For those of you who don’t get C-Span, or for some reason want to feel like you’re not watching alone, we present the LFV liveblog. I’m ElfNinosMom (ENM) and I will be joined by TitaniumGirl (Tigirl); others may join in as well.
ENM: The guy doing the introduction is boring. They are going to cover the presidential debates, and then the Chairman debates. They are showing Mike Gravel, and I can see Wayne Root. There’s Phillies and Barr as well.
Jim Pinkerton is moderating. When the person introducing him pointed out that he worked for Bush, he got boo’d. Seems like a lively crowd, to say the least.
The candidates debating are Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, George Phillies, Mike Jingozian, Mary Ruwart, Steve Kubby, and Wayne Allyn Root. The moerator called him “The King of Las Vegas!” as if that’s something that makes him qualified for the presidency. Can you see my eyes rolling?
Each gets a two-minute introduction, then will answer in the order in which they were introduced. Pinkerton wants the delegates to hold applause, booing, etc in order to allow more time to ask questions.
Pinkerton made some really strange jokes, which didn’t really go over very well.
Question: What philosopher most closely represents your views?
Barr: Ayn Rand. (Yeah, right.)
Pinkerton actually screwed up and forgot to let them make their opening statements first. I wondered about that.
Barr says his journey has taken many years to get to libertarianism. He brings up Ayn Rand again. he says he has lived in societies with no freedom, no liberty, and said he was referring to Congress. That joke fell flat, he was the only one who thought it amusing. He said people think he is not charismatic. He did okay, but not great.
Gravel said we’re in a mess, and it’s silly to think the ones who got us here can fix it. Only libertarians can fix it. The Dems and Reps have a monopoly, follow the money to find out what will happen when they are elected. I thought he did well.
Phillies is proud to be a Libertarian, and have the opportunity to spread the message of peace, liberty, and prosperity. Proud to have had many opportunities to serve the party, mentioned his congressional run and his PAC, made a jab at Barr without naming him. Phillies will cover issues the American people care about. He is the centrist who can hold the party together. He actually did very, very well.
Jingozian talks about what we have seen in this country. Does he have pink eye in his left eye? It looks odd for some reason. Hopefully it’s just a shadow, because pinkeye sucks. He sacrificed his own time and money to get us where we need to be.
Ruwart got applause right off the bat. Interesting. Democrats made this “the year of the woman”, then dropped the ball. Her hair looks like it’s plastered, she looks much prettier when it’s more natural. She’s still very attractive for a woman her age. Libertarianism is the passionate choice, decrease crime, slash healthcare costs. Only liberty can deliver those things. She has the experience and the depth of understanding of principles to accomplish it. Big applause at end.
Kubby has good news and bad bews. He has 6 months to live, adrenal cancer. Good news is that this is the 34th year they’ve told him that. Big applause. Medical marijuana is the only treatment which has worked. His campaign is not about marijuana, it’s about liberty. Applause again. Has nearly died and gone to jail for liberty. Most cant define liberty. It’s not freedom, it’s freedom from government. He looks like he has some splotches on his forehead. is he okay? I sure hope so!
Root claims we’re the anti party. Anti this, anti that. He talks like a used car salesman. Claims he’s the first Jewish American to get presidential nomination (not true). SOB, blah, blah. Obama, blah blah. Does he not realize that people are tired of hearing the same crap over and over again from him? I know i am. He’s a SOB, for sure, but the B doesn’t stand for butcher.
Okay, now back to questions about philosopher. Gravel says laws permit us to have the sovereignty. Small applause at first, then big applause. Didn’t catch the name of the philosopher, sorry.
Phillies: Goldwater. He got applause during his answer. Then mentioned Marcus Cicero, wrote “Essay on Duty”, sacrifice for country. Small applause.
Jingozian said (dammit, dog was barking, missed it). He says this is the year we will put LP on map.
Is it just me, or are these guys not really answering the question about philosopher?
Ruwart named Ayn Rand. Judge and be prepared to be judged. Unity of our party being challenged. We need to practice non-judgment and love. Big applause.
Kubby said many, but most influenced by David Nolan, LP founder. Taught him liberty works. Without liberty, everything in jeopardy. Moderate applause.
Root said “Yogi Berra”. What a retard. Who wears a fuschia tie on television? Root, that’s who. Ugly, ugly tie.
Question: any part of the world where you’d send troops?
Gravel: No. Wants to withdraw troops from around the world, close bases around world. Treat everybody as equals. Golden rule is answer to meaningful foreign policy. Huge applause.
Phillies: Cold war is over, bring troops home, close bases. End foreign aid, compete economically. Applause.
Jingozian: Most people in world just want to live in peace, have a good standard of living, hope kids have it a little bit better. It’s the governments at war, not the people. War will not end unless we vote libertarian. big applause.
Ruwart: bring troops home. They’re in a Middle Eastern Vietnam. Were at war with Japan just a few decades ago. Be friends to all, trade with all, offer hand in friendship. Applause.
Kubby: strange feedback sounds. We have competitors, we need to figure out that bombing civilians won’t help. People look to US as leader. Some applause.
Root: Thomas Jefferson is hero. Impoundment. Damn, this guy sounds like a broken record. He has said the same things in other debates. He claims he has come the farthest of everyone in the panel. Cut military budget, give money back to taxpayers.
Barr: Missing emphasis on word defense. It is not defending America to occupy foreign nations. Bring troops home, remove security blanket propping up foreign regime. Conveniently doesn’t say anything about his recent statement about invading Colombia. Applause.
Sorry, missed a question because I had to let my dogs out.
Gravel bashed Barr on energy, LOL, and got some applause. Got big applause at end.
Question: Are you familiar with the tragedy of the commons(?)
Jingozian: I don’t know. Big applause. He’s successful not because he knows all the answers, but knows what questions to ask. We need to work together, need a president who admits he doesn’t know. Learn from other countries. Big applause.
Ruwart: Restitution. Make people clean it up. Mentioned taxes, then corrected herself and called it a “fine”. Her response makes no sense, she’s stumbling over her own words. I get the impression that she’s just making it up as she goes along.
Kubby: US government is biggest polluter on planet. He looks really tired.
Root: Al Gore is 2nd biggest polluter, pollutes more when he gets on his private jet to get a Nobel Peace Prize. What a stupid statement. Ends with “government is a failure”. What a retard.
Barr: He says he has no idea what the question was about, but he keeps talking anyway. Retard.
Gravel: Concept of private property should be honored, let people sue polluters, that’s the answer. Applause. Lobbyists set up barriers to stop citizens from doing this. LP offers freedom. Big applause.
Phillies: Not going to bash people because they are conservatives or liberals, is running for President of all. Scientific truth is that there is global warming. Suing people not the answer. If somebody pollutes, put them in prison.
How would you deal with Patriot Act and Real ID Act?
Ruwart: Abolish them both. Ron Paul. Mentioned herself? That fell completely flat. Liberty gives us the way to choose.
Kubby bashed Barr, got laughter. Set clear limits for government. Big applause.
Root: Patriot Act turned him into libertarian. Get rid of it all.
Barr: Full-body x-ray, fear is driving public policy. Claims he has been working with broad coalition to drive a stake through its heart, burn it, blah blah blah. Methinks he doth protest too much.
Gravel: Ask the American people if they want this stuff gone, brings up his National Initiative for Democracy, let people make their own decisions. Cheering from audience.
Phillies: Accidentally said “Congress” instead of president, put Bush et al into prison. Applause.
Jingozian made crack about how can’t you like the Patriot Act, it has the word “patriot” in it. First joke that actually went over well.
Question about American Indian immigration policy. What an incredibly stupid question.
Root will open borders only if he can be guaranteed that there will be no welfare recipients. Secure borders.
Barr says we have no immigration policy. We should require people to go through checkpoint, provide verifiable identification, and check them for communicable diseases.
Gravel says 6 countries in Europe lowered all barriers. Do they know something we don’t? We’re great because we are an amalgam of people of the world.
Phillies said he will actually answer the question, unlike the other candidates. Indian immigration was a failure. We’ll go broke if we have open borders and a welfare state.
Jingozian says we have a “feel good legislation policy”. Native Americans didn’t have welfare state. We must end welfare state. If he used the same practices in his businesses the government uses, he’d be in prison for life for accounting fraud.
Ruwart says government has limited the number of jobs we have. If we got rid of government, we’d be begging for immigrants. Government too busy at border.
War on Drugs question.
End international drug war on drugs. Legalize all drugs. I can’t get over that ugly ass tie he’s wearing.
Barr says drug war hasn’t worked. Turn it over to states. What a cop-out answer.
Gravel says treat addiction as a public health problem. Got big applause.
Phillies: Prohibition was a failure, never underestimate the power of stupidity. We can’t afford it. Applause.
Jingozian agrees with everybody else. Legalize it and deal with it honestly. Can’t win war on drugs. Property crime comes from drug abuse. Will pardon all nonviolent drug offenders first day in office.
Ruwart: War on drugs kills more people than drugs themselves through AIDS. Says legal drugs are also problem, talked about people who tried to buy unapproved cancer drugs. Big applause.
Kubby is “getting a major buzz right now”. Never imagined he’d see such diverse group all agree that medical marijuana should be legalized. Wrote two books on it. Passed Prop 215. 12 states and 2 countries now copy that law. End the drug war by executive order. Big applause.
Barr is really boring compared to the other candidates. At least he’s wearing a nice tie, unlike Root.
Phillies’ tie is crooked, but at least it’s not fuscia.
Sorry, I had to take a break.
Why is Root always yelling? I feel like I’m on a used car lot. Sheesh.
What involvement should the government have in medical care, including FDA?
Gravel: If you’re not healthy, you’re not free. You don’t have freedom if you have a dumb or unhealthy population. Wants to empower people, they will shrink the government better than anyone else.
Phillies: Will propose answers Americans will support, not a philosophy. Vetern healthcare is government obligation, they paid for it with their arms, legs, etc and their friends’ lives.
I dislike Root more and more, as he talks and gives his fake smile. I’m getting to the point that I actively dislike both him, and Barr. Root in particular, though, grates my nerves. He makes this debate seem like an infomercial, which cheapens it.
How will your campaign help the LP?
Jingozian: Harry Browne enrolled all Americans, not just libertarians. Focusing on issues all Americans have in common.
Ruwart: Invokes Ron Paul. Says women want to vote for a woman. Huh? I’m a woman, and I’m going to vote for the best candidate regardless of whether they have a penis or a vagina. That’s insulting as hell. I suddenly don’t like her. At all. I hate it when people pander and condescend simply because I am female. I hate it even more when the person doing it is a female, because a female should know better.
Kubby: Too many conservative candidates for LP. Invokes Ron Paul.
Root: Fundraising. Will get small business vote (yeah, right). He needs to stop yelling. Education reform. Online poker enthusiasts who consider him a celebrity. Gee, I thought they considered him a scammer.
Barr: Travels, need change. Can reach voters in way they can understand. I don’t think he realizes how much he is hated by Democrats for Clinton impeachment. Seize Libertarian era.
Gravel: Judge people by actions, not talk. Ended the draft, stopped nuclear testing, Alaska pipeline, risked jail with releasing Pentagon Papers, did all that in four years.
Phillies: Has already reached out, so won’t say what he might do, he’s already done it. He’s got the campaign, the volunteers, etc. Will build stronger party.
Root turns his closing statement into an infomercial, by trying to excite the crowd. Gawd, I despise that man.
My least favorite candidate is Ruwart, she lost any possibility of my support or respect when she made the comment about how women want to vote for a woman. That is almost as annoying as Root’s yelling and ugly fuscia tie. I don’t have a favorite, it wasn’t a very good debate in my opinion. It was almost a waste of time to even watch it, I’m very disappointed.