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One of the under-reported factors for the Democratic victories in 2006 was the spoiler effect that the Libertarian Party played. Here are races in which the Libertarian vote was larger than the Democratic margin of victory:

Missouri Senate

McCaskill (D) 1,047,049  50
Talent (R)    1,001,238  47
Gilmour (L)      47,504   2

Montana Senate

Tester (D)      198,302  49
Burns (R)       195,455  48
Jones (L)        10,324   3

That's control of the Senate right there. And in the House there was at least one race in which Libertarians helped deliver a seat to Democrats:


Hill (D)        110,185  50
Sodrel (R)      100,503  46
Schansberg (L)    9,920   4

In several other contests, the Libertarians helped give us tight, tight, tight races:


Doolittle (R)   104,746  49
Brown (D)        97,217  46
Warren (L)       10,668   5


Shays (R)       106,558  51
Farrell (D)      99,913  48
Maymin (L)        2,998   1


Ferguson (R)     95,830  49
Stender (D)      92,591  48
Abrams (I)         3,064  2
Young (L)         1,989   1


Porter (R)      102,176  48
Hafen (D)        98,210  47
Hansen (I)        5,326   3
Silvestri (L)     5,155   2


Cubin (R)        93,336  48
Trauner (D)      92,324  48
Rankin (L)        7,481   4

The theocon and neocon takeover of the Republican Party has left many of its more Libertarian members adrift with few alternatives. I clearly hope the Democratic Party becomes more Libertarian friendly over the coming years, but that's a long-term project. In the meantime, the Libertarian ballot line (when available) can be an apt protest vote.

It can be argued that 58,000 Libertarian voters handed control of the Senate to Democrats, just as 97, 421 Greens in Florida in 2000 handed control of the White House to George Bush.

While Republicans try to fund Green candidates in races around the country, it looks like they have their own serious third party problem.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 07:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get a Load (0+ / 0-)

    of Scarborough and his cronies trying to pin responsibility on the Democratic Congress...after a Republican Congress and Senate voted for the AUMF...

    What a joke...

    "Uncle Fredo's gone fishing, son...yeah, that's it..."

    by TheManWithNoPoint on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:00:00 AM PST

    •  Cut it Out, Kos (9+ / 0-)

      It's up to each party to attract votes. Your categorization of any votes not cast as R or D as something less than democracy at work is not right.

      It can be argued that 58,000 Libertarian voters handed control of the Senate to Democrats, just as 97, 421 Greens in Florida in 2000 handed control of the White House to George Bush

      Anything can be argued.

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:32:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gee I didn't read it like that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Winnie

        How exactly did Kos categorize the non-R or D votes?  I do think, however, he implied that the Republicans efforts to bolster the various State Greens failed to recognize that there exists a "third party" that draws votes away from Republican candidates.  Uh Oh. And that aided the loss in a few key areas.  Double uh oh.

        I have no objection to additional parties - heck I'm not a registered Dem or Rep.  I do however, have an objection to one of the 2 traditional parties funding a third party (read Green particularly in PA)and despite the knowledge of that for that third party to accept such funds and to deny the reality of their funding.  ANd would object as much if the Dems were to fund a third party such as the Libertarians.

      •  Exactly right, Mr X (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jared Lash, Mr X, Democrat

        The Green Party voters in Florida didn't deliver the White House to Bush, any more than the voters for any other alternative party did. Gore lost because he failed to appeal to those voters (and then failed to rigorously fight for a full recount in the state). If the Green Party and Ralph Nader didn't exist in 2000, a lot of those voters may as well have decided to stay home on election day.

        Libertarian voters cast ballots for the party because they didn't see their principles and hopes reflected by either major party, and the Libertarians came closer to meeting their ideas. Green voters in 2000 didn't vote for Gore (or Bush) for the same reason. Why is that so hard to grasp?

        Kos should get it, because he's always railing against the DLC. Well, Gore ran a DLC-style campaign. If the DLC has a losing strategy, and Gore ran a DLC-style campaign, shouldn't it be clear that this is the reason he lost?

        •  It's not "hard to grasp" at all. (0+ / 0-)

          But here are the facts.  Bush won Florida by less than a thousand votes.  More than 97,000 votes went to Nader.  Are you really suggesting that almost all of them (liberal to the core as they are) would have sat on their hands or voted for Bush if Nader hadn't been running?

          Regardless of the quality of the race Gore ran, we've had six years and counting of the worst president ever thanks to Ralph's ego, and I will never forgive him for that.

          "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Thomas Jefferson

          by PerryA on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 07:45:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Off topic (0+ / 0-)

      What does Scarborough have to do with the Libertarians?  He's a Republican.

    •  GOP and Santorum Funded The Greens in PA (0+ / 0-)

      They also forged the signatures to get the Greens on the ballot.

  •  Wait A Minute--Only the EXCESS Libertarian Vote (9+ / 0-)

    should constitute "spoilerage."

    If those races typically get that amount of Libertarian support then I wouldn't call it a spoiler vote any more than the background level of votes for Michael Mouse and cousin Billy-Bob.

    If there was a spike compared to other elections then sure, give 'em credit.


    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:03:31 AM PST

  •  I disagree (12+ / 0-)

    Libertarian candidates take away from Democratic vote totals as well.  

      •  it only stands to reason that it does (7+ / 0-)

        Think of people who really don't support the two-party system and who have voted third-party for years. Those people couldn't possibly constitute 0% of the libertarian vote last year in these key districts.

        Plus, you can't tell me that NO disaffected liberals that are not hooked in with the Netroots who would traditionally support Democrats may have chosen (albeit not in their interest) to support a Libertarian.

        Therefore, there is a margin of those who choose Democrats over Republicans, not just those who swing the election by voting libertarian.

        So who needs a source?

        The pendulum tends to swing back.

        by jkennerl on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:12:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What issues they ran on? (0+ / 0-)

        Not too hard to find out. What issues were the Libertarians, and in some cases the Independents were running on? I'm particularly interested in the Congressional races.

      •  Source? (14+ / 0-)

        This tends to support Kos' argument:

        In the past, our research shows, most libertarians voted Republican—72 percent for George W. Bush in 2000, for instance, with only 20 percent for Al Gore, and 70 percent for Republican congressional candidates in 2002. But in 2004, presumably turned off by war, wiretapping, and welfare-state spending sprees, they shifted sharply toward the Democrats. John F. Kerry got 38 percent of the libertarian vote. That was a dramatic swing that Republican strategists should have noticed. But somehow the libertarian vote has remained hidden in plain sight.

        Want empirical evidence?  I'm a Libertarian that was registered and mostly voted Republican for 28 years.  In 2006, I voted a straight ticket for the first time - a straight DEMOCRATIC ticket.

        I found my way to dKos from an essay Kos posted on  I'm not sure the Dems are a permanent home for Libertarians, but believe me, we've bolted from the Republicans in droves!

        It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds - Samuel Adams

        by Red no more on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:20:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cato or ACLU? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm generalizing here but are you a Cato libertarian (more meaning an absolutist free market, anti-tax libertarian) or a civil libertarian? If you are in the first group you tend to vote Republican, no matter what.

          •  I guess I started out Cato- (0+ / 0-)

            and moved toward ACLU.  I'm more of a social libertarian but an economic populist.  Government definitely has a role in our complex society, particularly in helping the disadvantaged and checking unbridled corporate power.

            I don't think any self-respecting libertarian could support this authoritarian regime.  It goes against every libertarian principal - save none!

            Based on the article I linked, I strongly believe fleeing libertarians had a big impact on the elections.  Maybe that's because my allegiances shifted so dramatically.

            It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds - Samuel Adams

            by Red no more on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:37:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well only slightly (0+ / 0-)

          Let's say you adjust the dem and repub votes by giving 20% of the lib vote to the Democrat and 72% to the Republicanist.  You get:

          <th>Contest</th><th>D</th><th>R</th><th>L</th><th>Adjusted D</th><th>Adjusted R</th>
          Missouri Senate104704910012384750410565491035440
          Montana Senate19830219545510324200366202888

          So MT-SEN is the only one that actually got flipped.

          •  Q. E. D. (0+ / 0-)

            That's control of the Senate right there.

            The part of the equation that's hard to quantify is: How many libertarians vote libertarian?  I would venture that the block that voted libertarian represents only half of libertarian voters.  My feeling  is that in MO, for example, 47,000 libertarians voted Dem and 47,000 "Republicans" voted libertarian.

            It's more of a sliding of libertarians to the left of the spectrum than allocating those who voted L to either party.

            Of course I have no proof of this other than my own experience.  I am registered R, and usually vote R or L.  However, this time I voted straight D.  So a self-described L went from R to D.  Does that make sense?  This libertarian would not be reflected in your analysis.

            It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds - Samuel Adams

            by Red no more on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:45:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Kos Source? (5+ / 0-)

        I would surmise that there is evidence to suggest that the majority (and perhaps overwhelming majority) of Libertarians would vote Republican if faced with the choice of voting Republican or Democrat.

        That being said, pure Libertarians may be more inclined to vote Democratic, particularly in the last election cycle, where socially libertarian issues (i.e domestic surveillance, Presidential power-grabbing, etc.) assumed particular salience.

        I think Kos' argument assumes that all Libertarians (1) would have voted if a Libertarian candidate hadn't been on the ballot and (2) would have voted unanimously for the Republican candidate.

        Both of these assumptions can't be true.  Kos makes an interesting point, but the notion that Dems won raises because Libertarian candidates drew away Republican votes is a bit overstated, methinks.

      •  I don't have a source (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clyde, Odysseus, Geotpf

        I just have the 2004 Washington Governor's race as an example where the Libertarian ran to left of Christine Gregoire and siphoned off votes from her.  I think the last couple of Libertarian candidates in California have run on legalizing drug usage, not traditional Republican territory.  But come to think of it that's probably not the case in Montana, Missouri, or Indiana.  Again, that's not a source though.  I'll go look for one.  

      •  libertardians (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Michigan Paul, Odysseus

        kos, the L party is much like any other party with its more liberal and conservative members.

        there are plenty of libertarians whose biggest issues are about things like drug laws or gay rights who would probably lean left and there are those who lean right who scream about taxes being theft. my home, metro atlanta is filled with the latter plus republicans who like to call themselves libertarians. so obviously these people overwhelmingly vote republican regardless of the fact that southern republicans are the farthest thing from libertarians given their track record on individual rights, equality, etc.

        i call these people "libertardians" and their commander in chief is neal boortz who they worship like a god. just look at all the madness about the so-called "fair tax" going on down here. atlanta is ground zero for these nutjobs who work in tandem with the hardcore christian conservatives despite their differing goals. that's why georgia is solidly red and will remain so for many years to come despite the democratic tidal wave riding over the rest of the nation.

        •  Neal Boortz rocks Baby! (0+ / 0-)

          Right you are.  Neal Boortz is a friggin' hero!!!

          We are Boortz-maniacs.  Because he's the closest thing to God going.  

          Call us bad names like Libertardians if you wish.  But we Libertardians will stick with the GOP, and make your life hell for years to come in Georgia.  

          Oh, and btw, your Republican State Senator David Shafer RULES!!  Lt. Gov. Casey Cagles pretty damned good too.  

          Eric Dondero

          by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:49:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Washington Senate Race (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Geotpf, blueoasis

        Although it didn't matter in the end, the Libertarian Party candidate supported gay marriage and ending the War in Iraq.  I highly suspect that he drew more Democrats than Republicans.

        The Libertarian candidate for the Senate in Maryland was also the Green Party candidate.  With that combination, it's also likely.

        ~[-0.13, -8.67]~ Socially Just, Fiscally Responsible: Freedom Democrats.

        by LoganFerree on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:06:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In fact (0+ / 0-)

          Wasn't that Washington candidate in 2004 a lesbian?

        •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Looking at the polling numbers, it seems obvious that a large number of Republican voters are opposed to the Iraq war.

          The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

          by Jay Elias on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:50:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Logan, funny seeing you here... (0+ / 0-)

          Are you going to let your fellow DailyKossers know about your recent editorial in which you virtually endorsed REPUBLICAN Ron Paul for President?  

          Kind of puts you in a bind huh?  You're hero Ron Paul is running on the Republican ticket, and when asked recently in a Reason interview if he'd consider going 3rd Party he resoundly said, "No."  

          Looks like tough days ahead for your burgeoning so-called Democrat Freedom Caucus.  If I were you I'd just put the group out of its misery.  Close out that PO Box you have.  Shut down the website.  There's no hope for libertarians in the Democrat Party.  Whatever hope you all had died when Tim Penny left the Democrats and became an Independent in the 1990s.  

          Now all your stuck with are Authoritarian-minded Statists who support Islamo-Fascism, Economic Socialism, and Nanny-State regulations on Individual Liberties.  

          (Except for Joe Lieberman.  But even he's making noises these days, like Penny, of sticking Independent.)

          Eric Dondero

          by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:53:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Chomsky n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Sic Semper Tyrannis"

        by aztecraingod on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:24:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Source = me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Geotpf

        I have voted Libertarian numerous times, mainly as a protest vote because I thought the two-party system was bogus, but also for their position on drug decriminalization and other civil liberties issues. Had they not been on the ballot, I would have voted Democrat. Maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it.

        Note: Although I still think the two-party system is bogus and corrupt, I now believe that the best political strategy is to work within the existing system. I am a Democrat and I vote for Democrats. It was Howard Dean's presidential campaign along with the ever-increasing fascism of Republicans that moved me to this position. If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

        by miasmo on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:44:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've personally voted for Libertarian canidates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Most notably in the 2000 Presidential race (couldn't stand Lieberman even then, mainly for "cultural warrior" reasons, and Gore's picking of him reminded me of Gore's wife's bashing of the music industry in the 1980's)-although my California vote was worthless-had I lived in Florida I would have voted Gore.

        Likewise, if Hillary is the nominee, I may do this again, but, again, I have the luxury of having my vote be worthless to deterimining the outcome of the election.  In any close election where my vote may determine the outcome, I always vote Democratic.

      •  He's right. (0+ / 0-)

        I voted Libertarian tickets for four years before voting Dem for the first time in 2004.

        Most active Libertarians cannot stomach the Republican party.  That was my experience when I was among them, at least.

        Real Patriots Love Freedom

        by greasymadness on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:20:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  people like me (0+ / 0-)

        While I voted straight Dem in this election, in the last presidential election my ticket was a mix of Lib and Dem votes.  (Mostly Dem at the top and Lib at the bottom.)

    •  And we could win many of those votes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, wondering if
      By respecting and defending the Bill of Rights.  All of the Bill of Rights.  You know what Amendment I'm talking about, right?


      The President is not my master. He is Chief among my servants.

      by DemCurious on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:00:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I almost always vote Libertarian unless the race is close or the democrat is in danger of losing. I hate the two party system and would love to see a different party become dominant.

      -- Mike Cohen -

      by mike3k on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:35:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A third-party or indie candidacy (3+ / 0-)

    could potentially destroy Republican chances next fall.

    The party is so divided, splintering before our eyes, that if they fail to nominate a real social conservative, they'll run a serious risk of losing many base voters to a right-wing third-party candidate, and put a number of semi-purple Southern states like VA, NC, and TN at risk.

    If they DO nominate a real social conservative, a Brownback type who will preclude a right-wing indie run, they run the risk of completely alienating moderates from the party. And losing the purple states.

    I hope there's a serious third-party alternative for the right in the next election; I foresee him or her getting quite a few votes.

    Joe Lieberman likes to be called an "Independent Democrat". I like being called a "sexual dynamo".

    by Arjun Jaikumar on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:06:48 AM PST

  •  don't forget about the 3 thousand (4+ / 0-)

    Jews for Buchanan vote.

    "Support the troops, especially after they come home; that's the hard part." Garrison Keillor, 11/11/06.

    by vome minnesota on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:07:57 AM PST

  •  Libertarians are the D's Greens . . . (3+ / 0-)

    I'm going to ask you a few questions. Since time is short and you may lie, I'm going to have to torture you. But I want you to know, it isn't personal.

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:07:58 AM PST

  •  Assuming, Kos. (5+ / 0-)

    Makes and
    ASS out of U and ME, the old saying states.

    That's a large leap of logic to ASSUME those votes would have been Rethuglican. I would bet that it is pretty neutral between the ultra right libertarians and the ultra left ones.

    I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down, I'm still mad as hell... Dixie Chicks

    by UndercoverRxer on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:08:47 AM PST

  •  I'm a bit of a libertarian, but I'm also liberal (6+ / 0-)

    Just like Bill Maher, who contends that he's more libertarian than anything.  Not all Libertarians are frustrated Republicans, is what I'm saying.

    •  I agree. I have a libertarian streak (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, The Maven, Geotpf, Webster

      myself and I have voted for only 2 Republicans in 27 years as a voter. In every other race from President down to dog catcher, I've voted Democratic.

      There are a lot of flavors of libertarians and there is a strain that identifies with Democratic and progressive politics. The larger strain of libertarianism still tilts GOP, but that'll change as the fundmentalist right tightens its choke hold on the GOP.

      American Idol is quickly replacing religion as the opiate of the masses.

      by MadGeorgiaDem on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:24:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Donnie? (0+ / 0-)

      Is that you?  Wait... Sorry that's a little bit country and a little biut rock and roll.  Sorry... My bad.

  •  Libertarians... (8+ / 0-)

    ...."steal" votes from both parties, I think. They probably hurt the Republicans more, particularly out west, but I'd imagine that in races where you have a centrist or pro-war Democrat, Libertarians might take Democratic votes, too.

    •  I do believe they hurt Republicans more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But not by much.

      If a typical Libertarian wasn't running in a typical race, his or her votes would probably go to the Republican in a 3 to 2 or 2 to 1 ratio, not counting those who wouldn't otherwise vote or would vote for another third party (which would be a high number, possibly as much as half thier votes).  So, if the Libertarian got, say, 1,000 votes in a race, if they dropped out, it might be that the Republican would get 300 votes and the Democrat 200 (with 500 non-voters)-that is, only 10% of thier vote total difference.  Can make a difference in close races, but not much.  Also, depending on the specific issues the Libertarian canidate emphasizes (gay marriage or drug legalization as opposed to low taxes), it could even go the other way.

      The true opposite of the Green Party is the Constitution Party (not the Libertarian Party), IMHO.

  •  begs the question (0+ / 0-)

    Are CA-04, CT-04, NJ-07, NV-03, and WY-AL targets for a Democratic win in 2008? (Assuming of course good candidates are found, putting money in those should really make a difference).

  •  Libertarianism (14+ / 0-)

    Is counter to many of the principles of Democracy.  Namely, their starry-eyed insistence that market economics can fix everything, and that government is just in the way.  We've lived that nightmare now for almost 25 years and I'm pretty tired of having to point them at the multiple and catastrophic failures of free-market economics when applied to non-economic problems (problems like healthcare, where the issue was not that someone wasn't making enough money) and listen to their idiotic denials of reality.

    I can get behind the Libertarian positions on keeping government out of my house, pants, and mind but other than that I do actually believe that government serves a function provided it's kept on a tight leash and accountable to people.  And the Libertarian premise that it's simply impossible to do so has fed into so much of the rampant corruption in our government today -- it's simply laughable.

    Finally, when Libertarians get uptight about something it tends to be really idiotic, self-centered stuff like "Speed limits actually cause accidents," also known as the Sammy Hagar Argument.

    I've met and sparred verbally online with enough Libertarians to know that they bring very little of original value to our nation's political discourse.

    •  Exactly! (5+ / 0-)

      I know there are some beliefs we share, but I don't think the Dems should change to be more libertarian friendly. How is that any different from changing to welcome more conservatives? Let's not change our principles to grow, let's show others how our principles benefit all.

      Speech in this country is free, you hack!

      -5.88, -6.82

      by Debby on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. Stay Socialist. (0+ / 0-)

        We agree.  You shouldn't try to move in the more freedom-oriented direction to attract support from us libertarians.  Stay Nanny-state Socialist. That's what the Democrat Party is for.  That's what it's all about.  Be true to your core beliefs.  

        We Libertarians will stick with the GOP, thank you.  

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:45:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          worked so hard during this last election precisely so we could be belittled and mocked by Libertarians. We'd love to give up our beliefs so you'd find us acceptable! Take our majority, please!

          How about you stick with the sinking ship that is the Republican Party? They need someone to bail. Go for it!

          Speech in this country is free, you hack!

          -5.88, -6.82

          by Debby on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 09:52:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  they'll be welcome in our big tent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, eugene

      when they let go of their free market fundamentalism (to which they cleave even more than Republicans) and get it through their thick skulls that your boss (or even other people's bosses) has just as much ability to constrain your freedoms as your president.

      So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you. -- Mal, "Serenity"

      by exiled texan on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:26:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Big "L" Libertarians scare me. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zericm, Michigan Paul, Geotpf

      They're about one notch above anarchists, IMO, and their party platform is just plain nuts.

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        I am, however, am a Libertarian Democrat.

        That is, Libertarians are concerned with preventing the government from doing things.  However, I believe that the government should be prevented from preventing people from doing things that don't harm others, a subset of the Libertarians' goals.  I also believe the government should provide services the free market can't or won't provide, for the general health and welfare of the nation, and charge a reasonable level of taxation to pay for such.

    •  But, but, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, Geotpf, blueoasis

      the Free Market™ left to follow it's natural course would build schools, conduct advanced medical research, and explore the cosmos. Right?

      Sorry about that. There are a number of Libertarian principles that I can get behind, but the idea that an unrestrained free market is unquestionably a good thing flies in the face of reality. The last time we had a virtually unrestrained free market in this country was the Gilded Age in the late 1800s. That's a period I would hope that we never repeat.

      •  The Gilded Age? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Webster, wondering if

        The Gilded Age was built on graft, tarriffs, and union-busting.

        I can't think of any "out-of-control market" that didn't involve out-of-control government as well. That said, many "vulgar libertarians" mistake government intervention, including union-busting, patents, copyright, subsidized road-building (but not subsidized bus systems), subsidized oil extraction, etc. for the "free market."

        No returns for privilege; full returns for labor! Labor has a right to all that it creates.

        by Mike Erwin on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:27:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  counter to many of the principles of Democracy? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Politburo, wondering if

      Like a limited federal government, personal responsibility, personal freedoms?

      I find it difficult to stomach people who make extreme statements, assuming that by doing so it makes these statements true. I would point out to slippytoad that a free market as solved many more problems than any government. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the history of communism/socialism (read a large powerful central government) vs. free market capitalism and still maintains that government is better and more efficent than the free market is simply in denial.

      Is there an important and necessary role for government? Of course, and absolutely.

      I think all parties would claim the moral high ground of keeping the government on a tight leash and accountable to the people as you say. The weakness of people who put their faith in government rather than themselves, is that they will get more of the former and less of the latter over time. A powerful government does not, by its very nature, tend to limit itself, but quite the opposite.

      I question as well your characterization of the last 25 years as a nightmare. Perhaps I've misinterpreted the statement and you don't in fact live in the US, but rather Russia, Africa (pick a country) or Venezuala perhaps? We could argue the minutia of that statement, but I will simply point out that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people risk life and limb every year for the simple chance of joining this so called nightmare. How many Americans each year strap themselves to a picnic table and try to get to Cuba to escape this nightmare?

      Do I agree with all the Libertarian positions? Of course not. I would hazard to say that not all demorcats agree with the entire democratic platform either. Yes there are some silly statements and positions espoused by Libertarians. Personally I find common ground with all the parties, though I would say I find the beliefs of the Libertarian party as a whole, more closely alligned with my own core beliefs.

      Don't paint us all with the Sammy Hagar brush, and I promise not to paint you with the Michael Moore brush.

  •  Libertarians in Montana (5+ / 0-)

    Are bats**t crazy. 10,324 of them voted for a guy who believes in nearly every conspiracy theory out there, and who is a bizarre shade of blue (really) from overdosing on silver in order to prevent unknown diseases unleased during the Millenium.

    Dems don't need to be more friendly with those nuts!

    It's SENATOR Jon Tester!

    by Ed in Montana on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:18:05 AM PST

  •  A third party or independent presidency possible (0+ / 0-)

    To me it looks like there's a real possibility that a third party or an independent candidate could win the presidency in 2008. If the Dems should nominate Hillary and the Repubs nominate some pro-war wingnut, then maybe--especially after 8 years of Bush--people might want something different. The two parties are not getting it done.

    I think someone like Angus King could catch fire in 2008. But then, I'm a Mainer and I'm biased, I guess.

    Our republic is in danger.

    by thinkdouble on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:18:31 AM PST

  •  we can grab some of the libertarians (7+ / 0-)

    The hardcore no-government ones are obviously out of reach. However, I believe the following actions would increase our standing among social libertarians:

    Rollback the drug war
    Repeal the gambling ban
    End corporate welfare
    Equalize marriage
    Clear up the tax code (note: not a flat/fair tax)
    Fully embrace gun rights

    •  Clear up the tax code (0+ / 0-)

      I suspect you could win votes across the spectrum, if you could accomplish this miracle.

      Not that it doesn't need doing, but there's so many conflicting forces at work. It would be nice to see an effort to do so, once some other minor issues like the current and possible future Middle East wars and unitary executive get cleaned up.

      Perhaps requiring each Congressesman to help 200 taxpayers, choosen at random, in their district do their taxes would be an incentive for simplification.

      •  it is an incredibly difficult issue (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not really sure how it could practically be done, to be honest. I don't think a commission is the way to go. Anything done by committee will likely end up like the current tax code.

  •  If Republicans fund Green Party candidates... (0+ / 0-)

    ...shouldn't we fund Libertarian candidates too?

    Losing in Iraq is not an option, it is a result.

    by bobinson on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:25:18 AM PST

    •  No, we should fund Democrats (6+ / 0-)

      The crucial differences between the parties on this point are:

      1. Republicans have more money than we do, and can better afford to throw it around on quirky projects like phantom-third parties.
      1. Republicans, unlike the Democrats, are wrong, and would not win if the whole truth about what the parties stand for were known by all voters.  Therefore, they must rely on fooling people in order to win votes.  Hence, little tricks like funding a fake Nader to run around telling liberals that Democrats are all just like Joe Lieberman, etc.

      Better to throw everything we have into promoting Democratic candidates and the Democratic party.  In places where Libertarians do well, we should run and fund Democrats who will take the best of the Libertarian stances on issues, and who will influence Libertarians to consider the Democrat.

      I'd ask Americans to serve. I'd ask them to make other sacrifices, but I wouldn't want to raise their taxes just because we're in a war. --John McCain

      by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Let's Not Stoop to Their Level (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Michigan Paul, HeyMikey

        The Republicans have jumped into the gutter with both feet in terms of supporting Green Party candidates to act as their stalking horses to siphon votes away from Democrats.  While there are instances when we might very much want to applaud Libertarian candidates for doing the same vis-a-vis Republicans, in no way should the Democratic Party (or major donors) actively support another party's candidate for this same nefarious purpose.  Doing so sends a rather clear message to both our potential supporters and our candidate that we have little faith in their ability to win in their own right.

        There are an increasing number of issues (e.g., privacy concerns) of importance to libertarians (small "l") that should now cause them to be more inclined to vote for Democrats, and without abandoning our ideals in any way, we should seek to win those voters outright.  That's a key component of the 50-State Strategy, especially in the Mountain West.

      •  We Libertarians will never consider backing Dems (0+ / 0-)

        Problem with your scenario is that we Libertarians have virtually no interest in backing any Democrat candidates.  All our money, time and effort are going towards the GOP.  

        Ex-Libertarian Party members never leave the LP for the Democrat Party.  But they damned sure do for the GOP.  

        There are tons of ex-LPers now running as Republicans that we'd rather support.  

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:43:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What, (0+ / 0-)

          Not even a John Tester Democrat?

          What if we have Democrats who will support the Second Amendment and cut government spending somewhat, and will also be libertarian in the ways where Democrats usually are (free speech, rights of the accused, no draft, reproductive choice), and the Republicans keep running Bushists who wanted unrestricted government spying on people?

          Would you, could you try green eggs and Democrats THEN?

          I'd ask Americans to serve. I'd ask them to make other sacrifices, but I wouldn't want to raise their taxes just because we're in a war. --John McCain

          by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 07:13:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  One big difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, discocarp

    Republicans won't demonize libertarians the way Democrats have done with Greens.

    •  They have not been as much of a threat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Greens have not been Demonized.    They are damaging the causes they profess to believe in, simply because they put their Party above the good of the country.  That doesn't make them Demons, just self righteous.

      If the Libertarians start to do as much damage to Repubs as Greens have done to Democrats, the Repub  criticism won't look much different than the Dem criticism of Greens.

    •  Green Parties (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, HeyMikey, blueoasis

      Such as that here in PA, demonize themselves when they are nearly 100% funded by the Republican Party yet refuse to admit or accept it.

      •  Uh... (0+ / 0-)

        the Green Party in PA both admitted and accepted its Republican funders...

        reduce, reuse, recycle

        by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:09:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

          Because from what I remember the word they put out was that SOME of their donors HAPPENED to be Republicans but that those donors were only interested in a fair exercise of Democracy.  I will check for links to support this since I am going on my memory so this is to the best of my recollection.

          •  Your state -- (0+ / 0-)

            has some fairly prohibitive ballot access requirements for third parties... given this, it's no wonder Carl Romanelli went to the Republicans.

            I don't, frankly, see the point in fighting this.  If, by some bizarre circumstance, both Democrat and Republican politicians are screwing the public, what are disgruntled voters to do?  Threaten the Democrat politicians that "if you don't fly right, we'll vote Republican"?  That will frighten nobody.

            reduce, reuse, recycle

            by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 03:54:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's more of a problem, though... (0+ / 0-)

              ...when the voters in question are irrational extremists who are both unwilling to admit that their agenda will never be accomplished in a few bold steps, and unwilling to accept the fact that change in American politics tends to happen incrementally.

              The Pennsylvania Democratic Party can, and should, do everything it can to knock Greens off of the ballot. It's a simple matter of self preservation. You can't expect us NOT to fight a party that's hell bent on attacking us.

              On another note: I found Green Party criticism of the Democratic Party's tactics to be ironic.

              The Greens like to spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about how no one takes them seriously as candidates. Well, guess what? Candidates who are taken "seriously" end up with their petition signatures placed under the highest scrutiny. The fact that the Democrats sat down and looked at the petition that the Greens turned in is a sign that we take them very seriously as a party, indeed.

              Whenever one of the major party candidates - Democrat or Republican - files to run for office, the other side ALWAYS sits down and goes through their petition signatures with a fine tooth comb. There have been Democrats in my home county who have ended up being tossed from the ballot because it turned out that they didn't have enough valid signatures. There have been Republicans, elsewhere in the state, who've had the same thing happen to them.

              Why, exactly, should the Greens be exempt from that same scrutiny, if they wish to be "taken seriously?"

              •  Sure: fight or flight (0+ / 0-)

                You can't expect us NOT to fight a party that's hell bent on attacking us.

                Do you stand for anything?  Or has the law of the jungle completely taken over?

                Let's go back to my question.

                If, by some bizarre circumstance, both Democrat and Republican politicians are screwing the public, what are disgruntled voters to do?  Threaten the Democrat politicians that "if you don't fly right, we'll vote Republican"?

                Got an answer?

                reduce, reuse, recycle

                by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:05:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Run in the Democratic primary (0+ / 0-)

                  It's kinda what they're for, ya know?

                  •  And if the Republican voters cross over (0+ / 0-)

                    and defeat your candidate in the primaries?

                    Or if your "Democrat" opponent runs in the final election as an "independent"?

                    (see under "Joe Lieberman")

                    Primaries are just rehearsal elections.  Their results says little about the "party's choices," or about the electability of candidates.  In the end, they reduce the voter's array of selection to the "lesser of two evils."

                    And nobody cares about third parties in American politics, at least not consistently.    Even so, America is better off with them than without them.  If (in certain circumstances) both parties happen to be screwing the people, the people must have somewhere to go, and someone to vote for.

                    reduce, reuse, recycle

                    by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:27:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If a majority of the public.. (0+ / 0-)

                      ...agrees that both parties are "screwing" them, primary challengers ought to be able to win and effect change within their party, though.

                      If that can't happen, they're certainly not going be able to win as third party candidates in the general election.  Not if they can't even rally the people who ought to be their ideological base.

                      Most of the ideas that have been pushed by third parties have only been adopted after the party decided to fuse with one of the major parties, anyway.

                      •  That's not the way it works, unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                        If a majority of the public agrees that both parties are "screwing" them, primary challengers ought to be able to win and effect change within their party, though.

                        What really happens under a two-party system is that the general public is not consulted, and that the partisans of Party A end up selecting a candidate who is viewed as having the financial resources and general command of the "swing vote" necessary to defeat the candidate of Party B who, as the executive, is deemed as having command of the mass media (who rely for news upon the repetition of executive pronouncement) and an extensive treasure chest (since the ability to get things done attracts lobbyists).  The general public is then, after the primaries are over, presented with a fait accompli and told to vote for the lesser of two evils.

                        reduce, reuse, recycle

                        by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:20:58 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  But, again... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...if a Green can't muster enough support in a major party primary, how the hell is he ever going ot gain broad enough support to win as a third party candidate?

                          It's not enough just to run someone to annoy the hell out of the Democrats (or the Republicans).  If you truly think that both of the parties are "screwing" the public, then you've got to find a way to convince THEM that they're being screwed.  Gadfly bids that only serve to appeal to a very narrow segment of the populace simply aren't enough to do that.

                          •  H. Ross Perot -- (0+ / 0-)

                            didn't go through a primary, yet early in the 1992 campaign he polled at 33% support.  Making Perot declare as a Democrat or Republican would have limited his appeal.

                            If you truly think that both of the parties are "screwing" the public, then you've got to find a way to convince THEM that they're being screwed.

                            Indeed, but a two-party system sets the bar far, FAR higher than this.  Not only does the public need to be convinced that it is being screwed under such a system, the public needs to be convinced that the gains to be made by dumping both parties outweigh the risks of allowing the "greater of two evils" candidates to be elected.

                            In a two-party system, you could run Mussolini and Hitler in front of a knowledgeable, well-educated public, and Mussolini would be elected because that public would be so afraid of electing Hitler that any third-party candidates challenging both Mussolini and Hitler wouldn't stand a chance.

                            reduce, reuse, recycle

                            by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:11:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Perot (0+ / 0-)

                            H. Ross Perot didn't go through a primary, yet early in the 1992 campaign he polled at 33% support.  Making Perot declare as a Democrat or Republican would have limited his appeal.

                            Serously?  It would have limited his support to below 33%?

                            When was the last time a major party nominee got less than 33% of the vote?

                            In a two-party system, you could run Mussolini and Hitler in front of a knowledgeable, well-educated public, and Mussolini would be elected because that public would be so afraid of electing Hitler that any third-party candidates challenging both Mussolini and Hitler wouldn't stand a chance.

                            I'm not going to say that you're wrong. Unnaturally limited options in elections is one reason WHY I support reforms like instant run-off voting, PR for legislative bodies, and maybe even allowing "fusion" tickets, like in NY State.

                            That said, we don't have any of those things right now. And when the Democrats run a candidate in an election, we're stuck operating under the laws that we have. We have to protect ourselves, and part of that means trying to eliminate the possibility of being attacked from the left in the general.

                            The other problem:

                            There are large chunks of the public that honestly don't feel that both parties are corrupt.

                            There are a lot of us, for example, in the Democratic Party who don't feel that way about the Democrats.

                            I'm one of them. I've been working on campaigns since I was in college. I work in a lot of local level races, where I get to know the candidates personally. Over the years, some of the people I've worked for have been a small businessman who ran for county commissioner, a college professor and Vietnam war veteran who ran for congress, a welder who ran for state senate, and a machinist and volunteer fire fighter who ran for state house of representatives.

                            None of those people were, in any way, "corrupt." I didn't agree with them on everything, but, at no point did I doubt that they were anything but sincere in their views.

                            When someone in the Green Party accuses us, or our friends, or candidates that we've invested a lot of time or energy in, of "selling out," or being "corrupt," or somehow having abandoned our "core beliefs," simply because we don't agree with them 100% of the time on 100% of the issues, it hurts, and it's insulting, and it does nothing to make me sympathize with their issues, or their point of view.

                            It’s even worse for the fact that, the Democrats can have people who seem to agree with the Greens 99% or 100% of the time, and they still run candidates against them, and they still level the same attacks.

                            The Greens decided they HAD to run someone against Paul Wellstone in 2002.  What possible purpose could that serve?  Wellstone was the closest thing they had to a natural ally in the U.S. Senate.  Doesn’t it remove some of the Green Party’s credibility about what it claims to stand for, and what it claims it wants to do, when they run someone against a guy who’s there for them on most of the issues?  And, for that matter, doesn’t it remove any incentive that Green Party candidacies might have in convincing the Democrats to turn left?  I mean, Wellstone was about as liberal as they come, and he still got a Green Party challenger.

                            I suppose we could get into the tiny, tiny fraction of votes that the Greens disagreed with Wellstone on.  But, at what point does a demand for absolute adherence to some unagreed upon left-wing agenda actually begin to tear apart a political movement and cause more harm than good?  

                            For that matter, shouldn’t elected officials be granted at least some level of accommodation for political reality?  

                            I mean, Wellstone’s vote to authorize the war in Afghanistan was one of the reasons the MN Greens decided to run someone against him.  But, a large number of German Green Party members of Parliament voted in favor of involving that country in the war in Afghanistan.  And, the MN Greens ended up nominating someone who said that he "agreed" with Wellstone on that vote, anyway.

                  •  Brute majoritarianism (0+ / 0-)

                    Too many Americans take for granted a sort of brute majoritarianism, that allows them to say unrealistic, power-driven statements such as that the Greens are out to "destroy" the Democratic Party.  (Elephant, looking at mouse, screams: "It's trying to destroy me!")  This is why I put America's chances of survival in the decades to come as significantly lower than those of the multiparty democracies of western Europe, even though many of those people drink and smoke tobacco and have abused their land through centuries of rampant urbanism and capitalist exploitation.  Democracy in the US is too thin, too thoroughly based on big money and executive power and winner-take-all elections.

                    reduce, reuse, recycle

                    by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:03:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, certainly this is the only time... (0+ / 0-)

             the past two hundred years when someone has said that America's political system will lead to its collapse as a democracy. Certainly that's not an argument that's been used over and over again in the past, only to be proven wrong.

                      Could our elections be done differently? Yes. I'd even support changes like instant run-off voting and greater proportional representation. But just because there's a better way to do things doesn't mean that the current way of doing things is going to doom us to collapse. I'm even willing to entertain that, in the long run, we'd be better of switching to a parliamentary, rather than a presidential, system. Even though chances of that ever happening are absolutely nil.

                      But, there have been other times in the past 200 years when big money has had too much control over the government, when the country's institutions have governed for the elite at the expense of regular people, and when the executive has gained too much power. The system has always, eventually, found ways to correct itself in those cases. To say that we won't correct ourselves this time is alarmist, and totally ignores the political cycles of 200 years of history.

                      In any event, nothing you've said has changed my mind that the Greens ought to be treated differently than any other party. When we reviewed their ballots in 2006, many of the signatures were obvious fakes. Signatures they turned in included names like "Jesus Christ," and "Terri Shivo."

                      Why should they be held to a different standard? Any Democrat or Republican who tried to turn in petitions like that would be laughed out of the state.

                      •  Present-day ecological crisis IS new (0+ / 0-)

               the past two hundred years when someone has said that America's political system will lead to its collapse as a democracy. Certainly that's not an argument that's been used over and over again in the past, only to be proven wrong.

                        Spare us all the sarcasm.  Go back to your history books and find a prior era when the world's climate was as endangered as it is now by the threat of global warming, or when the world's economy was threatened by the potential extinction of oil reserves, as it is now.

                        reduce, reuse, recycle

                        by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:16:11 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

    •  If the Greens are demonized by the Dems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadafountain, HeyMikey

      It's because we Dems were supposed to stand quietly by as we were savaged as corporate sell-outs with no true principles. Greens peddled the argument that they represent everything a Democrat wants to be but is too chicken to actually accomplish, much like how Orthodox Judaism portrays other varieties.

      It's b.s. Many of us think the Democratic Party is the best place for us. And when that self-righteousness blows up in their faces...

      I really am over what happened with Nader and I know most Nader voters have come accept the need for coalition politics. But I don't have a lot of sympathy for people hurt by what the mean Dems say when Nader based his whole candidacy on the idea that Gore was betraying his voters.

  •  And look at President 2008 (0+ / 0-)

    A couple ex-congressman (Ron Paul) have hinted at running for the Libertarian nomination.

    If that happens you will, for the first time since John Anderson (not counting Perot), have someone with Congressional level experience running on a third party ticket.

    If they are able to put together a ticket that has actually held elected office (was Bob Barr the other Republican talking about becoming a Libertarian?) they could make a serious dent (i.e. over 5%).

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:31:48 AM PST

    •  Ron Paul is running for the REPUBLICAN Nomination (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      McGirk, wondering if

      He was the 1988 Libertarian nominee for president, but in 2008, he's running in the Republican primaries.

      He has no chance, but he will at least make the debates wildly entertaining.

      •  Rudy Giuliani too is a libertarian Republican (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, Ron Paul IS running as a Republican for President.  Funny how the DailyKos guys here completely missed this little fact.  

        And more importantly, many of us Libertarian Republicans, like me, are backing libertarian-leaning Rudy Giuliani for President in 2008!  

        Outside of Bill Richardson, who doesn't have a snowball's chance he hell, I don't see the Dems running anyone even closely resembling a libertarian.  Yet the Republicans have two Big Shots: Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani.  Some say even Romney leans libertarian.  And I know more than a few libertarians who are backing Tancredo and Duncan Hunter.  

        Eric Dondero, Former Senior Aide
        US Congressman Ron Paul, (R-TX)
        Angleton, Texas

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:41:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WY-AL and NV-03 should be with IN-09 (0+ / 0-)

    as races absolutely delivered by Libertarians, shouldn't they?  or is my math wrong?

  •  I would not be suprised to be TRed for this but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobtmn, Webster
    Ralph Nader owns the war in Iraq as well.

    No Nader in the race in 2000 and no Bush in the White House.

    I understand he has the right to run, and he had his reasons, but he put Bush in the White House.

    If the Libertarians are doing this to the Republicans, good for them.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:37:20 AM PST

    •  Again assuming that all of the Green Party (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zericm, Odysseus

      people would have voted for Gore and that the close election didn't bring out more Democrats.  I could more easily blame Donna Brazile or Terry McAuliffe and by blaming Nader, we excuse our own failures and are left without any lessons to improve our own campaigns.

      A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

      by Webster on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:54:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democratic Libertarians (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IhateBush, Geotpf, Elise, Webster, Red no more

    It's worth noting that not all Libertarians would vote Republican.

    "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

    by gjohnsit on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:37:22 AM PST

    •  You're right. Some of us would vote Reform or CP (0+ / 0-)

      You are correct, not all of us Libertarians vote for the Republican Party when we become disgruntled with the GOP.  Many of us cast our vote for the Constitution Party or the Reform Party or some other Independent effort like Kinky Friedman for Governor.  (I voted for Kinky last year, instead of Republican Rick Perry.)  

      But virtually none of us vote Democrat.  

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:37:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't they nearly cause Webb to lose to Allen ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, WayneNight

    I forget who the third party candidate was but they pulled about 5 times more voters than Webbs margin of victory.

  •  In Missouri (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brittain33, Eddie Haskell

    those libertarians wouldn't have necessarily voted for (no)Talent.  They simply wouldn't have voted on that line of the ballot.  Thus, stating that they "threw" the election to Claire is waaaaaaaay oversimplifying the dynamics of the Senate race here.

    Those Missouri Libs are gonna vote Lib come hell or high water.  You can pretty much scratch 50K votes in any statewide race of that importance as going Lib.

    Claire won for a variety of other reasons, the Libs peeling away votes from Talent(less) wasn't one of the top ones.

    Their reality has lapped our satire.

    by grog on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:39:58 AM PST

  •  I find this to be a stretch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Webster, blueoasis

    1% is a spoiler?

    How is this different than any other year with Libertarian or 3rd party showing? I don't think this is a bellwether for anything at all.

    All the young dudes, carry the news, boogaloo dudes, carry the news....

    by Buffalo Girl on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:41:28 AM PST

  •  I'd have to disagree with your characterization. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Michigan Paul

    Many of those Libertarian (ugh) voters would have either stayed home or went Democratic this cycle. Thus the effect is a lot less than this post presents. We should start pumping up the Libertarians as a party in order to hurt the Republicans, but the Democratic Party should not try and court those same voters too much. I abhor the libertarian philosophy (social and economic), and I hope the Democrats stay away keep their distance.

    •  Is this why the RLC had its best year ever? (0+ / 0-)

      Explain why then, the Republican Liberty Caucus, which represents the growing libertarian wing of the GOP, just had one of its best years in its 15 year history?  Completely ignored by the media.  Not a word about the RLC anywheres.  

      The rise of the Libertarian Republican was perhaps the biggest story of Election Year 2006. Yet the media completely ignored it.  Tons of new libertarian Republicans were elected.  

      Look at Alaska. libertarian GOPer Sarah Palin won for Governor with A LARGER PERCENTAGE THAN WAS ANTICIPATED!  She crushed 8-year incumbent Democrat Tony Knowles 50 to 39%.  

      Look at Idaho.  Butch Otter won the Governorship with a comfortable margin. Otter is a longtime libertarian. Nobody is talking about Otter in the mainstream media.  

      Look at South Carolina.  Right before the election, the Democrats slammed Mark Sanford as an evil budget-cutting "libertarian."  He easily won reelection.

      Even in Florida libertarian-leaning Republican Charlie Crist romped, with his total libertarian running mate Jeff Kottcamp as Gov. and Lt. Gov.

      Tons of libertarians were elected and reelected to state legislatures nationwide. Arkansas elected their first ever librtarian Republican to the State House.  A whole slew of libertarian Republicans were elected to the New Hampshire State Legislature.  Alaska picked up one or two new libertarian Republicans in the State House.  Montana too.  

      Are you hearing anything about this trend anywheres?  

      No, all we get is Burack HUSSEIN Obama shoved down our throats 24/7.  

      The real and rising political movement in the USA today are the Libertarian Republicans!!

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:35:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damned Statistics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, Odysseus, brittain33, Geotpf, Webster

    Here are races in which the Libertarian vote was larger than the Democratic margin of victory:
    That's control of the Senate right there.

    Only if you don't count the Democrats voting for Libertarians. You really think there are none?

    When a good candidate runs with a good plan and experience executing it, endorsed by both Libertarian and Green parties, but not the Democratic Party (or Republican), I'll be happy to vote for them. In fact, I'd welcome the chance to vote for a Libertarian candidate who admitted that the 2nd Amendment is broken, and just means a "bring your own guns militia" instead of a standing army, anyway, driving both gun control and cutting the Pentagon in favor of a National Guard.

    In the meantime, many others vote Democrat when there's no Libertarian to counter the obvious Republican "big, bad government" platform. Especially in the Mid/West, like in Missouri and Montana.

    So don't reduce the Libertarian (or other/combined "third" party) vote to being an ally. When you've got rigorous stats somehow showing how those 48K Libertarian voters would have voted (impossible without sampling most of them), then your strategic breakdown will have validity.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:46:02 AM PST

    •  Libertarians are drawing overwhelmingly from the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      GOP, and Greens are drawing overwhelmingly from the Dems.  This is the reality.  The why of it, I'll leave to others.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

      by ohwilleke on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:20:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        You can make a credible case in Montana, where the margin was so narrow, but not in Missouri, where about 98% of those L voters would have had to turn out AND vote for Talent in an L-less race to have made the difference. Not likely.

      •  Citation? (0+ / 0-)

        Citation? How do you know?

        I understand the "whys" of either way of guessing, but without data, it's not reality, it's guessing, or wishful thinking.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:44:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two sources on Libertarians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          can be found here (citing an L.A.'s story showing this tendency in the 2004 Presidential election) and here (from the Cato Institute, a "libertarian think tank" showing that those who self-identify as Libertarians favor Republicans over Democrats).

          "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

          by ohwilleke on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:40:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Old Numbers (0+ / 0-)

            Those are old numbers. The Cato Institute you linked said

            For those on the trail of the elusive swing voter, it may be most notable that the libertarian vote shifted sharply in 2004. Libertarians preferred George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72 to 20 percent, but Bush's margin dropped in 2004 to 59-38 over John Kerry. Congressional voting showed a similar swing from 2002 to 2004.

            We're talking about a 2006 election. If the 2002-2004 trend continued, or just stayed the same split, then Kos' claim that the Libertarians decided the MO senator would be wrong.

            Let's not count the Libertarians before they hatch. And certainly let's not decide that Democrats shouldn't steal Libertarian voters, just because it's easier to let Libertarian candidates split the Republican vote. Because the stats I've seen so far don't support those strategic premises.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:09:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  We need to teach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, blueoasis

    the libertarians that the Welfare State is not the "Road to Serfdom", but that authoritarian psychology is. I think the libs realize that the welfare state isn't going anywhere; in all probability it will grow larger in direct proportion to human productivity until we all are housed, clothed, and fed by hordes of solar-powered robots.

    Do you want to know what a Democrat is? A libertarian who supports a well-managed Welfare State.

    The Democrats have a once in a generation chance to put down roots in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of Americans.

    by Paul Goodman on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 08:49:38 AM PST

  •  So when do we start giving donations? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Seriously - - I'm not above giving money to the Libertarians.  Why not put up a link to their fundraising site?  It'd be worth $25 to me to help get Bob Barr on the ballot in 2008.

  •  *cough* (6+ / 0-)

    It can be argued that 58,000 Libertarian voters handed control of the Senate to Democrats, just as 97, 421 Greens in Florida in 2000 handed control of the White House to George Bush.

    The SUPREME COURT handed control of the White House to Bush in 2000.  Gore actually won Florida; but while the Republicans were busy staging their palace coup, Gore was wandering around DC asking his elite friends what to do.

    When are you guys going to quit complaining about the existence of other parties and start contesting stolen elections?

    reduce, reuse, recycle

    by Cassiodorus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:07:54 AM PST

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sphealey, Webster, blueoasis

      Kos and Altermann never seem to give up on this, even though it's a matter of a simple analysis of the evidence and causation.

      Did the Green vote help? No. Was it a sufficient cause in the absence of others to keep Gore out? No.

      The only single sufficient cause was O'Connor's treasonous vote, and the vote of her 4 anti-democratic colleagues.

      Had that vote gone the other way, the full recount would have declared Gore the winner.

      But, in the end, this isn't about that. It's about politics, and snuffing out the Green Party to advance progressivism within the Democratic party.

      I'm all for that, but it's a very GOPesque way of doing things.

    •  amen to that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sphealey, blueoasis

      The next time I hear a Democrat saying that Bush won Florida, I'm going to scream.  The exit poll that the networks first came out with on election night in 2000, the one that CORRECTLY showed that Gore had carried Florida, was the canary in the coal mine.

      Bush did not "win" Florida.  His minion's in his brothers governors office and Katherine Harris's Secretary of State office obstructed, threw in the garbage, disqualified, refused to count hundreds of thousands of Gore votes, enough to make it seem close enough so the Supreme Court could come in and "settle" the election by naming Bush the president.

      "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

      by Michigan Paul on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point is that without those Green votes... (0+ / 0-)

      it wouldn't have ever reached the Supreme Court.

  •  Ballot Access laws (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, tenaciouslee

    2 of the 4 States which place the greatest burden on small parties getting their Presidential candidates on the ballot would see more R defections to the Ls than D defections to the Gs. these are NC and OK. Easier access in IL would likely help the Gs, while OH is a wash.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

    by ben masel on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:09:03 AM PST

  •  Libertarians vote for Libertarians (0+ / 0-)

    There are some members of the LP party that will hold their noses and vote Republican on occasion, but mostly Libertarians try to get their own candidates on ballots so they will have someone to vote for.  When I was involved in the LP, the common sentiment I came across was that the Republican and Democratic parties were both equally bad and it was imperative for the party to enlist candidates in every election to establish a national viability for the party.

    I think it's problematic to claim that LP candidates draw votes away from Republican candidates.  Certainly, there are votes cast by Republican leaning voters who do so out of protest, but by and large LP regulars stick with their own party and want nothing to do with either Republicans or Democrats.  Trying to get them to vote for either a Democrat or Republican is a losing battle.

    I think the only segment of the LP that you can hope to draw are those that don't buy into the free market nonsense that the "party of principle" beats people over the head with, but most of those left years ago and gravitated to Ross Perot's failed party or the Greens.  There might be one or two hopeless stragglers left, but the pickings are slim and not worth the effort.

    Proud member of the libertarian wing of the Democratic party.

    by ooddaa on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:09:29 AM PST

  •  The Libertarians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, blueoasis

    are usually pretty smart when it comes to their money. They know most of us have gotten bad deals. Many of them have paid into Social Security just like the average Democrat. They have seen what kind of deals Bush and the Republicans have handed down and so they need to think about whether they want to pay a little more in taxes or give it all to health care, the oil companies or whatever scheme is next.

    * * * * Nancy is a political goddess. Senator Dodd is a hero and so is Senator Kennedy. America is getting her spirit back!

    by relentless on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:12:29 AM PST

  •  Speak for yourself, kos (5+ / 0-)

    We do NOT need to make the party more Libertarian friendly. Sure, we should appeal for their votes, and work with them as needed, but we should be appealing to them to abandon their ruinous selfishness and unwillingness to see the need for democratic government action on a whole host of problems.

    If you try to make the Dems too libertarian friendly you will wind up alienating the core base of the Democratic Party. This "lets chase after libertarians" strategy then comes to resemble the DLC approach - with important differences to be sure, but with the same hostility to basic progressive principles at its core.

    No, it's not up to us to become more like the libertarians - it's up to them to get their heads out of their ass and make some choices about whose side they are on.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:14:08 AM PST

    •  Big L and little l distinction (0+ / 0-)

      Be careful in distinguishing between the two types.  There are little l libertarians who are not enamored of capitalism who can find a place Democratic party.  Unfortunately, none of them are found in the LP.

      Proud member of the libertarian wing of the Democratic party.

      by ooddaa on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:32:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know well the distinction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And I still argue that the point should be for libertarians to join us, not for us to change our party's policies and values to suit an extremely small minority of voters.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:36:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Little 'l' Libts in the Republican Liberty Caucus (0+ / 0-)

        You're half right.  Little 'l' libertarians are not in the Libertarian Party.  Right you are.  

        They are found in the Republican Liberty Caucus and are most definitely Republicans.

        There are virtually NO "libertarian Democrats."  

        The one who was calling himself that, some guy named Logan Ferre, just announced he's supporting Ron Paul, Republican for President.  

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:18:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Make the Dems "Anti-Libertarian" instead (0+ / 0-)

      You could make an argument that back in the 1970s and 80s there were some libertarian-leaning elements of the Democrat Party.  Jerry Brown was sort of libertarian, especially on marijuana legalization.  Cong. Tim Penny of MN leaned libertarian on some economic issues.  

      But the Democrat Party of 2007 is mainly Authoritarian, anything but Libertarian.  

      Joe Lieberman, who opposes Islamo-Fascism, and Bill Richardson, who is halfway decent on budget matters, are the closest two you all have to being libertarian-leaners.  

      Meanwhile the GOP is flooded with Libertarians like Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho, Cong. Ron Paul, Cong. Jeff Flake, Cong. Dana Rohrabacher, tons of State Legislators like Tom McClintock in CA.  

      Let's have a real two-party system.  I suggest the Dems go all the way.  Move more in the anti-Libertarian direction.  Propose more and bigger government.  Let the Republicans keep and hold us Libertarian voters. We're fine with that.  

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:26:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Libertarian Friendly" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, eugene, sphealey, Joe B, blueoasis

    So Kos pontificates that he hopes the Democratic Party becomes more "libertarian friendly" in the days ahead.  No, Kos, the Democratic party needs to become more DEMOCRATIC friendly.  We have had enough of Republican-lite, triangulation, DLC corporate ass-kissing, and we sure as hell don't need to become "libertarian friendly."

    The libertarian philosophy basically thinks that the government's role is limited to providing a defense department and thats about it.  It does not believe the government has a role to play in protecting the health, education and general welfare of the population.

    Really, sometimes I think success has spoiled Daily Kos, and Kos himself.  He descends from the mountain every other day or so and now he thinks we have to become libertarian friendly.  I say to hell with that.

    "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

    by Michigan Paul on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:14:09 AM PST

    •  Right you are! Libts. and Dems have '0' in commo (0+ / 0-)

      Finally, someone here gets it.  You are 100% correct.  We Libertarians have NOTHING in common with you Democrats, outside one single issue - abortion rights.  

      Michigan Paul, you and I actually agree on this.  The other dumbasses here, including Kos, think that there's some sort of area of agreement between Libertarians and Democrats.  

      Nothing could be further from the truth.

      We Libertarians support Free Enterprise Economics.  You Democrats certainly do not.

      We Libertarians want government cut to the bone.  You Democrats want to grown government to high heaven.  

      We Libertarians support civil liberties like repealing seat belt laws, gun rights, marijuana legalization, and no cameras spying on us in our downtowns.  You Democrats, with an occasional exception on marijuana, support the Nanny-State.

      We Libertarians support fighting a tough War on Islamo-Fascism to protect our civil liberties from the Radical Muslim onslaught.  You Democrats support appeasement and handing our country over to the Islamo-Fascists.  

      Michigan Paul, you're right on track.  Democrats ARE ANTI-LIBERTY AND ANTI-LIBERTARIAN.    Just wish others here would listen to you.  

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:16:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2004 Pres (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Libertarian campagn targeted limited ad buying resources to those parts of swing States where their votes would come from the Republican total. In Wisconsin this meant radio buys in the 'gun belt' in the north and west, skipping Madison, where there had been a significant drugwar vote for Libertarian Gov candidate Ed Thompson in the 2002 cycle. Badnarik also spent on radio spots in NM and CO.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

    by ben masel on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:15:13 AM PST

  •  Worth noting that in CO-4 in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a Reform candidate, Eric Eidness, won 11% of the vote:

    Marilyn N. Musgrave (REP) 109732 45.61 %  
    Angie Paccione (DEM) 103748 43.12 %  
    Eric Eidsness (REF) 27133 11.28 %

    It isn't clear if this helped or hurt Paccione, the Democrat in the race, but it clearly contributed to the fact that Musgrave won with a lower percentage of the votes cast than in any other race in the country.  Musgrave is, of course, a nationally prominent member of the theocrat wing of the Democratic party.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 09:17:10 AM PST

  •  Flawed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, sphealey, discocarp

    In the perpetual crucification of Florida Greens who, arguably unwisely didn't suck it up and vote for Gore, it has so consistently been omitted that in Florida, there were several other R-leaning third parties that "stole" votes from Gore:

    George W. Bush (W) 2,912,790 48.847 Republican
    Al Gore 2,912,253 48.838 Democratic
    Ralph Nader 97,421 1.634 Green
    Patrick J. Buchanan 17,484 0.293 Reform
    Harry Browne 16,415 0.275 Libertarian
    John Hagelin 2,281 0.038 Natural Law/Reform
    Howard Phillips 1,378 0.023 Constitution

    In fact, there were about 20,000.  

    As I've been saying for 6 years now, the Greens aren't the enemy.  The Republicans are the enemy.  It was Republican Supreme Court votes, not Green votes, that lost that election.

    It was Republican dirty tricks that did it.  They deserve the blame, not the Greens.

    They were a contributing factor, but not sufficient on their own to create the Gore loss.  To paint all of the contributing non-sufficient factors in Gore's loss in 2000 as pure evil, you'd have to include progressives generally, even if they voted for Gore, because the support before election day, lest we forget was tepid.

    I don't think many people who read this blog buy the Green mantra that there's no difference between the parties, at least anymore.  

    Save the e-ink for attacking the real enemy.  Attacking Greens for 2000 is like attacking Iraq for 9/11.

  •  libertarians (0+ / 0-)

    Libertarian votes would not have all been Republican.  No group is all anything--the closest I can think of is African-Americans voting Democratic, and even there it's only 90%  I would assume many of those Libertarian voters would have stayed home if their choice wasn't available.

    That said, my hope is the Rs will split--Bushies, fundies, traditionals, etc.  Also, it's not kosher, but done to us, we should encourage such splits.  They want to fund Greens, we should fund these groups.  Divide and conquer.

  •  The spoiler thing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In Missouri is unfair.  Do you really think all 47,000 Gilmore votes would go to Talent if Gilmore didn't run.  

    I mean look at all the civil liberties the Republicans trampled in the last 4 years.  

    I do agree though that the race would have been allot closer.  

  •  You have a point in Montana, but that's it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In the MO Senate race and Indiana House race you cited, Talent and Sodrel would have had to get 99% of the Libertarian vote to overcome the Democrats' leads.  Impossible.
    In MT, Burns would have had to get 64% of the Libertarian vote to overcome Tester.  That's conceivable.

  •  Libertarians should become more social, less econ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, WayneNight

    Otherwise there's no point in the Dems trying to be more libertarian-friendly.

    Because the economic populism of Senators like Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders is the exact opposite of economic libertarianism.  Economic libertarians think it's great that 28 Senators voted the other day to kill the Federal minimum wage altogether, and hope that that becomes the majority sentiment.  They hate labor unions, and are strongly opposed to anything (like card check) that makes it easier for unions to organize.

    We need to reach out to people like that about as much as we need to reach out to Pat Robertson's minions.  I'm glad to see fractures in the GOP, but that doesn't mean we should make room for pieces like these in our own party.

    We aren't expecting the Democrats to save us. Rather, we're working through the Democratic Party to save the country.

    by RT on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:07:36 AM PST

    •  I have to agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      There were a lot of libertarians at Gettysburg College.  Congressman Ron Paul - a Gettysburg graduate - came back to speak now and then, and I had to deal with them fawning over him.

      All they ever cared about were taxes and legalizing drugs.  That's it.  

      They didn't give a damn about anyone else, and seemed to think that they must be the world's "chosen ones," simply because they were lucky enough to be from a family that could buy their way into a private, liberal arts college.

      Perhaps I'm just bitter.  But that's what my experiences with them were like.

      •  You got us right! We do care about taxes & drugs (0+ / 0-)

        You nailed it Dude.  We Libertarians ain't ashamed to admit it.  YES, WE DO CARE ABOUT TAXES AND LEGALIZING DRUGS!!!

        You want me to shout it out louder???

        CUTTING TAXES IS OUR NUMBER ONE ISSUE!!!  We want to keep the money that we earn, and we don't want some G-damned Government Bureaucrat stealing it from us.  

        Drug Legalization or at least Alternatives to the Drug War is key to preserving our freedoms.  Yes, we view the issue as one of out Top Five on our Agenda.  

        Democrats who want a Nanny-State would be wise to stay away from us freedom-loving Libertarians.  Markus Moulitas, though good intentions indeed, has it all wrong, and needs to go back to the drawing board.  The natural constituency for the Democrats are the Big Government NeoCons, not us Libertarians like Bill Bennett and Dinesh D'Souza who openly admit that "Conservatives have a lot in common with Fundamentalist Muslims."  Dems are appeasors to Radical Muslims.  So you all ought to align with Benett and crew.  

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 05:15:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pree-cisely! Good job!!! (0+ / 0-)

      You all Democrats have ZERO in common with us Libertarians.  Stay away from us.  Truth be told, we Libertarians wish to have NOTHING to do with you all either.  

      (Though, I must admit DailyKos's political coverage of elections and campaigns is nothing short of outstanding!  That's why I hang out here.)  

      I'd go even a step further.  You Democrats have more in common with the Religious Right types than you do with us Libertarians.  

      Jerry Falwell admitted to being a "registered Democrat" a couple years ago.  Religious Conservatives care very, very little for Economic Libertarianism.  In fact, too many of them are on the government dole.  

      Let us Libertarian Free Enterprisers take over the GOP.  You Dems can have a coalition with the Economic Populist/Socially Conservative Religious Righters.  

      Yeah, there's still that problem of abortion.  But maybe you all can work that one out somehow?  After all, you've got Bob Casey now, right?  

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 05:19:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One way (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, Odysseus, Politburo, Webster

    the Dems can become more libertarian is to have the courage to deal with the disaster that is the Drug War.

  •  OTOH (0+ / 0-)

    Libertarians run around Dailykos shouting about how Jesse Jackson and Shirley Chisholm are/were extreme fringe figures.  (Quite unlike the ultra-mainstream Ayn Rand of course...)

  •  WAKE UP! What do we do about the Greens? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, discocarp

    Everybody seems to stop with, "Yeah, that's interesting, just like Nader 2000," but nobody seems to ask, "How do we stop Dems from losing due to a Green spoiler again?"

    How can Greens get a chance to air their meaningful differences with Dems in the campaign, without throwing the election to the Repubs?

    1. Runoffs, instant or otherwise, that would require the winner to have 50+% of the vote.
    1. Another idea here.

    -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

    by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:17:50 AM PST

    •  To not have spoilers ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zericm, Odysseus

      use a better election system (ranked ballots, VRR, IRV, etc.)

      1. Election Reform 2. Kucinich 3. Richardson 4. Edwards

      by bolson on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:32:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good work! I agree, sort of. (0+ / 0-)

        I took a quick glance at your election reform website. WOW! Good work!

        Any responses to the discussion here about problems with IRV?

        According to this summary:

        Sometimes there is no Condorcet [VRR] winner. Various schemes exist to solve this problem.

           * MinMax
           * Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping (CSSD) (aka Beatpath Method; aka Schulze Method)
           * Ranked Pairs (RP)

        Is VRR too complex to be understood and trusted by the average voter?

        I agree that IRV, or VRR, or old-fashioned runoffs would all be preferable to our current plurality system. For instance, any one of these in Florida would have given us Pres. Gore in 2000.

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:08:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  VRR tiebreakers ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... have complicated names, and sometimes complicated formal descriptions, but I believe they are basically explainable. This sort of thing has to go on in round robin tournaments in sports, and if it's good enough for sports fans it should be good enough for the average American.

          (I didn't check to see if these numbers are actually possible)
          If A beats B 61-49, B beats C 59-51, and C beats A 57-53, who won? Well, C head the weakest defeat, so disqualify that one, then A counts as undefeated and is the winner.

          1. Election Reform 2. Kucinich 3. Richardson 4. Edwards

          by bolson on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 01:29:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What meaningful differences? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, it's hard to say, since anyone who wants to participate in democratic party politics just needs to participate and air differences, meaningful or not.   It's the choice of Greens to ignore primaries and wait until the general election and then use the general to "air" differences, risking if not intentionally causing the election of a right wing conservative.

      I mean, I could tell greens that they are being stupid and counterproductive to their own causes....again......that general elections are for selecting officeholders, not "airing" issues....again......and tell them to join the democratic party instead of running against it.  Would that help?

      It's the proto-fascism

      by Inland on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Dr. Phil question: (0+ / 0-)

        "How's that workin' for ya?"

        OK, you're right, you're smart, I even agree with you, but the world does its thing anyway and you and I have to live with the consequences. Everything you say was obvious in the fall of 2000, yet none of it stopped Nader from spoiling Gore's victory.

        If we do the same thing again, the same thing will happen again. Not in every election, obviously, but it's bound to happen again sooner or later.

        Do you want to be right, or do you want a better President? I want a better President.

        (Note to Greens: yes, I recognize other factors also acted as Gore spoilers. But if Nader had withdrawn and endorsed Gore, Gore would be Pres today DESPITE those other factors.)

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:51:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is what I struggle with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bingo. Nailed it. Thank you.

      Stop bitching about the greens and start looking inwards and ask how can dems win over green voters.

      The front page blasting of progressive candidates like Kucinich here might be a good place to start.

  •  As Kevin Drum and the TAPPED crew point out... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zericm, sphealey

    ...the Libertarians will never join the Dems because economic issues trump ALL for them. This is proved time and time again. The problem of course, is that just about everyone thinks the standard libertarian economic policies are insane.

    Your pro-libertarian arguments are important and I think a Dem party with a libertarian streak is a positive, but libertarians largely live and die on their economic policies and that's a non-starter.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:21:53 AM PST

    •  Big L vs small l (0+ / 0-)

      The LP types focus on economics, viewing ownership as the foundation for all other rights; self-ownership leads to the other personal freedom rights.

      The small-l libertarians are all over the map, but usually don't pick any one policy as The policy.

  •  Apppealing to the Libertarians (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Interesting statistics.  I've observed this kind of critical difference in a number of very tight races over the years.  Both the Greens and the Libertarians and, sometimes do, make a difference in the sense of being spoilers for one of the two major parties.

    Kos mentioned that he feels it is a long-term project to shape the Democratic Party in such a way as to be more appealing to Libertarians.  I agree and think it is worthwhile to keep this longterm project in mind.  A few observations:

    First, the Democratic Party can appeal to the Libertarian voter by emphasizing that it is the Republican Party that is the big government party.  The key to appealing to libertarians is the view of limited government.  So far the Republican Party has cornered this particular point and still has the rhetoric of being the party of limited government.  But it is completely false.  In every instance, at every level, it is the Republicans who want to expand the power of government, to the Democrats.  Pointing this out to libertarians can, I believe, go a long way in pulling this constituency into the Democratic sphere.

    Second, the Democratic Party can appeal to the libertarian voter by pointing out that it has a better record regarding the economy.  It is the Republicans who are the big deficit spenders.  And here I can't say often enough that deficit spending is a tax.  This should be a Democratic slogan -- deficit spending is a tax.  If this is understood then it becomes clear that it is the Republicans who are the big taxers, who tax, tax, tax.  When the Democratic Party offers a plan that involves taxation it is honest in putting forth its plan and how much it would cost.  Thus the plan is open to debate, modification, and even rejection if found to be too costly or ill-conceived.  But because the Republicans use the sleight-of-hand of taxation through deficit spending they evade having to defend their economic strategy.  And by and large the Democratic Party has not called them on it; but if they do so I think it could be a powerful point of persuation for the libertarian voter.

    There are other issues as well, but these two points are good starting points for the kind of longterm project that Kos has in mind.

    Best wishes,


    •  Don't forget the military (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Webster

      Libertarians in general like a strong military that isn't often used. A military that is not wasted on foreign misadventures, but kept in reserve for when it's actually needed. This is not a position in disagreement with the Democratic position.

      Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

      by jabbausaf on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:31:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some Libertarians want a strong Military period (0+ / 0-)

        And many of us Libertarians are staunchly Pro-War on Islamo-Fascism and want a Strong Military that's used quite often overseas.  

        I can't imagine any Democrats, outside marginal Dems Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller, supporting this view.  

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 05:09:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No a tax is a tax (0+ / 0-)

      or at most, a fee or a tax is a tax. The dems haven't used this argument because it's simply silly. And, the current administration not withstanding, the republican party IS the party of smaller government, and the democratic party IS the party of larger government.

      Saying the opposite doesn't make it so.

    •  Is this why Libertarians are elected as GOP? (0+ / 0-)

      Explain to me then, why it is that the Republican Liberty Caucus, which represents the GOP's libertarian wing, just had one of their best years EVER???

      New libertarian Republicans were elected to Congress, Governorships, State Legislatures in 2006.  Of course, the Liberal Media completely ignored the story.

      You've got libertarian-leaning Governors like Butch Otter in Idaho, and Sarah Palin in Alaska already hard at work in cutting back government.  

      I'm not seeing any "libertarian Democrats" working to cut back government.  Come to think of it, I'm not seeing any "libertarian Democrats" even getting elected to office.  The last libertarian-leaning Democrat was Cong. Tim Penny of MN. And he left in the early 1990s.  

      Get your facts straight about the libertarian movement before you start mouthing off about stuff you obviously know nothing about.

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:02:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republican party killing itself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Elise, Dharmajim

    The Republican Party of the last few years has drove itself into the ground. People are fleeing from it in droves, and going either to the Democrats or to the Libertarians or to crazy backwoods militias. A military forum I go to, the SFTT forum, has got a lot of the last category. They think the Democrats are useless and corrupt, the Republicans are corrupt and useless, they don't see a lot of difference between the two, and they are convinced that it is impossible to peacefully change the system.

    Those are the dingbats that scare the fuck out of me.

    Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

    by jabbausaf on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:28:58 AM PST

    •  But that type has been around forever (0+ / 0-)

      I remember reading the printings of groups like that back in the early 1960s. While there's a potential danger there, mostly they seem to be unable to agree among themselves enough to really accomplish anything.

      The best way to deal with them might be to encourage migration out of some region of the country, leaving an area that those sorts could have as a playground. I suspect that their population size would be self-limiting ...

    •  The Wisconsin Libertarian Chair is now GOP (0+ / 0-)

      I guess that explains why the Chairman of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party, Dave Reddick, just announced that he's switching to the Republican Party to run against Liberal Democrat Tammy Baldwin for Congress in the Madison area, huh?

      And why hordes of Libertrian Party people are now supporting Ron Paul, REPUBLICAN for President.  Even two past diehard Libertarians like 2004 Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik and Aaron Russo.  

      Get the facts Jack, before you start mouthing off about the Libertarian movement, which you are obviously clueless about.


      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:58:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had no idea so many voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    smoked weed.  That's the libertarian party platform, right?  

    It's the proto-fascism

    by Inland on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:34:43 AM PST

  •  Not all libertarians vote GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, wondering if

    I've noticed that older libertarians often hold their nose and vote GOP. They remember the decades of corrupt Democrats running the Congress and things like The Great Society.

    Younger libertarians, like myself, tend to vote Democratic. I've seen this with all of my friends. We tend to think that although liberals might be a bit misguided, conservatives are just evil.

    It's easier to convince a liberal that, for example, the minimum wage actually hurts poor people and that the EITC is much more efficient than it is to convince a conservative that gay people and muslims are human beings.

    I guess that makes me more of a "liberaltarian". Yeah I care about economic freedom and small government but I think there are plenty of harmful government actions to get rid of (such as farm subsidies, corporate welfare, gigantic military) before we start taking food stamps from poor people.

    •  Fuck Yeah. (0+ / 0-)

      Massively expand the EITC.  Massively.

      And stop the Drug War already.

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      by Odysseus on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:37:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wondering if

      I agree with Idioteque.  I'm registered as a Libertarian--and yet here I am on a Democratic blog.  I think it's a big mistake to assume that Libertarian candidates draw primarily from Republicans.  Heck, I voted for Reagan back in '80, when the motto was "get government off the backs of the American people."  Since then, in elections where it's not going to make a  difference, I vote Libertarian.  But I held my nose and voted for Kerry in 2004 (tried to pretend I was voting for Teresa for First Lady).  As the political spectrum has moved right, the Democrats have actually come closer to covering more Libertarian bases than the Republicans.

      I think in a lot of the elections kos listed, the Democrats won IN SPITE of the Libertarian candidate.

      •  Libertarians ARE Republicans (0+ / 0-)

        7 out of 8 of all past Libertarian Party Presidential candidates were or are Republicans.  Virtually every Libertarian elected today in office is elected as a Republican; many of whom are former Libertarian Party members.  In all history there's been only two elected Libertarian Democrats, both in the NH Legislature, and one of them Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, has since switched to Republican.  

        The Libertarian Party was founded by the then Colorado Young Republicans State Chairman David Nolan.  

        Most Libertarians when they leave the LP after years of losing elections, join the Republican Liberty Caucus.  

        And now Ron Paul, former Libertarian Party Presidential candidate is running for President AS A REPUBLICAN!

        Look at the facts Jack.  

        Eric Dondero, CEO

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:55:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And what do you think of drinking age laws? (0+ / 0-)

      Since you're a young guy, I assume you support lowering the drinking age back down to 18 right?

      Did you know that it was a REPUBLICAN STATE LEGISLATOR in Wisconsin who recently introduced legislation to lower the drinking age?  (Pettri was his name.)

      Did you know another REPUBLICAN did the same two years ago in Vermont?

      What about the Military Draft.  Did you know that it's TWO REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN DANA RORHABACHER OF CALIFORNIA AND RON PAUL OF TEXAS, who introduce a bill to Repeal the Draft each and every year.  They get virtually NO Democrat cosponsors.  I imagine you're agains the Draft, right?

      You still wish to claim that "Republicans are evil"?  

      Take the test at  You may surprise yourself.  

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 05:07:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a funny test.... (0+ / 0-)

        No matter what kind of libertarian you are, it says you belong in the Republican party.

        Yes Republicans are evil. I am bisexual, an atheist, and an Arab American. The Republican party is full of people who hate people like me.

        Until the GOP quits with the religious agenda, "mainstream libertarians" like myself will stick to the Democrats thank you.

  •  Social libertarians are already with us, economic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    libertarians are hiding their complete selfishness behind nice sounding slogans and they will continue to vote their pocketbook (i.e. Republican).

    Edwards/Webb 2008. Unbeatable.

    by Joe B on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:56:28 AM PST

  •  absurd analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .... so now you're assuming the EVERY libertarian vote would've gone to the republicans otherwise?  That's not just a small leap, that's a mental leap of light years.

    free the West Memphis 3

    by AdamW on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 11:56:29 AM PST

  •  Difference Between Greens and Libertarians (0+ / 0-)

    There are several, which make the distinction between the two very different, and which means that Libertarians are not really spoilers.

    From a very simplistic point of view, Libertarians are against government intervention (or, put another way, for a minimalist government)--so no taxes, but no interference with abortion rights, etc.  While that lines up with Republicans on social programs and taxes, it also lines up with Democrats on civil rights and liberties.  Thus, while I think that historically Libertarians would support Republicans over Democrats, you cannot really put them on the traditional left-to-right spectrum of American politics.  They are on a third plane, really.

    Greens, however, are generally on the furthest left points.  Obviously, the biggest issue for Green voters is the environment, and they line up with liberal Democrats on that issue (ironically, as others have pointed out, they line up with Al Gore on this issue).  Also, they were founded in part on a nuclear disarmament platform, and are generally anti-war (not just Iraq).  That, also puts them in line with some of the furthest reaches of the Democratic Party.  If you line them up on the American political spectrum, they would be to the left of the Democratic Party.  If we had a parliamentry system, where there is often government by coalition, Green MPs would join a Democratic led coalition government (and have in countries where the left-leaning party is the most numerous in the parliament, but is short of a majority).  The problem that Democrats have with Greens is that we don't have a parliamentary system, and the time for forming coalitions is the primaries, not in the general election.

  •  There's a lesson here... (0+ / 0-)

    For Green party supporters. Full disclosure: I used to be one. I considered voting for Nader in 2000. I'm glad I went for Gore, especially since at the time my vote was in Michigan.

    The way to get what we want is not a protest vote for a third-party candidate in a tight race. The way to get what we want (more focus on environmental issues) is to get the candidate who is friendly to our issue elected, then contact them and convince them that helping us is good for them.

    If you really absolutely must do so, put together a protest vote for a third-party candidate in a race that's already going the way you want it to. See: voting for Nader in 1996; voting for a Green candidate for a Boston Congressional seat.

    I think Gore knows that the Green party cost him the White House. I think that's part of the reason he's spent so much time burnishing his already-impressive environmental credentials (See: Truth, An Inconvenient).

    I'd love to see Dem candidates hitting on civil rights so that they can peel off some more of the Libertarian voters as well.

    O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

    by RogueStage on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:05:32 PM PST

    •  Problem is Dems don't support civil rights (0+ / 0-)

      Outside of abortion rights, these days it's almost entirely opposite:

      Seat Belt Laws

      Democrats in favor; Republicans almost all Against

      Marijuana Legalization

      Some Dems in favor; Some Republicans now in favor

      Gun Rights

      Virtually all Dems opposed; Most all Republicans in favor

      Cameras in Downtowns of Major Cities

      Virtually all Dems in favor; Most Republicans opposed

      Drinking Age Laws

      Both Dems and Repubs in favor; Though notably some Republicans like in Wisconsin and Vermont now introducing legislation to lower them

      Military Draft

      Some Dems in favor; Virtually all Republicans now including Bush, against

      Affirmative Action Quotas

      Virtually all Democrats in favor; Most Republicans against

      Take the quiz at and you'll see what I'm talking of.

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:51:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Preferential Voting (0+ / 0-)

    Whether it works for or against our favorite candidate in a particular election, the "spoiler factor" works against the voter.

    Support preferential voting in your state, let elections find out who the voters really prefer and eliminate the spoiler problem (and related problems, like strategic voting) forever.

    More info at

  •  Although it seemed to have helped us... (0+ / 0-)

    This is why we need another voting system, either proportional representation or Instant runoff voting.

    Spoiler factors indeed work against the will of the voter.

    -6.5, -7.59. All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold.

    by DrWolfy on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:58:56 PM PST

  •  Limbaugh or maybe Medved, surprised me (0+ / 0-)

    yesterday when he started tearing into the Libertarians.  While he loved small L libertarian ideas, he hated big-L throw away your vote Libertarians.  So apparently some on the right have figured out they got a problem.

    Sites that follow the gold market are full of libbers.  Back in 2000 when I first ran across them, petty Clinton bashing was all the rage.  But now they have deep rage against Bush.  I will often find links to truthout or other liberal blogs on 321gold and they carry a permanent link to Bagdad Burning by riverbend.

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 01:01:18 PM PST

  •  One strategy might be... (0+ / 0-)

    I have been saying for a while that I think the Democratic party should try to be more appealling to libertarians.  I think also that  we have an opportunity to go on the offense here.  We can put the GOP on the defensive and simultaneously court libertarians by attacking the Repugnicans as the party of Intrusive Government much like they keep trying to pin the party of big government label on democrats all of the time. The use of the term Intrusive government is important framing in my opinion and I think that it touches a nerve that is basic to the American consciousness.

    Personally, I would love to see this strategy used to some success and then made more specific.  If, after the strategy takes hold, we can connect intrusive gov't with having it's roots in pandering to fundies then I think we will really have forced the GOP into a pidgeon hole.  They will have to acknowledge that their failure to keep church and state seperate has left them isolated.  They will have to stop doing it in order to be relevant again.

    •  Oh, you mean like seat belt laws and speed limits (0+ / 0-)

      Who is it pushing for tougher seat belt laws and lowering speed limits (to protect the environment) around the Nation?

      Democratic State Legislators aligned with the Neo-Fascists in Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  

      It's only Republicans who are bravely standing against these horribly intrusive laws.  

      Smoking bans?  You guessed it.  The Democrats again.  

      Keeping the 21-year old Drinking Age Laws?  Yupper, the Democrats.  

      Cameras in our downtowns?  Democrats again, like Houston Mayor Bill White and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.  

      You want Nanny-State intrusive Government.  Look to the Dems.  


      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 05:01:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarians - they're a joke (0+ / 0-)

    It's an ideology that has absolutely no practical proof of utility.

    The so-called libertarians I know have, when I questioned them on specific cases, admitted to being: monarchist (elitist anti-democratic), militarist, luddite (anti-government support for technology) atheists. The so-called philosophy behind it is nothing but cover for the two things they care about: not paying taxes, and being able to do whatever the hell they want.

    Free markets are real - that's the basis of our capitalist democracy. Freedom is good - liberal = freedom-loving. But the anti-government stance of your typical libertarian is based on no rational source, and I for one do not want them polluting the Democratic party with their idiocies.

    •  What is a libertarian? (0+ / 0-)

      To be anti-government in every form is to be an anarchist.  That is something different from being Libertarian.  

      A true libertarian believes that liberty exists most when government restricts it least.  That, in my opinion, is not such a horrible thing so long as they also realize that anarchy provides less liberty than limited government because lawlessness necessarily means might makes right (absolute liberty exist only for those with the power to take it by force and liberty does not exist at all for those too weak to defend it).  Thus liberty for all can only ever exist in an abridged form.  That is why our founding doctrine is the best in human history.  Rather than saying "the subjects must/may not..." over and over like the doctrine of other nations, ours says "the government may not..." over and over.  

      I am not saying that I am a libertarian.  In fact, I am a staunch liberal.  That, however, is the logic behind libertarian views.  I think that Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, gay marriage, reproductive rights, and several other issues where the GOP wants to say "the subjects must/may not..." demonstrate that the democratic party is a better fit for libertarians.  I also think that a libertarian influence on the democratic party can help to make sure that liberty is only abridged insofar as it is done to preserve a measure of freedom for all.  Ie. government only restricts your freedom to infringe on the freedoms of others.

      •  These are card-carrying Libertarians! (0+ / 0-)

        They're not anarchists - they're militarists, and would even support a hereditary ruler if (he) followed their ideals, as I said. They believe the purpose of government is to be able to force our will on other people through military power. They believe that government has no business regulating environmental issues, providing education or welfare, promoting scientific research or providing any form of general insurance or safety net. Pure survival of the fittest on the domestic front, and they believe there's no such thing as bad (or good) luck - those who are rich deserve it, those who are poor deserve it, and the government needs to just stay out of it all.

        Whatever "true libertarian" may mean (follower of Ayn Rand - yuck!), this modern embodiment is something I believe violates the fundamental principles of the Democratic party, and should not under any circumstances be condoned. Use "liberal" if you mean what I think you're talking about. Expunge the word "libertarian" from your vocabulary, it's far too contaminated by nonsense now.

        •  perhaps I need to switch words, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I know people who have always been republican voters that cannot stomach the party anymore.  I talk with them (and anyone else that I can get to listen) about politics daily.  They express the sentiments that I just expressed to you.  They are sick of the intrusive nature of the GOP platform that comes mostly from pandering to the fundies.  These people are self described libertarians.  They want a government that leaves them alone, but they do want a government.  

          You're right.  They don't agree with a lot of the more progressive views of our party, but they are repulsed by almost everything that they have seen from the GOP in the last 6 - 12 years.  

          I don't expect them to be far left progressives like me.  They can, however, become democratic voters.  In my view a moderate or even conservative democrat is better than a GOP voter.  They're not my favorite, but at least they put one more hash mark in the D column come voting day.

          Do you have a word for these people?

          •  Libertarians will never be Democrats (0+ / 0-)

            We have virtually NOTHING in common with the vast majority of the Democrat Party.  There's maybe one or two half-way decent Democrats: Bill Richardson and Joe Lieberman come to mind.  Beyond that, 98% of the Party are pure Statists.  

            Democrats aren't even good on civil liberties any more.  It's the Dems that are proposing banning smoking in bars and restaurants and even in cars now, nationwide.  It's the Dems that are backing stringent seat belt laws.  It's the Dems that threaten gun rights.  It's the Dems that favor tougher drug laws in many instances.  And most startling, it's the Dems who now want a Draft.  

            Meanwhile, every day a new Republican comes out for Marijuana legalization.  The first man who will be allowed to legally grow Hemp in the United States is the Republican Leader of the North Dakota State Senate!  

            In the 1980's and '90s granted Republicans were less libertarian.  But now they're moving our way, thanks mostly to the efforts of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

            Eric Dondero, CEO

            Eric Dondero

            by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:43:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  What about other civil liberties issues? (0+ / 0-)

        What about seat belt laws?  A far more issue to Libertarians than the arcane Terry Schiavo issue.  Seat Belt laws effect real people on a daily basis.  Democrats are HORRIBLE on this issue.

        Gun rights?  Drinking Age Laws?  Smoker Rights?  

        Here in Houston, is a Democrat Mayor Bill White who is pushing Cameras downtown to spy on us citizens.  It's only REPUBLICAN Vice-Mayor Michael Berry who is leading the charge against this Nanny-state intrusion.  


        I don't see any Republicans proposing to bring back a draft.  On the contrary, Republicans like Cong. Ron Paul and Dana Rohrabacher propose each year to absolish the Selective Service.  They can never find ANY Democrat co-sponsors for their Bill.

        Civil Liberties means more than just abortion rights and Terry Schiavo.  

        Eric Dondero, CEO

        Eric Dondero

        by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:47:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's right.. (0+ / 0-)

          civil liberties are more than Schiavo and abortion.  They are also the 4th ammendment, separation of church and state, and Habeus Corpus.  I understand your viewpoint on ghanja and seat belts, but if you think that the GOP has been moving your direction even after Chimpy crapped all over the rights that I have mentioned in this post and did so with full support from the repugnican majority in congress, well... honestly man, you might consider wiping off your glasses and looking through them again.

          I mean really, to what degree is your seat belt issue intrusive when stood up next to YOU CAN BE DISAPPEARED BY THIS GOVERNMENT AT ANY TIME WITHOUT EVER SEEING A DAY IN COURT!!!  (see detainee act)

          •  Again, seat belt laws effect my life (0+ / 0-)

            The so-called civil liberties invasions you are talking about have zero effect on my life. Their intent is for Muslim-sympathizing Terrorist supporters.  And I fully support those efforts. If anything Bush and the Republicans have been horribly wimpy in protecting us US Citizens from the threats of Islamo-Fascist sympathizers here in the US.  

            Eric Dondero

            by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 07:02:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is your view... (0+ / 0-)

              again I ask about the folks that I talk to who are self-described libertarians that say they have always voted repugnican, but will longer do so because they cannot stomach the remove of those same civil liberties.  

              On your support for W's removal of the most basic of our civil rights, you know the ones that the framers found so important that they directly mentioned them in our founding doctrine (yeah those ones), I can only say that in granting these powers to the current administration you also grant them to all future administrations (even possibly an evil Clinton).  Perhaps if the power is abused by some future administration and you or some other supporter of this short sighted trampling of the basis of our government turns out to be the victim, that may be a time wherein deciding that the daily intrusion of a seat belt was a greater offense than the removal of Habeus will seem to have been somewhat backwards.

              •  And what does that have to do with my post? (0+ / 0-)

                Again, answer the question.

                You say that Dems are better than Republicans on civil liberties issues.  Fine.

                What about smoking bans, seat belt laws, speed limites, gun restrictions, politically correct speech codes on college campuses, ending affirmative action, school choice, the Military Draft?  

                Those civil liberties issues don't count?  Is that how you see it?  

                Eric Dondero

                by ericdondero on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:39:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I did answer. (0+ / 0-)

                  Twice I said those do count.  We just have MUCH more important civil liberties to address first.  As I said in my previous 2 posts, the GOP through congress and Chimpy have removed, violated, or weakened civil liberties that are of such great importance that they are part of the founding doctrine of our nation.  Without habeus we have no freedoms at all.  The ability to claim any of the other liberties requires a fair hearing.  So, again, I say that the liberties that you are focused on are of smaller magnitude (some of them aren't civil liberties at all).  

                  Our founders gave us, in my view, the most amazing document in governmental history in The Constitution and they built in a method to ammend it.  They didn't even wait for us to use that method.  They went straight on to giving us the first 10 ammendments because they are of such importance that without them the entire goal of the document is destroyed.  Those are the civil liberties that must be focused on before we even begin to debate wether or not you have the inalienable right to make sure that everyone on the road with you dies when your tire blows out because you were going 110mph.

                  •  ok, so me previous post (0+ / 0-)

                    didn't make on to the page for some reason (the one before the "I did answer" one), but I agree with you about some of the liberties that you mentioned.  I just think that they are mostly petty inconvieniences compared to the destruction of the core liberties that we've seen by repugnicans in recent years.

                    Also, I question your "these affect me daily" standard.  If you were a judge would you recommend capitol punishment for jay walkers since it happens daily while letting Jeffery Dahmer walk with a fine since his crime is rare?  Let's have some reality when we're talking about priorities.  Magnitude does count and in my view it counts more than frequency on this issue.  I know that you blow off the habeus thing because we were sold this bill of goods as intended for terrorists and their sympathizers, but I have seen powers used in ways other than intended once or twice (or maybe all of the time which even by your frequency standard makes this something that you should take very seriously).  

                    I mean really... the inconvenience of a seatbelt next to the elimination, violation, or weakening of multiple parts of The Bill of Rights?!

                    The terrorist justification sucks.  If 9/11 changes everything then the terrorists have already won.

                •  Why do you bother coming to dailykos ericdondero? (0+ / 0-)

                  You're obviously not welcome here.  I don't get why you keep coming back.  I think you'd feel much more comfortable at, where I'm sure many people will agree with your views.

                  "Leave the gun ... take the cannoli." -8.38, -7.69

                  by Balam on Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 02:34:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  when someone disengages from a debate... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    on a blog, is that the same as acknowledging a loss?  Still no answer to my magnitude question.  I don't mind someone who is not a progressive coming here to engage in debate.  In fact, it helps us to hone our points before presenting them to a larger audience, but don't just step out of the conversation when you realize that you have to concede a point.  Magnitude does count and seat belts are piddly crap next to the destruction of the Bill of Rights... there, I said it for him.  
                    ericdondero, If you don't want me to assume that you concede the point by not replying feel free to tell me that magnitude does count and there is a failure in your logic.  Otherwise justify a ticket for Dahmer and the chair for jay walkers.  Failing that, I will continue to assume that I am right on this one and you are wrong.

    •  You should learn about Elected Libertarians (0+ / 0-)

      You think "Libertarians are a joke?"

      Does that include Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who are already making their mark?

      About 1,000 Libertarians and Libertarian Republicans hold office nationwide, and they're getting things done; cutting government programs, slashing taxes.  I'd hardly call that a "joke."

      Eric Dondero, CEO

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:38:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know them all quite well (0+ / 0-)

        My in-laws live in Idaho. Otter's nuts.

        Your other comments here are firm proof of my position - Libertarians are extreme. The Democratic party is the essence of moderation - some government is good, too much is bad. Al Gore's efforts, supported by Clinton to "reinvent" government by introducing market reforms were the sort of thing all Democrats should be proud of. Libertarian efforts to eliminate even sensible regulations are an abomination.

        •  This country was founded by "Crazy Libertarians" (0+ / 0-)

          You seem to have forgotten the axiom:

          "That government is best, which governs least."

          This Nation was founded by Tax Rebels who hated government.  

          Sad that we've come so far down the road of Socialism that individuals like you would now say that "good government" is what we need, not less government.  

          Good Government = Socialism

          More Good Governor = Communism

          Eric Dondero

          by ericdondero on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:37:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Instant run-off voting (0+ / 0-)

    would let the Greens vote Green and still prevent a Republican victory.  It would let the Libertarians vote libertarian and still prevent a Democratic victory.  Although I love to see Libertarians knocking out Republicans and hate to see Greens knocking out Democrats, I think the voting public would be better served by preferential voting, with each voter expressing a first, second, and third choice.

  •  Libertarian friendly? (0+ / 0-)

    No offense or anything... But most of the "party" libertarians I knew when I was a student at Gettysburg College (the "Ron Paul" crowd, who used to fawn over him when he came to speak) were extremists who were kinda on the nutty side.

    Unless the Democrats are planning on dropping their historical commitment to income equality, labor unions, the poor, the environment, and maybe even civil rights, I find it difficult to see them picking up many of the people who willingly back Libertarian Party candidates.

  •  I don't understand your reasoning (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican party hasn't been friendly to libertarians for over twenty years.  I'd like to think that more of us (I am a registered Libertarian) are far more concerned with civil liberties than with trade regulations.  In fact, I am only concerned with civil liberties, but they are so important to me that I consider myself a libertarian.

    Especially considering the recent executive power grabs that Bush has made, I'm surprised that the Libertarian candidates received any votes.  If Democrats can stop this hemorrhaging of our liberties (and let's face it, they are our only hope at the moment), then we clearly need as many of them as we can get.  I voted mostly Democrat for the past two national elections, and I think the more realistic libertarians will make a greater attempt to move the Democratic party more towards our ideals instead of supporting the 'official' party.  Just like you kos, we're crashing the gate. :)

    •  If you're a civil libertarian vote Republican (0+ / 0-)

      My biggest civil liberties issue is the Mother- 'F' seat belt laws!!!  Damn I hate wearing my seat belt, and I especially hate the government telling me I have to.  

      It's the Democrats who have pushed these seat belt laws for the last 20 years.  And here in Texas they want to make it a criminal offense.  Bastards!!

      I fail to see how Democrats "protect" my civil liberties.  

      They're the ones who are trying to outlaw politically incorrect speech on college campuses.  They're the ones who want to invited more Islamo-Fascist sympathizers to come study on our college campuses in the name of "multiculturalism."  They're the ones who support Affirmative Action quotas.  They're against school choice.  

      I just learned this morning that a Connecticut State Legislator has introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana.  

      SHE'S A REPUBLICAN!!!!!  Full story at

      What civil liberties are you talking about???!!!

      Okay, yeah, I'll admit Democrats are better on Pro-Choice, and also on stopping Creationsim taught in our public schools.  But beyond that, they're Nanny-Staters.  

      It's DEMOCRAT Mayors Bill White of Houston and Richard Daley of Chicago who are installing all this G-damned cameras everywhere to spy on us.  

      Eric Dondero

      by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 07:30:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarians are moving to the GOP (0+ / 0-)

    The Daily Kos article is way off.  It's the other way around.  Libertarians are defecting to the Republican Party in droves.  The Wisconsin Libertarian Party Chairman just announced for Congress in Madison as a REPUBLICAN.  3 Months ago, the top Libertarian candidate in Florida announced after 20 years he was switching to the GOP to run for County Commission.  And as you all probably know, Ron Paul just announced for President AS A REPUBLICAN.  His candidacy has drawn endorsements from mainline Libertarian Party members like 2004 LP Presidential contenders Michael Badnarik and Aaron Russo.  

     They didn't even mention the growing Republican Liberty Caucus in their piece.  Over 80% of RLC-backed candidates won in 2006, one of the best libertarian Republican years ever.

    DailyKos should do their homework on the Libertarian movement, before they start spouting off.

    Eric Dondero, CEO

    Eric Dondero

    by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:36:11 AM PST

  •  Reply to all those who suggest "Libt. Dems" (0+ / 0-)

    Every one of you here is grossly ignorant about the Libertarian Movement.  I can't believe some of the comments here.  You all know virtually nothing about Libertarians.  The level of ignorance here about the Libertarian movement is startling.  And y'all's condesencion towards us is even worse.    

    We come from the Republican Party.  We are aligned with the Republican Party.  And today, the Republican Party is moving in our direction.  It's rampant.  Every Republican now is trying to identify themselves with us libertarians.  

    I don't see any Democrats out there willing to cut government and reach out to us libertarians.  Even Bill Richardson, your closest thing to a "libertarian Democrat" hasn't said boo about libertarians.

    Yet, we've got Republicans left and right courting us.  

    Sorry DailKos Dems.  Too little, too late.  

    We'll stick with the Republicans, thank you.

    Eric Dondero, CEO


    Eric Dondero

    by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:06:52 AM PST

  •  Republicans legalizing drugs, opposing beer taxes (0+ / 0-)

    Did you all know that the first person in history who will be granted the right to farm Hemp is the Republican Leader of the North Dakota House, Rep. Dave Mooson?  

    No, you didn't.  Guess that doesn't fit your "Republicans bad on civil liberties" template, now does it.

    How about this one:

    Liberal Democrats in Michigan are now proposing a massive increase in Taxes on Beer to offset a state budget deficit.  

    And you thought that the Democratic Party was the person of the little guy.  

    Besides abortion rights, show me some civil liberties that Democrats support?

    You all gonna repeal insidious seat belt laws for us peons out here, so we don't get harrassed by the damned cops when we drive to work?

    Eric Dondero, CEO

    Eric Dondero

    by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 04:10:25 AM PST

  •  Sacrifice (0+ / 0-)

    We will never get very far in our quest to court the libertarian vote unless we start toeing a hard line against wasteful government spending.  That means being a lot more hardassed on the subject of cutting earmarks on Capital Hill.  A lot more.  This is not a concession to the libertarian-minded but rather sound fiscal policy.  Our similar beliefs on civil liberties will only get us so far.

  •  You need to support civil liberties too (0+ / 0-)

    Cutting earmarks is nothing.  If you want Libertarian support start cutting government programs and abolishing Federal departments and Agencies.  You can start with the NEA and Education.  

    Also, you all must start supporting civil liberties like repealing seat belt laws, protecting gun ownership, legalizing marijuana, lowering the drinking age, eliminating anti-smoking ordances and abolishing the draft.  

    Something tells me none of this will get done.  

    Eric Dondero

    by ericdondero on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 03:39:51 PM PST

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