Steve G.

Voices from LFV Mailbag: Austrian Economist on the LP Convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics on May 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I received the below article, written by Austrian Economist, in the LFV inbox. Please note that the article does not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of LFV or its contributors.

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The Poison of Purity: How Steve Kubby’s Loyalty Unraveled the Libertarian Party

(This is not meant to be anything more than an analysis of the LP presidential vote and what COULD have been, or perhaps what SHOULD have been.)

There was a point during the Libertarian Convention on Sunday at which all was not yet lost to Bob Barr and his Republican-lite sympathies.

You may have seen the eccentric pro-Mike Gravel signs encouraging delegates to “Fight Senator with Senator” or comparing Barr’s career accolades with those of Gravel. Signing the Patriot Act or ending the Draft? Defense of Marriage Act or releasing The Pentagon Papers? Hmmmm… Sufficed to say, it was amusing and poignant. Less amusing was proto-fascist and turd-for-hire Stephen Gordon ripping these signs down in the supposed “Free Speech Zone”.

On the first ballot, there were a few surprises. One: how Barr would seemingly flatline around 160-ish votes. Two: Mary Ruwart’s dedicated acolytes, pushing her into a similar vote range. And third, how Wayne Allyn Root had more support than many gave him credit for. But there was still plenty of room to wrangle support scattered throughout the delegation. Or so one would have thought.

Second round, Jingozian and Smith are out. Endorsement to Gravel from Jingozian, no major surprise following his introduction speech for Gravel. So then Kubby is low man on the totem poll. Here’s where things get interesting. Earlier that morning, I have it on good word that Kubby indicated to the Gravel campaign that he wanted the Senator to “be the standard bearer.” Very encouraging news. So where was this sentiment when he gave his concession speech & endorsement for Ruwart? In the end, Kubby chose friendship over principle, which is cute, but ultimately meaningless and irrelevant. THIS was the lynchpin moment of the election, the crux when Libertarians got it so damn wrong.

Let’s examine how things MAY have played out if Kubby made the principled decision of what he knew was best. The following scenario is narrated in the sequence of the convention voting. So, Kubby’s endorsement of Gravel not only rattles his own supporters, but as a long-time voice, icon, and martyr in the party, it bolsters the growing impression of Gravel as the most effective candidate.

Next round. Phillies is now in less of a quandary, and can contribute to the continual Gravel-anche of support. As a centrist himself, this is a major statement that Gravel is the glue to preserve and promote the Libertarian party. That would make THREE endorsements to Gravel, none to anyone else.

Suddenly, Gravel has leapfrogged Root in the votes, putting him in a position of leverage and influence. Root is amenable to Gravel, and recognizes what he brings to the party. Like everyone else, Root wants nothing to do with Barr. He strikes a deal and gentlemanly agreement with Gravel, yielding an enthusiastic endorsement. Gravel will serve as elder statesman of the LP, and Root a promising future voice (with good tutelage, not Barr’s indoctrination).

Given Root’s endorsement, Gravel is suddenly in 2nd place, either behind Ruwart or Barr. Were he behind Ruwart, those previously for Barr would recognize Gravel’s star-power and Libertarian pragmatism, thus shifting his way. Were he behind Barr, any purist would swing Gravel’s way, as would the 100-odd Root supporters. Regardless, he’d muscle out the final vote.

BOTTOM LINE—had he made the final ballot, Gravel would likely have succeeded in securing the nomination. Sadly, the LP fell prey to its worst vice, that of self-importance and self-indulgence. Delegates put themselves in the precarious situation of either nominating a shady Republican-goon or a lackluster, pedantic spokesperson who essentially condoned child pornography in writing. Let’s not forget the prominent article the morning of the vote that dealt with Ruwart and child pornography. Whether or not it came from the Barr camp, the LP would have been OBLITERATED the moment Ruwart received the nomination. Ultimately, could the choices have been any more stupid?

Personally, I voted None of the Above, because either vote would essentially destroy the LP, which it has now gleefully done to itself. Were a gun to my head, I’d probably have voted Barr, since scruples can be forgiven far more readily by the American people than a tolerance for pederasts. I wouldn’t like doing it, but hey, a gun’s to my head, so that’s already a violation of Libertarian principles (har har).

All that said, I congratulate the Libtards for failing to capitalize on the first (and potentially last) great opportunity to come your way. Whether that chance comes again, I know not. But I’d encourage you to aggressively court Jesse Ventura as your 2012 candidate. Otherwise, just go onto the NAMBLA listserves now and save yourselves the trouble.

Gravel was right all along… the LP could continue to be an irrelevant, half-a-percent party. Had they elected Ruwart, this would’ve been the case. At least with Barr, you’ll get national media, albeit inconsistent with your core values. In essence, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and screwed every which way but loose. The LP may now be remotely viable, but has compromised any integrity in order to do so.

There really isn’t much else that can be said. In a democracy, the voice of the people reigns supreme. Gravel readily recognized this is his most humble, accepting words following his defeat. Yet apparently, the democracy of the LP yields sleazy mustaches and utopian anarchists. Neither of which I enjoy, and neither of which I could bring myself to vote for.

Now we see that Kubby is calling for Libertarians to support Barr/Root. Coming from a guy who firestarted the convention with the statement that Barr had yet to “wash the blood from his hands” as a bellicose, anti-medical marijuana czar, that’s an abrupt change of heart. I don’t begrudge this at all… I like Kubby and hope that he can salvage what is now a party ripped asunder. Too bad he is playing smart politics after-the-fact, when he could have made the wise decision when it actually mattered.

Remember—you did this to yourselves, so shame on you all, and better luck next time. The road to irrelevance is a gleefully indulgent path, for sure! Gravel’s words might be well-advised next time around:

“We are Americans first, and Libertarians second.”

Sadly, some didn’t get that memo.

  1. Phillies was not in a quandary.

    I had a completely different perspective about the outcome if the people who turned out to be ahead of me won the nomination.

    I gave my perspective, repeatedly, in my remarks at various debates and other places. As is shown by the vote totals, people did not find my perspective to be convincing, so I did not repeat it when it was too late.

    However, I did have television time, and I therefore gave precisely the speech the television audience needed to hear. I am truly grateful for the delegates who, by cheering loudly, supported my effort to educate America.

    I expect that my new magazine Liberty for America will get to spend several years unveiling the blindingly obvious.

    I had several people ask me questions about whom I supported, and gave at least one of them a slip of paper with a few words on it. The slip I remember did not bear a human name.

    Austrian Economist is welcome to telephone me and talk. I’m in the phone book.

  2. George, your speech was by far the best of the convention.

    As for the “Gravel could have won!” spiel, I’m baffled that any one could oppose Barr- who’s made a serious effort over the past two years to atone for his past mistakes- yet support Gravel- who was more or less unapologetically unlibertarian and ridiculed, among other things, opposition to government-run schools, opposition to government-run healthcare, and any one who questioned the “majority makes right” argument that was the common thread to all his arguments.

    Gravel was maybe a decent “civil libertarian”- but he was no libertarian in even the broadest sense of the term.

  3. Oh, and one more thing- the people who stormed out of the hall after the Presidential nomination and cost Kubby the VP slot did a hell of a lot more to undermine party unity than Kubby, who was the perfect gentleman throughout the whole affair.

  4. Hi, Dr. Phillies!

    Is there a link where we can subscribe to your new magazine? I’d happily give it some press on LFV.

  5. Gravel was maybe a decent “civil libertarian”- but he was no libertarian in even the broadest sense of the term.

    While making the rounds of hospitality suites on Saturday night of the convention, I had an opportunity to speak with a number of Gravel supporters. I asked each one of them the same question, “So how long have you been involved with the LP”

    Not a single one of them had been a libertarian prior to Gravel becoming an LP member. A small sample, but telling.

    Gravel is anti-libertarian on nearly all economic issues. I’m just curious as to whether Gravel and his supporters were just too unintelligent to understand that, or if they just didn’t care. Either way, I hope Gravel and the anti-libertarians he brought with him find a movement that better reflects their views.

  6. I have always wondered if he was passing, cause I always saw him as one of us Brothers.

  7. What I told Senator Mike Gravel was that I admired what he had done for liberty, but that he needed to lose the Fair Tax IF he really wanted to be the standard bearer. When the Senator said he couldn’t do that, it was the end of our conversation and the end of his candidacy.

    As for my change of heart regarding Bob Barr, all I can say is that I was even harder on him privately, than i was when I said publicly that he had blood on his hands. Barr listened carefully and has adjusted his positions accordingly. Look for a position paper to come out next week that will confirm and detail his commitment to ending the war on drugs.

  8. Less amusing was proto-fascist and turd-for-hire Stephen Gordon ripping these signs down in the supposed “Free Speech Zone”.

    Gordon has become rather repulsive as of late. This is the same guy that used to cry when Badnarik signs were taken down…

  9. but that he needed to lose the Fair Tax IF he really wanted to be the standard bearer.

    Then you go on to encourage the LP to rally behind another fair-taxer. That makes a ton of sense.

    Barr listened carefully and has adjusted his positions accordingly.

    That alone should be enough for rational people not to trust the whore (Barf).

    Kubby – I was 100% behind you after your excellent performance at the debate. However you have since proven yourself to be a sell-out.

  10. Wow,

    Here’s unity for you. Watch for the radicals and realists to both wonder how in the world you could think Gravel would be the great Libertarian hope?

    First of all the rumor of Kubby promising to back Gravel would have to be true, which I doubt. Even so, what makes you think that the radicals would have jumped just because Kubby said so. Nope, backing Gravel would have netted few votes and a loss of stature on Kubby’s part. Remember, we Libertarians have this nasty little habit of thinking for ourselves.

    And most importantly there was no way Gravel had the stature to heal the wounds of the factions within the LP. He only joined two months prior, and had never really grasped the culture inside the LP, never mind the political philosophy behind it. Most importantly, it wasn’t a role Gravel was looking to fill. This whole scenario is a fantasy.

    Gravel wasn’t receiving the full hatred like Barr was because Gravel was seen as mostly harmless, just passing through the LP. Be nice to him, be civil to him, let him get a couple of headlines for the party and let him choose his path once we fail to give him the nomination.

    His differences with libertarians was much greater than Barr’s. Starchild’s grilling of him in one of the unofficial debates showed those differences to be huge. He had a bigger problem with purists than the reformers ever will.

    These differences were never going to disappear over this past convention. The fact that the convention ended up as civil as it was ( Christine Smith aside ) is probably as happy a result as anyone could expect.

    The passions of behind the different views of what the LP should be and do are not going to be wiped away by the actions of a single leader. True, leadership by example, will help. But change, healing and agreement will not go away by some magical leader. It happens one person at a time.

    And at some level, even though I dislike the anger and fear that the divisions within the party have brought out. Everyone being on the same page will kill this party too. We need a little internal competition. In the marketplace of ideas, just like in business, competition kicks us all in the butt to do better.

  11. “But change, healing and agreement will not go away by some magical leader. It happens one person at a time.”

    er, strike “go away” and insert “come about”.

    oops.

  12. Actually, I’ve done ever worse than sell-out.

    Yes, I’ve done something far worse from the perspective of folks like disinter:

    I’ve accepted the judgement of the delegates as the wisest and best decision possible.

    I have accepted their decision, because I know that my opponents won fairly and I know they sincerely care about liberty.

    I also know that every delegate who I met was someone who put liberty above all else. While I disagree with their choice, I know it was a decision that was well considered by all.

    One reason I’ve been able to accept what happened at the convention, is that I view our party as not really a party at all. To me the LP is more like a watering hole that attracts every imaginable creature in the world from hippies and anarchist to corporate execs and conservatives. All we really have in common is our thirst for liberty and our Libertarian principles to define our common areas of interest. Beyond that we are more like a Star Wars bar scene than anything else.

    So, while it may be a zoo out there, it’s the best place I know to slake your thirst and conspire with others to create a world that is flooded with liberty and awash in freedom and prosperity.

  13. Damn!

    Two candidates responding! I appreciate the responses, and am under no delusions that my analysis is rock-solid or definitive.

    It’s a fun “what if” from a Gravel supporter who was baffled (and still am) that the LP chose to damn itself to irrelevance with Ruwart, or hypocrisy with Barr.

    If things are genuinely being worked out with Barr, that is great. I somehow doubt it. My vote won’t be going his way unless there are massive amounts of atonement between now and November. And by massive, I mean not bloody likely.

    But, like I said, the POISON OF PURITY. Stick by all your niche-values and lose, or suffer the gruesome travails of pragmatism. What a horrifying possibility!

    JEFF WARTMAN – your smug comments are indicative of the same shitty attitude too many Libertarians project. Way to grow your party, dipshit. Did I speak to you Saturday night? I must’ve been blinded by your aura of brilliance.

    Good move, Jeff. You wouldn’t want Gravel supporters to join the LP out of enthusiasm, now would you? Couldn’t have people actually join the party out the allure that a real, nationally prominent candidate might bring? Instead, you protected the LP from a Gravel hijack!! And the backdoor was left wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open for Barr. Stupid prick. (YOU, not Barr. Barr’s the smart one.)

    And with that, I’ve reminded myself why I am glad to be free from the moronic purism of the LP.

    FREEDOM & LIBERTY AT LAST!!!

  14. I’ve accepted the judgement of the delegates as the wisest and best decision possible.

    So you accept the judgement of all elected represetatives? Even when they vote to ban medical marijuana?

  15. By the way, has anyone read this excellent piece yet?

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/05/libertarian-party-1972-2008-rest-in.html

    I reiterate what one of the comments there said.

    I’ll vote for Ralph Nader before I would ever consider voting Barr. At least he has vision. AND principle.

  16. By the way, has anyone read this excellent analysis yet? It far outdoes my silly little rant:

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/05/libertarian-party-1972-2008-rest-in.html

    I’ll second the motion made by someone in the comments thread there, too:

    I will proudly vote for Ralph Nader far before I would ever consider voting Barr. At least he has vision for society. Oh, AND principle.

    Principle is important, too. Not too important, but just kinda. You know, like when you kinda like a girl? Or you kinda condemn Wiccans and Humanists as a root cause of youth violence? That “kinda”

  17. […] “He put friendship over principle,” the source said. Those same words appear in a recent article from Last Free Voice, sent to the site’s editor from someone calling him/herself […]

  18. I’m still wondering how on Earth anyone could consider pro-gov’t-school, pro-gov’t-healthcare, “you have to obey the majority” Mike Gravel a “principled” choice.

  19. Andy:

    Do you believe in majoritarian rule, or do you prefer your warm little cave?

    Were the decisions at the LP Convention made by majoritarian rule, or were they not? Does Switzerland protect their gun rights and standing CITIZEN army by Initiative process, or do they not?

    Gravel is for democracy, and whether that yields no government schools & healthcare, or total, comes down to the people. I sure as hell trust individuals whose decisions would affect their own lives to call the shots before a corrupt, detached Congress.

    Again, I wouldn’t expect whiny Libtards to recognize the vital purpose of such a thing.

    For the rest, I’d encourage voting on The National Initiative for Democracy:

    http://www.ni4d.us

    If you’re sick of big government, become a lawmaker yourself, sidestep Congress, and clean up society with the MAJORITARIAN voice of the people.

    PS – whether you agree with him or not, you don’t get more principled than Gravel, so clean that filthy mouth of yours. And I don’t mean principled in the absolutist-anarchist-textbook-feelgood-sense. I mean GETTING THINGS DONE. But Libertarians don’t know much about that, do they?

  20. And your stunning Gravel-like ignorance of basic libertarian principles surfaces.

    Tyranny of the majority is no better than any other tyranny, and your conflation of trusting the majority with unlimited power and trusting individuals to run their own lives is either blatantly dishonest or just another reflection of your basic ignorance of what the term “libertarian” means.

    Over at IPR you’re being outed for, to paraphrase, “someone who probably didn’t know the term ‘Austrian economist’ before going to this convention.” Something which I’m inclined to believe considering that what you’re saying flies in the face of the tenets of Austrian economics.

  21. You Libertarians are truly retarded.

    Especially people like GE, Andy, and Shawn. Disinter too, but at least he’s got a good sense of humour about it.

    Enjoy yourselves as your party crumbles. This is why Third Parties fail.

  22. I’m no purist. I’m some one who sits on the fence between minarchism and outright anarcho-capitalism, but I’m supporting Barr because I recognize the validity of a “big tent” broader libertarian coalition strategy. Any one that falls within the libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart should be welcome. My objection to Gravel is that I think he’s so much in opposition to basic libertarian principles that I don’t think he actually wants to pull the country in a more libertarian direction.

  23. The following exchange, between Michael Johnson and Bruce Cohen (former chairman of Orange Co, CA LP and a major tout for Wayne Root – and now for Bob Barr), took place on the Libertarian Yahoo group a couple of days ago.

    [MJ] Once billed as “The Party of Principle” those principles were sold
    down the river. On Sunday, May 25, 2008 the principles were
    abandoned, and the party was last seen gasping for air before expiring.

    [BC] ‘Party of Principle’ was a slogan made up for a promo. It’s not a
    defining statement. In fact, it’s insulting to outsiders and probably a
    mistake
    to use.

  24. but I’m supporting Barr because I recognize the validity of a “big tent” broader libertarian coalition strategy.

    Or your employment depends on not pissing off the LP.

  25. “Or your employment depends on not pissing off the LP”

    Not in the slightest. I could count one one hand the number of self-proclaimed “libertarians” I know who live within fifty miles of me.

    And it’s extremely insulting of you to imply something like that.

  26. You know what I like best about Austria? It’s CHOCOLATE.

    Now stop being an autistic little turd, won’t you?

    I’m going to build a bomb shelter now to hide from the “tyranny of the majority.”

    You know the last tyranny I suffered? That of the minority, when Congress has put the country down the gutter for god knows how long. Last I checked, the MAJORITY of the people were opposed to their heinous legislation, but were powerless to counter it.

    And the second tyrrany of the minority I’ve suffered, that of 630 LP delegates (some retarded, some not) making a wretched choice for the greater US populace.

  27. If your arguments don’t go beyond “the majority is never wrong, it must have unlimited power”, you’re clearly not interested in advancing the principles of liberty as understood by anyone outside of a few disgruntled Mike Gravel supporters.

  28. Further:

    What is more Libertarian than empowering the people to make and repeal laws?

    If you wanna shrink the size & power of government, AND the two parties, you’ve got to empower the people.

    The people are fundamentally more conservative than their leaders, because it’s their money, and their lives.

    How the heck else are you going to get the government in check? By bitching and protesting? They don’t care, because you have NO POWER.

  29. The majority is wrong plenty. But they’re also right plenty more than their elected officials. And who said anything about “unlimited power”? Don’t you go all autistic on me again, Andy. It’s simply a 4th check to the system, so the people have some say in their government. We ARE sovereigns, remember?

    Want perfection? Anarchist utopia?

    Go take some acid and jerk off to Ayn Rand for the weekend.

    Oooooooooooooooo, that sounds soooooo hot, I might just change my plans!

    Wait, nah. I’ll go drinking with *gasp* Democrats and Republicans, ie the majority of the population.

    Too bad the LP can’t figure out how to sway them.

  30. And it’s extremely insulting of you to imply something like that.

    Don’t you collect signatures for ballot access, or am I thinking of someone else?

  31. I was a Gravel supporter. And still am a supporter of a lot of his ideas. I am astounded that people say that Gravel was not a Libertarian in any sense, but they can fall behind someone who:

    Voted FOR the patriot act.

    Voted FOR the Iraq War Resolution.

    Was such a drug warrior that the Libertarian Party he just got the nomination for had to run ads against him in his congressional race to get him out of congress.

    Tried to ban the religion of Wicca in the military. Because clearly only Christians get to practice their religion while defending our country.

    Lied on my radio show and said that the defense of marriage act was to protect gay rights. That was classic.

    Since then, he claims to of reformed. Then his PAC funded REPUBLICANS who in many cases were running AGAINST Libertarians. Their voting records in most cases went on to do things like:

    Re-new the patriot act.

    Continue to fund the war.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    I didn’t have to make any leaps of faith to figure out what Gravel’s positions on the war were. He was ALWAYS strong about that. And rather then say, voting for the Iraq war, he read the pentagon papers to END the Viet Nam war. He phillibustered the draft to make sure that people like us are not in Iraq right now.

    I didn’t have to make any leaps of faith to figure out what Gravel’s positions on the drug war were. He was always strong on that.

    I didn’t have to make any leaps of faith to figure out what Gravel’s positions on civil liberties is. He was always strong on that.

    I didn’t have to make any leaps of faith about Gravel’s position on religion or gay rights. He was already strong on those issues.

    Yes, he had a socialized health care plan. One that would of cut the costs of public health care to a fraction of what it is. He was also for eventually turning it off when we didn’t need it anymore. If you think you are ever going to get a candidate that doesn’t have a health care plan elected, you need to get out of fantasy land. When Ron Paul HINTED at getting rid of Social Security and Medicare the American voters panicked. Particularly the elderly who generally pick our President. Ron Paul suggested that we leave the current health care systems in place until people are no longer dependent on them. And even then it hurt his votes beyond repair.

    Personally, I think this movement needs to pull their heads out of their derriers about this. We can argue about defeating socialism after we defeat fascism. I am FAR more worried about the Patriot Act, and the war then I am about my neighbors having food stamps. We chase off good candidates who really are trying to help all the time because we have this perfect pipe dream of a candidate who is going to be able to keep all our values and still have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. If we keep going this way all the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Socialists etc will all be sitting next to each other in the same FEMA camps thinking to ourselves how stupid we were to be fighting over the obvious distraction that is the argument over socialism. Ron Paul left this party for a reason. And I am starting to understand why.

    Meanwhile, while we bicker about social programs that if any candidate says they will get rid of they will never stand a chance of winning, they are passing more legislation just as bad if not worse then the Patriot act.

    By the way. Gravel is not going anywhere. Nor are his supporters. We don’t need your permission to be Libertarians. The only reason I had not joined the party sooner was because I didn’t have any hope for America until Ron Paul surfaced. And I hadn’t heard of the Libertarian party until then. When Mike Gravel joined the party I followed him because I had been following him and Ron Paul very closely. Ron Paul won’t run third party. So I made my choice and I don’t regret it.

    Meanwhile, some Libertarians have their principles, and .32% of the vote on average. We have our conventions and we stick our chests up in an illusion of importance. Holier then thou, and just continue to divide what is already divided. And accomplish NOTHING. If that idea helps you sleep at night, I will ask you how much comfort it is to you when Bush declares martial law.

  32. One more thing.

    As to your accusations that Mike Gravel is leaving the party or doesn’t care about it, he has already committed himself to be willing to help ANY Libertarian candidate for Congress, Senate, etc. His efforts will help the party a lot. Maybe you should take another look.

  33. Interesting post. I happen to like Gravel, but this is the first time I’ve read a “shoulda-been” analysis in HIS favor rather than Ruwart (or maybe Kubby). I kinda shut my brain off after reading the “turd-for-hire” description of Stephen Gordon (funny phrase though!). Still, I finished reading… and there are two reasons why this analysis is without foundation:

    (1) There were too many deals made. Barr gave Gravel the tokens he needed to make the debate, and later pledged to endorse Root for VP. Ruwart gave tokens to Kubby to make the debate, and had a pact to support him for VP. During the VP voting, another Georgia delegate and I (who both backed Kubby) were talking strategy with George Phillies in the lobby. Phillies was hostile to the notion of a Barr/Root ticket, but raised an eyebrow and warned us that it would be VERY dangerous for the long-term interests of the Party to have camps going back on their deals. He was probably right.

    (2) Almost no candidate had the power to move his or her supporters as a bloc. Phillies urged unity, and most of the Massachusetts delegation walked out. Root endorsed Barr, and around 1/3 of his supporters shifted to Ruwart. Barr endorsed Root for VP, and there were a number of his supporters working the floor for Kubby. The notion that things could have worked out differently if only the “puppetmasters” had moved their chess pawns differently is silly… us pawns all had independent brains of our own.

  34. For the record, Barr only provided the Gravel campaign with 6 of the needed tokens. Not really that signifigant to be honest.

  35. Oh, and another thing. The Gravel people also rallied to get Steve Kubby his tokens as well when Mike asked us too. Your information has some holes in it.

    As for a “shoulda been” when it comes to Mary, right or wrong. The child pornography scandal would of destroyed this party.

  36. I didn’t say that Barr and Gravel had a “deal”… I just said that Barr had done Gravel a favor. Gravel later endorsed nobody, and told people in conversation on the floor that he voted for Root in the next round.

    Phillies probably had a good point when he joked, “I’m disappointed that no one’s asked me to endorse a candidate that they want to lose!” With each endorsement, a large chuck of the candidate’s base went the exact opposite way. It’s hard to plot out too many plausible scenarios (ahead of time OR after the fact), when the whole process is basically herding cats.

  37. disinter that stuff is great. I will add it to my already impressive collection.

  38. I find the “National Initiative” more populist than Libertarians. A majority could pass a law that would take the rights of a minority.

  39. “Don’t you collect signatures for ballot access, or am I thinking of someone else?”

    You’re thinking of some one else.

  40. “I’ll vote for Ralph Nader before I would ever consider voting Barr. At least he has vision. AND principle.”

    Hell, I’d vote for Obama before I’d vote for Barr. He wants a Socialist Super State but at least he’d build it with money stolen from folks who already have a job instead of forcing retired people back to work with a f*king “Fair” tax.

  41. “I find the “National Initiative” more populist than Libertarians. A majority could pass a law that would take the rights of a minority.”

    Right, because the minority that is forcing wonders like the Patriot Act, and the Iraq war is far superior…

    FYI, the National Initiative is not capable of creating laws that contradict our constitutionally protected rights. The supreme court still has authority over it in that regard.

  42. There are two people who post as “Andy” — leading to a lot of confusion.

    If the NI4D could not do anything unconstitutional, then it could only pass laws that Congress could really constitutionally pass — i.e., on matters of trade and national defense. There’s no need for a NI4D. What’s needed is a scaleback of federal power to its constitutional limits. Then let people be “lawmakers” at the state level instead, like in our wonderful state of Michigan, where private employers are now barred from giving partnership rights to same-sex couples — thanks to a 60% initiative!

    NI4D = Racist, homophobic tyranny.

  43. All I know is, Steve Kubby is a great ambassador for this party. I’ve had my ups and downs, but people like Kubby know how to put everything in perspective.

  44. “The majority is wrong plenty. But they’re also right plenty more than their elected officials. And who said anything about “unlimited power”? Don’t you go all autistic on me again, Andy. It’s simply a 4th check to the system, so the people have some say in their government. We ARE sovereigns, remember?
    Want perfection? Anarchist utopia?
    Go take some acid and jerk off to Ayn Rand for the weekend.
    Oooooooooooooooo, that sounds soooooo hot, I might just change my plans!
    Wait, nah. I’ll go drinking with *gasp* Democrats and Republicans, ie the majority of the population.
    Too bad the LP can’t figure out how to sway them.”

    You don’t seem to understand. Democracy =/ liberty. Liberty is based on individual freedom, whereas democracy is based on collective decision making. Also, if three branches of government don’t work to protect liberty, what makes you think that adding a fourth branch would help?

  45. Liberty is based on individual freedom, whereas democracy is based on collective decision making.

    http://www.democracyisnotfreedom.com/

  46. “# Andy Says:
    May 31, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    George, your speech was by far the best of the convention.

    As for the “Gravel could have won!” spiel, I’m baffled that any one could oppose Barr- who’s made a serious effort over the past two years to atone for his past mistakes- yet support Gravel- who was more or less unapologetically unlibertarian and ridiculed, among other things, opposition to government-run schools, opposition to government-run healthcare, and any one who questioned the “majority makes right” argument that was the common thread to all his arguments.

    Gravel was maybe a decent “civil libertarian”- but he was no libertarian in even the broadest sense of the term.
    # Andy Says:
    May 31, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Oh, and one more thing- the people who stormed out of the hall after the Presidential nomination and cost Kubby the VP slot did a hell of a lot more to undermine party unity than Kubby, who was the perfect gentleman throughout the whole affair.”

    I don’t know who the Andy is who posted comments on this thread, but it was NOT I, as in the Andy who usually posts here.

  47. It does not occur to me that choosing a different VP would have changed matters a great deal, other than by altering the details of who was more or less happy.

  48. I think it makes a little bit of a difference. There would be more people willing to rally around Bob Barr Steve Kubby was the VP candidate.

  49. I think Kubby would have been great as the VP.
    And would have been better for “unity”.
    Would have been better for appealing to the left.
    Root seems like a fine guy, but I think Kubby
    would have been better with Barr.

    My concern was about his health. To be a serious option
    for VP – he had to be healthy.

  50. Regarding: “Root is amenable to Gravel, and recognizes what he brings to the party. Like everyone else, Root wants nothing to do with Barr.

    This author is too kind on Root. The man is war-crazy. Root makes Barr look good.

    I think Root is fine with Barr’s views. Root is primarily driven by ego, so he’s not “amenable” to Gravel, per se. Root is “amenable” to anyone who can do something for him. Barr made Root the VP candidate, so Root was “amenable” to Barr.

    The author is right in that many Gravel (and Barr) supporters were newcomers to the LP. However, I’ve been a dues-paying LP member for 20 years, and voted for Ed Clark before I became a member in the late 1980s. And I was a Gravel supporter for the war issue alone.

    If not Gravel, I could have been very happy with Kubby, Phillies, or Ruwart.

  51. roversaurus:

    As far as I can tell, Kubby was by far the healthiest candidate in the field. He’s 60 and looks and acts a fit 40. You don’t beat an allegedly 6-12 month terminal cancer for more than 30 years without being king hell healthy. If you want to set up a triathlon between Kubby and all the other pre-nomination candidates, I’ll put every damn dime I have (which, admittedly, is not many) on Kubby winning all three events and the general competition.

    I never saw any sign that Kubby intended to endorse Senator Gravel, nor do I think it was a matter of “choosing friendship over principle.” Kubby and Ruwart are MUCH closer to each other ideologically than either is to Gravel, and Gravel had some “deal-breaker” issues positions. Kubby would certainly have supported Gravel if Gravel had been nominated, but FOR the nomination? — not likely, unless perhaps it had come down to Gravel v. Barr rather than Barr v. Ruwart.

  52. Does Disinter ever have anything positive to say about anything? I love reading his comments mind you and get a good laugh, but its 90% negative.

  53. The article is incorrect.

    Steve Kubby and those of us who worked on his campaign were and are all Mary Ruwart fans, and would have voted for Mary with or without Kubby’s endorsement after he was out of the race.

    I think maybe Gravel and some of his people misinterpreted what Steve told them?

    Also, it does not matter who Kubby, Phillies, et al, would have endorsed, the majority of the LP would in no way vote for someone who is not libertarian on economic issues.

    It so happens that I’m not in the majority of the LP – if it had come down to Barr vs. Gravel, I would have voted for Gravel, since I personally consider peace and civil liberties more important to me than economic issues.

    We still would have lost.

  54. Does Disinter ever have anything positive to say about anything? I love reading his comments mind you and get a good laugh, but its 90% negative.

    He must share the other 10% in private emails or offline conversation, then.

  55. Oh, and one more thing- the people who stormed out of the hall after the Presidential nomination and cost Kubby the VP slot did a hell of a lot more to undermine party unity than Kubby, who was the perfect gentleman throughout the whole affair.

    I keep hearing this, but I’m not so convinced it is true. I was in and out of the hall quite a bit. At no time did I “storm out.” My seat was empty much of the time, but my delegation chair knew my vote, so I did not have to be there for every round. Since I saw the state by state totals each round, I knew my vote was being counted even if I was not there at my seat.

  56. What I told Senator Mike Gravel was that I admired what he had done for liberty, but that he needed to lose the Fair Tax IF he really wanted to be the standard bearer. When the Senator said he couldn’t do that, it was the end of our conversation and the end of his candidacy.

    As for my change of heart regarding Bob Barr, all I can say is that I was even harder on him privately, than i was when I said publicly that he had blood on his hands. Barr listened carefully and has adjusted his positions accordingly.

    So he no longer supports the “fair tax”?

  57. Less amusing was proto-fascist and turd-for-hire Stephen Gordon ripping these signs down in the supposed “Free Speech Zone”.

    This does not sound like the Steve Gordon I know.

  58. By the way, has anyone read this excellent piece yet?

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/05/libertarian-party-1972-2008-rest-in.html

    Yep. Lots of factual errors. One is even in the title.

  59. “NI4D = Racist, homophobic tyranny”

    WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GET THAT IDEA? For god sakes people! Sometimes the internet is a tool of education, and sometimes it just makes people stupid.

  60. Look at your own state, VTV. How has initiative been used in Michigan? Look at 2004.

  61. “# G.E. Says:
    June 1, 2008 at 3:27 am

    There are two people who post as “Andy” — leading to a lot of confusion.

    If the NI4D could not do anything unconstitutional, then it could only pass laws that Congress could really constitutionally pass — i.e., on matters of trade and national defense. There’s no need for a NI4D. What’s needed is a scaleback of federal power to its constitutional limits. Then let people be “lawmakers” at the state level instead, like in our wonderful state of Michigan, where private employers are now barred from giving partnership rights to same-sex couples — thanks to a 60% initiative!

    NI4D = Racist, homophobic tyranny.”

    My God. PLEASE tell me what about the NI4D is racist, or homophobic? I DARE you. You are so far out of line. Seriously. Just because one referendum did something like that does not mean that all of them should. And any referendum that is unconstitutional can be overturned by the Supreme court.

    As for not needing it because it only allows for laws to be passed the same way as Congress, you clearly miss the point. Congress is doing a spectacular job…

    OF passing the patriot act, and laws like it.

    OF taking us to war. Again, and again, and again. Based on false pretenses.

    Not to mention our current nominee’s attempts with the Defense of Marriage act…

    And you know why? Because in order to get into the Congress, Senate or the Presidency you have to take money from special interests/lobbyists or be at a severe disadvantage. You want proof? How many Libertarian Congressmen do you know of?

    Congress is ineffective in enforcing Libertarian principles, let alone the constitution because it is bought and paid for with EXTREMELY FEW exceptions.

    Steve Kubby used a referendum in California to legalize medical marijuana. I talked to him about the idea at the convention and he said “referendum is my middle name” and we are going to talk further about it.

    Libertarians are often quoted as saying that most people are Libertarian and just don’t know it. Then we are afraid of the PEOPLE Making those decisions rather then the Congress or Senate that you can’t get into unless you are distinctly NOT Libertarian?

  62. “# paulie Says:
    June 1, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Less amusing was proto-fascist and turd-for-hire Stephen Gordon ripping these signs down in the supposed “Free Speech Zone”.

    This does not sound like the Steve Gordon I know.”

    And yes, this happened. My wife and I witnessed it.

  63. It’s funny that people couldn’t back Gravel because of the Fair Tax…

    So instead we got Barr, who ALSO supports the fair tax? Along with a host of other religious fascism?

  64. paulie:

    maybe you’re a turd too?

    Otherwise I can’t for the life of me figure what you might find remotely redeemable in Steve Gordon’s character. The dude just looks evil.

    GE– your paranoid comments are getting more retarded by the day. Most state initiatives are poorly written and conducted. Are they any more racist or homophobic than the past actions & legislature of your party’s standard bearer? Snap!

    HUGH JASS– if you want to continue enabling the Congress to not act in the interests of the people, be my guest. Unless you give the people the power & ability to hold their elected officials accountable, you will continue to see unchecked growth and corruption in government.

    But hey, but all means, keep bitching and moaning without any real, viable solutions. That is the one area in which Libertarians truly impressed me. Also really good about being greedy and essentially narcissistic to their individualism.

    Guess what? Individualism doesn’t mean JACK SHIT when society around you is crumbling. But the LP seems utterly incapable of making collective decisions. But you did vote for Bob Barr by a collective majority, so what does that mean?

    Perhaps that you’re both hypocrites and retarded. But hey, Ruwart would’ve put the “R” in Retarded, big time!

  65. paulie:

    maybe you’re a turd too?

    Thanks for that. Sorry i wasted time talking to you.

  66. So he no longer supports the “fair tax”?

    Barf will support whatever his handlers tell him is politically necessary. He has absolutely no principles.

    I can’t for the life of me figure what you might find remotely redeemable in Steve Gordon’s character. The dude just looks evil.

    That is about the only thing I will agree with you on. He has changed dramatically over the last few years.

  67. Thanks, disinter.

    We may not agree much, but I absolutely love your brand of venom.

    Kudos for calling out the shitkickers and hypocrites.

    PAULIE– don’t run away now. If you can’t handle a little sparring, you may have to go suck your thumb for a while.

  68. Not running away, just not going to waste any time on you.

  69. There’s a difference between “sparring”, versus “spewing random venom at anyone and everyone who gives you the time of day just to get a rise out of them”. I’m a pragmatist, Paulie’s a radical, and we disagree on a lot… but at least we can find common ground on the fact that guys like disinter are a complete waste of everyone’s time and energy. Find something affirmative to promote on a positive basis, rather than going after any remaining factions that haven’t already written you off as an Internet troll.

  70. but at least we can find common ground on the fact that guys like disinter are a complete waste of everyone’s time and energy.

    Yea, the only one that is allowed to waste time and energy on disinter is Perkins.

  71. “HUGH JASS– if you want to continue enabling the Congress to not act in the interests of the people, be my guest. Unless you give the people the power & ability to hold their elected officials accountable, you will continue to see unchecked growth and corruption in government.

    But hey, but all means, keep bitching and moaning without any real, viable solutions. That is the one area in which Libertarians truly impressed me. Also really good about being greedy and essentially narcissistic to their individualism.

    Guess what? Individualism doesn’t mean JACK SHIT when society around you is crumbling. But the LP seems utterly incapable of making collective decisions. But you did vote for Bob Barr by a collective majority, so what does that mean?

    Perhaps that you’re both hypocrites and retarded. But hey, Ruwart would’ve put the “R” in Retarded, big time!”

    The people vote for Congress! All you are suggesting is getting rid of the middle man in between the people and statist legislation. What makes you think that a direct election would be any less likely to decrease the size of the state than having elected congressmen do it instead? How is fighting for self-ownership of your own life selfish and narcissistic? You fail to realize that society around you is crumbing due to a lack of individualism, not because of an excess. Therefore, decreasing individualism further isn’t going to solve the problem. I did not vote for Barr at the convention, and would not have voted for him even if I did attend the convention. Also, I have been encouraging the state LP parties to nominate L. Neil Smith instead, so I fail to see your point. In addition, the LP is a completely voluntary organization, whereas the federal government is coercive. You clearly need a lesson in libertarian philosophy, as you don’t see the correlation between individualism and freedom.

  72. “This does not sound like the Steve Gordon I know.”

    Paulie,

    I agree, that doesn’t sound like Gordon — but I saw part of the incident in question. Some people were posting fliers positively contrasting Gravel with Barr. Gordon had one of the fliers in his hand that had obviously been ripped off the wall (the tape was still stuck to it on three corners and one corner was torn) and was insisting on “talking to whoever did this” with a group of people that were surrounding him asking him what the hell he thought he was doing.

    Never got the whole story on that one (I was in transit between stuff that had to be done when I walked past the incident). I suppose it’s possible that he had taken one of the fliers off the wall so that he had a copy to SHOW to the people he was asking about it, but both he and those he was talking with seemed agitated, and they seemed to be claiming that he had walked up and angrily ripped it down.

    Agitation was Gordon’s middle name in Denver, and I can understand why. If I had been in the position that Gordon was in in Denver, I suspect I’d have been even more agitated than he was.

    If the Barr campaign had been following the advice I am reasonably sure Gordon was giving it, Barr would have likely won on the first or second ballot with no need to swing a Barr/Root deal. Barr would have shown up at the “alternative” debates, he would have given a more convincing apology for DOMA and he would have given it earlier, and that idiotic parade across the convention hall would never have happened. That “be aloof and pretend you’re inevitable” schtick hurt Barr badly; he’s lucky it didn’t cost him the whole game; and it had “big outsider politico nonsense” written all over it.

  73. Yeah, Knapp’s mostly correct. No line from Barr’s nomination got more cheers from the Georgia crowd than his use of the words “I apologize” when discussing DOMA and the Patriot Act… we had been pleading for that since we got to Denver. That “Ron Paul march” around the convention hall prior to voting made us look like pure assholes, if I had been on the floor rather than at Barr’s booth I would have tried to discourage it. In all fairness, I don’t think that call came from Gordon OR “high command”… that was a loose cannon thing with some overzealous delegates who got carried away.

    I’m not sure if showing up at the “unofficial” debates would have helped Barr or not… the whole thing was basically structured as an anti-Barr affair from the jump. Then again, Root and Barr are pretty close… and Wayne held his own just fine. The “air of inevitability” factor just doesn’t seem to be as sound a strategy as it used to (ask Hillary Clinton or Rudy Guiliani).

  74. Stephen Gordon tore one of them down in rage and was promptly stopped by the person putting them up and my wife. He claimed we were spreading lies even though it was just about the records of the two candidates involved. If he doesn’t like the truth about his candidate he probably should of looked a bit closer first. For a Libertarian to decide what he thinks should and should not be up in a “free speech zone” is kind of off to me.

    The incident was quickly heating up and looked like it was going to go over the top until I walked over there. That is when he made his retreat.

    In any case, this is not just some story. I witnessed it first hand as did my wife. We are both delegates from Michigan. It’s not a rumor, it’s not a trumped up tale. It was real. Just to set this to rest.

  75. HUGH– You’re really making headway with the pedantic lecturing. Is there anyone, anyone at all, on these forums that isn’t some holier-than-thou Libertarian asshole with a messianic complex?

    I’ve yet to find many.

    The people’s first priority is to vote with consideration to their own best interests. That is anything but the case with elected officials. They are loyal to numerous other forces that take precedent over their constituents. They include:

    Special Interests/$$$$
    Loyalty to their party over principle of the vote
    Loyalty to their fundraisers/donors & their interests
    Concern about how a vote affects reelection

    Not so with the people. They don’t have a hierarchy of other concerns to trump their best interests.

    But please “lecture me” on your glorious wisdom. Are you autistic, too? I forgot what rigid, bland thinkers so many Libertarian zealots are. And why are you so stupid as to imply I “don’t see the relationship between individualism and freedom”? Are you straight-up dumb? There’s a balance between individualism and collectivism, something which I have seen nearly no Libertarians express regard for, and I laugh with glee whenever one pisses their pants at the thought of direct democracy with majoritarian decisions. Holy shit, I just can’t handle it! The tyranny of the majority, God save me!!!

  76. As for the unofficial debates I don’t think they would of helped Barr. That’s why I believe he didn’t go. He maneuvered his way out of being in any real debates other then the ones on CNN and C-Span probably knowing full well what would happen if he actually had to answer for the things he did as a Congressmen and the things his PAC and the people it endorses are STILL doing today.

    This whole argument is so silly. Let’s score Gravel and Barr for a moment on Libertarian issues.

    The War: Barr 0, Gravel 1
    Note: Barr’s website does a great job of avoiding answering the question of if and when he would get troops out. His past voting record included the Iraq war. People his PAC funded continued to fund it.
    Mike Gravel has been anti-war since Viet Nam. And took serious and risky steps to end it, along with the draft.

    The War on Drugs: Barr 0, Gravel 1
    Note: Again Barr’s website does a great job of avoiding this question as well. His past record on the issue is horrendous. So much so that the Libertarian party had to seek to ensure that he lost his congressional seat just to shut him up on this issue. He has wavered publicly on the issue.
    Mike Gravel has been very vocal about this in all the debates. And his position is very clear. End prohibition. NOW.

    Civil Liberties: Barr 0, Gravel 1
    We might be able to give Barr the benefit of the doubt to some extent that he might of changed his mind about the Patriot Act, but his PAC seems to think it’s great, as people whom Barr’s PAC funded with campaign funds re-newed this fascist piece of garbage. They also voted for such jewels of additional wire taps etc. Barr’s religion obviously has influenced his positions more then once as a statesmen. This lead him to commit atrocities such as the defense of marrige act, etc.
    Mike Gravel has always been solid on all of these issues.

    Health Care: Barr 1, Gravel 0.
    Note: Barr’s website strategically doesn’t have anything about health care on it at all. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt about this and assume his position is Libertarian. Meanwhile, Mike does have a health care system that involves the government. It does use competitive forces to drop the costs of health care to the American taxpayer however, and seems like the best health care plan I have seen so far. (Preferring no health care plan as a Libertarian of course, but see my previous statements about how a candidate without a health care plan will ever fair in the general election.)

    Taxation: BOTH Candidates support the fair tax. Barr 0, Gravel 0.

    So, that’s 1 for Barr, 3 for Gravel.

    It’s unfortunate that Libertarians didn’t see the writing on the wall at this convention. Mary is a great person, but anyone who didn’t see that her previous statements about child pornography were going to be a black eye to the Libertarian party needs a hard dose of reality. (A black eye that could of proven fatal). Every Mary Ruwart supporter I had talked to said if given the choice of Gravel or Barr they all said they would rather have Gravel. In fact, other then the stalwart Barr supporters just about everyone I talked to said that. (I talked to a lot of people, FYI). The Radicals saw a chance to seize power and in so doing gave that power to the opposite of the spectrum rather then seeing that the center would of been a better compromise for everyone. Gravel or Phillies could of united the party instead of splitting it in half as it is now.

  77. “Mary is a great person, but anyone who didn’t see that her previous statements about child pornography were going to be a black eye to the Libertarian party needs a hard dose of reality. (A black eye that could of proven fatal).”

    If you want a “hard dose of reality,” the reality is that the LP has been publicly associated with heterodox views on child sexuality numerous times during its existence, and those associations don’t seem to have significantly impacted it at all. Harry Browne logged a talk radio appearance in which he spoke in very Ruwart-like terms on the issue of child porn, and there was no public explosion. The San Francisco LP apparently once shared office space with NAMBLA, for Bog’s sake, and the negative publicity over that was a five-minute teapot tempest.

    Ruwart’s views on child porn are no more heterodox than most libertarian’s views on most issues, and their potential to “armageddon” the party had she been nominated was nil, zero, zip, zilch, nada. Dr. Ruwart is not the one who went on record claiming that the state government of Georgia had not just a right, but a responsibility, to freely distribute child porn. That was BOB BARR, less than a year ago. Hear the LP imploding over it? I didn’t think so.

  78. Tom Knapp stated:

    The San Francisco LP apparently once shared office space with NAMBLA

    The SFLP shared office space with the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes? 😉

  79. First, Mary’s position was distorted. Second, the SFLP never shared office space with Nambla. Nambla didn’t have offices anywhere. It had a mail box. And while the libertarian bookstore did have a mail box service on site Nambla didn’t even use it. They had a mail box on Jones Street and not at the Market Street address.

    The best you can say is that the libertarian bookstore had meeting space which it allowed groups, including non-libertarian groups, to use. No one who asked to use the space was turned down to my knowledge. Nambla used it for a time after the gay community center closed (where they were meeting). And then Nambla moved, at the request of the bookstore by the way, and had their meetings in the public library. The meetings were open to the public and no doubt heavily attended by police so you can be sure that the only thing going on was debate and discussion and nothing illegal. (Considering the large windows looking out on SF’s busiest street the idea of doing something illegal in full view of the public is a bit silly.)

    So there was no shared office space, and Nambla had no office, just a mail drop at another address.

  80. “If you want a “hard dose of reality,” the reality is that the LP has been publicly associated with heterodox views on child sexuality numerous times during its existence, and those associations don’t seem to have significantly impacted it at all. Harry Browne logged a talk radio appearance in which he spoke in very Ruwart-like terms on the issue of child porn, and there was no public explosion.”

    This position is completely naive.

    And also, the reason why there was no public explosion is that the person in question was not a threat to the GOP and DP in their upcoming election. Mary following on the wave of energy that Ron Paul generated very well could be.

  81. VTV,

    I don’t know if you are new to the LP, or if you’ve just never paid attention to what’s going on around you, but the LP has been around the age of consent / child sexuality / child porn tree so many times that I don’t consider it “naive” to think that this time is not and was not an exception.

    Ron Paul? Do you mean the Ron Paul who voted a Ruwartian line on these issues in Congress? As I recall, it was not that issue that came up and bit him in the ass.

    And, as I have pointed out several times now, it was not Mary Ruwart but rather Bob Barr who published a column in one of the nation’s largest newspapers arguing in favor of distribution of child porn by the government.

    Aside from being more defensible than almost any view that might be put up against them, Ruwart’s comments on age of consent and child porn were a teapot tempest from beginning to end, and would have remained one had she become the nominee. Their entire function during the pre-nomination campaign was that they revealed how desperate at least one and possibly two of her opponents were — that this triviality was the best club they could find to hit her over the head with.

  82. […] was well known prior to the Denver convention, and the assertion by Gravel supporter “Austrian Economist” that Kubby “put friendship over principle” in endorsing Ruwart over Gravel has […]

  83. Can you please give me links to information about any time that Ron Paul has EVER suggested that Child Pornography should be legal. I will be astonished if you can.

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