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The NRA has passed on endorsing Bush, which is tying any such endorsement to Bush's action on the assault weapons ban. If he renews the ban, it won't endorse Bush, if he doesn't, then he's got it. Which is a huge political problem for Bush, as the assault weapons ban is popular amongst the suburban set the Republicans are trying mightily to hold.

Compounding the problem, as MyDD notes, is that the Libertarians have a star in the making. Hollywood producer (and Emmy and Tony Awards winner) Aaron Russo is the favorite to get the Libertarian Party's nomination. He's already been widely quoted in articles discussing the possibility of a military draft (he's anti-draft, anti-Iraq War), and is becoming a favorite of the gun people (already garnering the endorsement of KeepAndBearArms.com).

As many libertarian-leaning Republicans and disaffected conservatives look for alternatives to Bush, Russo may become a force to be reckoned with. With a unified Right in 2000, the Libertarian ticket received 382,892 votes (Nader and the Greens got 2.9 million). What's more:

In addition, [the Libertarian Party] ran 1,430 candidates -- more than twice as many as all the other third parties combined. We fielded candidates for 255 of the 435 seats in the U.S. House, as well as 25 of the 33 Senate seats up for election, making the Libertarian Party the first third party in 80 years to contest a majority of the seats in Congress. On Election Day, our U.S. House candidates received 1.7 million votes -- the first time any third party has received over a million votes for the U.S. House.
I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say the Libertarians can easily double, if not triple, that total this year, posing a real threat to Bush, particularly in some battleground Western states.

One other wildcard to watch -- the libertarian contingent on the web is huge. In fact, many of the blogs on the Right are actually more libertarian-leaning than movement conservative. It will be interesting to see if Russo can tap into this natural well of support and use it to catapult into bigger prominance. It'll be interesting to track his MeetUp numbers and activity on his campaign blog.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Where do I send the money? (3.50)
    Many of my conservative friends do tend to lean libertarian.  They are furious with dubya, but will not vote for Kerry.  I feel like its a "win" if I can convince them not to vote.  I would love to be able to suggest a third party candidate for them to waste their vote on.
    •  Send your money to Dems (none)
      Get your friends to send money to the Libertarians.

      My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

      by Bill Rehm on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:32:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't worry (none)
        I wouldn't actually send them any money, but I keep reading stories about repubs (newly flush with cash from economy boosting tax cuts) giving money to Nader and I was trying to play on that theme.
    •  Take Russo to the Freeper Sites (3.00)
      Pretend my friend, and wade through the stench. Register on their blogs, and post constantly the Russo approach to things.  Don't talk like a Democrat. Talk like a Libretarian.  Weed out the base, and fracture it.  

      Iraq can and will become a wedge issue as the Libritarian leaning Buchanan types start to scream isolationism again.  Push Bush's Mexian immigration policy. That always gets them riled up.

      $7 Trillion in Debt, 2.6 Million out of work, and they're worried about a few thousand gay marriage Licenses?

      by Steven R on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:41:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're conflating Libertarians and isolationists (none)
        Mexican immigration isn't an issue that gets "us" Libertarians riled up -- to the extent that we're a homogenous voting bloc, which I find dubious.

        I find Buchanan rather scary, although at present I think I'd prefer his brand of populist nationalism to the present administration's wasteful adventures.    

      •  Get your libertarians straight (none)
        When I think of libertarians (small "l"), Pat Buchanan is not exactly at the top of the list. His isolationism and free market bent may coincide with some libertarian positions, but his mania for bringing greater theocracy to our government definitely puts him outside the fence.

        Also, Bush's Mexican immigration policy is something that riles the Buchanan types up but aligns pretty well with libertarian "open borders" beliefs. Libs have a lot to be pissed off about with Dubya, but immigration--at least as far as the Mexican policy is concerned--isn't one of them.

    •  I understand your reasoning... (2.50)
      But you shouldn't consider getting someone not to vote a victory.

      Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. -John Stuart Mill

      by Kaushansky on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:46:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jesus, this is actually kind of awful (none)
      I mean, I'm glad there might be a place for disaffected memers of the political Right to bolt to (and more than a little relieved that there are people on the Right who don't like our current situation) but we are living some kind of crazy Ultimate Fulfillment of that old Chinese curse about living in "interesting times."

      This actually constitutes a loose coalition of the Left and the Right against the great, apparently blind-drunk or irretrievably stupid, Middle.

      •  Middle? (none)
        BushCo? Middle?

        This is the problem with polarities. The American electorate is not divided into "The Left" and "The Right". There are multiple factors -- culture war, social justice, civil rights, personal liberty, federalism, taxation, social welfare, and federal budgeting to name a few -- that people care about.

        The 2-party system reinforces the notion that this is, then, a polarity of opinion. But it's not. Many African Americans, for example, are pretty conservative when it comes to culture war issues but they are very liberal when it comes to civil rights, social welfare and tax policy.

        Libertarians, by and large, believe in personal liberty. So they don't tend to jump on the culture war bandwagon when people start talking about amending the Constitution.

        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

        by Bill Rehm on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:09:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  w00t (none)
    yeee ha.  Give 'em a little of what we got in 2000!  
  •  Libertarian Party (none)
    I wonder how the Republican leadership would respond to a challenge like this.  Bush is the President of the Evangelical wing of the Republican party - there's no way he goes against them.  But lower down, would this move the GOP towards the Liberty side?

    "Voting is just like driving. If you want to go forward, put it in D. If you want to go back, put it in R"

    by Mikey on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:29:31 PM PDT

  •  Holy Shit (none)
    I might vote for this guy if Kerry starts to faulter.  I love his two ads. Sure Librarains are a bit nutz, but right now out biggest problems are definitely loss of freedom, censorship, overspending, and Iraq, and this guy is straight up giving answers to those.

    And Marijuana to boot! hell yea!  Where do I sign up.

    Don't worry, I'll vote for Kerry, but if this were a Representative Democracy, I believe Dems would reach around the back of the aisle and take some of the Librarian positions.

    $7 Trillion in Debt, 2.6 Million out of work, and they're worried about a few thousand gay marriage Licenses?

    by Steven R on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:31:54 PM PDT

    •  Bush already co-opted (4.00)
      The Librarian positions by marrying Laura.

      The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

      by Categorically Imperative on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Russo is a moron (none)
      Trust me, I know his "professional" reputation personally.  My only surprise is I didn't see him for being a Libertarian moron before reading this.

      What an idiot!

      William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

      by HollywierdLiberal on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:43:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Care to elaborate? (none)
        I watched a bunch of the interview videos on his site. He actually says a lot of smart things that neither major party would dare to. What has he said or done that is idiotic? Medical marijuana? End the pariot act? End the war? End censorship? Corporate media is propaganda? I have some problems with libertarians, but you can't deny that they are right on a lot of issues that Republicans and Democrats are wrong on.
        •  aaron russo <b>is</b> a nut (none)
          In 1998, Russo entered the GOP primary for Governor, against the establishment candidate -- an amiable doofus who had worked for the public school system (as an ineffective administrator) and was thus anathema to kooky libertarians.

          They ran ads showing footage of Russo fulminating about repeal of drug laws, shutting the public school system, ending social security and I don't remember what else ...made a laughingstock of him in a few weeks.

          If he shows any sign of taking more than a vote or two from Bush, he'll be fried in precisely the way that Gore should have (and lets hope Kerry will) destory Nader.

          •  This is the problem with the LP (none)
            I'm all for principled adherence to one's beliefs at the price of votes, but much of the LP takes this to a ridiculous extreme.   You have to distinguish the essentials from the non-essentials, or the musts, shoulds, and coulds.   Many Libertarian figures don't do this.

            A precipitate shutdown of the public schools is neither a wise policy, an electoral winner, nor a non-negotiable stance of principle (at least not to me).   My own position is that I'd like to see public education phased out, most likely in favor of some voucher system in the medium term and private scholarships in the long term.   But i'm much less willing to fall on my sword for that position than i would be for, say, civil liberties.

            I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know much about Russo, but it sounds like he's fallen in the trap of making "blue sky" pronouncements on everything with equal emphasis.   This is fine when you're a small party trying to gain attention or prompt political debate, but it's far less helpful in showing a readiness to govern by compromise and consensus.

      •  Tell more. (none)
        If i decide to go, I've got a vote at the Libertarian Convention. Compared to a fairly capable "generic Libertarian," how does Russo net Bush v Kerry?

        "Desperate times call for futile gestures." - Norman Spinrad in "Bug Jack Barron"

        by ben masel on Fri May 14, 2004 at 12:34:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't count on it... (3.00)
    A lot of the libertarian votes in the last elections were from people like me, generaly liberal people who saw, "We want to legalize pot and like the constitution" and didn't look any further into libertarian policies.

    Now, those people (like me) are mostly just anti-bush.

    --

  •  Is Russo actually going to win? (none)
    Gary Nolan (especially) and another guy are running well, I thought.
  •  Will he get into the polling? (none)
    Nader gets alot of press every damn time a poll comes out. I wonder if the media will balance it or not and put the Lib nominee in the polling to really see how things will play out.

    $7 Trillion in Debt, 2.6 Million out of work, and they're worried about a few thousand gay marriage Licenses?

    by Steven R on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:47:13 PM PDT

  •  I waited for him once (none)
    He ran for Gov of Nevada a few years back, I waited his table once he's a good retail politician. I still voted Dem for gov but he was my #2 choice.
    •  Indeed (none)
      At this point, this guy might be my number two choice for President.

      When it comes to voting third party this year, though, in the words of Bush pere, "not ganna do it."

      Paraphrasing the Poor Man: "It's funny how liberals complain about US blunders in Iraq after not criticizing the USSR for similar blunders in Afghanistan."

      by JimTXDem on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:23:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A smarter party (none)
    The Libertarians a getting smarter.  They ditched that nut case Ron Paul for a guy who at least sounds reasonable.

    Oh wait this guy wants to abolish the Federal Reserve too...

    •  Hey, that started sounding good (none)
      I watched his video, and he wants answers! about what happened to all the gold that's owned by the American people.  I want answers, too...like, what's my cut of this gold, and where do I get it?  Will I still be able to collect the gold if Bush wins and I move to Canada?

      I also find it interesting that he wants our troops back in the U.S. to combat "illegal immigration."  I thought the Libertarians wanted open borders.  Did 9/11 take that plank out of their platform?

      The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

      by Categorically Imperative on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:53:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LMAO (3.00)
        To get creditable economists to endorse fixed exchange rates tied to the price of gold I would have to use my life savings to buy a boatload of illegal drugs and then give them to said economists.  Maybe this is why he favors legalized drugs?

        I case you can't tell I think the libertarians are off their rocker when it comes to currency and the Federal Reserve.

        •  If that's what it takes... (none)
          I'll be sure to send you as much BC bud as I can find when I'm in Canada (assuming I'm still eligible for the gold).  I want my gold, dammit!

          Maybe Greenpeace has it; they are pirates after all.

          The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

          by Categorically Imperative on Thu May 13, 2004 at 10:13:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good (none)
          Nice to see there's at least one other adult on this thread tonight whose brain synapses haven't fused from all the "BC Bud" they're smoking.

          William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

          by HollywierdLiberal on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:48:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Please (none)
        don't move to Canada. I beg of you!  :P

        Learning is not compulsory ... neither is survival. (W. Edwards Deming)

        by banjon on Thu May 13, 2004 at 10:33:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's all in the emphasis (none)
      I think this year the war is going to attract a lot of young voters, as an issue.

      His five issues seem to be the war, the draft, the Patriot Act, the deficit, and pot.

      It's a more pragmatic platform, IMHO, than others have run on.

      Paraphrasing the Poor Man: "It's funny how liberals complain about US blunders in Iraq after not criticizing the USSR for similar blunders in Afghanistan."

      by JimTXDem on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:25:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are very good arguments to abolish it (3.50)
      It is the most anti-working class institution in this country. Unless you set the federal reserve rate permanently it is and will continue to be used to keep unemployment up and wages down.

      The problem with the plan to abolish it is the same problem with most libertarian issues.. they dont have solutions to any of the problems their ideologies will cause.. like what to replace the federal reserve with, how to keep millions of elderly from becoming homeless when you abolish social security, who stops corporations from establishing mini-kingdoms, how to stop corporations from filling the environment with pcb's and toxic waste etc etc

      My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

      by cdreid on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:26:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  skeptical (none)
        I'd like so see some emperical evidence connecting specific Fed policy to unemployment and wages.
        •  clarification (none)
          My biggest problem with the Libertarians isn't their desire to destroy the Fed its their views on currency.  All developed nations should allow their currencies to float (this includes you China) which will facilitate trade and solve problems like the trade deficit (damn you Japan and China).
          •  facilitating trade (none)
            Facilitating trade is good...unless it also facilitates high levels of currency speculation.

            The fact that China hasn't floated its currency, and that its currency isn't as easy to convert as those of other nearby states, is the main reason it survived the Asian financial crisis with few scratches. Fully convertible currencies can be dangerous things...especially when there are no other capital controls. Just ask Thailand or Indonesia.

            War in Iraq = Al Qaeda Recruitment Program

            by ImeldaBlahnik on Fri May 14, 2004 at 08:06:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Greenspan says it all the time. (none)
          If you listen to Greenspan, you'd think that low unemployment and high wages are the worst calamities we could possibly have.
      •  Federal Reserve (none)
        I am not an economist, but I see no logical reason why we let some private entity create money and loan it to the government (taxpayers) at interest. Why not just have the government create the money itself and save taxpayers all that debt? It makes no sense to me. I think its just corruption and theft.
  •  eggcellent... (none)

    The platform of 1980 promised us big things. The government was going to get off our backs. Simultaneously, it was going to be all over our genitalia. -Yglesias

    by samiam on Thu May 13, 2004 at 09:53:00 PM PDT

  •  I don't know... (4.00)
    I was hoping that the democratic party would make more of an effort to appeal to libertarians on civil liberties issues. I think that the two party system looks strange to the libertarian who sees the Republicans as pro-economic liberty and anti-civil liberty. They see the Democrats as anti-economic liberty and pro civil-liberty. In the past the economic issues trumped the civil liberties issues and they trended Republican. This is because there wasn't a well defined threat to civil liberties despite the Republican tendencies in that direction. It just wasn't taken very seriously except by the hard core. But today, the Patriot Act etc raises the significance of civil liberties issues. I know many libertarians who are leaning towards going democratic. The sense is that the threat to civil liberties now eclipse the concern over Democratic meddling in economic liberty. So, I think that the entry of a charismatic true libertarian in the race will make it harder for democrats to make inroads into this group. Still any vote that doesn't go to Bush....
    •  The Western Strategy (none)
      I have been hoping for years that the Democrats show more appeal to libertarians.  But I dont think this can be done without giving up on the south.  The party faced a choice in the 70s-90s: a reactive choice to keep Repubs from taking the south, or a proactive choice to gain new formerly Republican terroritory with libertarian parts being a prime target.  They chose the former and ended up with neither.  I think its difficult to do both since the issues are often diametrically opposite.  Even if they try this approach, it will be 20 years before it takes fruition.
      •  Your post confuses me (none)
        how does appealing to libertarians give up the south?

        Its pretty easy to argue we lost the south when we turned away from civil liberties and working class issues.

        My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

        by cdreid on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:23:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  libertarianism and the south (3.50)
          I shold have elaborated more.  The post-FDR appeal to the south was based largely on development issues, together with maintaining the pro-slavery base.  Libertarians would call the former buying votes with programs, and the latter is hardly libertarian though some more extreme Libertarians might have no problems with what they would call voluntary indentured servitude, sharecropping, etc.  In the post-LBJ world, the southern appeal comes from minorities, yellow-dog democrats (a vanishing breed), and populist appeal.  None of these groups is libertarian-friendly.  

          Of course, it would be nice to appeal to everybody, but I cant see how to do this effectively for national elections (unless you had a truly gifted and dishonest politician).

          •  Good response but (none)
            where you get the 'pro-slavery' thing boggles me. You must not know many southerners. There is racism here like everywhere of course. But, and this isnt an attack on northerners etc, you didnt see the LA riots or 50 other examples i could give you in the south. Imho the real hardcore racism is in the north now, though the south has some ugly vicious whackos pop their heads up on occasion. But California and the northern states somehow live in this fantasy that they dont have racism problems.. and never did. Its.. positively strange.

            My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

            by cdreid on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:51:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Or do we want a bigger tent? (3.25)
    My first thought was to say "Run, Aaron, run!"

    Then I thought about it. Maybe not. Sure, Libertarians are nucking futz, but might it be better if we take the opportunity to paint horns and a tail on Ashcroft, Rummy, and Bush (they already have the pitchfork) and get the Ls to start recognizing that Democrats are less of a threat to their liberties than Republicans are, instead of being the flip side of a Big Evil Coin That Oppresses Them?  Yes, under a Dem they'll have to pay more attention to their gun rights and they'll have to acknowledge that (in the name of fiscal responsibility if nothing else) they won't be able to count on continuous tax cuts -- but what they do in their bedrooms and with their bodies is more likely to be their own choice.

    Maybe we should have them inside the tent pissing out. We need every vote, this time.  I'm not necessarily happy with them going for a third party; I want them to vote for Kerry -- maybe because I want them to recognize the difference between patriotic Americans with slightly different priorities than their own and nutcases who pose real threats to the future of our country.

    Then again. These are Libertarians we're talking about. Ayn Randies. The guys who have their thumb right on the pulse of the nation, who can see perfectly clearly how the problems of the nation could all be solved: if we just had fewer public parks and schools; worse health care and roads; and more corporate greed, wealth inequity, guns, pollution, drugs, sexual promiscuity, and low-wage jobs -- we'd reach utopia.

    And maybe I should think harder about the difference between patriotic Americans with slightly different priorities than my own and nutcases who pose real threats to the future of our country.

    Yah, I was right in the first place. Run, Aaron, run!

    •  Sweden vs Iran (none)
      the best way to point out to a Libritarian that Dems are better than repugs is to ask them if they'd rather live in Sweden or Iran.
      •  Hey now (none)
        In Iran the productive members in society are not bothered with things like, you know, regulation and taxes.

        So obviously, they would pick Iran.

        Paraphrasing the Poor Man: "It's funny how liberals complain about US blunders in Iraq after not criticizing the USSR for similar blunders in Afghanistan."

        by JimTXDem on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:28:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, Libertarians I know (none)
          seem to hate Europe more than totolaritarian dictatorships.
          •  That's just silly (none)
            I can't vouch for the Libertarians you know, but I think it's pretty safe to say that theoretical Libertarianism stands for greatest personal liberty in both economic and social issues.   Totalitarian dictatorships greatly curtail social and poltical freedoms.   Social democracies curtail economic liberties to a somewhat lesser extent.    Given the choice, I'd opt for a less acute constriction of my economic liberties.   If the situation were reversed, if for example I were choosing between a 100% tax rate or a moderate restriction on political speech, I'd probably opt for the lesser restriction on political liberties (although I might still feel that inherently restriction of free speech is more offensive than restriction of freedom to spend my money as I choose).  

            Anyone who'd opt for a theocracy over a social democracy has a radically different understanding of Libertarianism to mine.

  •  Am I right to remember... (none)
    ...that most NRA members support continuing the assault weapons ban?

    (Oops, Google makes these questions easy. The answer is no, probably, but the details are still interesting.)

  •  First Libertarian To Reply? (3.92)
    A few things right off the bat.
    1.  Read SW's post.  He has a very good handle on the whole situation.  
    2.  I'm not sure Russo is going to win the nomination.  Nolan still has a lot of support.  But, I'm not sure that Russo is any more of a star than Nolan.  Nolan's a solid guy, he's got great presence and glibness from his radio show and a good bead on things.  Actually, despite the claims that the Libertarians are fucking nuts, between Russo, Nolan, and the seminal candidate Harry Browne (who could destroy any currently serving politican in any debate), the Libertarians tend to nominate very serious, wickedly intelligent candidates.  Because they hold positions you might not agree with doesn't make them nuts, it makes them....people who hold positions you might not agree with.  Believe it or not, the world is full of people like that, and they can even not agree with you and STILL, somehow, be sane.  Imagine that.    
    3.  Quick bit on immigration:  Libertarians, as a whole, believe in unlimited LEGAL immigration.  Libertarians also tend to be (ironically considering some of the pothead and gun nut contigents, which I won't even try to deny or gloss over) fairly big on rule of law.  Bush's immigration policy is seen as amnesty for criminals, not opening borders, and there is a difference, believe it or not (just ask a lot of Republicans, many of them were howling mad for about the same reasons)(and there are a lot of practical concerns there as well that I won't get into).  I share that view, for the record.  But, keep in mind that it's an issue that splits a lot of Libertarians.  We're not the borg, things like capital punishment and illegal immigration and some other things are fairly contentious among Libertarians.
    All that out of the way, I think MyDD is spot on in some ways, but off in others.  One, I think the potential for a Libertarian surge is pretty large, once people get past stereotypes and look at ideas.  But, I'm not entirely sure this is the election for it.  Second, I agree with another poster, that this year may be the year to mark a shift from a large contingent of Libertarians that lean Republican to a large contingent of Libertarians that lean Democratic.  SW was exactly right, the Bush administration has blown the support of a helluva lot of Libertarian-leaning people.  Some examples off the top of my head:  Libertarians believe in and hold very dear civil liberties, the concept of armed neutrality in world affairs, fiscal responsibility, and the government staying the hell out of the bedroom.  Bush doesn't just blow that, but he comes out as the anti-christ candidate on those issues, with things like the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security, the whole Iraq thing, the gay marriage amendment (one surefire way to piss off the LP is to propose amending the constitution to RESTRICT liberty...whooo boy that gets us hopping mad), historical deficit spending (we like tax cuts, but they lose any value when they're coupled with ballooning spending...that just doesn't make any fucking sense), and on and on and on.  There are some other things as well, including the illegal immigration issue (which tends to piss off the Buchannan wing of the Republican party more than it does Libertarians, but a lot of us were unhappy about it as well), expansion of the executive, bans on stem cell research, filling seats on the Supreme Court with conservative justices, etc etc etc.  My point here, is that Libertarians, as a rule, hate Bush as much as Democrats do.  Trust me on this one.

    They say politics make strange bedfellows, and this year, that's certainly true.  And, what I alluded to earlier, I don't think this is the year for a big Libertarian breakthrough because I think most Libertarians are SO pissed off at Bush that they're going to vote Kerry and punish the Republicans in Senate elections.  Specifically, I think the protest vote this year is going to fall squarely in Kerry's lap.  

    The Republicans under Bush have effectively been pushing out Libertarian-leaning independents and conservatives for awhile now, and in the last year or so, we've been giving the Democratic party another long, hard look, and (though we're curmudgeonly people by nature) are not entirely put off by what we see.  The party that we used to associate with big spending and social handouts is now the party against war as anything but a last resort, against the encroachment on civil liberties, against irresponsible fiscal policy...PLUS, they still have all the things we've always liked about them, big on social freedom, stuff like that.  For Libertarians like me, the Dems don't look half-bad this year.  

    I live in PA, and I may well vote for Kerry instead of the Libertarian nominee, something I would never have considered doing even four years ago (I voted Browne in 2000, happily).  But, the political climate has changed pretty dramatically, the winds are blowing a new direction, so open up the tent flaps, fellas.  Some of us are coming in.      

    CONCLUSION:  

    The Libertarians are indeed dissatisfied with Bush, but I think instead of hoping for a Roy Moore style third party run, inroads can be made with this crowd and many of them can be brought into the fold.  We don't number in the millions, but, every little bit helps, right?  Even the fucking nutty bits.  

    •  sorry for the long post (4.00)
      Trust me, I could write novels on this.  

      Two more quick things.  

      What the article said on our internet presence is also true.  I know for a fact you have more than a few lurking around these parts.  The Libertarians were the first political party in America to have a web site and a mailing list, for instance.  That can be tapped, I think.

      Secondly, a good way to make inroads with the Libertarians without really compromising much for your party:  Get stronger in the rhetoric on civil liberties.  I don't think that's just Libertarians; a lot of people are worried about that.  But, Kerry's been pretty wishy-washy on the matter.  Coming out a lot harder on the matter would be to everyone's benefit, I think.  

      •  Thank you (none)
        A great informative post.  I have a lot of very wonderful, witty, intelligent Libertarian friends (who you remind me of), who have voted Republican because of the "smaller government" rhetoric for years.  But the Republicans have lost so much of their traditional base these past 4 years by not living up to their rhetoric, the Democrats have really looked attractive to a lot of them.  One of my friends here caucused for Dean after voting for Bush in 2000 and a Libertarian at every other chance (btw - that was one thing I thought Dean did well, working really hard to embrace those Libertarians who thought about him).  I too, wish Kerry would get stronger civil liberties rhetoric.  But except for guns, I really think Libertarians really need to take another look at the Democrats as a good choice for them.
        Just tell your Republican-voting Libertarian friends this, the Republicans want a small government - just small enough to fit in your bedroom, that drawer where you keep your pot ;), and your doctor's office.

        The only Democrat I am truly excited about - Barack Obama for US Senate. I wish I lived in Illinois.

        by GreenHawkIA on Thu May 13, 2004 at 10:36:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (none)
          I've been telling them.  :)  

          Dean got a lot of eyebrows raised among the Libertarians I hang out with (more the young coffeeshop crowd), though he was ultimately thought too liberal for many of us (though his Iowa scream never bothered us: if you've ever been to a Libertarian convention you'll understand why).  But, the way he campaigned, the fire in him, his ballsy stances bucking against Bush directly; those are things we tend to appreciate when we see it, and gravitate towards.  

          That's something else that Libertarians have in common with Deaniacs, actually.  We're a VERY politically active sort of party.  We kind of have to be.  That bit of lp's site that Kos quoted is a lot more amazing than it looks.  We are, every year, on more ballots than all other third parties combined, despite our relatively small numbers.  The reason is that so much of our base is politically active.  We'll have NO problem getting on 45 or so ballots this year.  We run more local candidates than Democracy for America ever will.  All this without the benefit of media coverage, wealthy donors (well, some), matching funds, any of that.  We're as grassroots as they come.  There aren't many fair-weather Libertarians.  I would guess, offhand, that about 60% of registered Libertarians also volunteer, give money, spread the word, etc, easily a higher percentage than any other party out there.  Gary Nolan regularly is in the top three moneymakers on that Amazon thing, and for a long time was beating everybody).  That's potentially a very attractive groundwork for Kerry to tap into, should he choose to, in states that have strong Libertarian parties, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc (we have a very big Midwest and Rust Belt following).  We are no strangers to political activism.  Look at our numbers, and then look at what we've been able to accomplish.  It might seems a joke to some, but a lot of groundwork is there that's allowed us to be so accessible nationally and locally.

          First rule of making inroads though:  Quit calling us fucking nuts.  We fucking hate that.  :)  

                   

          •  OK (none)
            You're not fucking nuts.

            The party's economic views are perceived to be outside the post-Progressive era consensus, and hence, about 100 years out of date.

            I happen to share this view.

            But as long as we are not talking about the gold standard, the Federal Reserve, Social Security, and school vouchers -- well, aside from the spending part I pretty much agree with the libertarian platform.

            (I could even see ditching or dramatically altering the federal income tax, which is getting preposterous and self-defeating. Although at the moment I am advocating a state income tax).

            So essentially, we're speaking the same language, if we keep the discussion on, say, the four or five most important issues that Russo is running on.

            I would like to see Kerry talk as much about how government programs are NOT working and CAN BE GOTTEN RID OF as he is talking about new ones.

            I think it would have populist appeal. Let's face it, about one out of every three government programs probably ends up turning into a total clusterf*ck failure. Let's admit our mistakes and clean up the mess.

            Paraphrasing the Poor Man: "It's funny how liberals complain about US blunders in Iraq after not criticizing the USSR for similar blunders in Afghanistan."

            by JimTXDem on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:40:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I agree... (none)
        I think that for at least some of us lefties, libertarians are natural allies--maybe we won't agree all the time, but we can respect each other's opinions and work together on common issues. Especially those of us lefties who want the United States to quit climbing all over the world breaking things. I think a lot of the economic questions can be termed as matters of emphasis, as long as we're not dealing with hardcore Randians. The Randians can go fight with Marxists and International ANSWER.

        Left-wingers also need to make clear that a lot of the objections to "globalization" can be phrased in terms of corporations buying off state power to enforce unfair trade policies worldwide. I don't think Libertarians would like that very much either.

        It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."

        --MLK

        by Melissa O on Thu May 13, 2004 at 10:43:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Vote Libertarian...if you are one... (none)

        It would be nice to see the Libertarians get 5% of the vote this year, if it comes from Bush's totals.  
    •  me too. (none)
      I'm an outlier among Libertarians, called myself a "Green Libertarian" in my '96 run for Congress (WI 2nd) but will generally confirm glibfidget's observations.

      In the Wisconsin LP there's considerable support for Feingold for Senate, largely for his Patriot Act vote, solidified with his vote against the Assault weapons ban renewal. Kerry draws less, would be helped a lot with a clear promise of no new Federal Firearms restrictions.

      Libertarians4Feingold yahoo group

      "Desperate times call for futile gestures." - Norman Spinrad in "Bug Jack Barron"

      by ben masel on Thu May 13, 2004 at 10:58:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You had me until... (none)
      your signature.

      "The Gene Pool Could Use a Little Chlorine."

      When you post on LGF, they'll appreciate that one.

      •  it's a slogan (none)
        For the website I run, hyperlinked (not a political site, though it has a political forum).  I change the text in my sig from time to time (we have lots of other slogans, used to sell T-shirts and had random banner generators and whatnot).  Could use another change though.

        Don't worry, it's not a genocidal thing.  It's a smarmy thing.  :)    

        •  Yah, okay. (none)
          I bumped up your rating. :) I actually thought your sig smelled more of elitism than genocide -- elitism anyway being an affliction to which Libertarians are more prone, in my experience.

          I don't like the Libertarian party's positions much better than I like Ashcroft's (see my rant above), but your money is still green and your vote still counts (if you live in a non-Diebold state).  If you're not voting for Bush, that's half a loaf, anyway, and I'll take it.

          And my Libertarian friends aren't fond of Bush either. (Nor of Kerry.) I think they'll be glad to have Russo in the race.

    •  One tiny .. quibble? (none)
      The libertarian party came from Democratic roots. The issues the libertarians support were traditional democratic issues until the party basically abandoned them.

      My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

      by cdreid on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:17:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great post! Here's a question.... (none)
      I think that libertarian values are very much like those of many Dems, but I do have a question about the libertarian stance on social programs. I liked Ayn Rand 40 years ago when I was in college, but I have come to believe that everyone gains when a society provides those things that the market doesn't provide very well. Universal health care is a biggie. Another is essentially free higher education as existed in California until Reagan became governor.

      The poster above who asked about Sweden versus Iran made an excellent point. How would the libertarians come down if the choice were between these two extremes?

      •  The market can provide health care affordably (none)
        Unfortunately, the overregulation of the health care industry has made health care enormously expensive.  For example, a libertarian would advocate open borders in which a person can buy drugs online or in Mexico or Canada much more cheaply than here in the U.S.  But because politicians are more interested in appeasing big business than meeting the needs of the populace, there are government-imposed restrictions on this.

        Another example: the libertarian would advocate the elimination of the FDA and would allow the market - and the threat of tort - to insure that companies were providing safe, effective, medication to consumers much more quickly and more affordably than the current scheme.  FDA restrictions have kept effective medication off the market many times in the past causing people who need those drugs to wait until the FDA approves them - beta blockers are an excellent example.

        As a libertarian, I'd rather allow charities to meet the health care needs of those who truly cannot afford it than I would the government.  If you're truly concerned about being compassionate to those in need, I fail to see how taking money from someone and redistributing it to someone else - while taking a cut for yourself as a government entity - is more compassionate than charitable contributions.  The problem is that those who advocate governmental control over charity do not trust the goodwill of the general population to meet the needs of the needy.

        "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce

        by Libertarialoon on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:56:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cuba or Somalia (none)
        The poster above who asked about Sweden versus Iran made an excellent point. How would the libertarians come down if the choice were between these two extremes?

        A better comparison would be a choice between Somalia (anarchy) or Cuba (hard-core communism).  Of course, neither of these is a very good option.

        I'm a libertarian, but I'm not an anarchist (at least not when the realities of human behavior is taken into account).  Whenever someone questions the libertarian platform, they always want to frame the debate around the most extreme position possible.  It would be similar to me claiming that every socialist or leftist advocated Bolshevism.

        While any ideology taken to extremes is dangerous or Utopian, I believe that giving each person as much individual liberty as possible is the best way to true freedom.

        BTW, I'd pick Sweden. ;)

        "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce

        by Libertarialoon on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good replies. Thanks. (none)
          You know, I really don't think of my support for public goods like health care and education to be based on compassion, tho' I I am not uncompassionate by nature. I yearn to live in a world where there are no have nots, where the basics for constructing a good life are made available to everyone. I contribute to charities, but I would prefer that society choose to provide the basics and let charities provide for the arts and other life-enriching public goods.
  •  The Libertarian party (none)
    Grew out of the Democratic parties rejection of its traditional base. The working class. It was populism, the support of workers rights, and civil liberties that brought the democratic party to power. And once it got there it became a machine. It hired statisticians and pollsters to crunch the numbers. Strategists to identify and pit interest groups against each other. And vanilla politicians to 'brand' with the 'issue of the moment.'. Thus the democratic party abandoned its base.

    The republican party has thus far avoided this mistake, though it is moving slowly in that direction. The republicans have been very good at setting up political traps for the democrats. Which we seem all too willing to jump into. Its a tactic we havent used successfully.

    The gop has big big problems in its future however. It is attempting to appeal to blacks, urban 'yuppies' and moderates. But to do so it has to abandon its base.. the christian right, country club republicans, and libertarians/gunowners. If it panders to the christian right by giving them what they have been screaming for it loses the majority of the country. Thus far the gop has given lip service to them and even tossed them a vote or two, but nothing that would cost them too much politically. Real libertarians are outraged. The gop has done more damage to the constitution than at any time post-lincoln in our history. The major-issue gun owners are its other 'hidden time bomb'. It has hoped to keep gun rights activists on board by simply not allowing the AWB to come up to the vote and allow it to sunset. Gun owners not only expect this... they take it as fate accompli. Which means that if a vote even comes up it could be politically devastating for Bush. Even those who arent one-issue will see it as the final straw. And in an election as close as the last one, that is the ball game.

    There is no way we will see a vote on the AWB. It is suicide for the gop.

    My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

    by cdreid on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:15:14 PM PDT

    •  asdf (none)
      But to do so it has to abandon its base.. the christian right, country club republicans, and libertarians/gunowners.

      No wonder it has problems with its base - those are some strange bedfellows.

      Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.

      by PeteyP on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:19:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They abandoned all that. (none)
      They've abandoned everyone but Jesus freaks and big business whores. But they have managed to guilt-trip enough people into staying with them because of the irrational Clinton hatred and because of 9/11.

      I don't see most of the GOP factions ever seriously splitting anytime soon. They are too brainwashed.

      •  Indeed, party boys (and girls) (none)
        Many people like my parents are going to vote party line no matter what happens.  My mom is really upset with Bushco's attack on abortion, but come Nov. she will toe the party line due to fear.

        I consider myself a "liberaltarian"-I own guns, believe in few/no gov. regulations, etc. however, if we are going to spend 1/2 trillion dollars a year on defense, I think it should be spent on other, more pressing social issues.

        Americans seem to be more concerned with taking their own lifestyles from 10 to 11 than to help others bring theirs from 0 to 1.

        by quartzite on Fri May 14, 2004 at 08:21:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's so sad. These people just (none)
          make me feel so sad. I really do feel so much of the time that Bush will win no matter what. Comments like this remind me of why. Most of America will vote for him no matter what he does.
      •  I agree James (none)
        but remember just how desperate they are. Theyve known they were in big big trouble for a while. Remember Bush's rather idiotic "hey lets just open the borders' idea. Pure politics. His sudden and fleeting interest in cuba. His sudden concern with "insert whacky idea here". The AWB is dead and if Kerry is smart he'll ignore that ignorant freak Feinstein and let it stay that way. If we hop on for yet another round of putting extremist prochoice and anti 2nd as our parties "core values' while continuing to ignore the working classes and let the party keep moving right Kerry's presidency could be the nail in the coffin of the party. We have to get back to our base. To what made us the majority party before the corporatists and posers (Feinstein and friends) hit the accelerator on the highway to hell.

        My other Drunken ravings| Friends dont let idiots run countries

        by cdreid on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:58:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whoa! (none)
    I never thought I'd be able to say that a candidate for President is a former client of mine.

    Of course, my current law firm represented GW Bush in the infamous Bush v. Gore.  But that was before they hired me.  I represented Aaron about 5 or 6 years ago in a small contract matter.

    I think I can say, without violating any code of ethics, that Aaron is kinda weird.  Then again, so are most of our clients in the entertainment industry.

    Go Aaron!

    Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.

    by PeteyP on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:17:35 PM PDT

    •  only "kinda weird"???? (none)
      I had a meeting with him once.  Left with effusive protestations of meeting again, hoping he was as two-faced as I was in the situation, since I knew I wasn't going to return his calls if he did, and hoping I'd never hear from him again.

      For once, my "Hollywierd wish" was granted.

       

      William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

      by HollywierdLiberal on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:56:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iraq | Al Quaeda Connection?? (none)
    I was up to my dirty tricks again

    Boy  those Repugs are so into Drinking the Kool Aid I just got banned from freerepublic.com (check it out, i plan to use another alias haha, be nice guys and pick their brains, challange their logic, see how they think) after being a polite Mod Repug with questions about the war. I nicely debunked all their ideas about Iraq and Al Quaeda. They think that GW is God literally ..kinda scarey. They thing that  Pearle 9/11 and the initial bombing of the twin towers and now Berg are reasons why we should be in Iraq.

    I politiely called Saddam an evil man and disgusting and used God a couple times and they were willing to engage me.

    I told them that BUSH had said Saddam H. had nothing to do with 9/11 . They didnt beleive me . So i told them to do a google search for the quote . That was the end of that particular arguement ...haha

    I told them they Bush Sr left the Shites to their deaths after the Golf War when he encouraged them to rise up against Saddam ...then left them hanging ... and thats why there are mass graves in Iraq ... They didnt believe that there were mass graves in Iraq... go figure. I bet if they had thought of it first they would have said Saddam  was the sole reason for the mass graves...dont get me wrong Saddam was the one who slaughtered  the Shites (His own people) but BUSH SR betrayed them big time...

    Their only argument that i have to look up is they mentioned Salman Pak...Does anyone know this as an Al Quaeda training camp in Iraq?? has this been proven or is it speculation ...Im sure if it were true BUSH and Cheny and the Rovians would be all over this.

    •  This is OT. (none)
      Try an open thread instead with stuff like this.
    •  yes (none)
      There does appear to be have been an Al Queda camp in Iraq.  Last I heard the military wanted to take it out independently before the war in Iraq, but the Bushies said no.  I don't think it was ever shown that this camp and saddam had any kind of connection.

      The point here is we could have taken out the camp without invading Iraq.  Much the same way Clinton destroyed the camp in Sudan (which repubs really really don't want to talk about).  Instead we invaded and the people were training in the camp weren't killed, they dissapeared into a now chaotic Iraq.  

      "You should run for office like you're one vote behind and if you get there, you should act like you won by one vote." - Tony Knowles

      by Snuffleupagus on Fri May 14, 2004 at 12:24:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just found it .. someone just sent it to me (none)
        This is an excerpt from an outstanding, must-read article in The New Yorker (5/03):

        Almost immediately after September 11th, the I.N.C. began to publicize the stories of defectors who claimed that they had information connecting Iraq to the attacks. In an interview on October 14, 2001, conducted jointly by the Times and "Frontline," the public-television program, Sabah Khodada, an Iraqi Army captain, said that the September 11th operation "was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam," and that Iraq had a program to instruct terrorists in the art of hijacking. Another defector, who was identified only as a retired lieutenant general in the Iraqi intelligence service, said that in 2000 he witnessed Arab students being given lessons in hijacking on a Boeing 707 parked at an Iraqi training camp near the town of Salman Pak, south of Baghdad.

        In separate interviews with me, however, a former C.I.A. station chief and a former military intelligence analyst said that the camp near Salman Pak had been built not for terrorism training but for counter-terrorism training. In the mid-eighties, Islamic terrorists were routinely hijacking aircraft. In 1986, an Iraqi airliner was seized by pro-Iranian extremists and crashed, after a hand grenade was triggered, killing at least sixty-five people. (At the time, Iran and Iraq were at war, and America favored Iraq.) Iraq then sought assistance from the West, and got what it wanted from Britain's MI6. The C.I.A. offered similar training in counter-terrorism throughout the Middle East. "We were helping our allies everywhere we had a liaison," the former station chief told me. Inspectors recalled seeing the body of an airplane--which appeared to be used for counter-terrorism training--when they visited a biological-weapons facility near Salman Pak in 1991, ten years before September 11th. It is, of course, possible for such a camp to be converted from one purpose to another. The former C.I.A. official noted, however, that terrorists would not practice on airplanes in the open. "That's Hollywood rinky-dink stuff," the former agent said. "They train in basements. You don't need a real airplane to practice hijacking. The 9/11 terrorists went to gyms. But to take one back you have to practice on the real thing."

        Salman Pak was overrun by American troops on April 6th. Apparently, neither the camp nor the former biological facility has yielded evidence to substantiate the claims made before the war.

        http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030512fa_fact

  •  Dude never went to college. (none)
    According to his IMDB bio, Aaron Russo doesn't have a college education.

    Not that I would say that automatically makes him not intelligent enough to fulfill the duties of POTUS, but to some folks (myself included), this is a big red flag. It's nice he managed Bette for 7 years, but even that doesn't prepare you to deal with Sharon, Bandar, and Bin Laden.

    Of course, Bush has his MBA and is still considered in some quarters to be slightly retarded, if not merely lacking the requisite intelligence to be President. I have to presume myself that Russo is smarter, even if less educated.

    And there are enough engineers I know who are Libertarian that if they're as active as they say, we could finally set a cogent and coherent technology policy, and singlehandedly get the economy back to Clintonian levels just off that one sector and maybe biotech.

    I wish them luck, the Libertarians. Especially if it's at siphoning votes off of what would normally be Wingnut Idiot Nation. And if they're not that lucky, I still want them on our side when de Revolution come...

  •  The Libertarian problem (1.25)
    The problem for Libertarians is, I have never met a Libertarian with less than about a 140 IQ.  They are proof that the higher the IQ, the more likely one is an intellectual moron.  They should stick to their Mensa meetings.

    That's because 140 is about the minimum IQ it would take to create a for-real Libertarian society with the slightest chance of working.  In a small society in a country the size of Lithuania, where almost everyone knows each other, or knows their families.

    Like Marxists, Libertarians are those otherwise-unemployable liberal arts types who end up with tenure in academia, where the moron stupidity of your intellect is not a threat to your survival.

    In my experience, Libertarians are a great target for a baseball bat swung hard to the base of the skull from the rear, since they don't have the brains to realize that the other 99.9% of humanity who isn't stupid enough to intellectualize life as they do sees them as a fat target with a billfold full of money, and dumb enough to never "check six".

    William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

    by HollywierdLiberal on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:39:21 PM PDT

    •  Mr. President, (none)
      We must not allow a Libertarian gap!

      (I actually look forward to screaming this to President Kerry in the War Room, some time before the 2008 elections).

      Paraphrasing the Poor Man: "It's funny how liberals complain about US blunders in Iraq after not criticizing the USSR for similar blunders in Afghanistan."

      by JimTXDem on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:47:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Birds of a feather (none)
      Like Marxists, Libertarians are those otherwise-unemployable liberal arts types who end up with tenure in academia, where the moron stupidity of your intellect is not a threat to your survival.

      Libertarians are just Marxists in reverse. The philosophy seems to be "If too much government is bad (communism) the none would be good."

      •  a tap on the shoulder (none)
        When, in the context of an argument about "more government" you write that Marxists are libertarians in reverse, you show that you know very little about Marxism and communism.  

        The state -- instrument of the bourgeoisie that it is -- is supposed to get smashed in the process of instituting proletarian power.  Communism is the condition of society after classes disappear.  It comes about due to the people who had nothing finally getting something, as well as a thoroughgoing democratisation of society.  Yes, you could think of it as "more government", but only if you mean the autonomous self-government of the people.

        Marx & Engels didn't say too much about communism because they didn't want to become like the people they loved to pooh-pooh, the utopian socialists.  Moreover, they were more interested in the practical problems of the transistion, and this is where they devoted most of their effort.  I suggest William Morris' "News from Nowhere" for an entertaining and Marxist vision of the Communist society.  

        And by the way, Marxism is not a popular doctrine in today's academy.  According to academic orthodoxy, it was sublated by pomoismo somewhere in the sixties or seventies -- and pomoismo itself has become kind of oldhat.  In any case, most of today's hip academes think Marxists are fuddyduddies, and for that reason, it's not a good road to choose if one wishes to reach Tenure City.

        •  Clarification (none)
          I was referring to communism as practiced in the Soviet Union, i.e. state over prodution and distribution, not the pure academic theory. Libertarians - Ayn Rand in particular - reacted against the Soviet system. Yes, both posit the same idea, that human beings would live better under no government. And most importantly, both theories ignore that governments were instituted to protect and and enhance person freedom. There is a reason there has never been a "autonomous self-government of the people." Such a system provides no safeguards against exploitation or free-ridership. Even under despotism a person enjoys more autonomy than under anrchy.

          Then again I'm a pragmatist, so what the fuck do I know?

          Lastly, it was HollyweirdLiberal, not I who suggested that Acadaemia was rife with Marxists.

    •  Mensans and Libertarians (none)

      I was a Mensan, and the Chicago group must be commended for its chemistry and wonderful Halloween gatherings.  

      Unfortunately, way too many Mensans believe that having passed their qualifying test, they have been granted infallibility and the right to retire from active thought.  Thus, conversations gain volume and lose their edifying value when every participant speaks ex cathedra.    

    •  bitter much? (none)
      Sounds to me like you have more of a problem with IQ tests.
  •  Howard Stern (none)
    Is he really going around telling people to vote for Russo? That isn't good for Kerry.
  •  Doesn't just hurt Bush (4.00)
    I'm a libertarian and a pragmatist. I voted libertarian in 2000 in a state that hasn't gone red in twenty years (i.e. no one even bothers to advertise here). Now I've moved to  a swing state, I'm voting Kerry, because I'm a pragmatist and I detest Bush.

    But I detest Kerry and his anti-gun bullshit as well. This is a very tough nation to live in if you don't conform to the two-party system. I agree with half of each platform.

    The thing about libertarians, though, is that we're usually smart enough to understand the system. In swing states, we won't throw our vote away on Bush. The real threat is Nader, a man capable of pulling voters who just don't understand how the system works.


    --
    The best they can come up with now is "don't switch horsemen mid-apocalypse".

    by Proud And Free on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:18:05 AM PDT

    •  Someone explain this to me (none)
      But I detest Kerry and his anti-gun bullshit as well.

      Is Kerry anti-gun? I thought otherwise....

      Or is it that he favors some restrictions and regulations on gun ownership.

      I suspect it is the latter that causes you to detest him.  In which case....will someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE explain this to me. Why, oh why, are the so-called pro-gun people and other Libertarians against regulating gun ownership?  

      It doesn't make any sense.  "The Right to Bear Arms!" they scream.  "The Second Amendment" they holler.

      Last I checked the Second Amendment called for a "well-regulated militia." Let me repeat that....a "well-regulated militia." Not an unregulated militia.

      War in Iraq = Al Qaeda Recruitment Program

      by ImeldaBlahnik on Fri May 14, 2004 at 08:21:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You ignore the second part... (none)
        "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

        While the 2nd amendment states that the Militia should be well-regulated, it clearly states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  It's in black and white.  It couldn't be more clear.  The problem is that gun opponents simply can't believe that the Founding Fathers really meant that.

        The fact is that concealed-carry laws have been proven to significantly reduce crime, not increase it.  Regulation of gun ownership punishes law-abiding citizens.

        "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce

        by Libertarialoon on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:40:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (none)
        In the 1700's, well regulated meant "working properly" and Militia meant "all white men in America under the age of 45". Here is a link to the Milita Act wherein they define who is in the Militia. Of course, race, age, and sex discrimination have all been outlawed, so "militia" now means "all citizens of America". The National Guard was not established until 100 years after the Constitution, therefore anyone attempting to even bring them into the conversation needs to read up on Einstein and temporal paradoxes.

        Hope this helps.


        --
        The best they can come up with now is "don't switch horsemen mid-apocalypse".
        total disaster

        by Proud And Free on Tue May 18, 2004 at 03:09:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in the 1700s (none)
          since we're going back in time...

          In the 1700s, right to bear arms did not mean rights to any and all assault weapons.

          If certain types of guns (stinger missles, suitcase bombs, etc) are prohibited by law, that does not infringe on your right to bear arms. There are still plenty of other arms you have the right to bear.

          War in Iraq = Al Qaeda Recruitment Program

          by ImeldaBlahnik on Sat May 22, 2004 at 08:49:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  in the 1700s (none)
          since we're going back in time...

          In the 1700s, right to bear arms did not mean rights to any and all assault weapons.

          If certain types of arms (stinger missles, suitcase bombs, etc) are prohibited by law, that does not infringe on your right to bear arms. There are still plenty of other arms you have the right to bear.

          War in Iraq = Al Qaeda Recruitment Program

          by ImeldaBlahnik on Sat May 22, 2004 at 08:49:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Holy cow - they're actually running a candidate?? (none)
    Justin Raimondo, long-time libertarian, spoke at the New York libertarian convention a month or so ago.  I like what he writes.  Here's the first part of his speech.  Point of all this is that he was jone'sin b/c nobody in the libertarian party was running...so he was all bent, saying 'WTF, people?'  And this may be the second half of the speech...not sure.
  •  The Angry Libertarians (none)
    I'm not a libertarian, and personally, I don't agree with their economic/foreign policy positions. But there are a good number of libertarians who are gettign fed UP with Bush.  

    One of the guys I work with is a GOP-leaning-libertarian. he's nto willing to come out and say he won't vote for Bush, but it seems like every time a new revealation or scandal pops up, his dislike for W grows a little more. He's ex military, and Bush's use/treatment of the military is really starting to get under his skin.

    Could some wealthy Dems fund Russo like some wealthy Republicans are helpign Nader? Or would that be "stopping to their level"?

    A Dean Democrat and proud of it. We will work together to take our country back.

    by descolada99 on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:24:53 AM PDT

  •  Is Bush a Conservative (none)
    I've been hearing more and more criticism from moderate conservatives (if only on the war), eg. G. Will, Friedman, Tucker Carlson. There seems to be dissention on a number of issues. The following article was informative, at least for me. See what you think. Its gives some more weight to the idea that an alternative candidate with conservative leanings could hurt Bush.

    From Even Conservatives Are Wondering: Is Bush One of Us?

    "Historically, conservatism in the United States has meant support for small government, balanced budgets, fiscal prudence and great skepticism about overseas adventures," notes Clyde Prestowitz, a former Reagan Administration official who back in the 1960s was among the young Republicans supporting Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, a conservative standard-bearer. "What I see now is an Administration that's not for any of these things."

    ..a growing number of conservative thinkers and policy-makers have begun to echo this view, as thumbing through the pages of the conservative press makes clear. Hungry for hard-hitting criticism of the Iraq war? You're as likely to find it these days in publications like The National Interest, a conservative foreign affairs quarterly, and the recently launched American Conservative as in publications on the left. Want a rundown on the billions in government subsidies that the Bush Administration has lavished on corporations even as it claims to champion laissez-faire economics? Look no further than the website of the libertarian Cato Institute, which bristles with such information. How about sober analyses of the multibillion-dollar budget deficits the Administration has overseen? There's no better source than the staid, conservative business press.

  •  I'll vote for Russo (L) (none)
    I'm a big fan of balance and having a choice between two acceptable alternatives. Given that I live in a safe (D) state, I will probably vote (L). Not to try to split the (R) block, but because I'd rather the (L) party was the Other Big Party. I'd rather choose between a (D) and (L) than between (D) and (R), which is no choice at all.

    The (D) message of public education, labor rights and multiculturalism speaks to me.
    The (G) message of environmental sustainability, public investment and anthro-centric urban planning speak to me.
    The (L) message of fiscal responsibility, state's rights and civil liberties speak to me.
    The (R) message of religious fanatacism, ethinic purity and militarism do not speak to me. They offend me.

    You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. (Albert Einstein)

    by opendna on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:24:44 AM PDT

  •  Russo in the Debates (none)
    One of Russo's big aims is to get into the debates between Kerry and Bush.  Not likely, but how do you think having a libertarian in the presidential debate would affect the outcome?  Would it hurt Bush or Kerry more?
  •  Looks good in Arizona (none)
    There is high-level disgust with Bush here. My county is chock full of libertarians (three meetup sites listed), and Russo's a great choice for those that won't vote Democratic. It's a perfect place for Russo to get a foothold. He'll probably be our Nader and help the Democrats carry the state. Go Russo!

    "The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights." -Albert Einstein

    by bisbeegal on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:39:32 PM PDT

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