Steve G.

Archive for May 30th, 2008|Daily archive page

Barr, Barr-Root, Boor-Ratt, Borat!

In Libertarian on May 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

For any of you who speak Russian, this is how the ex-USSR press is covering the Barr nomination.

Жертва Бората (Borat’s victim)—about Barr’s candidacy

My dad emailed me the link the morning after Barr’s nomination. He is having a field day mocking me for being an LP member with this.

This is not to put me in the camp of those who oppose the party, or those like disinter who have precluded the possibility of supporting Barr.

On the other had, neither am I willing to give a ringing, and, as far as I can tell, unconditional endorsement of Barr-Root, a la Steve Kubby.

Although I am as yet far from certain, my initial inclination is to take a wait and see attitude, as described by Less Antman:

This is going to be a balancing act for radicals. We DO want to keep pressure on Barr so that he doesn’t feel emboldened to tell conservatives what they want to hear to draw votes from McCain.

We will have NO influence if we declare our unconditional refusal to vote for Barr, and even less if we let him know he doesn’t have to worry about our being in the LP after the election.

The proper approach for LP radicals is to constructively work for state and local candidates and ballot access and to focus on better internal education (or any internal education, which would be a good start). We can work for the party through November without having to specifically work for Barr-Root, and neither an unconditional commitment nor an unconditional rejection makes sense.

However, what practical incentive do Barr and Root have to listen to us? Surely, they can find more votes, and, even, more activists outside of traditionally hardcore radical LP ranks? If ever they had to compromise with us and make concessions, that time has passed now that they have safely secured the nomination. From now on, as anyone with practical political experience knows, their job is to move away from trying to please the party base, and towards reaching out to grab votes from the great undecided muddle. This is true of all parties.

In fact, if they were to pay me as a political consultant for advice on how to package their message with a view towards increasing their vote total in this election, I would be ripping off my client if I told them anything other than downplaying hardcore libertarian positions. That is, if their job as candidates is what most people define the job of candidates to be – getting the maximum number of votes possible in THIS election.

I happen to think that the job of the Libertarian Party should be somewhat different than that; but it is currently clear that those who agree with me on this have lost the fight, at least for the time being, to those who do not. Given this fact, is it possible to stay and fight and win this battle in the future, or is it time to cut my losses?

I’m not yet sure; stay tuned for an upcoming post: “I haven’t left the Libertarian Party, but has the Libertarian Party left me?”

Briefly speaking, I do not know the answer yet.

My support is not unconditional, and is based on actions rather than party loyalty. In other words, I will see what the campaign looks like. If I was into the idea of “my party no matter what,” I would still be a Democrat.

But it does not matter much either way – I will still collect signatures for Barr if he pays well enough (if I can collect signatures for Greens and Constitution Party, which I will, I can certainly collect signatures for the LP regardless of who the candidate is), and I will still most likely personally not be able to actually vote in November, regardless of my support level, for logistical reasons. Regardless of my support, I’m unlikely to have the financial means to make any donations to the campaign. In other words, very little changes based on how I feel about the campaign.

As far as my writing, I will continue to tell the truth the way I see it – I’ll say good things about the ticket when they do good, and bad things when they do bad, as I see it. If anyone at any point thinks that I am worth commissioning to write anything (hasn’t happened yet, and I have no indication that it ever will), he who pays the piper calls the tune.

I highly encourage the pro- and anti-Barr factions to engage in a bidding war for my services. And I expect that the offers will come pouring in just as soon as I hit “publish,” and not long after hell freezes over.

Reason eats some Cannolis

In Libertarian on May 30, 2008 at 4:53 am

“Paulie Cannoli,” a Kubby supporter and blogger who’d been unceremoniously de-credentialed by Third Party Watch, joked around and proposed that radicals make an end run around Barr. “Give him all the tokens,” Cannoli said. “Let him take the stage all by himself. Then get all the candidates back in here and tell C-SPAN!” Cannoli, who brandished the media credentials of former LP Executive Director Shane Cory (a man about as popular in this circle as Donald Rumsfeld), handed out Kubby buttons and asked for support: “A token for the tokin’ candidate!”