I’m really disappointed in Christine Smith… not as a Barr backer, but as a 15-year life member of the LP. Just a couple of weeks ago, she was on radio blasting Mary Ruwart over the child porn thing. Put the spotlight on her again, and she turns 180-degrees and blasts Barr on national TV. I publicly apologize to the Ruwart crowd for ever having said a word in Smith’s defense on the first point. Smith then went on to try and disrupt the post-nomination press conference… at this point I just think all she cares about is getting on TV.
The VP thing didn’t have to play out the way it did. I was cool with a Barr/Ruwart ticket initially… after the big wins that the reformers got on the Bylaws and Platform debates over the past two days, I thought it would be good for party unity for Ruwart to make the VP slot. I talked with a few key radical leaders, and leaned Kubby’s way on the first round (with several other Barr supporters) for the unity factor.
On the second round, I shrugged my shoulders and voted Root. For one thing, I learned that multiple offers had been made by the Barr camp to bring Ruwart on board… before the nominations, and during the rounds. Ruwart wouldn’t budge, even after it became clear the way things were shaping up. In all fairness, I’m hearing that she had a pre-existing pact in place with Kubby… and couldn’t find him right before the last vote to see if he’d be okay with her backing out of that. However, there were multiple offers, and I’m not convinced that she (or Kubby) really would have gone that way regardless.
More importantly, Kubby lost on VP because 20 or more delegates left the floor following the Barr win. Had they simply stuck around one more hour, Kubby would have WON. Kubby and Nolan then gave speeches in lobby, and still more others pledged not to go to the morning session tomorrow… thus ensuring that a less-balanced LNC will be elected. Again, that doesn’t HAVE to go that way either. Say what you want, this convention has been no “purge”… things played out in such a lopsided manner largely due to all-or-nothing thinking, and poor floor management once emotions got too strong.
I personally hope that once people have an opportunity to blow off steam and vent their frustrations, that most of the disappointed people begrudgingly find their way back in the fold. I might not have said that a couple of weeks ago, but meeting some of these people in real life (that I’d only known from online arguments) has changed my thinking somewhat. Before I came out here, my preconception of Starchild for example was based on the portrayal he often gets online… I thought he was some guy who just shows up in costumes and tries to disrupt things because he doesn’t take matters seriously. You know what? That image is completely full of shit. In the Bylaws and Platform debates, he was extremely knowledgeable about every plank being discussed, articulated his positions eloquently and respectfully, and was nothing if not 100% serious (attire aside). The same was true for the arguments he was making while working the floor during Presidential votes. I disagreed with him 90%+ of the time, but the guy’s NOT a joke… he’s probably one of the best libertarians we have, and just has a different vantage point than me on what’s best for the Party. The same is true for several of the other key guys that I’ve gone to the mat with in blog debates.
Phillies probably delivered the best speech of his career when he refused to make an endorsement, but tried to stress that the enemy was outside the room rather than within. I’ll be doing everything I can for the ticket over the next several months, and I do hope that the disappointed people come around once they’ve had their chance to vent some steam.