul and Karen Kwiatkowski.

    We also have some pretend candidates, who are running fantasy races in their own minds: Milnes, Smith, Link, Imperato.

  8. Dave Williams Says:

    “Of course Skyler criticizes Root for never receiving a government welfare check. This is one of the few good things about Root.

    Neither of the guys are truly libertarian, but Root is at least somewhat close to the Cato version of libertarianism.”

    G.E. = not a moron.

  9. Dave Williams Says:

    Skylar,
    Coming from the GOP to the LP was an easy transition for me, the LP has always stood for less government, less spending, less taxation, etc…a talk the GOP talked but never walked (Bush did get some tax cuts through, but it was in the face of going to war, increasing our debt and while not cutting spending).

    Root left the GOP for the same reasons I and many others did. So it is easier for me to believe WAR than a former big government liberal like Gravel (whom I might add appeared to be a pissed off OLD man to me during those Dem debates, not very electable).

    If Root isn’t nominated by the LNC, I will examine the chosen one and determine if I can vote for that person. However, it will not be Gravel under any circumstance.

  10. Dave Williams Says:

    “Wayne Allyn Root is in a difficult position because he’s a pro-war Libertarian and that’s not going to sell very well. Sen. Gravel is very anti-war, he’s very anti-military industrial complex and there’s nothing more Libertarian than that.”

    Such generalized terminology…’pro-war’...’anti-war’ no gray areas, (same can be said for the ‘pro-life’/’pro-choice’ argument). Don’t you understand english? Just look at Root’s Youtube video above, is that pro-war? Hell no! Pro-war would sound more like John McCain…wanting to stay in Iraq for “50-100 years” if that’s what it takes. The GOP fucked up and bit off more than we can chew…Root just wants a logical end to an illogical situation. You liberal democrats, and that’s what you are, want to cut and run helter skelter from a mess that we created!

    I agree that the MIC needs to be reigned in and cut down to size, but not the size Gravel would have…damn, we need a technologically superior force for defense….

    PRO-SELF DEFENSE is very libertarian! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was actually pro-war. No sane person would want war, but sane people want to know that if we are attacked we can defend ourselves.

  11. Dave Williams Says:

    Here’s the answer to funding healthcare GRAVEL; Stop buying shit you don’t need America…and go out and buy yourself health insurance. There, how easy does it fucking get.

  12. Dave Williams Says:

    Individual responsibility, freedom and a sound currency…is all this country needs…but our ‘Republicrat’ big government is slowly but surely denying us all three.

  13. Eric Dondero Says:

    Is Ruwart a “libertarian”? She’s seems like a New Agey weak-kneed liberal to me.

    Never hear a peep out of her about protecting gun rights, or aboloshing the IRS, or cutting massive spending.

    It’s all touchy feely blah, blah, blah, bring the world together garbage.

    Gravel has his defecits, but at least he’s more specific on policies.

  14. Eric Dondero Says:

    Root is far from being “pro-War.”

    I know a lot of libertarian conservatives who won’t support him cause he sounds like a typical liberal libertarian on foreign policy, saying that we need to “pull-out of Iraq,” and that the “Bush strategy in Iraq has been a failure…”

    Huh! How’s that? We caught Saddam Hussein. What more do you want?

    Perhaps the greatest military victory in the history of the US. Imagine us catching Hitler in 1945.

    Root is very much a centrist on the libertarian spectrum on foreign policy. Calling him “Pro-War” is just absurd.

  15. Eric Dondero Says:

    Sipos, and I’d support a Pro-War on Islamo-Fascism socialist before I’d support someone who wants to hand our country over to the Radical Islamists.

    I’d much rather live under the opression of Euro-style socialism, than Islamic radicals who want to cut our heads off for the tiniest violations of Sharia Law.

    Have you seen the new Geert Wilders film FITNA? Watch it!

    One seen a burqa clad women in a soccer stadium is shot in the head. Her crime? Walking outside her home without a male escort.

    Is this the kind of government you want to have ruling us here in the United States???

  16. Jerry S. Says:

    LOL-Skyler, seems your man has touched a nerve with some of these World W.A.R. III GOPers. I know you and the Senator aren’t worried. Welcome to the LP by the way. I and tens of thousands more are glad to have you !

    I have watched political debates a long time, even back when Mike was earning his Senate check. Think Reagan even debated Anderson before he debated Carter in those days. I thought Mike did an excellent job against the Dems corparate candidates and actually tried to enter into a debate against the scripted opposition. However when he attacked the military industrial complex on GE’s propaganda tool, I knew it was but a matter of time until they excluded him. He truly deserves respect however for “speaking truth to power”.

    I certainly expect the Senator to be treated fairly and receive equal time at all LP debates in which he participates. Again, welcome and enjoy the race to the nomination! We spectators sure intend too…

  17. Robert Capozzi Says:

    This “scrap” is dysfunctional, and yet, like the roadside wreck, I can’t take my eyes off it.

  18. George Donnelly Says:

    > “Sen. Gravel is the biggest thing to hit the Libertarian Party in a long time.”

    Oh get over yourself.

    I think we can find an LP candidate who is both against the war AND a libertarian.

    I suppose when Hillary loses to Obama she too will join the LP? WTF.

  19. A Says:

    Neither seem to want to deal with reality: neither of them are going to win the nomination.

    Ruwart 2008!

  20. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Dondero: “We caught Saddam Hussein. ... Perhaps the greatest military victory in the history of the US.”

    It’s because of idiot statements like this that no one—in Libertarian or Republican circles—takes Dondero seriously.

  21. Roscoe Says:

    I don’t understand the “fascist” part of “Islamofascism.” How are these terrorist/murderers “fascist?”

  22. David F. Nolan Says:

    Interesting that Root says Gravel “is not a Libertarian” when he (Root) is the only one of the serous and semi-serious contenders (excluding newcomer Gravel) for the LP nod who has NOT signed the Restore ‘04 petition. Kubby, Smith, Hess, Ruwart and Phillies have all stated that they favor restoring our traditional, issue-specific party platform that was destroyed by a group of malcontents in 2006. Root has not, even though that would be the easiest way for him to show that he’s a real Libertarian and not a Republican in Libertarian clothing.

    Based on meeting with him once, I’d say that Root is a likable guy, but he’s fallen in with the wrong crowd. He’s been misled into believing that the so-called “reform” libertarians are the majority within the LP, and they are not. By aligning with that faction, he virtually assures that he will not get the nomination.

  23. dodsworth Says:

    One seen a burqa clad women in a soccer stadium is shot in the head. Her crime? Walking outside her home without a male escort.

    Unintended inrony alert. That kind of thing is going right now in Afghanistan, an Islamo-fascist regime that Dondero uncritically supports and I (and Ron Paul) oppose.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    There’s no doubt that both Gravel and Root deviate significantly from anything resembling a Libertarian “plumb line.” Tolerance for such deviations, by type and degree, varies from Libertarian to Libertarian.

    One thing that it’s important to look at is how the candidates comport themselves with the media when discussing their candidacies:

    – Root goes out of his way to highlight his DISagreement with the LP on foreign policy (to such a degree that Repugly hatehead Glenn Beck called his spiel “conservative porn”) and to pitch the LP as a convenient one-time protest vote for disgruntled Republicans, whom he still portrays as “better than the Democrats.”
    – Gravel goes out of his way to highlight his AGREEMENT with the LP on foreign policy, and has now publicly written off the Rs and Ds as two heads of the same hydra.

    Obviously, both are interested in using the LP to advance their own agendas, but at least Gravel seems to be trying to offer the LP a win-win deal. The difference between Gravel and Root is the difference between potential symbiote and actual parasite.

  25. Nigel Watt Says:

    Never hear a peep out of her about protecting gun rights, or aboloshing the IRS, or cutting massive spending.

    I knew you were stupid, but I didn’t know you were deaf.

  26. Brian Holtz Says:

    Tom, each of the http://libertarianmajority.net/major-schools-of-libertarianism has its own particular “plumb line” (of varying precision). Root is arguably closer to the Reason/Cato plumb line than Gravel is to his nearest libertarian plumb line, which would be something like that of the geolibertarian Democratic Freedom Caucus. If Gravel would just say that his education and healthcare safety net should only be provided at the local community level and only financed through community collection of ground rent, then it seems he’d be as good a geolibertarian as Root is a Reason/Cato cosmolibertarian.

    David, if reformers/moderates aren’t the majority within the LP, then why did the PlatCom draft’s reform/moderate planks get 80% – 90% approval in the survey results that came out this week?

  27. frank Says:

    WAR is as he states in his informercial errr fireside chat a Republican and he believes the Libertarian Party is “the new Republican Party” enough said. Phillies Ruwart Kubby and let’s not leave out Jingozian all have something to say. I wish we could get more discussion about Jingozian his website has some good information about his stanc on issues and a workable 5 year plan to www.resetamerica.com

  28. Brian Holtz Says:

    Mr. Nolan, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand you support Rob Power’s 31-plank platform proposal, which slashes at least 8,000 of the 18,000 words in the 62-plank 2004 platform that your petitioners supposedly want restored. If you agree with Rob that nearly half the 2004 platform was dead weight, it seems that you two are nearly as “malcontent” about the 2004 platform as the Portland delegates were. One difference is that no Portland delegate voted with the knowledge that their vote would remove a single word from the Platform rather than just change the retention margin. By contrast, Rob’s draft deliberately takes a chainsaw to nearly half of the words that your petitioners said they wanted restored as a starting point. Remind me not have you guys “restore” any of my family heirlooms or old photos. :-)

    Also, I notice that for most of the places where the 2006 platform rewrote parts of the 2004 platform, Rob’s draft chooses the 2006 language adopted by the “malcontents” over the allegedly classic 2004 language. Rob’s draft has entire sentences and paragraphs (and nearly one entire plank) consisting of novel language never vetted by any previous platform cycle. By contrast, only two clauses in the PlatCom’s proposal are as novel as that. I estimate that only half of Rob’s draft consists of language restored from deleted 2004 planks—which ironically is roughly the same ratio for the PlatCom’s proposal. Indeed, less than 1/5 of the PlatCom’s Pure Principles proposal consists of language that wasn’t in the 2004 Platform. That’s right, the PlatCom proposal restores the full spectrum of Libertarian principles, using language that is 80% 2004 by volume. Elsewhere on TPW, radicals like Alex Peak and Tom Knapp are pointing out that signing the Restore04 petition shouldn’t be assumed to imply support for Rob’s synthetic platform.

    Will the real Restore04 draft please stand up? :-)

    P.S. David, are you sure you’ve actually read the PlatCom’s draft? Before Vegas you made seven specific assertions about the contents of our draft, and as I document at http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/02/platform-committee-meets-friday.html, six of those claims were flatly wrong.

    The one thing you got right was saying that our draft doesn’t mention Iraq. But guess what word was not among the 18,000 in the 2004 platform? “Iraq”. And guess what word is not among the 10,000 in Rob’s platform proposal? “Iraq”. Doesn’t that make you 0 for 7 in your specific criticisms of our draft?

    Note that the PlatCom’s Pure Principles platform does say: “The United States should both abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances. American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and its defense against attack from abroad. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

    The business of repairing our Platform is serious work. Let’s do it based on facts, and not on false claims or bait-and-switch bandwagon tactics.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Brian,

    I try to be careful in my choice of words, and the phrase I used was not “libertarian plumb line” but rather “Libertarian plumb line.” That upper-case “L” indicates that I am positing a partisan, rather than ideological standard.

    What would be the content of a partisan Libertarian plumb line? I can think of two reasonable standards:

    1) Partisanship per se.

    Root has officially (per the FEC) been a candidate since last November. He made a false-start announcement last May. And his talkup as a prospective candidate began in December of 2006. At arguably more than a year into his presidential campaign, he still actively promotes the Republican Party and the idea that the Libertarian Party is a mere adjunct of or temporary diversion from that party.

    Gravel joined the LP nomination race a week ago, and has already publicly stated that both the Democratic and Republican parties are FUBAR and that the LP represents his vision as a candidate.

    Which of these two would you regard as more attuned to the LP on the partisanship axis?

    2) Emphasis of agreement rather than disagreement with the LP’s platform.

    Root: Has gone from “yay Iraq” to “Iraq is the wrong war, Iran is the right war” to “kinda sort non-interventionist, but let me talk some good old conservative porn for the war on terror at you” (including on CNN) in less than a year.

    Gravel: Non-interventionism and opposition to the military-industrial complex, both before and after his partisan jump, and emphasizing that rather than, say, his health care ideas since making the jump (including on CNN) a week ago.

    Root and Gravel both support parts of the LP platform. Root and Gravel both oppose parts of the LP platform. Root emphasizes his disagreements. Gravel emphasizes his agreements.

  30. Andy Says:

    “Root:

    ‘[Gravel]’s not a Libertarian,’ said Root. ‘There’s nothing about him that is Libertarian. I don’t think the Libertarian Party has any interest in a senator that was defeated twenty-five years ago who doesn’t believe in anything that resembles Libertarian philosophy.’”

    Mike Gravel is not a purist libertarian, or even a purist minarchist/constitutionalist libertarian, however, he does hold SOME libertarian views, so I don’t think that it is fair for Root to say that there is nothing libertarian about him.

    Also, it is not like Root is a purist himself. Root may be more libertarian than Gravel, but he’s not a purist.

  31. Dave Williams Says:

    “– Root goes out of his way to highlight his DISagreement with the LP on foreign policy (to such a degree that Repugly hatehead Glenn Beck called his spiel “conservative porn”) and to pitch the LP as a convenient one-time protest vote for disgruntled Republicans, whom he still portrays as “better than the Democrats.”

    Knapp,
    So last night I’m watching DR. PAUL on the GLENN BECK SHOW, does that imply that Dr. Paul is AFU, guilty by association, fraternizing with the enemy, a flip flopper or just plain loony?

    And when you refer to Beck’s ‘conservative porn’ comments (complete w/ generic porn background music during Root’s recent radio interview I might add), you are presenting it completely out of context. It’s a syndicated radio show, it’s informative & it’s entertainment (I personally thought it was damn funny). Isn’t the LP ‘Fiscally Conservative & Socially Tolerant’? That statement in itself sounds like ‘conservative porn’ to most Americans.

    Are you sure you’re not in need of some psycho therapy?

  32. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Dave,

    Ron Paul is a Republican. He isn’t “fraternizing” with the enemy, he IS the enemy, at least in terms of partisan affiliation. Even if he’s ideologically libertarian (which he is at least to some unspecified greater degree than Root or Gravel), when he speaks he’s clearly representing the GOP, not the LP.

    To my recollection, when Glenn Beck referred to Root’s comments as “conservative porn,” he wasn’t referring to “fiscal conservatism,” he was referring to Root’s uber-GOP “Islamo-Fascism” Fairy Tale twaddle. And he was holding himself out as a representative of the LP, not of the GOP.

    For that matter, I regard the whole “fiscally conservative, socially tolerant” slogan as an exceedingly poor one. Libertarianism is about freedom, not about trying to out-do the other parties at their own talking points.

  33. Brian Holtz Says:

    Tom, it’s a poorly-worded slogan, but it’s our best slogan concept. Much better wording is any of:

    – Free Minds, Free Markets – Civil Liberties, Economic Freedom – Market Liberalism – Get the Left out of your wallet and the Right out of your bedroom – Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility

    Our best pitch remains that we are the only choice for anyone who has evolved beyond the obsolete Left-Right dichotomy. Lots of other parties are for “peace” and for generic “freedom”—there’s even a party here in California called “Peace and Freedom”!

    This is why I absolutely oppose any attempt—however tongue-in-cheek or quixotic—by you or Carl Milsted or anybody else to set up another party in our quadrant of Nolan space. That creates the possibility of fragmenting a huge market segment—13% to 20% of Americans—that in principle should be represented exclusively by the LP. Alas, in practice, we’ve done far too much to keep them out, on the dubious theory that their ideas might infect us rather than the other way around. Is libertarianism a candle, or a bonfire?

  34. Robert Milnes Says:

    Brian Holtz, Agreed. I stayed out of the whole BTP phenomenon. I wanted to get involved. To help my friend Tom. etc. But I had my problems with it. Carl is making noises about creating a new party. His “upper left” party. I told him that looks to me like where the Progressive Party was. & to recreate the progressive party would be to create direct competition to the Libertarian & Green parties.

  35. Eric Dondero Says:

    Of course Thomas Knapp is a Newbie to both the libertarian movement and the Libertarian Party, so he’s once again talking out of his ass.

    Those of us who’ve been around for a while in the Libertarian Party and libertarian movement remember that back in the 1980s “fiscally conservative/socially tolerant” was THEE Libertarian Party mantra. Even had bumper stickers sold by the LP to that effect.

    Funny how these Newbies infiltrate our movement and try to turn things on their heads.

    What do these knuckleheads think? That oldtimers will just completely forget the LP’s past?

  36. Eric Dondero Says:

    Hey Davie Nolan, here’s my advice. Don’t nominate Wayne Root. We libertarian Republicans would prefer seeing Root return to the GOP.

    Go for a Lefty like Ruwart. Let’s split the Libertarian movement right down the middle: Leftwing Libertaians led by Tom Knapp, versus the Rightwing Libertarians who care about Protecting America.

    Remember last time we had such a split in the LP? Remember 1984??

    What was the result?

    The LP took a hard left turn with anti-Nukes, Reagan basher, NAMBLA apoologist David Bergland, and it got him 228,000 votes.

    Why not go for a repeat performance in 2008, ‘eh Davie??

  37. Sean Scallon Says:

    ““[Gravel]’s not a Libertarian,” said Root. “There’s nothing about him that is Libertarian. I don’t think the Libertarian Party has any interest in a senator that was defeated twenty-five years ago who doesn’t believe in anything that resembles Libertarian philosophy.”

    Nor are you a libertarian neocon.

  38. Wesley J. Pinchot Says:

    Eric Dondero Says: Is Ruwart a “libertarian”? She’s seems like a New Agey weak-kneed liberal to me. Never hear a peep out of her about protecting gun rights, or aboloshing the IRS, or cutting massive spending.

    Once again you confuse style with substance. If she was really a weak-kneed liberal, she’d just agree with them. Instead she faces the challenge of advocating hard-core libertarian policies in terms they understand. See:
    http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/questions_list.php?Category=9
    http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/questions_list.php?Category=20
    http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/questions_list.php?Category=21
    and much much more at http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/questions_list.php

    It’s Eric Dondero who isn’t a real libertarian, just a pseudoGOP blowhard.

  39. Destroy '04 Says:

    David, lots of people are feeling that you’re on an ego trip with your Restore ‘04 movement.

    The 2004 platform has a horrible, self-contradicting document that appealed only to that small handful of people who had a hand in crafting the document over a few decades.

    Someone on an earlier post said that it represented thirty years of intellectual thought. Sorry, but it represented thirty years of small-time politics, deals in Holiday Inn lobbies and typical Libertarian bickering. It was one layer of bad politics on top of another with no consideration to situational reality.

    The 2004 platform was burned in Portland by delegates who saw it for what it was – a document that made a few big fish happy in a very small pond. Even if you had been in Portland, you could not have stopped it.

    No one expected many improvements to the platform in 2008 but the current Platform Committee came up with a solid document that appeals to the public AND can be understood by the public and the media.

    The 2004 platform was a small box to define your type of libertarian, i.e. a weird little guy who doesn’t make much sense when talking to others at the company picnic.

    The proposed platform for 2008 is representative of who we want to attract into the LP: confident, liberty minded individuals who appeal to others. Bright smiles and bright minds for a bright libertarian future.

    No offense to you, David, but your influence waned many years ago and the LP has grown up and grown past engineers and physics majors. The party appeals to a wide swath of Americans: soldiers, soccer moms and even cashiers at the local Piggly Wiggly. Intellectual bona fides are no longer necessary for membership.

    By restoring an inwardly focused platform as a way to control membership, you will do just that and the LP will remain small and ineffective for another 35 years.

  40. Dual Penetration Platform Says:

    Brian, lots of people are feeling that you’re on an ego trip with your dual penetration movement.

    The Dual Penetration platform is a horrible, self-contradicting document that appeals only to that small handful of people who had a hand in crafting the document over a few months.

    Someone on an earlier post said that it represented six months of intellectual thought. Sorry, but it represented three months of small-time p#ssy, deals in men’s rooms and typical bukkake. It is one layer of bad smooth f’ing on top of another with no consideration to missonary.

    The 2006 platform will be burned in Denver by delegates who saw it for what it was – a document that made two men double penetrate in a very small cooch. Even if you manage to pull out in Denver, Vivid has sold the rights to the tape.

    No one expected many improvements to the platform in 2008 but the current Platform Committee came up with a tasty but outre little gang bang that only appeals to perverts and your typical Max Hardcore viewer.

    The dual penetration platform is wedge in a small box to define your type of libertarian, i.e. a weird little guy who doesn’t make much sense when talking to people who usually are vanilla.

    The proposed platform for 2008 is representative of who we have all too many of in the LP: bears, leather daddies (see our current Treasurer,) the hot hell cat school marm (Alicia’s banging but come on, Vice can see that a mile a way, think of the children,) gang banging cock studs like yourself, nerdy BDSMs, and pro-war swingers.

    No offense to you, Brian, but your influence waned in the late 90s and the LP has grown up and grown past engineers and physics majors. The party appeals to a wide swath of Americans: soldiers, soccer moms and even cashiers at the local Piggly Wiggly. People who like simple missionary. ATM is out.

    By restoring a wholesome PTV focused on the straights as a way to gain membership, you will do just that and the LP will remain rock hard for another 35 years.

  41. ElfNinosMom Says:

    This reminds me of a week or two ago, when Root attacked Barack Obama. Root’s attacks are laughable, and not at all worthy of serious consideration, much less serious debate. He’s just another overgrown schoolyard bully who picks on the people who secretly make him feel threatened. The problem is that he’s not smart enough to only pick on people who are weaker than him, and as a result keeps picking on people who can kick his ass.

    Oh well. He’ll eventually learn.

  42. David F. Nolan Says:

    Hey, Dongolero, I’ll give you this: at least you’re man enough to sign your posts with your real name. Random screeches from retards who hide behind oh-so-funny aliases count for nothing. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes not. But anonymous insults carry no weight at all. Of course it’s sad that your rants are almost ALWAYS filled with invective against everyone who isn’t Wayne Root: Ron Paul, Dave Bergland, Mary Ruwart, Tom Knapp—the list just grows and grows.

    But here’s the deal, Eric. I’ll bet you $100 that Root does not get the LP nomination. Steve Gordon can hold the stakes. And here’s the reason why: because he’s surrounded by all the asshats in and near the LP. If his campaign were being run by folks that people actually like and respect, he’d have a fair chance. But with friends like you, he doesn’t need enemies. So poor Wayne, who’s actually a pretty decent guy, will bite the dust big-time in Denver.

    If you don’t think so, put up $100 and we will see who’s right. This offer expires tomorrow at midnight.

  43. George Phillies Says:

    For those of you who would like to see a single new plank

    http://ChooseGeorge.org/defense_policy

    may be of interest. And if you click on “Issues” at the top of the page, and then on ‘major issues’ you can see most of the campaign themes brought together coherently. That page, and the pages it links to, are being transitioned in over the next week.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Eric, you ignorant slut,

    You seem to think that I’m contesting the idea that “fiscally conservative, socially tolerant” has been a common slogan of the LP. I’m not contesting that at all. I’m contesting whether or not it SHOULD be a common slogan of the LP. Big difference.

    I’m also not sure why you keep assigning me to “leadership” positions in your imaginary divisions of the LP.

  45. Tom Blanton Says:

    I think the LP should consider using this slogan: Fuck The Government

    I know this slogan doesn’t stand a chance because there are so many Libertarians who would rather be fucked by the government, just not quite as hard.

  46. Brian Holtz Says:

    Wow—are the above comments make me start to understand what Lew Rockwell might have meant by a “brain drain” from the LP. Are the above comments what we want any Gravel fans to read who have followed him here to find out more about the LP?

    The “Destroy04” criticisms of Nolan and the old Platform are unfair. The 2004 Platform was indeed marred by its format. That was an earnest but misguided attempt to use an editing trick to correct the fundamental problem of what the Platform had become by 2002—a rambling, poorly-organized accretion of decades of narrow and breathless Rothbardian litanies. But despite its incoherent organization and inexorable bloat, one could still find in the old Platform a relatively accurate rendition of the Rothbardian prescription for anarchocapitalist electroshock therapy. Rothbardian anarchocapitalism is a serious and intellectually interesting school of libertarianism. What’s not nearly as serious is the notion that a libertarian political party should have as its primary goal the “building of cadre” for that particular zero-state strain of libertarianism—as opposed to uniting all the Americans who want public policy to move toward more personal and economic liberty. The Pledge and the end-stage metastasized Rothbard/Evers platform were designed for the former goal, not the latter.

    It’s not clear that Nolan is to blame. The LP he founded had no Pledge, and the original 2500-word explicitly-minarchist 1972 LP Platform was nearly identical in length to the PlatCom’s 2008 proposal. Our proposal is also similar to the 1972 platform in how it limits itself to the common ground of the various schools of libertarianism that united to form this party. The original LP of Nolan and Crane experienced explosive growth in the 1970s, before the Platform was completely radicalized. Immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws was apparently not added to the Platform until 1980. Personal secession was not in the 1980 platform, but was present in the 1986 platform.

    What follows are excerpts from a 52-page “Political Action Manual” by one David Nolan dated 1972. It sounds pretty good to me. Restore72, anyone?
    —————-

    The Libertarian Party will offer voters a true alternative—Less Government. This may not be entirely satisfactory to those who advocate No Government, but we believe that there is nothing wrong with demanding our freedom back one piece at a time. [...]

    Do not use the word “anarchist” in describing the Libertarian Party; the LP is not an anarchist organization, even though some members (a decided minority) are anarchists. [...]

    [In talking to “rightist” groups] stress our desire to return to the republican. limited-government type of system established by the Constitution, and our strong support for the Bill of Rights, with special emphasis on Articles IX and X thereof. [...]

    In selecting your “target districts”, you should not jeaporize the tenure of those rare office-holders who are reasonably acceptable by libertarian standards; if the incumbent is about as libertarian as can reasonably be expected to win, there is no point in wasting our scarce resources by entering a candidate of our own, who probably just draw off votes from the “good guy”, with the result that someone far worse will take his place. Likewise, if the incumbent is exceptionally bad, and his major opponent appears to offer some hope of significant change for the better, there is no point in fielding our candidate.

    What should our policy be, concerning LP endorsement of and support for candidates of other parties? The answer to this question will obviously have to be determined by each state LP organization. In some states, especially where there is already a third-party effort with reasonably similar goals, collaboration may be desirable. And there are a few (very few) Republicans and Democrats who are deserving of LP support.

  47. Dave Williams Says:

    Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    “Eric, you ignorant slut,”

    And this comes from the mouth of a guy representing the LP in a run for congress…you are a fucking disgrace Knapp.

  48. David Gaines Says:

    When I joined the LP back in the early ‘70s, you had to sign a statement that said something to the effect of “I do not support the use of coercion to achieve social goals.” Basically, you had to believe that in order to be a capital-L Libertarian. I haven’t been one for many years now, and have no clue if the LP still requires members to sign that statement, but if not, then what is the essence of libertarianism, and if welcoming people like Mike Gravel (who would certainly never have joined the Murray Rothbard-loving party that I signed on with) is A-OK, then does it matter any more what philosophy gets promoted by the LP? Is it the “party of principle” anymore? I am as baffled by the senior leadership of the LP welcoming Mike Gravel with open arms as I am by the fact that he is so attracted to a party whose philosophical history is so diametrically opposed to his core beliefs. I have no clue whatsoever who Wayne Root is aside from the fact that he’s running for president, but his comments about Gravel are completely correct.

    Are we now at the point where it’s ok, if you’re moderately famous and likely to attract a bunch of people, to sign with any party at all as long as you can create a vague thread of brotherhood with that party? Does every party, even 3rd parties, have to water down its core philosophy and become a big, philosophically meaningless tent now?

    I disagree strongly with libertarianism’s core premises but I respect its intellectual consistency and the devotion to those core premises that Libertarians display, and I would be very sorry to see the Gravel episode mark the beginning of some sort of everyone’s-welcome-here-no-matter-what-you-believe-in party.

    Political parties are not fraternities. They’re not social clubs. They are, by definition, self-segregating and set up to include some and exclude others. A party that has any meaning to the electorate has to say, at least to some extent, “we believe in blah blah blah and if you do not, you should either join one of our competitors or form a new party that expresses your belief system.” Otherwise you end up with a gaggle of panderers instead of real political parties that display real convictions. The Reform Party demonstrated this mightily by not taking any positions on social issues. At that point, all a Reform Party candidate can say to the electorate with any conviction is “Hey, I’m not a Democrat or a Republican.” Big deal.

  49. Brian Holtz Says:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Jane%2C+you+ignorant+slut!

    Come on, people. The enemy is not in this room. If we are not going to seek a charitable interpretation for the words and actions of fellow Libertarians, then what are we doing here?

  50. Mike Gillis Says:

    “Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    “Eric, you ignorant slut,”

    And this comes from the mouth of a guy representing the LP in a run for congress…you are a fucking disgrace Knapp.”

    Chill out. It’s an old Saturday Night Live reference.

  51. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Elf: “Root’s attacks are laughable, and not at all worthy of serious consideration, much less serious debate. He’s just another overgrown schoolyard bully who picks on the people who secretly make him feel threatened.”

    I don’t think Root is a bully per se, or that it’s in his nature. Rather, I think Root is bullying in a lame attempt to impress LP delegates.

    Root wants the nomination, and thinks that his “more libertarian than thou” attacks on Gravel will cause our hearts to go pitter patter.

    Root’s a newbie and an outsider, who has no idea how to impress longtime, hardcore libertarians. He’s like a clueless, pimply freshman trying to impress longtime fraternity brothers with his warped ideas of what it takes to be “big man on campus.”

    Brian, quoting Nolan: “The Libertarian Party will offer voters a true alternative—Less Government. This may not be entirely satisfactory to those who advocate No Government, but we believe that there is nothing wrong with demanding our freedom back one piece at a time. [...]”

    The problem with “less government” is that most Americans want “less government” overall, but don’t agree on what they want less of. Some want less net government, but more education spending. Others want less net government, but more military spending. Others want less net government, but more restrictions on gays.

    The “libertarian solution” is to say, okay, we must all give up our pet government projects, as the price for having less government overall.

    BTW, those platform surveys put out by Alicia at national, many people (myself included) thought their wording was biased to achieve a certain outcome.

  52. Michael Seebeck Says:

    And people wonder why I stay out of the Plaform debate? It’s really simple: It’s a big waste of time.

    The LP needs a Misison Statement: “Liberty! NOW! Any Questions?” and the Platform can dig down from that base statement.

    The Platform is too verbose and few pay attention to it anyway. If it can’t fit on the back of a business card, it’s too big and people won’t read it. If it can’t be read aloud in under a minute, it’s too long and people stop listening.

    One of these days the LP will leave Eggheadville for the Soundbite Theater and actually do some effective marketing…

  53. Sherlock Says:

    I suppose when Hillary loses to Obama she too will join the LP? WTF.

    Not as far fetched as you might think, but she probably won’t lose to Obama.

  54. Sherlock Says:

    There’s no doubt that both Gravel and Root deviate significantly from anything resembling a Libertarian “plumb line.” Tolerance for such deviations, by type and degree, varies from Libertarian to Libertarian.

    One thing that it’s important to look at is how the candidates comport themselves with the media when discussing their candidacies:

    – Root goes out of his way to highlight his DISagreement with the LP on foreign policy (to such a degree that Repugly hatehead Glenn Beck called his spiel “conservative porn”) and to pitch the LP as a convenient one-time protest vote for disgruntled Republicans, whom he still portrays as “better than the Democrats.”

    – Gravel goes out of his way to highlight his AGREEMENT with the LP on foreign policy, and has now publicly written off the Rs and Ds as two heads of the same hydra.

    Good point. How about a one-on-one discussion/debate with Mary Ruwart and Mike Gravel on health care, now that they are both candidates for the LP nomination?

  55. Sherlock Says:

    I haven’t been one for many years now, and have no clue if the LP still requires members to sign that statement

    It does, and Gravel signed it. The statement does not keep people who are dishonest from joining the LP; nor does it keep those who agree with David Nolan that it merely means they won’t engage in terrorism from joining the LP.

    Some say the statement has outlived its usefulness, if indeed it ever had any.

    Others might argue that it should be interpreted logically/literally, as Rothbardians do, and have an enforcement mechanism to remove members who do not share and agree with that interpretation as their personal guiding principle.

    For every argument, there is an equal and opposite counter-argument. And while these folks are busy arguing we are becoming less free every day.

  56. Sherlock Says:

    One difference is that no Portland delegate voted with the knowledge that their vote would remove a single word from the Platform rather than just change the retention margin.

    Hmmm. If true, I wonder whether that makes the Portland results invalid under any bylaw or Roberts Rule?

  57. Sherlock Says:

    This is why I absolutely oppose any attempt—however tongue-in-cheek or quixotic—by you or Carl Milsted or anybody else to set up another party in our quadrant of Nolan space. That creates the possibility of fragmenting a huge market segment—13% to 20% of Americans—that in principle should be represented exclusively by the LP.

    Why? The socialist movement fragmented about a hundred years ago into separate communist and socialist parties. They both went on to take over other countries, and the socialist platform of 1932 is now almost entirely passed into law.

    Let a thousand libertarian parties bloom!

    And besides, it’s bound to happen whether you like it or not. If the LP becomes moderate enough to run Barr-Gravel and possibly Ventura, sooner or later the radicals will organize a new radical libertarian party that is more serious than the BTP was (or has been to date).

    If on the other hand Ruwart (or Kubby) and Restore 04 win, it is entirely likely that reformers will bolt – quite possibly this year, and if a suitable candidate for them won’t run this year, probably sometime between now and 2012.

  58. Sherlock Says:

    Go for a Lefty like Ruwart. Let’s split the Libertarian movement right down the middle: Leftwing Libertaians led by Tom Knapp, versus the Rightwing “Libertarians”

    Good idea. But this time, do something to make sure the reichwingers never come back. Ever.

  59. Sherlock Says:

    Dual Penetration Platform Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:33 pm
    Brian, lots of people are feeling that you’re on an ego trip with your dual penetration movement.

    The Dual Penetration platform is a horrible, self-contradicting document that appeals only to that small handful of people who had a hand in crafting the document over a few months.

    Someone on an earlier post said that it represented six months of intellectual thought. Sorry, but it represented three months of small-time p#ssy, deals in men’s rooms and typical bukkake. It is one layer of bad smooth f’ing on top of another with no consideration to missonary.

    The 2006 platform will be burned in Denver by delegates who saw it for what it was – a document that made two men double penetrate in a very small cooch. Even if you manage to pull out in Denver, Vivid has sold the rights to the tape.

    No one expected many improvements to the platform in 2008 but the current Platform Committee came up with a tasty but outre little gang bang that only appeals to perverts and your typical Max Hardcore viewer.

    The dual penetration platform is wedge in a small box to define your type of libertarian, i.e. a weird little guy who doesn’t make much sense when talking to people who usually are vanilla.

    The proposed platform for 2008 is representative of who we have all too many of in the LP: bears, leather daddies (see our current Treasurer,) the hot hell cat school marm (Alicia’s banging but come on, Vice can see that a mile a way, think of the children,) gang banging cock studs like yourself, nerdy BDSMs, and pro-war swingers.

    No offense to you, Brian, but your influence waned in the late 90s and the LP has grown up and grown past engineers and physics majors. The party appeals to a wide swath of Americans: soldiers, soccer moms and even cashiers at the local Piggly Wiggly. People who like simple missionary. ATM is out.

    By restoring a wholesome PTV focused on the straights as a way to gain membership, you will do just that and the LP will remain rock hard for another 35 years.

    Best. Comment. Ever.

  60. Sherlock Says:

    I think the LP should consider using this slogan: Fuck The Government

    I know this slogan doesn’t stand a chance because there are so many Libertarians who would rather be fucked by the government, just not quite as hard.

    Either way, use protection. Like EDR, STDs go both ways*.

    *Republican and Libertarian. Get your mind out of the gutter, people.

  61. Nota V. Irgin Says:

    One might hypothesize that the Libertarians who most invoke behaviors related to mating are also the least successful at it. Testing this hypothesis would require a non-zero baseline of standard Libertarian mating success.

  62. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Sherlock: “If on the other hand Ruwart (or Kubby) and Restore 04 win, it is entirely likely that reformers will bolt – quite possibly this year,”

    NOT!

    The majority of libertarians, of every faction, belong to our party for some combination of personal reasons (friends, socializing, validation, affirmation, etc.). The LP is more like a lodge or social club (like the Elks or Kiwanas) than a political party.

    This mindset is true of all factions, of Reformers and Radicals and all else. It’s certainly true of those who complain that “we’re a political party, not a social club or debating society.”

    Yes, even those who insist that we’re a political party are here mainly for personal reasons.

    I base this opinion on my thirty years of observing the LP. Many libertarians have agreed with me about this observation. Others (usually those with poor self-introspection, which includes both Radicals and Reformers) insist that this is not true of themselves.

    For thirty years, I’ve heard or seen Libertarians who insist that they’ll bolt the party if this or that happens. Almost no one follows through on such threats.

    Why? Because we are a social club (a salon, or book discussion group, of sorts), that also runs candidates. And few people will leave our club just because of what the platform says, or who our candidates are.

    I myself won’t vote for an LP candidate if I seriously disagree with his or her positions on key issues, but I won’t leave our club over it.

  63. Eric Dondero Says:

    Sherlock, good idea. We rightwing Libertarians won’t come back. Don’t want to spoil y’all Leftwing Libertarians dick sucking sessions with Al Qaeda. It might get messy ya know.

    (BTW, since we’re on the subject of Leftwingers sucking Al Qaeda’s dick, check out HotAir.com this morning. Priceless news coming out about how Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq, visited whore houses on a regular basis. Not quite the same thing. But one can imagine some Leftwinger Libertarians joining their Al Qaeda buddies in such romps.)

  64. Eric Dondero Says:

    Root’s a “Newbie” all right. That explains why the Advocates for Self-Government has been listing him as a “Libertarian Celebrity” for the last 6 years. Also explains why the LP News made a splash about him “coming out” as a “Libertarian” a few years ago.

    And explains why he has been fighting for freedom for Gamblers and against Internet Gaming ban for years, as well.

    Just a “Newbie” to the Freedom movement, alright.

  65. Eric Dondero Says:

    David Nolan, Libertarian Party Founder

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU! If there’s one thing that ROYALLY PISSES ME OFF, in on-line politicking it’s these WEENIES, who don’t even sign their posts under their real names.

    Not so bad here. But go over to Reason.com. About 90% are signed under bogus names like “Fluffy” or “Big Tex” and such.

    At my Libertarian Republican blog I do not allow this. Some sneak through, but if I catch someone posting under Anonymous, I’ll zap ‘em.

    I guess we can agree on this. So, maybe you’re not half bad after all.

    Eric Dondero, Republican Liberty Caucus Founder

  66. Eric Dondero Says:

    David, I won’t take your bet. Cause I’m ambivelant about Root winning the nomination.

    Part of me wants a well-run Libertarian campaign that Root can bring; professional, millions of dollars, millions of votes, ect…

    But the other part of me, hates Islamo-Socialist Obama so much, that I don’t want anything assisting him in winning the general election.

    If Root were to run, he would damage John McCain, and possibly cause Fascist-lover Hussein Obama to sneak into the White House. Thus, a giant leap towards Fascism for the USA.

    So, maybe it’s better that the LP run a Losertarian like Berglandista Mary Ruwart? Or, a leftwinger like Gravel, who would steal more votes from the Dems.

    Plus, we’ll get the bonus of getting Wayne Root back in the GOP. I originally recruited Wayne to run as a Republican. He’s the one who balked at my suggestion, and said he was more aligned with the Libertarian Party, much to my surprise.

  67. Susan Hogarth Says:

    The “libertarian solution” is to say, okay, we must all give up our pet government projects, as the price for having less government overall.

    This is just the sort of line I was looking for for an April 15 flyer I’m putting together. Thanks! :)

  68. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Dondero: “Leftwing Libertarians dick sucking sessions with Al Qaeda. It might get messy ya know. ... since we’re on the subject of Leftwingers sucking Al Qaeda’s dick…”

    Wow, Eric, you’re a man in his 40’s, no? A middle-aged man with some serious military and governmental life experiences under his belt?

    Yet you talk like Beavis or Butthead. You sound like a semi-literate high school kid.

    Yes, you get credit for posting under your own name. But your posts do often stoop deep into the gutter.

  69. Brian Holtz Says:

    Tom, it sounds like you think you just proved that the most effective way to work for less government is to work for no government. If so, then stating your conclusion pretty much refutes your proof.

    Regarding “bias” in Alicia’s first survey, that urban legend is debunked at http://knowinghumans.net/2008/02/platform-survey-rebukes-silence-and.html. Her second survey is nothing more than the text of the Platform Committee’s report, so it would be odd to claim she tried to “bias” it.

    I agree with you that shockingly few of our nomination-seekers exhibit much grasp of how they’re perceived by the people who they’re asking to nominate them. Phillies and Kubby are the primary exceptions, and I expect Ruwart will prove to be such as well. Root at least shows signs of trying to acquire such a perception and then trying to respond appropriately. I worry that the fault isn’t entirely with our candidates, and that maybe our party culture has failed to send the right signals. It of course has not been the amputation of the Platform that has brought all these candidates out of the woodwork, but I’m surprised that platform revanchists have not yet desperately tried to connect these two widely-separated dots.

    I also agree with you that there will be no mass quitting by reformers the platform revanchists “win”—which would be quite a trick, since they’re now on record as opposing about 50% of the 2004 Platform. There’s zero prospect of mass reformer quitting over any particular candidate being nominated. LP Platform and POTUS politics are quite decoupled, thank gods. More worrisome than a 1983-style exodus/purge is the continuation of the burnout cycle that both reformers and radicals seem to agree operates among LP activists. I tell reformista quitters to their face that they’re just as bad as any radical if they cannot suck it up and practice internal incrementalism in their efforts to get the LP to practice external incrementalism. People on both sides need to let go of this idea that LP activism is primarily for indulging in more-libertarian-than-thou or more-realistic-than-thou moral exhibitionism. Despite all the talk among Libertarians about America’s slide toward “fascism”, things must be pretty damn good in this country if all the armchair freedom-fighters on both sides feel they can afford the luxury of refusing to practice ideological and strategic ecumenism, respectively.

    Michael, the problem isn’t entirely the length of the old Platform. The problem is the insistence by one kind of libertarian that the Platform be used to certify the moral superiority they claim to feel over the other major kinds of libertarian. If there really aren’t more than a business card’s worth of libertarian principles that most kinds of libertarians can agree on, then our cause is already lost. “Liberty now!” is as vacuous as the Reform Party’s “reform now!” It’s only NOT vacuous to the extent that we can write down what we mean by “liberty”. That we can write 2500 words—or even 18,000 words—on that topic doesn’t mean we’re swearing to recite every one of them any time we pitch the idea of liberty to a prospect. I agree that the highest priority for the Platform is to make it not be an obstacle to the Party’s efforts to move public policy in a libertarian direction. A vacuous business-card-sized Platform would be as much an obstacle as would a platform customized to any one faction’s ideological wet dream (as our Rothbardian platform has been). (My ideological wet dream is http://ecolibertarian.org/manifesto, but you don’t see me trying to force it on the entire party.)

    Sherlock, Communist success outside America isn’t really relevant, except perhaps to those who would advise our radicals to set up shop in some nonarchist paradise like Somalia. The Socialist platform that Milton Friedman famously said has been enacted was that of 1928. I suppose an LP reformer could argue that having a separate Communist party in America is what left the Socialist party free to adopt its relatively moderate 1928 platform and then outpoll the Communists 8:1 in 1932 to win 2.2% of the vote and pressure the incumbents to enact that platform. I don’t know the history well enough to make that claim. But I would only support splitting the LP if one faction had the intellectual integrity to call itself the Anarchist Party (or Nonarchist Party or Zero State Party or whatever). That would technically satisfy my requirement that there not be multiple parties “inside” the libertarian Nolan quadrant, since the Nonarchist Party would be safely out of the way, occupying an infinitesimal point on the Nolan plane—and busy defending itself from the voluntaryists criticizing it for not jumping off the edge with them. But if there were multiple parties calling themselves “libertarian” and both trying to attract votes from non-nonarchist libertarians, that would be utterly self-defeating.

  70. paulie Says:

    I also agree with you that there will be no mass quitting by reformers the platform revanchists “win”—which would be quite a trick, since they’re now on record as opposing about 50% of the 2004 Platform.

    They, who? Rob’s draft is not an integral part of Restore ‘04.


    There’s zero prospect of mass reformer quitting over any particular candidate being nominated. LP Platform and POTUS politics are quite decoupled, thank gods. More worrisome than a 1983-style exodus/purge is the continuation of the burnout cycle that both reformers and radicals seem to agree operates among LP activists. I tell reformista quitters to their face that they’re just as bad as any radical if they cannot suck it up and practice internal incrementalism in their efforts to get the LP to practice external incrementalism. People on both sides need to let go of this idea that LP activism is primarily for indulging in more-libertarian-than-thou or more-realistic-than-thou moral exhibitionism. Despite all the talk among Libertarians about America’s slide toward “fascism”, things must be pretty damn good in this country if all the armchair freedom-fighters on both sides feel they can afford the luxury of refusing to practice ideological and strategic ecumenism, respectively.

    Good point.

  71. paulie Says:

    But if there were multiple parties calling themselves “libertarian”

    I don’t know what they would call themselves. Carl Milsted suggested “Jubilee Party” at one point, but I can’t remember if it was before, during or after the time he called himself a Republican last year.

    Tom Knapp suggested “Boston Tea Party” and that would be fine, except that it would baffle the many Americans who neither live in Boston, nor know what the Boston Tea Party was.

  72. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Brian,

    The concept of “Nolan Space” is interesting and useful. The arbitrary division of it into labeled quadrants may be the former, but the case that it’s the latter (in any objective sense) is pretty weak.

    Either one of us could toss out a set of ten questions that would put virtually any respondent in virtually any desired quadrant of the graph. It’s also not apparent that the quadrant division as usually posited is necessarily a realistic affinity portrait.

  73. Brian Holtz Says:

    Nolan Space wasn’t created by the 10 questions chosen for the WSPQ or any other quiz. Nolan Space is created by the objective facts that 1) the policy suites denoted by “Left” and “Right” are the dominant polarity in current and late-20th-century American politics, and 2) the main clusters of dissent from those suites (libertarian and populist) are defined by their disagreement with Left and Right over two sets of issues (viz., personal liberty vs. legislated morality, and economic liberty vs. legislated economic equality/security).

    There is indeed nothing Platonic or a priori about the contingent affinities charted by Nolan Space. If relatively few Americans were populist we might talk instead of a David Nolan Triangle. If very few Americans were libertarian we might instead talk of a David Duke Triangle. Or if neither, then the conventional Left/Right 1-D spectrum would finally be apt. Or if the main kinds of systematic and consistent dissent from Left and Right were over franchise issues (animal rights, fetal rights, immigration, humanitarian intervention) and/or over technophobia/technophilia, we could have a 2-D or 3-D space where none of the axes were defined distinctly by economic liberty or personal liberty and instead the left-right axis invoked both.

    At http://libertarianmajority.net/libertarian-polling I’ve collected polling data from Gallup, Zogby, Rasmussen , the Pew Research Center, the American National Election Studies, and the University of Michigan’s Center for Political Studies. All these data sources validate the Nolan Chart’s model of the American electorate. Studies using linear regression have confirmed the model for other Western countries, e..g. “Looking at Left and Right the Right Way: Multiple Dimensions and Electoral Outcomes” (Fesnic, 2004) The model doesn’t apply globally, though, as suggested in this look at data from the World Values Survey: “Social Modernization and the End of Ideology Debate: Patterns of Ideological Polarization” (Dalton, 2005).

    It was a crystallizing moment of my political/intellectual life when I first laid eyes on David Nolan’s chart—the invention/promotion of which will likely secure his place in history even more firmly than for founding the LP. I instantly and irrevocably recognized that I wasn’t just an enlightened/tolerant Republican, and that I could never settle for being an economics-literate Democrat. I instantly realized that I would always be a libertarian, and politics just became a question of finding the party whose sweet spot—or at least circle of tolerance—was most inclusive of the spot I occupied in Nolan space.

    An even stronger epiphany was c. 2001 when I first saw in a macroeconomics textbook the standard 4-cell table that defines public goods, club goods (aka natural monopolies), common goods, and private goods. (I reproduce the table at http://libertarianmajority.net/public-and-private-goods.) That table forever shrank the space of possible political theories that I could ever advocate. (The feeling was sort of like hearing for the first time in fifth grade about Special Relativity, and realizing that all the sci-fi about FTL travel and communication were in effect syntax errors if you want to think of this universe as Euclidean. I’d love to say that there was a promote-able reproducible epiphany involved in my becoming geolibertarian, but that took several years.)

  74. Sean Scallon Says:

    Hmm, this is the first time I’ve heard Root speak about Iraq and I take back some of things I’ve said about him and I apologize from my ignorance and generalizations of him. I should quit listening to Mr. Rittberg and find out for myself.

    I don’t know what Root’s philsophy is towards foreign affairs is in general, but his position on Iraq would be acceptable in the Democratic Party. He wouldn’t be a neocon if he was willing to put timetables on our involement there compared to John McCain’s 100-Years War. Any general you talk to will tell you it will take 1-2 years for a complete withdrawl to take place so Root’s position towards Iraq is more in line with the rest of the country (withdrawl but not all at once). The rest of what he stands would be perfectly acceptable according to most Libertarians.

    Good, now I won’t blow my brains out if Root is the LP nominee. That doesn’t mean I’ll support him but at least it wont’ mean dancing up a storm at AEI headquarters.

    Now if Alan Keyes won the CP nomination, well….

  75. Dave Williams Says:

    Sean,

    Kudos to you for opening up and understanding Root as I. Several other TPW posters who were extremely critical of WAR are coming around also.

    Thanks Gordon for putting up this video.

  76. jre Says:

    >>Regarding “bias” in Alicia’s first survey…..>>

    You may have meant….Regarding “bias” in Aaron Starr’s first survey…..

  77. Stink Fist Says:

    13% of American’s surveyed believe that a Dondero is a Toyota Dodge Hybrid.

    54% of American’s surveyed said that they would rather be subject to prison rape than to speak anyone on this comment thread.

    0.78% of American’s have heard of David Nolan.

    0.000003% of American’s wish to acknowledge Brian Holtz’s sex life with 99.7% pleading for decapitation when confronted with it. Margin of Error: Unlikely.

  78. sunredwatchd Says:

    house yahoo tree greed greed pets all minor man ugly deliver bag man boy

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