Libertarian Party Aspiring ... to be spoilers?

Crossposted from

The Austin American Statesman has an article on the Texas Libertarian Party titled Libertarians want to be kingmakers in legislative races. The article's author spoke with Pat Dixon, Texas LP party chair and Lago Vista city council member, and notes:
The Libertarian Party of Texas is not ready to be king, but it expects to be kingmakers -- or spoilers, depending upon your point of view -- in the state's most competitive races. ... In 2004, Libertarians were credited with helping Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, beat Republican incumbent Jack Stick. The Libertarian candidate received 2,390 votes; the margin of victory was only 569 votes in the north Travis County district.

Credited ... or blamed? We are now saddled in north Travis County with a liberal Democrat - Mark Strama - who gets an "F" in fiscal responsibility from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. He votes in no way, shape or form in concert with libertarian mindset, but is an Obama-supporting, liberal-voting, tax-and-spend pandering professional politician, slicker than a greased eel. While I don't blame Libertarians for the HD-50 Strama situation, it is a calamity nevertheless. Like a tapeworm, a professional politician like that is hard to extract once embedded in the system.

So it is with great concern that I read:

For 2008, Libertarians are targeting the Central Texas races to replace retiring Reps. Mike Krusee in Williamson County and Robby Cook, whose district includes Bastrop, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette and Lee counties and part of Brazos County.

So is this "target" as in "target to win"? Or is it "target 4% of the vote to be spoilers" so the left-liberal politically-correct-Educrat Democrat Moldanaro can beat out a pro-liberty fiscal conservative Bryan Daniel in the Texas State House HD-52 race? We have a potentially great State Rep there (Daniel) who will listen to libertarian-type voters concerns, and a potentially awful candidate who will be the catspaw of the public sector unions and trial lawyers.

Pat Dixon, the party's state chairman and a Lago Vista City Council member, says "We can swing votes. We're going to be a factor in more races."

Wow! A 'factor'! As in maybe get in high single digits instead of low single digits, maybe even give the Presidential vote in a state or two to Obama instead of McCain by peeling off some conservatives. It's a more honest assessment of their real impact instead of the usual third-party "This time will be different" run-up to a 1% vote total. Yet aspiring to be the swing vote spoiler really shows how ineffective the LP is. They even underscore the LP's fundamental problem by touting Ron Paul: the prime example of how influential their ideas can be comes from citing the example of a Republican Presidential campaign! That says much - Ron Paul got more visibility and a larger platform for his ideas as a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 than as a Libertarian in 1988.

It would be good if the Libertarians/libertarians attempted to aspire to real political effectiveness, because this country needs more freedom and less Government, and their influence could be salutory. But that would require taking off the big "L", abandoning a failed third party approach, and becoming libertarians working in the one major political party where their ideas are most at home: the Republican Party. Consider some of the most effective political activist organizations - the litigious ACLU, the social conservative Christian Coalition, the gay rights Human Rights Campaign. I would add another group from Texas:

The Texas Alliance for Life

. TAL has achieved multiple pro-life victories as a force that influences the two party system, working mostly with Republicans but also with prolife Democrats to achieve their goals. These groups successfully worked the two party system, rather than try to work outside it.


"Texas Liberty Alliance"

that influenced primaries and lobbied for liberty would be far more effective than aspiring to spoiling for victory for the greater-of-two-evils.

Editorial: Honestly, is this the best that the Liberals can do?

There have been times, when I, as a Blogger, have wanted to bang my head on the desk. There are times, when I have become so frustrated at the level of stupidity being served by both sides of this political discourse, that I have seriously thought about just shutting this Blog down and disappearing into the mists of ether and finding something else to do. There are times, when I, as a Blogger, have shook my fist in righteous indignation at some of the things written by both sides of this political divide, that is called Politics.

However, this, my friends, is scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel. It seems that the Liberal Blogging world, with it’s lack of substantive accusations against John McCain, has, in fact, began publishing stories about a topic, that normally would not even receive the light of day in a legitimate publication; His Shoes.

That is right ladies and Gentleman; the liberal bloggers are now publishing stories about John McCain’s shoes. This female blogger at the Huffington Post by the name of Isabel Wilkinson, whose political credentials are that of a Dallas cowboy cheerleader, wrote a rather vain piece about the kind of shoes that John McCain wears. I have to honestly wonder aloud, who in the Huffington Post was the recipient of this woman’s oral sex, for her to get that job as a writer. Because whoever they were, they hired a real winner here.

I am not a John McCain cheerleader, not by a long shot. However, this sort of lame attempt by the left to paint John McCain as some sort of out of touch, rich, elitist is about the lamest thing I have ever read, in a good long while. This ranks up there with the New York Times piece on the supposed affair that McCain was having with a lobbyist.

It is not that I am against criticizing John McCain, not at all. There are legitimate concerns that I have with McCain as well, his closeness to Bush, his ties to lobbyists, his wanting to bomb Iran, but to write an article about his shoes? How absurd. The left can much better than this, and they know it. The quicker they start doing that, the better, because right about now, they look like total idiots in my eyes, and I would imagine in the eyes many other people as well.

(H/T Memeorandum)

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Cross Posted @ Political Byline

The Libertarian Vote in 2008

[I've invited Stephen Gordon, an Internet Consultant  with the Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Bob Barr, to post some thoughts on the libertarian movement and the Bob Barr campaign.  As Gordon notes, libertarians are a very influential swing constituency, and I believe they should be an important part of the Right's coalition.  But their alliance has to be earned. - Jon Henke]

For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of those old-school small-government types who would have voted for Goldwater if I had been born a generation earlier.  I cast my first presidential vote for Reagan in 1980, worked Republican campaigns through the nineties, but became disillusioned with the GOP because of their failure to reduce the size, scope and intrusiveness of government at virtually all levels.  I became disenfranchised from the Republican Party when even the rhetoric became hard to distinguish from that coming from Democrats.  As an Alabamian, I eventually disregarded the GOP as a vehicle for limited government when our Republican governor attempted to enact the largest tax increase in state history. Since then, I still work an occasional Republican campaign (ranging from city council races to presidentials), but primarily work within the libertarian movement and Libertarian Party. 

Jon Henke asked if I'd contribute some material relating to "the Right, strategy, coalition, the campaign" of the Barr campaign and the libertarian movement. Perhaps the best starting point is to better define the libertarian movement and the Barr campaign. 

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