Steve G.

Bob Barr tells America what “Libertarian” means

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US on June 30, 2008 at 6:02 am

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr, in an appearance yesterday morning on Fox News Sunday:

[W]hat makes me a Libertarian is the fact that I deeply and truly believe in the Libertarian platform and what resonates with most Americans, and that is to shrink the size of the federal government.

Let’s take just one example there, the Defense of Marriage Act. The Defense of Marriage Act simply stands for the proposition that each state can set its own definition of marriage and can’t be forced to adopt a different definition of marriage forced on it by another state.

That’s a very conservative principle reflecting the fundamental notion of states’ rights in our country.

I recall Barr apologizing for DOMA, or at least part of it (the part he leaves out above, wherein the federal government is prohibited from recognizing marriages that don’t pass his preferred religious test). I recall Barr promising to work to repeal DOMA. For some reason, I forgot the part where he promised to present DOMA as a shining example of libertarianism.

Full transcript here.

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  1. That’s because Barr thinks “libertarian” means “states’ powers”, when he forgets that even states lack the power to trump individual rights…

    It’s a shame he doesn’t even get the fundamentals down right…

  2. So “states’ rights” is the new “libertarianism?”

    Who do we have to thank for that?

    Hint: It has not started, nor will it finish, with Bob Barr.

    Seriously though, this is a bit comical. If Barr and his campaign expect big-L Libertarians to *promote* DOMA as “Libertarian,” he’s completely off his rocker.

    At this point, I cannot think of a single position on DOMA he has not taken during or since the convention. That’s impressive, considering it’s not even been 1.5 months.

  3. If Barr wants to continue making this convoluted rationalization for DOMA, that’s his affair. But I wish he would stop calling my party one of “very conservative” principles.

  4. Actually, and unlike some other readers I debated Barr, the one debate he could not dodge, I do not believe he has changed his stand on DOMA; I believe this was his position all along. When I refer to the bigoted cesspool that is the core of modern conservatism, support for the Jim Crow states rights doctrine is an important marker of that doctrine; equally, support for Constitutionalism when it opposes freedom marks a rejection of real libertarian ideas.

  5. Even Barr mentions a “plurality” winning the election. For example in a close election if Nader got 2%, that would be 49% dem, 49% rep. History shows that the only other possible plurality is the progressive plurality. The closest ever achieved was 27% second place by Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. TR was a REPUBLICAN. I believe he was what we would now call a left libertarian. The last chance we have this election for a progressive plurality ticket is via the Green party. They would have to nominate a libertarian VP. I asked TK & his wife & they said no. Hopefully someone will step up.

  6. George, if McKinney gets the Green nomination, how about you vp?

  7. Guys,

    Yes, I realize that attempting to portray DOMA as having libertarian features, and basing that claim on a “states rights” argument, is nothing new with Barr.

    What I found noteworthy about this particular instance of it was not the content, but the context.

    To the best of my knowledge, Barr’s characterization of DOMA as not-un-libertarian in particular, and his appeal to “states rights” in general, has generally been defensive/reactive:

    Q: How can you claim to be a libertarian … DOMA.

    A: Well, if you look at DOMA this way, it’s actually libertarian, states rights, yada yada.

    This time, Barr hit on DOMA and states rights virtually unprompted — not to defend his record on DOMA as not wholly unlibertarian, but to hold out DOMA’s “states rights” basis as definitional to what libertarianism IS.

    If this is a trend and not an outlier, Barr is going proactive and explicitly harnessing his campaign to the cause of re-defining libertarianism as Dixiecrat states rightsism.

  8. Hmm, well, were I advising Barr, I’d certainly suggest losing the term “states rights.” Of course, the paleolibertarian crowd use that one all the time, but I prefer the term federalism. (I note that they seem to often claim to be the only REAL libertarians, too.)

    In this time and place, leaving some sensitive issues like defining marriage and life to the states is OK in my book. It’s not a deal-breaker for me. It’s a jurisdictional question, and I do see it as on the path toward liberty, even though it’s not how I personally frame these issues.

    Sometimes, with complex issues, I personally give a wider berth to candidates. Barr is the only candidate who wants to roll back the State, get out of Iraq, stop warrantless wiretapping, etc.

    We can quibble and carp about the nuance of what he says, but I believe Barr’s introducing the LP and libertarian ideas to the widest audience ever, by many orders of magnitude!

  9. There is no such thing as “States’ Rights.” Only people can have rights and those rights are inseparable, indivisible, inalienable and non-transferrable.

    States have powers, as enumerated in the 9th and 10th amendments, NOT rights. Furthermore, it is the duty of any government to recognize and uphold rights, not to grant or remove rights.

    Libertarianism is about the rights of the individual, not the rights of states, nor any attempt to transfer rights away from the individual. States’ Rights may be a conservative idea, but it is also a totalitarian concept, that should be rejected by all true Libertarians.

  10. Seriously, showcasing DOMA as an example of Libertarianism is so unbelievably retarded, it beggars belief.

    DOMA was an abomination cooked up by “Gingrich Revolutionaries” and Bill Clinton. Those are “Libertarians?”

    Compare Barr’s statement on FOX News with this statement at our Party’s convention:

    Had Barr declared DOMA to be a great example of Libertarian values at the convention, he’d have gone down in flames. Worst of all, I think he knows this.

  11. Bob,

    You’re missing the point. Actually, you’re missing several points. And this is far from a matter of “nuance.”

    You should probably start by learning the difference between “federalism” and “states rights.” They aren’t the same thing. One is a strategy. The other is one of many possibly justifications for the strategy … and a particularly BAD one.

    Furthermore, Barr has now gone PAST making a “states rights” argument for libertarianism and is defining libertarianism as that particular argument for it. He’s not “introducing the LP and libertarian ideas,” he’s introducing the LP and linking it to ANTI-libertarian ideas.

    Fortunately, given his explicitly anti-libertarian tack, you’re wrong in asserting that he’s doing this “to the widest audience ever, by many orders of magnitude!” It’s arguable that he’s doing it to the “widest audience ever,” but so far I’ve seen no evidence that he’s doing so on a scale that’s even close to one “order of magnitude” greater than the scale of, for example, Harry Browne’s two campaigns.

    Finally, Barr is NOT “the only candidate who wants to roll back the State, get out of Iraq, stop warrantless wiretapping, etc.” He’s one of at least two, possibly more, candidates who want to do so, and like those other candidates he’s in no position to win the election.

  12. “States’ Rights” is a fraudulent and profoundly un-Libertarian concept that has no other purpose but to deceive and rob us of our natural, inalienable, inseparable, non-transferable rights as human beings.

    The Ninth Amendment says: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain RIGHTS, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In other words, just because the Constitution doesn’t mention a particular right, that doesn’t mean we don’t have that right. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights were conceived and written to limit government, not allow it to usurp our rights.

    The Tenth Amendment says: “The POWERS not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    What part of “POWERS” does anyone NOT understand?

    How can anyone logically argue that “powers” somehow includes a state government hijacking our “rights”?

  13. Barr’s putting me in a pickle. When the media asks me about DOMA being an “example of libertarianism,” the Barr people had better not give me crap when I point out what a load of codswallop that is.

  14. Robert Capozzi Says:
    June 30, 2008 at 11:20 am

    In this time and place, leaving some sensitive issues like defining marriage and life to the states is OK in my book.

    Could anyone have ever expected anything different from Bob Capozzi?

    This is the view that politics is fluid, principles are a tool of politics when, and ONLY when they can be used to your advantage, and that “time and place” is the ruling (non)-principle.

    If the Republicans are becoming more statist (they are), then the Libertarian Party must “in this time and place” fill the vacuum formerly held by the Republican Party. This “former position” held by Republicans is the one held by the likes of Bob Dole, George Bush Sr., Newt Gingrich . . and YES Bob Barr!

    How does this strike LP members, when Capozzi wants to be YOUR Executive Director?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if most LP members approve of this, given that Barr/W.A.R. were nominated.

  15. I’ve been a Libertarian for 12 years. I cast my first ever presidential vote for Harry Browne. I’ve taken abuse and handed it back over my political affiliations. But if the LP ever becomes a so-called “states’ rights party” in practice or principle, or starts adopting a “leave it to the states” Democrat-style approach to the individual liberties of Americans, I’ll walk.

    I’ll be following a lot of other people out the door too.

  16. Mr. Barr reveals himself as what he is, namely a conservative bigot disguising himself as a Libertarian. As Libertarians were warned before the nomination, in 2007 Mr. Barr campaigned for prayer in the public schools. In 2007, his PAC supported for the 2008 election cycle a range of reactionary bigot Congressman and Senators, many of whom are now facing — with his aid — Libertarian opponents.

    Blame for this state of affairs should be assigned where it belongs, namely the people who advocated for Mr Barr, recruited him as a candidate, placed his name in nomination, and campaign for his election as our candidate. I will have a list of his nominators in a future post.

    The first name in this line is William Redpath, who boasted at the national convention of having recruited Mr. Barr as a candidate. Mr. Redpath also insisted on having Richard Viguerie as our keynote speaker.

    While I will respect Brian Miller’s right to disagree, in my opinion Barr’s stand here is the same as his pre-convention stand, namely Barr is an advocate of the Jim Crow ‘State’s Rights’ doctrine of George Wallace and Lester Maddox now directed against the GLBTQPL community rather than African-Americans.

    In 1976, Viguerie competed with Lester Maddox for the nomination of the American Independent Party started by George Wallace. His claim to fame in that party was that he was a major Wallace fundraiser. Viguerie’s direct mail campaigns are well known to have supported such right-wing extremists, racists, and bigots as Jesse Helms, Sun Young Moon, Oliver North, George Wallace, and Donald Wildmon. Viguerie advised Jerry Falwell on the formation of the Moral Majority.

    In politics, unlike criminal law, you are reasonably known by your associates. When you use your position to support homophobic bigots, not to mention funders of homophobic bigots and racists of whatever skin color, it is correct to assume that those are the positions you espouse.

    Mr. Redpath is responsible for his positions.

  17. I get GLBT, but what’s QPL?

  18. How much dick did Cory and Gordon suck? They need to know that their dick sucking of Viguerie is not protected under a Barr administration.

  19. Steve,
    Is it really necessary to get personal?

    To briefly clarify my personal take on what is principled and what are effective strategy and tactics, my principle is to max. liberty and min. coercion. That happens to be what Barr suggests, which is why I support him, even if I disagree with him on a few points. Isn’t that the case for us all? Aren’t there always some differing opinions?

    Yes, I happen to believe that circumstances inform strategy and tactics in a fluid manner.

    Perhaps you have a different opinion….

  20. I’ve been trying very hard to be a team player and be supportive of the candidate selected by the majority of our national convention delegates, but he is making it exceedingly difficult. This is post-nomination strike 2, as far as I’m concerned. (Strike 1 was defending DOMA on CNN the morning after the nomination.)

    This is getting to be too much to dismiss as a slip. Barr needs to issue a retraction and apology.

  21. Bob,

    You write:

    “my principle is to max. liberty and min. coercion. That happens to be what Barr suggests”

    So far as I can tell, no, that’s not what Barr suggests.

    If Barr was arguing that federalism can be a way to minimize coercion by decentralizing power, that would be one thing.

    He isn’t. Rather he’s arguing that there exists a “states right” to coerce, that the benefit of federalism is that it protects that right, and worst of all that a defining characteristic of libertarianism (“what makes me a Libertarian”) is the belief that the federal government should work to strengthen the “right” of the states to coerce instead of exercising that alleged “right” itself, directly.

    It’s time to face the simple fact of the matter: Barr is not running a libertarian presidential campaign, not even on reasonable “moderate” standards. Rather, he has successfully hijacked the LP and placed it in support of a Strom Thurmond/George Wallace/John G. Schmitz/Lester Maddow Dixiecrat campaign, with non-heterosexuals replacing blacks, and Hispanic immigrants replacing “outside Communist agitators” as the bogeymen of choice.

  22. robert capozzi Says:
    June 30, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Steve,
    Is it really necessary to get personal?

    You are, from the perspective of people who don’t know you “personally”, what you say and do.

    From what you write and what is known about what you do and have done, you are . . . an LP reformer, very easily willing to eschew principle in favor of what’s “fashionable”, and one who willingly make excuses for actions, statements and people who fall far short of representing “The Party of Principle”, in the name of “in this time and place”. (did you forget, or never learn that liberty is timeless and universal, for all people, everywhere)

    I wonder if it ever crossed your mind if it isn’t the strategy and persuasive methods and techniques which are lacking, and not the (former) principles of the LP, and libertarianism.

    I would imagine that you have, but alas, that road is far too difficult to travel. The compromise road is SO much easier, isn’t it? The big problem with the “compromise road” is it is going to a different destination than the road originally travelled!

    I say, what good is it to have your goal be a trip to Paris, when the “road” you take is going to Dallas? (BTW, there isn’t anything wrong with Dallas, except for the pro football team located there . . . Go Giants!)?

    Personal . . . naaaaa, I just get disgusted with strategies that throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  23. You know, it always cracks me up when people complain about “getting personal.”

    If the LP had embraced Capozzi’s platform proposals without amending them on the floor, and implemented his view of “states setting the agenda,” rather than what the LP platform calls for, it would have impact on millions of individuals and their families.

    That’s pretty frickin’ personal.

  24. All right, that’s it–I’m done.

    http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/06/thats-it-im-done-with-bob-barr.html

    Everyone from the Knappster to George Phillies has the right to say, “I told you so.”

    (Although the Knappster only got here a week before I did.)

  25. Aw heck, I meant to say, in my previous post “I wonder if it ever crossed your mind if it is the strategy and persuasive methods and techniques which are lacking, and not the (former) principles of the LP, and libertarianism.”

  26. Brian,
    I’m sorry. Please cite where I advocated what you accuse me of.

    I certainly don’t recall doing so. I do recall suggesting that the platform should not exclude Ron Paul types and pro lifers, even though I’m neither. I’m reasonably happy with the abortion plank, as amended, too.

    Committee work is necessarily about compromise, I suggest. If it isn’t, please cite evidence.

  27. Bob:

    The policies you’re advocating have a significant personal impact on millions of Americans. They’re “impersonal” to you because they don’t directly impact your life — you’re not (to my knowledge) queer, nor do you have a uterus.

    Those who are queer, or have a uterus, would suffer tremendously under the so-called “compromises” you advocate.

    There’s no compromise, by the way, when you’re not personally giving up something. Selling out the gays and the girls isn’t really compromise on your part — get back to me when you’re giving up something profoundly politically meaningful for you in order to get the political result you want.

    Please stop trading the rest of us like we’re chess pieces on your playing board. It’s demeaning and not particularly smart, since the pieces are perfectly capable of walking off the board.

  28. Bob,

    You write:

    “Committee work is necessarily about compromise, I suggest. ”

    Well, no. Committee work is about people who agree on a goal working together to accomplish, or move toward, that goal.

    Compromise may occur in the details of that work when there are disagreements on strategy, tactics, disposition of resources, what have you. However, committee work is not “about” compromise any more than stock car racing is “about” changing tires. The latter is just one thing that may occur during the former if the situation requires it.

    Changing the goal (for example, from “we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others” to “we seek to minimize the initiation of force” or “we seek to implement the doctrine of states rights”) is not a “compromise,” it’s an abandonment of the agenda which the committee was allegedly organized to pursue in the first place.

  29. Brian,
    You give me FAR too much credit! I’m not anywhere near trading or the chessboard…just a member of the LP.

    Yes, I happen to be hetero and male, not that that’s relevant. I’m pro choice and pro gay rights, although personally I believe government should get out of defining marriage, but should have something like civil unions for all couples, regardless of gender. I do know A LOT of pro life women, btw, don’t you?

    I’m feeling unwelcome here, so I’ll leave y’all to your current agenda.

    Peace.

  30. I’m writing a blog to be posted tomorrow about what “libertarian” really means, at least to libertarians. I am not too concerned what “libertarian” means to statists anymore. Let them make up their own definitions. They can wallow in their wrongness. We just need to be louder, more insistent, and more principled than they are and eventually the truth will drown out the lies.

  31. Barr defined several times the essense of the LP as “maximizing individual liberty and minimizing government power”. And I think any Libertarian (whether
    “moderate”, “constitutional”, “radical;” or “anarchist”) can be happy with that.
    The difference among Libertarians occurs how it is expressed and which form the philosophy manifests itself.

    On DOMA Barr has a few times said he will work to repeal the part that makes it a “federal law”, e.g. where the federal law can override the state law, and it also enables those states that wish to define marriage as between a man and a woman, the right to do so.

    To those that say only individuals have right, not states or the government, does this mean the government has no right and obligation, e.g. to provide police service where there are crimes, for instance? Is the local/state and also the government not a sum of individuals, who have rights? If you say that ONLY individuals have right and the government has no rights, then you are an ANARCHIST, plain and simple. You also do not really accept the constitution, which is in short a the rules according to which the government can rule the people.

    Now regarding “STATES RIGHTS” or “FEDERALISM”, let us look at what the hero of Dr. Phillies has said about it.
    Cf. http://www.4president.org/brochures/goldwater1964brochure.htm

    “Barry Goldwater knows that government to be responsive must be close to the people.

    “There is a reason for (the Constitution’s) reservation of “States” Rights.
    Not only does it prevent the accumulation of power in a central government that is remote from the people and relatively immune from popular restraints; it also recognizes the principle that essentially local problems are best dealt with by the people most directly concerned. Who knows better than New Yorkers how much and what kind of publicly financed slum clearance in New York City is needed and can be afforded? Who knows better than Nebraskans whether that State has an adequate nursing program? Who knows better than Arizonans the kind of school program that is needed to educate their children?
    “The people have long since seen through the spurious suggestion that federal aid comes free. They know that the money comes out of their own pockets, and that it is returned to them minus a broker’s fee taken by the federal bureaucracy. They know, too, that the power to decide how that money shall be spent is withdrawn from them and exercised by some planning board deep in the caverns of one of the federal agencies. They understand this represents a great and perhaps irreparable loss-not only in their wealth, but in their priceless liberty.”

    It seems thus that Barr’s (and for this matter Paul’s) domestic policies of “conservatism” (note: there are different ways of understanding conservatism, Goldwater’s and Bush’ understanding of conservatism are very very different).
    It also seems Dr. Phillies is NOT consistent in in the one hand criticizing “states rights” or “federalism” vehemently, while on the other hand saying Goldwater is his hero. He can say I am totally against Jeffersonian “states rights”, but then he ought to say Barry Goldwater is most definitely NOT my hero at all and apologize for stating this during his presidential nomination campaign.

    On the issue of slavery, it may have been allowed in certain states and not others ata time, but worldwide/globally it was never about a “states rights issue” Britain has colonialized most of the world, they have not said we will colonialize certain states, but not others. Another example: California and other states have had a legalization of “medicinal marjuana” for a number of decades,
    (e.g. one had the right in the state), but ever since the Federal war on drugs, the federal government have overridden “states rights” and acted terribly against people like Steve Kubby. If they had observed “states rights”, Steve Kubby and others would NEVER have been prosecuted in the first place.

  32. I’m feeling unwelcome here

    Now you’re understanding how your efforts on the platform committee made many Americans feel.

    Of course, we stuck around, rather than turning tail and running at the first bit of resistance.

    Barr defined several times the essense of the LP as “maximizing individual liberty and minimizing government power”

    Yet then proceeded to place, as the showcase of libertarianism, a law that solidified government power over the family lives of millions of Americans. A law that created a federal definition of what states may or may not do — in violation of that “states’ rights” thing. A law that is so “libertarian” that it attracted the support of Bill Clinton, Paul Wellstone, and Bob Dornan.

    Sorry, no.

    No more.

    I will not apologize for this shit or tolerate apologies for it.

    Individuals have rights. Government has no “rights,” and never will.

  33. Tom, what are the by-laws pertaining to revoking the LP presidential nomination?

  34. Stefan,

    You write:

    Barr defined several times the essense of the LP as “maximizing individual liberty and minimizing government power”. And I think any Libertarian (whether “moderate”, “constitutional”, “radical;” or “anarchist”) can be happy with that. The difference among Libertarians occurs how it is expressed and which form the philosophy manifests itself.

    Correct — but when Barr not only switches from advocacy of minimizing government power to merely locating the seat of that power at a different level, and does so on behalf of a measure which is clearly intended to sanction and help maintain an unjust government power rather than to reduce that power, he is not offering a variant expression of the philosophy, he’s offering a different philosophy.

    On DOMA Barr has a few times said he will work to repeal the part that makes it a “federal law”, e.g. where the federal law can override the state law, and it also enables those states that wish to define marriage as between a man and a woman, the right to do so.

    You’re correct. However, two things:

    – Yesterday on Fox News Live, Barr didn’t address the federal side of DOMA at all, let along reiterate his promise to work to repeal that part of DOMA. Instead, he presented DOMA as not only unmitigatedly libertarian, but as definitionally so — it was what he cited when asked to define himself as a libertarian. And a “states right to regulate personal relationship” is not, and never will be, a libertarian concept, let alone a definitional one.

    To those that say only individuals have right, not states or the government, does this mean the government has no right and obligation, e.g. to provide police service where there are crimes, for instance? Is the local/state and also the government not a sum of individuals, who have rights? If you say that ONLY individuals have right and the government has no rights, then you are an ANARCHIST, plain and simple. You also do not really accept the constitution, which is in short a the rules according to which the government can rule the people.

    OK, so we’ve established that not only do you not understand what rights are, you don’t understand what anarchism is, either. It will take more than a blog comment to get you straightened out on all that, but the blog comment can be a start:

    The state is a tool, a mechanism. It no more has “rights” than a paperweight, a hammer or your laptop does. What it has, as expressed in the actions of the functionaries operating it, is “powers” delegated to it by the people who do have “rights” … and those powers by definition cannot legitimately trump the rights of the individuals imparting those powers in the first place.

    The states now comprising the United States declared their independence on a very specific premise:

    That to secure these rights [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …

    Barr is arguing that there is a “just power” of government (at his preferred level) to violate, rather than secure, a right. He is arguiing that government may legitimately act in a manner destructive of its only legitimate ends. That’s bad enough, although not at all uncommon in the political discourse — it wouldn’t be out of place in a Republican or Democratic politician’s campaign quote stock. However, Barr is now trotting this nonsense out as the quintessence of Libertarianism, when in fact it is EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of what libertarianism means even under its broadest constructions.

  35. Bob,

    You write:

    “Tom, what are the by-laws pertaining to revoking the LP presidential nomination?”

    LP bylaws [PDF], Article 12, sections 3, 4 and 5:

    3. In the event of the death, resignation, disqualification or suspension of the nomination of the Party’s nominee for President, the Vice-Presidential nominee shall become the Presidential nominee. Two-thirds of the entire membership of the National Committee may, at a meeting, fill a Vice-Presidential vacancy, and, if necessary, a simultaneous Presidential vacancy.

    4.The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for all nominees for President and Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.

    5. A candidate’s nomination may be suspended by a 3/4 vote of the entire membership of the National Committee at a meeting. That candidate’s nomination shall then be declared null and void unless the suspended candidate appeals the suspension to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notification of suspension. The resolution of suspension must state the specific reasons for suspension and must be signed by each member of the National Committee agreeing thereto. The Judicial Committee shall meet and act on this appeal within 30 days and before the election.

  36. Bravo Tom!!!

    Sad to say, I sometimes grow weary of the comments which are posted here and elsewhere, which get it SO wrong. Thankfully, we have Tom Knapp to the rescue!

  37. Tom, though I hope you are right when you say “a “states right to regulate personal relationship” is not, and never will be, a libertarian concept, let alone a definitional one”, I wouldn’t put it past the reformers and/or Barr/W.A.R. supporters to work to make that change, at least within the LP.

  38. OK So if neither the state nor federal government has any right or obligation, they also have no right nor should provide any services, like policing, as this presupposes they have rights. If you say government (local, state or federal) has no rights, then you are an ANARCHIST. Plain and simple.

    The LP is then the wrong party for you, why not rename the BTP the Anarchist Party and campaign on that basis…. but then again, according to argumentation presented, a “political party” should have no right (or policy for that matter), only individuals have.

    Authoritarianism, fascism, communism as totalitarian systems is the result of government MISUSING (negative association) their rights, not merely USING (positive association) them. I also think that apart from individual or federal rights etc., individual and government RESPONSIBILITY should be stressed. We all know that government tends to misuse their rights, therefore their rights should be limited at far as possible, and if you devolve those rights to smaller units, e.g. like the states, local city council etc. then you have more individual power and freedom. There is not something like an absolutist right of one individual, as this also influences another individual and society. For example, if you are a smoker, you can smoke, but you cannot expect to smoke anywhere and everywhere, where it hinders non-smokers or where there is a non-smoker sign in a restaurant, for instance. Thus your individual right to smoke is relative, it is not absolutist.

  39. OK So if neither the state nor federal government has any right or obligation, they also have no right nor should provide any services, like policing, as this presupposes they have rights. If you say government (local, state or federal) has no rights, then you are an ANARCHIST. Plain and simple.

    Your grammatical and conceptual error is the juxtaposition of “right” and “obligation” as somehow co-equal and almost synonymous. The government is an artificial construct developed through a contract (the Constitution) to empower an organization (the government) to undertake specific and limited tasks in the name of the citizens who delegated a portion of their sovereignty to it. That government–unlike the people who created it–has no independent existence apart from their act of creation.

    Of course you can have obligations without rights, and powers without rights, even authority without rights.

  40. Government, if it has anything, has “authority”; not “rights”. Only individual people have rights. Rights trump authority. And, no, government has no “obligation” to provide police or anything else, but want to do so as a way to increase power and control over the local population. They aren’t doing it to be nice, I promise you.

  41. Stefan,

    You write:

    OK So if neither the state nor federal government has any right or obligation, they also have no right nor should provide any services, like policing, as this presupposes they have rights. If you say government (local, state or federal) has no rights, then you are an ANARCHIST. Plain and simple.

    I find it interesting that you keep trying to tag “obligation” on to “right” as if the two things put together somehow supersede the definitions of either separately. They don’t.

    The functions of government are powers delegated to its functionaries. Those powers have corresponding obligations.

    Rights inhere in the individuals “consenting to be governed,” not in government itself. They are the source of and the constraint on government’s power and the object of its obligations. Any power of government which does not the rights of the governed is an illegitimate power.

    Anarchism is the notion that government, i.e. the state, cannot be trusted with these powers and obligations, and should therefore be abolished. There are some very strong arguments for that proposition, but it’s not the same as the proposition that government’s legitimate powers are limited and defined by the rights of the governed.

  42. I have never been comfortable with the use of the word “rights” in any context other than natural, unalienable rights expounded by Locke, Jefferson, Rand, Rothbard and many others.

    However, there is the concept of rights relating to contracts . . . how many of us have heard about our rights under a contract? The there are other “legal” rights, which may or may not be contractual in nature. How many times have we heard from lawyers about our “legal” rights? Most (if not all) of these arise out of statute law. These “legal” rights aren’t rights at all. They are actually privileges granted by some state or government. They aren’t “unalienable” since they are derived from government, and can be taken away by government.

    In this “legal” rights sense, (privileges actually) I think the originators and upholders of “States Rights” concept mean rights in a “legal” sense. Let’s be clear though, these aren’t “rights” at all. These are only delegations of authority to some government or state by the people, who hold the actual, unalienable rights, and can take back such delegations of authority (sometimes called “powers”) whenever it is deemed proper and necessary.

    Stefan’s argument of ANARCHY is pretty weird, and totally wrong. Anarchy has nothing to do with “delegating authority” to an outside entity or agency, it only upholds that a coercive state can never exist legitimately, as it can only be destructive to the rights of individuals (or collectives in collectivist anarchy theory), and a state can never institute and thus, carry out justice.

    In an anarchic society, just because there isn’t a state, it doesn’t follow that an individual can’t “delegate authority”, and subsequently take that authority (power) back.

  43. I love it when other people not only beat me to an argument, but express that argument more succinctly than myself.

  44. Several comments up, Mr Kubby referenced the 9th and 10th Amendments – the ninth deals with the RIGHTS of the PEOPLE, the tenth with the POWERS of the states AND the PEOPLE.. Note that nothing in the constitution grants the Federal or State gov’ts with any RIGHTS, although a limited set of POWERS are conveyed…

    What Stefan and friends are apparently suffering from is a confusion about the difference between rights and powers.

    The gov’t at ANY level has NO rights! It has, for better or worse (mostly worse) been given, and / or usurped certain POWERS which of late it has been using to deny rights… (and in point specific case of law enforcement, remember that the courts have said the gov’t is under NO obligation to provide same…)

    I disagree totally on DOMA, etc. but at the same time point out that if the gov’t hadn’t usurped the power to define marriage, and given a huge amount of perks to those entering that state, there wouldn’t be such a hue and cry over it… If there was NO change in the status of individuals getting “married” in the eyes of the law beyond the gov’t saying “yeah, OK, you’re married” but otherwise treating them the same in all other respects before and after – I doubt you’d see much demand for the status.

    ========

    As a side note, George used the term “GLBTQPL” above, and someone asked for a definition… (I do mildly wish the “non-standard-heterosexual” community would quit trying to expand their share of the alphabet as it makes life confusing for us straight folks ) I beleive the expanded term as George used it is now “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Poly, Leather”

    ART

  45. David Friedman would probably partially disagree with my characterization of “anarchy”, (having to do with individual rights), but I doubt that he would find the coercion and lack of the ability to carry out justice objectionable.

  46. Stephan..

    The Tenth Amendment says: “The POWERS not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”…I always knew that those guys who wrote the constitution were ANARCHISTS! :)

    Nowhere in the constitution does it declare that local, state or federal goverments have “Rights”. Establishing a police force is not an inherent right of goverment it is a responsibilty delegated by “the people”. I see that your link is for the “Campaign for Liberty”. Ron Paul understands this and calls for the elimination of nearly every federal level beauracracy, because they are not allowed by the constitution. Does the Federal Government have a “right” to create all these departments such as “homeland security”, I think not. Ron only waivers on the abortion issue and border control using the “states rights” or federalism as a way to skirt these specific issues. I see nowhere else that he espouses these views and it is in these footsteps that Mr. Barr is trodding in order to appeal to dissaffected republicans.

  47. Stefan’s claim that Barry Goldwater is my hero is a error. I did say that if Goldwater were alive today, he would be a vigorously active member of our party. Since, unlike the Republican Neanderthal Party, Goldwater’s thinking progressed as he went along in years, I expect Goldwater would have come to agree with Libertarian positions that he did not take during his lifetime. For example, he did late in life come to the position that the Christian Right should be kicked out of the Republican Party.

  48. I’m feeling contrarian today, so although I agree that what most people define as “states rights” is invalid in libertarian philosophy (e.g., defining marriage state by state is not a “states rights” issue), I’m going to be hypertechnical and point out that I do believe there are some actual legitimate states rights within the Constitution.

    Article V says no state “shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate” by amendment to the Constitution. Article IV sections 1, 3, and 4 refer to what I would consider states rights: full faith and credit to state court decisions in other states, no new states formed within the jurisdiction of an existing state without consent, and guaranteeing a republican form of government. The Article IV section 2 clause dealing with state extradition is arguably a state right too, though the rest of section 2 seems to deal with individual rights (in a warped, sad way within the fugitive slave clause).

    As originally conceived the Constitution gave rights to both individuals and states. State rights were abridged when the Constitution was amended to allow for direct election of Senators (I believe in violation of the Article V equal suffrage clause quoted above). It is very obvious reading Madison’s notes of the Constitutional Convention debates that Senators were intended to represent the states themselves, not the citizens of those states.

  49. I do have to say– Mike Gravel hit the most interesting and possibly the best answer for “who’s your political herp?” (or something like that). A couple answered Rand or Goldwater– he answered Solon of Athens. How awesome!

    I’m not sure where Goldwater would stand on the Nolan Chart now. What I do know is that while he was certainly better than the Nixon-Republican camp (I see the remnants of that in my parents, so I do know!!!) also think that we need to be careful when we start lauding some of these Republicans. Sure, he was better than Nixon. But how about where he was compared to Nolan?

  50. “no, government has no “obligation” to provide police or anything else, but want to do so as a way to increase power and control over the local population. They aren’t doing it to be nice, I promise you”.
    Now let us see, let us take a practical example to illustrate: if say your neighbor murders your wife, are you then saying the police – as a governmental power for the interest of the rights of the citizens – has no right to “override” your neighbor’s right to privacy and personal property to come to arrest him? If the government/police does not have this power or right or authority to “override” his right to privacy, who has? Only another individual, like yourself?….. Your neighbor, if he is an anarchist, could theoretically argue that he does not accept any government (be that local, state or federal) power over him, e.g. no power to arrest him, attack him etc…

  51. Tom, I would define anarchism (from Greek ἀν (without) + ἄρχειν (to rule) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν), “without archons,” “without rulers”) as a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory government (including but not limited to the state), and is often described as opposition to all forms of authority.

  52. if say your neighbor murders your wife, are you then saying the police – as a governmental power for the interest of the rights of the citizens – has no right to “override” your neighbor’s right to privacy and personal property to come to arrest him?

    Yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying.

    In fact, if it wasn’t for DOMA and its associated Sacred Doctrine of Government Rights, deranged sociopaths would be killing their spouses all over the country and then overriding the government’s right to arrest them.

  53. Dr. Phillies: I will check again what you said about Goldwater. If I have made a mistake, I sincerely apologize. Yes, you did say the Libertarian Party is the Party of Barry Goldwater’s principles http://www.rationalreview.com/content/30186
    In the case of Barr he can surely claim to represent Goldwater’s principles with regard to “states rights” or “federalism” as well. Goldwater – like Paul – is know for a deep consistency in his life. I do not expect him to have changed his views. It is rather his party that has changed and drifted away from his principles. You are 100% right in pointing out the difference between Goldwater and Bush’s “conservatism”. Actually Bush is not a real Goldwater/Reagan conservative at all – as he tried to present himself in the 1999-2000 campaign, but rather more a Rockefeller/Bush 1 Republican, and actually worse than that. Bush/Cheney are rather The Party of Barry Goldwater’s principles and have given conservatism a very bad name, which it did not deserve. It is also no wonder and significant that Barry Goldwater Jr. did not endorse Bush, although Bush sought his endorsement, while Barry Goldwater Jr. has spontaneously endorsed Ron Paul (in 2007). It is only on the issue of abortion and and a non-interventionist foreign policy that there are some difference between Goldwater and Paul. With regard to foreign policy, Paul is much closer to the LP than Goldwater IMHO. One should differentiate here also, as I think Goldwater already questioned the need to have US military forces in South-Korea indefinitely..so that in this case, Goldwater’s foreign policy does reflect that of the LP (Phillies, Barr etc.).
    One may want to point out that the LP should not follow Goldwat

  54. We know the correct solution is for the government to get out of the marriage business entirely. However, as long as there are laws regulating federal benefits and suchlike, then when there is confusion over the meaning of a legal term, that confusion should be settled. A need arose to clarify the definition of marriage in federal law, due to new questions raised.

    These are benefits paid for by taxpayer dollars. Do you like your money being spent on the War in Iraq? Don’t you wish you didn’t have to pay for that? Wouldn’t you agree that forcing someone to pay for something, regarding which they have a strong moral opposition, is wrong? This, certainly, is a bedrock Libertarian argument against the system of compulsory taxation.

    So why is it acceptable to force people to pay, for benefits for homosexual couples? Our party’s platform states that we oppose federal funding for abortions, for just this reason. The two positions are entirely consistent, both with each other, and with Libertarian philosophy.

    Though he did not have to, Bob Barr went a step further, and ensured this federal definition could not be applied to the states. The states would be free to set their own definitions, for their own laws and benefits regarding marriage. Barr took this step because his personal opinion ends where the Constitution begins, a fact he has demonstrated time and again. For example, when social conservatives tried to make DOMA a Constitutional, amendment, Barr opposed them:

    http://www.aclu.org/lgbt/relationships/12110leg20040330.html

    So what do I not get here? How do Libertarians find themselves advocates for the statist principle, of forcing people to pay for something they strongly do not want?

  55. Now let us see, let us take a practical example to illustrate: if say your neighbor murders your wife, are you then saying the police – as a governmental power for the interest of the rights of the citizens – has no right to “override” your neighbor’s right to privacy and personal property to come to arrest him? If the government/police does not have this power or right or authority to “override” his right to privacy, who has?

    Try to see if you can make any of your arguments without using the conjunction “and” as in “rights and obligations” or “rights and powers”.

    The police, in specific situations following specific guidelines (laws!), may exercise certain powers because those powers have been delegated to them. Those powers may be taken away or modified at any time; for example, the Miranda decision modified the conditions under which police may question a suspect. Police have no inherent powers–only those that they are given by the citizens through their representatives. Police have no permanent powers–those same representatives could (a) abolish the police tomorrow; (b) change their rules of procedure; or (c) change the laws they are tasked to enforce.

    In Great Britain, as an example that all Libertarians and Second Amendment supporters are aware of, the government took away the power (not the right!) of the cop on the beat to carry a firearm–because police have no inherent rights.

    Rights cannot be alienated: I hold freedom of speech and freedom of religion as an American citizen and the government of my ancestors’ creation has been specifically forbidden to touch those rights (even though the behemoth tries, again and again).

  56. Stephan -“the police – as a governmental power for the interest of the rights of the citizens – has no right to “override” your neighbor’s right to privacy and personal property to come to arrest him?

    Exactly. They may have the authority to do so, but they never have the right to do so.

  57. Buyer’s remorse setting in? Let’s see if Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby are willing to replace Barr/Root. That said, however, not one member of the LP agrees fully with any other member. I’d wager that virtually every candidate the LP has ever run for anything has failed in one respect or an other to fully comprehend, support and articulate some part of the Platform, thus giving voters a misleading idea of what libertarianism is.
    Even if one could always repeat, word for word, what is in the Platform, people hear and remember only “bites.” Denounce Larouche, for instance, and some people will only remember that the Libertarian candidate mentioned Larouche and will forever associate Larouche with the LP. Maybe Barr needs to clarify for us what state powers he thinks are legitimate and which aren’t, but let’s stop parsing every word of every statement and denouncing people as off the reservation. [Lot's of folks did this in the 1980 Ed Clark campaign and it led to a split that took years to recover from - and some would say it never did.]

  58. “Let’s see if Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby are willing to replace Barr/Root. ”

    It wouldn’t have helped. The details would be different.

  59. Chris – the big difference between GBLTetc marriage “rights” is that we also have a precept of “equality before the law” – which says that if one subset gets special priviledges, then other similar subsets should get the SAME treatment….

    Also paying for abortion is a net cost – saying the gov’t shouldn’t fund it, is simply a specific instance of the general case that the gov’t shouldn’t be paying for ANY form of health care.

    However, by and large the perks that go with being “married” are largely not “costs” to the gov’t – other than possibly reduced revenue in the case of marriage tax breaks – (Though I’ve seen arguments that one reason the gov’t wants monogamous marriages is that poly marriages reduce the gov’ts tax take…) Things like inheritance laws don’t have a direct cost to the gov’t. Changing names on forms, licenses, passports, etc. costs relatively trivial amounts (which could be recouped by a uniform charge for ALL such requests…) I can’t think of ANY significant “break” given to married people that would result in an unfair increase in gov’t costs…

    Sure things like transferal of Social Insecurity benefits would cost, but you are charging gay folks the same taxes, why SHOULDN’T they get the same benefits? (Or do you think it’s OK to force gay people to pay for special priviledges for “breeders”?)

    George – I would disagree with you on the results in some respects – I think the “public” *might* be slamming a Ruwart / Kubby ticket harder (to the extent that they paid much attention to it – Barf is arguably getting more MSM coverage) but I don’t think the general LP membership would be as irate, except for the Barroids, as IMHO Ruwart / Kubby are more closely aligned with the ideas that most libertarians think it stands for… I know that I would certainly not have one seconds worth of hesitation to cast an electoral vote for Ruwart / Kubby, the way that I could NOT cast one for Barr…

    Yes, R/K had flaws, some of which left them very vulnerable to public / MSM criticism, but at least they DO understand, and can express what it means to be a Libertarian with reasonable accuracy.

    ART
    LPMA Presidential Elector – NOT voting for Barr!
    Speaking for myself

  60. Art,

    When George says “the details would be different,” I think he’s speaking to the fact that Kubby or Ruwart, however willing, cannot simply “replace Barr.” If the LNC removes Barr as the presidential candidate, the VP candidate — Wayne Allyn Root — becomes the new nominee.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  61. “Exactly. They may have the authority to do so, but they never have the right to do so”.
    They have the power and authority to do so, and SHOULD do so also, otherwise they would not enforce the rights of the individual, also the power to punish those that do not respect your wife’s right to life. The government makes laws enforing rights. I would say yes, primarily an individual has rights. The government, local council etc. consists of the combination of individuals,w ho have rights and they have the right to paws laws (that serve the interest). We know in practise government abuses powers.

    I am thinking about the whole issue. I do not think only individuals has right, there are also something like constitutional rights, in international politics. A government has a right to sovereignty, not only an individual and also not a power, but a right. The term constitutional right is well known. When one country invade another country unjustified (like the US with Iraq), then not the “power” of the country of Iraq has been violated, but indeed the international right of Iraq (the government represents the rights of the people, as a people, not only individuals), as stipulated in UN law, to sovereignty.

  62. Tom: Does the LP policy/party law allow for a congressional LP candidate to be the vice presidential candidate of a competing party?

  63. Stefan,

    The rules on congressional candidates are at the state level, not the national level, and vary from state to state (some LPs nominate by primary and are bound by state convention laws; some nominate by convention and are bound by bylaws, etc.).

    I agree that it would be an interesting situation, and it would be interesting to see how any given state LP reacted to it if it were to happen. To the best of my knowledge, it never has.

  64. Yes interesting indeed, as it has never happened to my mind. A political party is as such a private institution.

    Now to the interesting and relevant part, for the intellectual discourse (you like intellectual gymnastics?): You mention the rules (one could also say law) that vary from state to state. Is this not “dixiecrat” state’s rights? Each state has the power to make its own laws, which regulate your rights, for instance how fast you may drive, or how many signatures you need to be on the ballot as a political party in each state? I am not making any normative remark, simply stating the factual situation, to demonstrate the reality of “state’s rights” or “federalism”.

  65. Stefan,

    You write:

    “Now to the interesting and relevant part, for the intellectual discourse (you like intellectual gymnastics?): You mention the rules (one could also say law) that vary from state to state. Is this not ‘dixiecrat’ state’s rights?”

    In fact, yes, Dixiecrat “states’ rights” arguments have been made in support of onerous state election laws. In general, however, no, it’s not the same thing, and the clue as to why you confuse the two is embedded in your last phrase: “the reality of ‘state’s rights’ or ‘federalism.'” They aren’t the same thing.

    Federalism as such is a system laid out in a constitution or other compact through which interacting state entities have negotiated mutual spheres of sovereignty. For instance, relevant to the example you cite above, the Constitution included the following :

    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

    The Constitution could just as easily have laid out a specific scheme which all states had to follow, or it could have not delegated as much power to Congress to alter the states’ schemes. There’s no particular principle at stake in this clause of the Constitution — it was simply a matter of what those negotiating the compact agreed on.

    “States’ rights,” on the other hand, is a doctrine implying a principle which supersedes the Constitution, regardless of that compact’s plain meaning. Sometimes the invocation of that doctrine is couched in bizarre claims that the Constitution means something other than what it says, or even that it doesn’t say what it says because the Congress of the United States and the Secretary of the State aren’t qualified to “seriously argue” that an amendment to the Constitution was, in fact, ratified, etc.

  66. Everyone here beat me to it: the “states” have no more of a right to regulate marriage or drug use than the federal government. Barr becomes less libertarian every time he opens his mouth.

  67. I’m just glad my rights are not subject to the whims of some “libertarians”!!

  68. When Libertarians can unanimously agree on a single definition of “libertarian”, then this issue will be solved. Until then, you will have any number of libertarian factions claiming to know what exactly “libertarian” means. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the agreement to be reached.

    In the meantime, I’ll use any peaceable tool at my disposal to regain any fraction of liberty. If it means spouting off states rights nonsense, then what the hell.

  69. [...] Originally posted at Last Free Voice. It may or may not have something to do with this. [...]

  70. Article V says no state “shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate” by amendment to the Constitution. Article IV sections 1, 3, and 4 refer to what I would consider states rights: full faith and credit to state court decisions in other states, no new states formed within the jurisdiction of an existing state without consent, and guaranteeing a republican form of government.

    Interestingly, the full faith and credit clause is one which the part of DOMA that Bob Barr seems least interested in having repealed is explicitly designed to circumvent.

  71. Right, Paulie. I wasn’t defending Barr’s quote.

  72. The Libertarian Party

  73. Knapp writes “…When George says “the details would be different,” I think he’s speaking to the fact that Kubby or Ruwart, however willing, cannot simply “replace Barr.” If the LNC removes Barr as the presidential candidate, the VP candidate — Wayne Allyn Root — becomes the new nominee.”

    Tom’s point here is totally correct and well taken. However, what I was giving was my opinion that a Ruwart-Kubby ticket would have led to the same difficulties as the Barr-Root ticket, except with a different group of names of very upset people.

  74. [...] Posted at LFV by Tom Knapp. I realize Tom writes here too, so I held off on posting it here, but I think enough time has elapsed. My apologies if Tom still meant to post it here himself. Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr, in an appearance yesterday morning on Fox News Sunday: [W]hat makes me a Libertarian is the fact that I deeply and truly believe in the Libertarian platform and what resonates with most Americans, and that is to shrink the size of the federal government. [...]

  75. This thread is all based on a confusion. It is based upon quote taken out of context.

    Wallace attacked a series of Barr’s votes in Congress and asserted that Barr is not a Libertarian.

    Barr wasn’t asked “What does it mean to be a libertarian” And then Barr responded that to be a libertarian is to support states rights like the Defense of Marriage Act.

    What happened was that after the claim that Barr is no libertarian, Barr responded that he was a libertarian because he supports the LP platform and wants to reduce the size of the federal government.

    Then, he went on to discuss these various votes. As he has done all along, he continues to support leaving the decision on marriage up to the states. This is as opposed to the conservative Republican view that there should be a Constitutional amendent banning gay marriage. Always remember than when you hear Barr claiming that his position on doma is conservative and when he appeals to states rights on the issue.

    Anyway, I think that Barr’s response was imperfect. With hindsight, it could cause confusion. He explained why he is a libertarian. And then he discussed his allegedly anti-libertarian votes.

    Then he went on to explain his votes for the Patriot act and the Iraq war. And, after a follow up by Wallace, admitted that they were mistakes.

    Anyway, none of the responses to the attacks on his votes were explanations of what it means to be a libertarian.

    Knapp, of course, is an opponent of Barr, being the VP on another ticket.

    Why should anyone be surprised that he would take a quote out of context and give it the most unsympathetic reading possible?

  76. Quoth Bill Woolsey:

    “This thread is all based on a confusion. It is based upon quote taken out of context.”

    Bullshit. The entire transcript is included as a link. Barr’s response was to the SPECIFIC question “how does your record make you a Libertarian?”

    Barr very clearly cited support for “states’ rights” as what “makes him a Libertarian.” It’s right there in black and white in the transcript and in living color in the video. Unless you’re asserting that the same people who teleported George W. Bush to New York to blow up the World Trade Center and then put him in a time machine so he could get back to Florida without ever having been noticed missing also altered the transcript and doctored the video, he said what he clearly said, and meant what he clearly meant.

    At no point in the interview transcript does Wallace “assert that Barr is not a Libertarian” as you claim. He cites Barr’s record, and asks how that record makes him a Libertarian.

    Barr could have said “it’s not my record that makes me a Libertarian, it’s that I’ve changed my mind about some of those bad things I did because I considered those things in light of libertarian principles.” Instead, he tried to defend his errors by defining libertarianism in terms of them. No amount of screaming “context” will change that fact.

  77. That pile of shit Woolsey left.

  78. DOMA: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c104:H.R.3396.PCS:

    Nothing in it says people of the same sex can’t get married. The states are not “required” to accept gay marriage, but neither are they forbidden to do so. Only the federal government could do the requiring, so this preserves state sovereignty. The federal government does not perform or license marriages.

    I understand the desire to be treated equally with regard to benefits, even if we want to eliminate them. Yet, we’re talking about spending other people’s money. We each have the right to spend our money according to our own moral values, not someone else’s.

    I don’t care who gets married. Polygamy is fine too. Why not a group or line marriage, where individual spouses come and go, while the marriage persists as a communal entity? Whatever floats your boat. However, as long as the public treasury is being raided, we should spend less time promoting gay marriage legislation, and more time protesting straight marriage legislation.

  79. For some reason WordPress doesn’t include the final colon in the link above. To view it, copy + paste to your browser.

  80. Edes writes: “Only the federal government could do the requiring, so this preserves state sovereignty. ”

    The ‘requiring’ is called the Full Faith and Credit cause of the Constitution, which was one of the core rationales for the present Constitution, because it is the clause that permits contracts to function across state lines. The notion that there is a state *sovereignty* — as oppose to a Constitutional division of powers — as radically contrary to the legal principles of our country.

    The notion that having a uniform law governing marriage costs us money is also backwards, because it eliminates the enormous transfer costs that would arise if every marriage contract was totally individually negotiated with separate and distinct obligations and penalties on the involved parties.

    Mr. Edes for better or worse is a Barr apologist seen regularly on a range of different message boards.

  81. Nothing in it says people of the same sex can’t get married. The states are not “required” to accept gay marriage, but neither are they forbidden to do so. Only the federal government could do the requiring, so this preserves state sovereignty. The federal government does not perform or license marriages.

    Excuse me, but this is just plain hogwash.

    The law creates a federal definition of marriage that is imposed upon the states. As a result, individuals of the same gender who are legally married in Massachusetts or California are not treated as married by the federal government.

    This has numerous implications — in taxation, inheritance, social security, immigration (for foreign spouses), etc. Even getting a new passport to reflect a name-change is impossible for gay individuals who use their marriage licenses to indicate the basis for their name change. There are a number of gay men who have been unable to get new passports with their post-marriage names because of DOMA.

    Now I wouldn’t mind too much if the constant assertion that DOMA is no big deal came from a position of ignorance — but there’s enough information and lobbying being done out there to nullify that ignorance. Instead, this rhetoric on DOMA is a direct effort to mislead voters about the impact AND preserve a federal law that creates a distinct class of people singled out for discriminatory treatment. And that’s just plain immoral, no matter how one cuts it.

  82. Chris Edes.

  83. “The notion that having a uniform law governing marriage costs us money is also backwards”

    Who said that? I meant that we should try to repeal benefits for heterosexual couples, rather than trying to extend benefits to homosexual couples. You’re really talking about raising taxes.

    Who needs to apologize? I make rational arguments. I don’t post under cute names either, because I am an adult.

    Speaking of “full faith and credit”, George, I hope you haven’t forgotten that affiliation is a voluntary contract, under which the LPMA has agreed as an official body to support the Presidential candidate chosen at the national convention.

    I don’t want to preserve DOMA, I want to make it irrelevant. Government should not perform or license marriage, nor use it as a basis for regulating the lives of citizens. People can use prenuptial contracts to handle legal matters, and their marriage can be whatever they want it to be.

  84. Chris – there was an implied contract on the part of the National LP to choose a Libertarian for the Presidential candidate – the convention chose not to do so, which IMHO weakens that obligation… In addition, the LPMA *AS A BODY* has agreed to support Barr to the extent needed to let him substitute for George on the ballot if he is able to litigate to do so. (Repeat emphasis – the refusal to substitute is coming from the Mass. Secretary of State’s office, and is a reversal of the ruling we had prior to starting to petition with George’s name on the ballot)

    As an LPMA Presidential Elector, I could totally screw things up by simply withdrawing, which would invalidate the petition drive – I will not do so, and we have gotten commitments from all the other electors to the same effect. I will even sign any required paperwork to do the substitution if that is needed. (I will NOT however commit to casting an electoral vote for Barr if the LP carries the state (unlikely))

    I also feel (along with what appears to be a voting majority of the other LPMA State Committee members) that it is not a wise use of our limited financial resources to give Barr support in more than name only – our affiliation does NOT require us to drain our treasury to support anyone. This is not a question of personal opinion as such, but rather a matter of excercising proper fiduciary responsibility.

    *AS INDIVIDUALS* we have no such obligations to support Barr. I feel that it is my right as an individual to oppose Barr in any lawful way that I can, for reasons I’ve made quite clear elsewhere. I do mention my LPMA and elected office status because I feel it is appropriate to sign my posts that way to let people know what my position is – but I also sign “speaking for myself” to clearly indicate that I’m not speaking from my official position…

    In terms of gov’t marriage licenses, I agree, the gov’t shouldn’t be in that business, and I walk my talk in that regard – My girlfriend and I have been happily UNmarried now for close to 15 years of heterosexual happiness – because we CHOOSE not to let Uncle Sam into our bedroom when WE define our relationship…

    ART

  85. “Chris Edes falsely claims:

    Speaking of “full faith and credit”, George, I hope you haven’t forgotten that affiliation is a voluntary contract, under which the LPMA has agreed as an official body to support the Presidential candidate chosen at the national convention.”

    In fact, Mr. Edes notwithstanding, there is no affiliation agreement between LNC, Inc. and any state party, so it has not existed in anyone’s memory except his.

    In contrast, there seem to be an increasing number of Libertarians who have not forgotten that the nominee represented himself to the convention as being a Libertarian, and who are now perturbed because they believe that there is an increasingly visible mismatch between his stands and this claim.

    George, who has invested more than $4000 of his own money on the MA Libertarian ballot access drive for our statewide candidates.

  86. George,

    The national LP bylaws, Article 6, Section 4 states:

    “No affiliate party shall take any action inconsistent with the
    Statement of Principles or these Bylaws.”

    Thus, all state chapter affiliates agree to the national bylaws, as a condition of their affiliation. The bylaws specify that we nominate our Presidential candidate at a national convention. To support another candidate would be inconsistent with our national bylaws. Thus, no affiliate party can take such action.

    I guess you did forget.

  87. Let me get this straight, George. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    You see no problem with breaking the voluntary contract of affiliation with national. You know, of course, that if one party can unilaterally disavow a contract, then no one has contract rights.

    So you advocate violating private contract rights. You also advocate raising taxes, by expanding marriage benefits, which are entitlements. Then you accuse Bob Barr of infidelity to the Libertarian ideal. I’m very confused by all this.

    Could you somehow stand to gain personally from such odd statements? Perhaps we should also explore why MA is “orphaned”, due to silly demands made by the state Chairman, that every other state in the region was supposed to bow to. Maybe you’re just looking out for #1? Which is fine, we’re individualists, but let’s not cloak it in fancy rhetoric.

  88. George, since you mention it, I spent $1400 last year and $500 this year on ballot access. Not to mention walking my feet off last year, and getting ready to this year.

    As someone who has done a great deal to build the party, it’s my party too, and I don’t feel Bob Barr is undermining it. I resent those who suggest that they are the only people who have invested their time, money, and energy into building our party.

    No one is saying you can’t sit on your tuffet. However, those who undermine my hard work by actively trying to hurt our party, or its chances in the general election, should not be surprised if they earn my displeasure.

    Is that not a reasonable way to feel?

  89. You are WRONG Chris… We are NOT taking action *as a party* to violate any agreements with National – though we definitely considered it… The ballot drive with George on was started AFTER we got assurances from the Secretary of State’s office that substitution would be allowed – This was done in order to take maximum advantage of the petitioning window, thus SAVING the LP money, and assuring our ballot acces. It was done with the intent that if George wasn’t selected, we would substitute. When Barr got the nomination, we considered refusing to substitute but decided that since National was helping to pay for the drive, we were obliged to do so, only to have the Secretary of State’s office reverse itself and say we couldn’t substitute. That the existing ballot drive continued after this was NATIONAL’S decision, not ours.

    The State Committee has agreed to sign off on whatever litigation National or Barr starts, so have ALL the presidential electors, myself included.

    Not even someone as thick as you claims that any “affiliation contract” requires our *enthusiastic* support – and we aren’t providing it… However we are doing what is required to support the LP Nominee, and are not campaigning for any other candidate in Mass.

    Note that as was pointed out by George at the National Convention, a working majority of the LPMA State Committee are members of groups that Barr has specifically attacked – in some cases in multiple ways… Our support of Barr is about as willing as what you’d get asking the NAACP to support David Duke… We are supporting Barr to the extent that we are BECAUSE we are honoring the implied commitment to National – so you can take your snide remarks and stick them where the sun never shines… (assuming they’d fit next to your head…)

    BTW, George didn’t mention it, but that 4K that he spent on “statewide ballot drive” is to put the presidential candidate, as well as our US Senate candidate on the ballot – In other words, BARR…

    Mass is a free and independent state, because we refused to be a rubber stamp – We insisted that if we were going to join a region, that there be a mechanism to select the regional reps that more fairly represented the states in the region than just how many delegates showed up at Natcon, and that there be an agreement on a way for the states in a region to insist on a reps replacement if we felt the rep was not properly representing us… Hardly unreasonable IMHO. Our State Committee prior to the convention also specifically instructed George NOT to join regions that appeared likely to elect certain individuals as reps because those individuals had previously performed their duties in a way that the SC deemed unsuitable…

    ART
    Speaking for myself…

  90. What I don’t understand about the Defense of Marriage Act is how it could possibly be constitutional given the “full faith and credit” or reciprocity clause in the constitution. I mean, states have to recognize the acts of other states with regard to people. If you commit a felony in one state, that is recognized in other states. If two or three or ten people get married in one state, their marriage has to be recognized by the other states. What’s this “forced on” bologna?

  91. “Our State Committee prior to the convention also specifically instructed George NOT to join regions that appeared likely to elect certain individuals as reps because those individuals had previously performed their duties in a way that the SC deemed unsuitable…”

    Right. You wanted veto power over the selection of representatives, instead of having an equal vote. That is unacceptable and selfish.

  92. I don’t expect George Phillies to support Barr in a non-official capacity. Yet it is worrisome that he believes no obligation exists to the national party in an official capacity. Arthur admits the LPMA considered violating the terms of their voluntary contract.

    This and the orphaning of MA show the same underlying “I’ll take my ball and go home if I don’t get my way” attitude. Unfortunately for MA, we didn’t need their ball.

    I’m also disturbed by what appear to be non-topical and gratuitous insults directed toward me by Arthur. Perhaps I should worry that the witches and warlocks on the LPMA committee will cast their spells against me :>

  93. Jim,

    It’s perfectly Constitutional because Article IV, Section 1 reads:

    “Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”

    Notice the second sentence giving Congress the power to pass laws such as DOMA. Congress exercised this Constitutional power to uphold the rights of states to disagree, and offer choice and diversity in government.

    I don’t know why Kubby and others mention individual rights being somehow opposed to states’ rights in this context. Except for whatever additional religious meaning a person may choose to give it, marriage is entirely a legal construct. People don’t have a right to legal constructs. They have a right to Life, Liberty and Property.

  94. Chris,

    Yes, “Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”

    However, amendments to the Constitution supersede (“amend”) prior articles with which they may conflict, and in 1868, GE Smith’s conspiracy theories notwithstanding, 2/3 of both Houses of Congress and 3/4ths of the state legislatures limited the aforementioned clause as follows:

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Congress has constitutionally denied itself (with the consent of the states) the authority to “prescribe an effect” of the Full Faith and Credit clause which empowers states to deny the equal protection of the laws.

  95. Why Bob Barr was nominated for the Libertarian Party continues to

    mystify. The strongest contender was unquestionably Steve Kubby. Hell,

    a liberal like Gravel was more of a libertarian than this jerk-off. And I

    think absolutely egregious that Ron Paul has broken his promise to stay in

    the race, leaving most truly conservative and moderate Republicans high

    and dry. Stephen Colbert said it best it said Barr supported DOMA,

    which “made the government small enough to fit in a bedroom.”

  96. Per this article, a motion to remove Barr as LP nominee has been written.
    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/09/motion-to-remove-barr-as-lp-nominee-has-been-written/

    I strongly urge the LP with the utmost urgency to recind the nomination of Bob Barr. He did immeasurable damage to the LP and the cause of liberty by refusing to appear with Dr. Paul and then his subsequent press conference, interviews and letter to Dr. Paul “inviting” him to take the VP slot on the LP ticket. This guy is NOT a Libertarian in principle. Even if he talks the talk, he does NOT walk the walk.

  97. [...] argument that Barr wasn’t libertarian enough: From the beginning, he was attacked for being too federalist and not enough of a libertarian on matters such as the drug war and gay marriage, being [...]

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