The GOP needs libertarians more than libertarians need the GOP right now

Republicans need libertarians more than libertarians need Republicans.  It's time for libertarians - fiscally conservative, socially tolerant people who advocate limited government and individual freedom - to start fighting back. - Jon Henke

There are all sorts of self-described libertarians out there: Ron Paul libertarians, Libertarian Party libertarians, Club for Growth libertarians, Cato libertarians, Reason libertarians, Next Right libertarians, Neal Boortz libertarians and Lew Rockwell libertarians.  There are also millions of people who don't even know they are libertarians.

During the Goldwater-Reagan years, Republicans knew they needed libertarian votes to win the White House.  After George H. W. Bush disregarded his "read my lips" pledge, libertarians felt pretty isolated until the Republican Revolution.  Once the Republican Party gained control of Congress, libertarians and the goals of the Republican Revolution were simultaneously flushed down the commode of win-at-all-costs politics.

Republican leaders were warned time and time and time and time again that they would pay a price for dismissing potential libertarian supporters. Republicans did pay a significant price in 2006, but continued on as if nothing had changed.  Immediately after it became apparent that John McCain was going to win the 2008 Republican nomination, the Libertarian Party sent a funeral wreath to the RNC.

There are a lot of senior Republicans who apparently wish for this downward spiral to continue, as they continue to bash libertarians to this very day. 

Immediately following Election Day, Mike Huckabee graced the pages of Time, blaming libertarians for his electoral shortcomings:

In a chapter titled "Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism," Huckabee identifies what he calls the "real threat" to the Republican Party: "libertarianism masked as conservatism." He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul's Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people's problems. "I don't take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it," writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as governor and cut deals with his state's Democratic legislature. "Faux-Cons aren't interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument." Among his targets is the Club for Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee's longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

This wasn't Huckabee's first jab at libertarians.  The following comes from a May 2008 Huffington Post interview:

Republicans need to be Republicans. The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it's this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says "look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don't get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it." Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it's not an American message.

"Huckabee may believe libertarians are the 'real threat', but his God, Guns and Butter agenda would destroy the Right far more effectively than the libertarian cartoons that exist in Huckabee's head," wrote Jon Henke last year.

Let's fast forward a little bit.  Currently, we have the whole John Cornyn/National Republican Senatorial Committee brouhaha over the Charlie Crist endorsement. It's no secret that libertarians have had considerable differences with folks like Red State's Erick Erickson and The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol.  That Kristol and Erickson can agree with libertarians on this issue should indicate that fusionism need not be dead.

These aren't isolated examples of current libertarian-bashing within the GOP.

"These were real people. [The April 15 Tea Parties] weren't organized by any crazy right-wing extremists or libertarians, as you might expect," said Kansas Representative Lynn Jenkins on a podcast interview a little more than a week ago. "These were just all-Amercan people who have finally had it with Washington."

The last time I checked, a lot of all-American, non-crazy real-people libertarians were heavily involved in the Tea Party movement.  Libertarian Eric Odom told RNC Chairman Michael Steele that he wasn't invited to speak at the Chicago Tax Day Tea Party, while state Campaign for Liberty coordinator Marcelo Muñoz told Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman that she wasn't invited to speak in Birmingham, either.

In New York City, although he supported the bailout, Newt Gingrich was treated respectfully when he spoke.  Representative Gresham Barrett wasn't treated as politely in the more fiscally conservative state of South Carolina.

Home to Fort Sumter, South Carolinians are used to the first volleys of a war.  In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Senator Jim DeMint called for a coalition built upon small-government principles:

Freedom will mean different things to different Republicans, but it can tether a diverse coalition to inalienable principles. Republicans can welcome a vigorous debate about legalized abortion or same-sex marriage; but we should be able to agree that social policies should be set through a democratic process, not by unelected judges. Our party benefits from national-security debates; but Republicans can start from the premise that the U.S. is an exceptional nation and force for good in history. We can argue about how to rein in the federal Leviathan; but we should agree that centralized government infringes on individual liberty and that problems are best solved by the people or the government closest to them.

In a move which has insulted Ron Paul supporters, SC Senator Lindsey Graham unnecessarily stated that “Ron Paul is not the leader of the Republican Party” during the SC GOP Convention.  Rob at Say Anything noted:

Graham also calls himself a “Reagan Republican,” yet dismisses libertarianism.  Graham should perhaps remember that Reagan himself said that “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

This barb wasn't isolated, either.  According to video posted by Jack "Southern Avenger" Hunter, Graham made a similar comment in early May.

Taking the DeMint side on the issue, SC Governor Mark Sanford fired back at Graham.

"Throw me in that briar patch," responded Sanford. "I'm guilty. I love liberty and I think that ought to be a good thing and I don't think that it's something people should back away from. I've been accused of being a libertarian and I would say I wear it as a badge of honor because I do love, believe in and want to support liberty."

“I’m not going to give this party over to people who can’t win,” Graham stated, as noted by CNN.

Graham is correct in this regard.  There aren't enough libertarians out there right now to become the dominant force in American politics.  As election results continue to prove, there aren't enough people willing to support business-as-normal inside-the-beltway Republican types, either.  Should the national GOP leadership re-invite libertarians to the table (as they are doing in some places at a state and local level), the Republican Party might once again become more significant in the national political arena.

Obviously, neither side in this fight is afraid to duke it out.  Libertarians have one critical advantage, though.

Libertarians are used to wandering in the wilderness like political nomads.  We know we'll be called upon from time to time to act as tour guides in order to lead the Republican leadership towards some safe small-government oasis or waterhole of individual liberty.  We don't even need maps or compasses, as the routes are permanently etched within our minds.  Being tough and hearty political travelers, another forty years in the wilderness doesn't scare us all that much.

We are, however, becoming increasingly annoyed with Republican leaders who have established a pattern of stiffing us on the bill for our services -- making us significantly less inclined to help out in the future.

We warned Republicans in 2004.  We showed some resistance in 2006.  We showed most of our cards in 2008.  Months after the election, the John Cornyn/Mike Huckabee/Lindsey Graham wing of the party continues to hurl insults at us.  At this point, any reasonable person might ask why libertarians would even care to lift a finger to help.

Without enough allies to fight the Democrats or even the skills to find the path to small government and individual freedom, the current Republican leadership may not be destined to forty years in the wilderness.  Without libertarian assistance, they may not even make it to the next oasis.

With or without the GOP, libertarians will somehow survive.  Can the GOP survive without libertarians?

UPDATE: Chris Moody thinks this is one of the best blog posts he's read in a while, and Norman Leahy calls it "a broadside." Laura Ebke seems to agree

The Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus takes notice here and Americans for Limited Government provided us with a nice front page link.  Rational Review News Digest hit this article here.  Memeorandum hits it here and also bring our attention to this related Forbes article by Shikha Dalmia. Lucius Brutus here.

Freedoms Truth goes after left-libertarians and then argues that the Republican Party needs social conservatives more than social conservatives need the GOP.

"The GOP should take Stephen Gordon’s advice and embrace libertarians of all stripes, otherwise the Grand Old Party may be destined to be the Tired Old Party by 2012," writes Marc Gallagher.

Over at The Liberty Papers, I've started keeping tally of the various insults being hurled at libertarians because of this post.

Unreligious Right adds: "Good luck getting the base to recognize this."  GOP12 adds: "The GOP needs libertarians."

"If leaders in the GOP are serious about their party's future, they will embrace libertarianism, not shun it," advises Jason Pye.


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Despite having bad things to say about him, I agree with the Huckster about the "heartless, callous, soulless" bit. Please accept the fact that we aren't going to ever become a libertarian paradise like Somalia, and move on. The best that could be done is to make gov't a bit smaller and a lot more efficient and less intrusive. Instead, libertarian policies - such as the support that many offer for massive law-breaking - leads to more government, more power for the far-left, and more intrusion. And, it makes it even easier for the Dems to portray the GOP in a negative light, in that case correctly. If you want to oppose the Dems, do so in a way that has broad support and that's not based on self-delusion.

As for the tea parties, please feel free to rejoin us back here on Earth when you get a chance. The one yesterday in L.A. got 0.005% of this city's population, and others in deep blue districts have gotten less than 1% of all voters and in some cases done even worse. Despite Fox's best efforts, their big day got only 0.1% to 0.2% of the U.S. population to turn out. What part of "you don't have the numbers" is difficult to understand?

And, there are certainly some interesting folks helping them along, such as DickArmey, GroverNorquist, and the Kochtopus. That should be a clue right there. If that's not enough, the fact that their leaders have to engage in ACORN-style street protests with loopy signs instead of doing something much, much more effective should be an even better clue.

P.S. Here's a fun photo from the Buffalo "party". In case anyone thinks it's a plant, note that it was taken by MattMargolis of BlogsForBush infamy. It about sums up the intellectual heft of the "parties".

If this libertarian... so heartless and uncaring, why was I just at this event ensuring that the poor and disenfranchised in Alabama have property rights, too.

Funny how GOP hacks acts as if the past 8 yrs were libertarian.

Will Wilkinson puts it nicely:

The Party of Untrammeled Freedom and Maximum Individual Choice?!

by Will Wilkinson on May 5, 2009

David Brooks:

[I]f Republicans had learned the right lessons from the Westerns, or at least John Ford Westerns, they would not be the party of untrammeled freedom and maximum individual choice. They would once again be the party of community and civic order.

What in tarnation is this man talking about? Where is this Republican Party of “untrammeled freedom and maximum individual choice”? Did Ron Paul just become House minority leader or take Michael Steele’s job or something? Have the Republicans put up the white flag in the War on Drugs? Are GOP Senators stumping to end the legislation of morality? How did I miss this? It’s like Brooks was kidnapped by a Romulan and is sending us op-eds from an alternative timeline.


We already tried the "Compassionate Conservatism" of Bush/Douthat/Brooks, the "National Greatness Conservatism" of Brooks/McCain/Kristol/Graham/Frum. What did we get in return? A "compassionate" Federal Reserve/Fannie Mae/CRA housing boom and bust drowning us into another Great Depression and a "Great" and unnecessary Iraq War in which 4,000 fathers, brothers, and sons perished. Think about "soullessness" of that this Father's Day...I know the families will.

Oh and most importantly to these hacks: landslides losses in 2006 and 2008.

I'm sorry if I'd rather take the "heartless, souless" libertarianism than pretend we can live a government created utopia. Even after the horrors of the last 8 years, and in the spirit of compromise, most of us libertarians will settle for the mere federalism enshrined in the Constitution. The central planners can try to create their utopia state-by-state and they'll have  more of the resources that won't be going to the Federal Leviathan. When their schemes fail the political hacks that tried it will pay the price.


Re: Funny how GOP hacks act as if past 8 yrs were libertarian

I can see why the would-be theocrats would dissimulate that way, but I don't get the likes of Brooks.

My high school English teacher would have flunked that column cold.  It's not even worth criticizing.  Not even wrong, as the saying goes. 

Thank goodness that William F. Buckley didn't let Brooks become his successor at National Review.

With or without the GOP, libertarians will somehow survive...

...Can the GOP survive without libertarians?

Yes. Where else will they go?

Isn't it obvious?

  • Stay home on Election Day
  • Vote for a Democrat who at least delivers on being socially tolerant, since the Republicans in power are big spenders anyway
  • Vote for the LP

You may disagree with the reason for doing any of those, but libertarian-leaning people are doing all three.  And Republicans aren't losing just their votes, but other forms of support as well.

The GOP isn't in the best of health right now.  If they won't show libertarian-leaning people any respect, they'll have to make up the difference elsewhere.  How's that working out for them?

Socially intolerant Democrats

"Vote for a Democrat who at least delivers on being socially tolerant,"That's  phony baloney.

1. Socially intolerant Democrats in my state are banning smoking statewide indoors.

2. Socially intolerant Democrats are against the right to keep and bear arms and fought against a RKBA bill in Texas

3. Socially intolerant Democrats fight against the right of women to choose where to send their child to school.

4. Socially intolerant Democrats are tryig to outlaw SUVs, dictate what cars to drive.

5. Socially intolerant Democrats in my town are trying to force everyone to recycle, have zero carbon footprint ... All in the name of a crazy and false superstition that we are all gonna die if  we dont cut CO2 emissions. It's an ECO-THEOCRACY.

6. The socially intolerant Democrats want to make it a 'hate crime' (think Orwellian ThoughtCrime) to have politically incorrect beliefs. Consider how Mark Steyn got charged with a *crime* in Canada for an *opinion* and you have a picture of where liberals, who have made the campus bastions of political non-diversity and political non-tolerance, want to take the country.

7. Intolerant Democrats want to regulate political speech much tighter, including the 'fairness doctrine', tighter regs on activist groups, and a clear intolerance of dissent as evidenced by the rabid attacks on dissenters like Rush Limbaugh.

8. Oh yeah, the Democrats are more 'tolerant' of letting pre-born humans get killed via abortions and are 'tolerant' of nursing homes unilaterally shutting off food and water to ill patients who gave no clear direction as to how to handle their cases.

pro-death abortion / euthanasia and anti-family redefine-marriage is the sum total of liberal 'tolerance' ... the REST of their agenda is IN-tolerance.

This is not to say that some libertarians dont fall for the Democrats line of cr*p, but surely most libertarians are more attuned to real liberty issues and see through it.

mysogynistic much?

I think it's safe to say that both men and women send their kids to school. Improve your word choice.

I'm heartened to see that you are happy to allow public pollution, simply because it's cultural. Maybe you won't mind being 'mad as a hatter' when the practitioners of Vodun come through.

SUVs are dumb things to drive, in the first place -- and they're an active danger to everyone else on the road... including the occupants. I can understand pickups -- I've been in the back country, and I've been driven through enough water that I was praying the engine didn't stall out... But SUVs? Stupid. Not that I think we should have a law against you increasing the probability of death on the road. Just up your insurance.

Huh. you know, we recycle around here because it saves our city money? Just a thought. It's not because it's more environmentally sound -- it's just more cost effective.

I don't think anyone believes that political beliefs should be criminalized. I'm sorry, but they don't. Unless part of your political beliefs extend to distribution of child pornography (with living children in it)...

Democrats have been doing pretty well with the whole "free speech" thing. It's the republicans that got bitchslapped with fines for not having active organizations before the election.


Seriously? that's all you fucking got? pathetic. pathetic.

Talk about the RIAA, or the MPAA -- those are some real shitheads that you support when you vote Democratic.

Where else will they go?

Libertarians have been so seriously dissed by the GOP that they didn't go to the polling booths to pull the McCain lever -- or even vote for their local Republican congresscritters.

In 2008, libertarians...

...stayed home, voted for Obama or went third party.  There is no way more than a few of us give our vote to McCain.  Fewer stayed home in 2006 because the Dems actually played ball with us in the mountain states and a few other areas.

The question is what the social conservatives are going to do.  They can't vote Dem and have no where else to go. 

Most libertarians will vote for a candidate like Mark Sanford.  Some may vote for Palin, but some won't.  Give libertarians yet another big-government Republican and libertarians won't be a part of it.

And no one can make us!


Libertarian bashing is deserved, long overdue. They need it!

Libertarians made no bones about being vocally opposed to the GOP team in 2008.  Your posterboi candidate had the gall to pledge that Libertarians would be "the upsetting electoral force in 2008" and that would stamp the GOP finally as "Dead On Arrival".  Reason Magazine ran articles with quotes from famous (or infamous) Liberatarians taking potshots at Bush 43, at Bush 41 and McCain and the GOP and anyone else around who could be a whipping boy to garner some press attention for the failing, flailing Libbies.  Bob Barr: "We'll be the deciding force in this election.  Mark my word."  And the LibbieLoon's spokesman offered this outrageous promise: "Bob Barr is one of the strongest candidates in the Party's 37-year history, and we look for him to have an enormous impact in the 2008 race."

BobBarr got about 510k votes nation-wide; RalphNader, without any Party organization, got about 670k vote.  Libbies took in an "amazing strong" 0.4% of the vote --that's translated as four tenths of one percent of the vote.  And on that basis, BobBarr and his fellow LibbieLoons crowed into the morning hours of ElectionNight2008 that they'd be the deciding factor in dozens of states... including NorthCarolina -which they weren't.  Nevada; which they weren't.  Et cetera, et cetera.

Guess what happened? Did the LibbieLoons meet or exceed their outlandish and press-grabbing promises?  Nope.  Obama and the Dems out-organized the GOP, the economy went into the tank, McCain made missteps and no one except LibbieLoons contend that the Libbies were a deciding factor in the race.  Hey, but BobBarr and LibbieLoons quickly claimed they'd be back in 2012!  Oh yeah?  The GOP shouldn't be shaking in their boots... they should be using the boots to kick the LibbieLoons' collective asses back to their own miserable, underachieving political swamp and down the rathole from whence they came... but, that's kind of sounding a tad angry now, no?  I think all the LibbieLoon bashing is well deserved and rightly given to those disloyal twits who now want to take the GOP deep into the Loon-aticLand of dope legalization, no taxes, no military, evict the UN, cancel all treaties, open the borders, go back to the Gold Standard and "Just Say Yes to the Terrorists".

With "friends" and "political allies" like the Libbies, you gotta wonder why the GOP leadership hasn't been more strong in its condemnation of the disloyal, disreputable, farRight LibbieLoons?   Fusionism isn't about the soc-cons hooking-up with LibbieLoons on a street corner at 2AM... it should be about fusing the GOP's boot on the LibbieLoons' backside.

Here's the real GOP deal for LibbieLoons... if you agree with the Party's core principles on smaller govt, lower taxes, strong natl defense and JackKemp's Opportunity Society, come on board!  If you don't and --like RonPaul-- want to abdicate the Free World to the IslamoFascists, then take a hike or return to that land of electoral wonders and political groundswells (not), the LibbieLoon party.  Hey, someday you'll break 1% of the natl vote.  That's a hell of a goal to shoot for!

And as for RonaldReagan being the new posterboi for the LibbieLoons looking for a little love in da'GOP... well, boys, the sad truth is that even Ron didn't buy into the Loon-atic fringe when he was a lowly Governor trying hard to buy votes so he could engage in the supremely disloyal act of challenging JerryFord for the 76 nomination.  What is about disloyal LibbieLoons and disloyal acts like RonReagan's in '76?

In that interview quoted above, Ron the Gov takes issue with lots of LibbieLoon-atic antics and, after dismissing the notion that having a town fire dept isn't socialism to his way of thinking, he goes onto to find common ground with the Loons interviewing him.  Of course, Ron's agenda was to build support ANYWHERE... and we all know, lunatics are allowed to vote.

The real RonReagan quote was when he rightly announced a bid for the 1980 nomination and said: "A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill."

The problem with LibbieLoons is that they don't believe in making America that shining city on a hill... they want the hill torn down with cynicism, anarchy and pure greedy self-interest ran riot in the land.  It's why RonPaul & BobBarr are such a good spokesmen for the Libbies. GOPers still see Reagan's dream as do-able and worthy of our combined effort.

The 1975 Reagan quote was more about showing Reagan's ultimate disloyalty to his GOP standard bearer than an endorsement of Libertarian-ism... if there is such an animal. He was after votes --he'd say anything to get there.

responsible liberty

"A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill." - Ronald Reagan

Note the words responsible liberty

Reagan understood that liberty requires the fertile ground of strong families, strong communities and a moral and civil society. He understood what the ACLU always forgets.

It's the narrow focus on solely individual liberty that limits libertarian application to all issues. Reagan went beyond that, he practiced (as you note) the politics of addition.

Michigan-Matt, good quote but you detract from your message with your attacks and ranting. Vinegar only goes well in small doses.


A lot of libertarians... a lot of emphasis on personal responsibility.

Noted. You note the words "morality" and the other points.

For someone who contends to be a GOPer, I think responsible liberty is a great place to start the debate about where the GOP proceeds.  Unfortunately, LibbieLoons don't want "responsible" liberty... they want unlimited, unchecked, unfettered liberty.  They want to be able to smoke, sell and grow dope down at the school yard... they want to get rid of America's "entangling" treaties and withdraw from the world's problems as Pure & Unabashed Isolationists.

Reagan knew and points out in that 1975 interview noted in this post that America has a destiny.  It has a duty.  That govt can serve it's citizens and the citizens control the govt, not abdicate from it.  Morality is part of it --and that's an area that LibbieLoons want everyone to accept their hands-off approach.  Sorry, I don't want gay marriage endorsed by society and I don't want to be responsible for the burdens of the divorced spouse when that SSM breaks up.  and I sure don't want the Loons determining American interests abroad.

LibbieLoons are not only Isolationists.  They're also Nullificationists.  They're anti-state.  They're in favor of little or no regulation even if the regulations stand the test of time going back to TeddyRoosevelt.  Frankly, I'd like to know that the marketplace is full of LibbieLoon-inspired opportunitists out for a quick buck, a fast take and no liability.

Sorry, Freedom, they don't want the kind of responsible liberty that Reagan was speaking about --they want unlimited, unchecked, unfettered liberty to pursue whatever, wherever and whenever and however THEY think it best optimisizes their self-interests.

Remember, this is a thread purporting to argue that the GOP "needs" the Libertarians rather than vice-versa.

GOP needs to put a boot to the disloyal, back-stabbing LibbieLoons and send em packing --not make the GOP over into LibbieLoonLand Part Deux.

if it's conservative to look backward...

and find things good... why not look back to before we banned recreational drugs? they didnt' cause nearly the problems back then...

BobBarr got about 510k votes nation-wide

The Libertarian Party is but a small piece of the entire libertarian movement.

" it should be about fusing the GOP's boot on the LibbieLoons' backside."

Have fun losing even more congressional seats to the Dems.

Have fun losing MORE Congressional seats to the Dems???

Ummm, in case you haven't noticed but the Libertarian Party has yet to win a single --one-- Congressional seat since its founding.  Any current Libertarian Party supporters in Congress belong to a real political party, namely the GOP.  CrazyUncleRon is still registered as a Republican --although I doubt he's comfortable with that label after the thrashing he received in the 2008 primaries by Repubican contenders who out-polled him... I think CrazyUncleRon got like 1.6% of the entire GOP Presidential primary vote --even including Open Primaries in states where Democrats got to vote in the GOP primary without penalty.

Have fun losing more seats?  Really, now.  And that comes from someone who isn't a GOPer, who is a LibbieLoon and who projects to know something, anything about politics?  Umm, right.  You go to the town market with that one and sell it.


I don't think you get it

I'm not talking about the LP, but the much broader libertarian movement.  These are people who are generally classified as fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.  Believe it or not, there are millions and millions of these folks out there.  You might read Ryan Sager to see how the loss of these votes cost a whole lot of congressional seats in 2006.

Also, while I've been employed by the LP and LP camapigns, I've worked plenty of GOP campaigns, too.  My first one was Oliver North's Senate race in VA.

The Libertarian Movement, is it?

Wow, I hadn't heard there actually was one.  A 'libertarian movement"? Wow, is that separate of the Libertarian Party who still have the incredible political presence of... what 1/2m voters supporting them?

I had heard that some poltiical activists, still trying to validate BobBarr getting less than 510k General election votes or about 000.4% of the total American vote, would like to propose there is something like a movement abreast.  I know they've tried to glum-onto the TeaParty incarnation as proof of it... except when CrazyUncleRon ran the TeaParty events, they were meant to raise money, not anger.

Of course, I know, there's a lot to be said if we all could just close our eyes, click our heels three times and think of Kansas... maybe there really could be a libertarian movement.

But the truth is that your movement is nothing more than a straight up fiction created by a group of hardcore political activists who are still mad they aren't taken seriously by anyone --including the GOP.

Maybe that libertarian movement you speak about could begin by waging a legitimate, meaningful challenge to the Dem and GOP prez candidates?  Maybe that movement you speak about could be more than just wishful thinking from a hardcore group of Reason magazine editors trying to keep their sponsors and advertisers?

Because, at the end of the day, that's all the so-called Libertarian Movement is all about... that and some crafty push-polling by special interest groups intent on making themselves look like a lot more is hiding behind the green curtains of Oz.

Grab Toto and make a try for it, Stephen.  It's better than drowning your sorrows in a beer.

Then check out these data


As we noted in the Cato Policy Report article, “To put this in perspective, front-page stories since the election have reported the dramatic 7-point shift of white conservative evangelicals away from the Republicans. The libertarian vote is about the same size as the religious right vote measured in exit polls, and it is subject to swings more than three times as large.”


Stephen we've answered that point; you gotta read, ok?

Stephen, we've already anticipated that usual refrain of "well, Cato (or Reason magazine) says that Libertarians are much bigger than the 000.4% of the vote they got in the last election with the "best Libertarian candidate ever" -according to the LibbieLoon-atics' own PR spokesman.

Those numbers are highly suspect on three levels. 1) your's and Cato's reference are to ExitPolls which are the absolute least reliable polls in most professional judgments; 2) Cato or Reason are often trying to spin the notion that 'libertarian" shouldn't be restricted as a term describing just those who vote for LP candidates... it should include anyone who holds beliefs that the push-polling group THINKS represents some polyglot, overly broad definition of libertarian --which, nicely, gets those two self-serving groups away from the rock-and-a-hard-place of being a narrow, little niche of policy believers;  and 3) places the "libertarian" vote on an equal footing with more rationally defined and stronger soc-con/religious vote block within the GOP.

I've seen LibbieLoon-atics actually argue that the Libertarian Movement is, based on a Gallup 2006 survey, closer to 21% of all voters.  Guess what, that Gallup survey instrument allowed the intervieewer to assign a voter the label based on agreeing with just 1 out of 23 indicator statements... now, there's some reality for you.

Look, what you're pointing to happens in lots of fields.  The MSM, when writing articles critical of the Catholic Church, will use an overly broad definition of anyone who thinks of themselves as a Catholic --no matter if they haven't attended Church since their baptism at age 2 months or not-- to make the Church leaders look out of touch with so-called "mainline Catholics".  Catholic becomes a far-flung, speculative definition to suit the interests at hand.

Gays do it to broaden their perceived base and support in society and butress their argument that the gay vote is really much larger than anyone knows.  More votes = more power.

Same is true with your Cato reference and those here who contend there's a "libertarian movement".

The only count that matters is the vote tally on Election Day.  LibbieLoons got less than 510k votes.  That's the Libertarian vote.  Nader, with no political party support and no federal dollars, got a lot more votes than the LibbieLoons and Nader was on fewer state ballots, too.

I predicted your bluff and spin when I wrote before you: "Because, at the end of the day, that's all the so-called Libertarian Movement is all about... that and some crafty push-polling by special interest groups intent on making themselves look like a lot more is hiding behind the green curtains of Oz."

You gotta read first, Stephen.  There are no new arguments in this game brought forward by the LibbieLoon-atic supporters.  The GOP doesn't need the LibbieLoon-atics and they belong with the LP regulars --if they can stand those kooks.

Great read.

Like many Libertarians, I've always assumed that the out of control national debt will eventually cause an implosion. While the current spending regime will accelerate this process, it has been going on since Reagan. The Reps can make all the noise they want about it, but they are as complicit as the Dems (and it's amazing that they only started making noise when they got booted out of power).

So, with that being equal, I'm voting my social conscience. I have no desire to live in a theocracy. I have no desire to abandon everything America stands for morally by torturing people. I believe that all men are created equal, and that economic discrimination based on a couple's genital plumbing arrangement is wrong. I believe that science, not superstition, should be paramount in schools. I believe that immigration enforcement should be aimed at the businesses who hire them (unfortunately, these business interests control both parties). I believe that 8-10 million children without insurance should still have access to health care. I think abortion is bad, but making it illegal is worse. I believe invading a nation based on lies is wrong to the tune of 1 trillion dollars.

It's clear the Republicans want nothing to do with people like me. So be it.










Your comments were worthy of response, but would become exended, so I made it a new post here:



That wasn't a response

It was mindless Reptard bumper sticker crap.  Sad, really sad.


Some Republicans are interested in catering to the libertarian vote.  Others aren't,  And others want to give libertarians the boot. 

Which way the GOP will move is yet to be determined.

Which way the GOP is moving? Really, you didn't get the memo?

With the election of Michael Steele, the Party leadership and grassroots-driven state party leaders have spoken, Stephen.

It's to move toward the center.  It's to move AWAY from the divisive issues that soc-cons brought to the Party in the 1990s.  It's to move toward moderate, electable candidates while milking those fringe political subsets of all their stinking, filthy lucre and giving high-fives to the TeaParty movement.  It's to remind party GOP regulars that soc-cons ruined the brand and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a county convention again... let alone be allowed to run for state delegate.

It's to make a competitive mark in the PR wars with the Democrats.  It's to let the Democrat Congress and Obama give Americans all the reasons they need to regret their vote.  It's to point out that Obama and ACORN stole the 2008 election with vote fraud unparalleled in American annals of politics since the Chicago vote fraud in 1960 that elected John Kennedy illegally.

In short, to do what's necessary to win.  Not win someone's concept of a Purity Politics Beauty Contest.  To win office; it's what a Party is for, afterall.

I'm surprised you didn't get the memo... it was sent to the LibbieLoon headquarters in c/o your candidate for 2012... the incredible, electable BobBarr.

No political party can survive... exclusion. The challenge for the Republican party is to insure that all its members have a voice, that all can speak and that all are accurately heard. At present, the RNC is engaged in rebuilding its web presence. Let's hope this effort will allow all of its members to be heard. Only when the political aspirations of the members of the Republican party are accurately reflected by its leadership can the common good for all be achieved.

ex animo








"...hope this effort will allow all of its members to be heard"

We'll see what happens.  Obviously, the Lindsey Graham types (if you listen to the end of the video) don't want this to happen.

Stephen Gordon...

...I, too, am not holding my breath that the new RNC website is going to give the grassroot of the party their voice, allow them to speak, and most importantly of all, to be accurately heard. But if you don't ask before the fact, you lack the predicate to complain after the fact.

As I have mentioned here on previous occasions, I see the web site The People Decide as a good example of just how this can best be accomplished. It is still a work in progress, but if the RNC did something along these lines, that is, cybernetically allowed each member to act as if they were a voting member of Congress, their voices would be heard -- which is exactly why the corporate rulers of the Republican party would never allow such power to fall into the hands of their fellow grassroot party members.

ex animo








Your suggestion seems to be pretty much in line with what I'm hearing from Tea Party folks and otther local grassroots people.

Stephen Gorden...

Yes. The truth is, the only real political ideology Tea Partyers have in common is their fiscal conservatism. And many feel, as I do, we have been betrayed by Congressional Republicans who voted for the TARP.  And the only place for the grassroot of the party to call these members to account for their betrayal is at the ballot box. That is how the system works. When elected officials fail in their duty to the people who put them into office, it becomes not only the responsibility, but the duty of the people to remove them from office.  If we fail in this resolve, we have no right to complain. Like mindless lemmings headed towards the cliff, we deserve what we get.

This is the only true way to "reform" a political party that hasn't changed its political platform. Of course, those in power are going to try their best to convince you otherwise with all sorts of schemes to reform the party. But they are all merely smokescreens, designed to fool the grassroot membership into beleiving that "real" party reform has taken place. So it doesn't surprise me that McCain and his people over at the NCNA would think "listening tours" would be a good way to divert the party's grassroot membership from their real duty at hand.

ex animo


"It's those evil RINO GOP elites, I tell ya!!"

David, you're sounding more like Pat2Me!!! up in PA than anything approaching a sane, reasonable thinker.

The GOP elites aren't the problem.  You aren't part of the GOP base or grassroots anymore than BobBarr, DrDobsen or RushBlow.

If you really want your special voice heard, try honestly joining up with the LibbieLoon-atic Party, try getting their platform and agenda and candidates reformed to your special world vision... try selling that nonsense to more than just 510k voters in an election that saw over 129 million voters show up at the polls and vote.

.5m for the LibbieLoons out of 129 million voters?

It isn't the evil, non-listening GOP elites, David.  It's what you got, you can't sell; what you believe, the voters ain't buying.  So you attack the hypothetical GOP elites?

Talk about tilting at windmills.  Get over the LibertarianParty and do your best there-- and be sure to announce as you enter: "Bombs Away".  Because damage is all you'll do on the best days.

Thanks, again, Matt...

..for your erudite suggestion. But I have not said it was the GOP elites, nor even RINOs, destroying the party from within, but the corporate wing of the party, the corporate elites of the party. By following the Golden Rule*, they have been successful in pursuing their own political agenda of more taxes, more government, at the expense of the party's political platform of less taxes, less government.  And since we are, after all, at the Next Right website, one would think we should focus on why the Republican party is presently failing, not the Libertarian party.

That being said, it would seem logical to me that if we simply gave all party members a voice, allowed all to speak and to be accurately heard by the party's corporate leaders, this may, in fact, be the fastest remedy available to address this obvious structural imbalance of power within the party -- so that the common good of all can be achieved.

What say you?

ex animo


* He who has the gold, rules.

mucking up debate with wrong definitions

I am annoyed by the misuse of labels as a poor substitute for honest critique (*). This column continues the error of Mike Huckabee in confusing libertarians with 'fiscal conservatives' and mis-characterizing/mis-labeling  other parts of the party. 

Jon Henke put it: "libertarian cartoons that exist in Huckabee's head" - that's what it is. Club for Growth is NOT 'soulless' nor is it precisely libertarian. The column above make the error on adding confusion with its 'libertarian this' or libertarian that.  How about correcting hte terminology please -  Ron Paul REPUBLICANS, Club for Growth CONSERVATIVES,  Next Right CONSERVATIVES, Neal Boortz CONSERVATIVES. Lew Rockwell paleo-conservatives.

Perhaps the WORST absurdity was in an heated email exchange I witnessed lately, where a  RonPaul type made a statement in retort to an attack on libertarians causing problems in the GOP "libertarians are not conservatives" with "neo-cons are  not conservatives!"

Huh? A neo-conservative is not a conservative? oy vey! My head really hurt after that one.

For this particular fiscal small-govt conservative, Reagan Republican and full-bore pro-life conservative with many views that are consistently fiscal conservative, but not a 'zero tax' or "zero govt" person, I am aghast at Huckabee's hucksterish mis-labelling. And we dig the divisions DEEPER by creating labels that divide the conservative coalition rather than UNITE THE RIGHT, which is what we should be doing.

Fiscal small-govt conservatism is a core unifying principle/value of the GOP coalition. So is liberty, freedom and respect for constitutionalism and rule of law. So DeMint and Sanford are on solid ground here:

Freedom will mean different things to different Republicans, but it can tether a diverse coalition to inalienable principles.

As DeMint points out - the '3-legged stool' of national security, small-govt and rule-of-law/civil order/moral values are tethered to liberty as the core value. But that said, libertarians is more ideological and narrower term than small-government conservative. The term libertarianism adds baggage of libertine views on personal behavior that is baggage not unity for the GOP tent. As such, letting the Hucksters or for that matter extreme libertarians egg on the rhetorical division, by mislabelling small-govt conservatives as 'not conservatives at all' and attacking such beliefs will hurt those of us who want UNITY and not division on this matter.

We dont need so-con bashing, we dont need libertarian-bashing, we dont even need moderate (grassroots moderates) bashing per se. Multiple labels are welcome but the unifying concept should be "small-government conservative" ie one who believes in maximizing individual responsibility and freedom, and keeping govt taxes, spending, regulation and power limited. The various other labels/definitions take this base and go in different directions but are united in the general view of relations of the individual, community and the state.

(*) See RNC fiasco over calling Obama /Democrats 'socialist'.

a lot more libertarians around than you realize

"Ron Paul REPUBLICANS, Club for Growth CONSERVATIVES,  Next Right CONSERVATIVES, Neal Boortz CONSERVATIVES. Lew Rockwell paleo-conservatives."

Most Ron Paul supporters I know are self-identified libertarians.  I know LP members who donate to the Club for Growth.  There are self-described libertarians and the Next Right -- Jon Henke is a classic example.

Both Boortz and Rockwell are self-described libertarians.

Does this mean...

Does this mean that the bloggers on will stop calling libertarians "libtards"?


"...will stop calling libertarians 'libtards'?"

LOL.  I wouldn't count on it, though.


... is an insult to LIBERALS.

If you want to insult Libertarians, you call em Loser-tarians or something like that.


Insulting Libertarians isn't a wise thing to do; just

call them what they really are: LibbieLoon-atics.

That captures it all --or at least all they got-- in a nutshell.  If a irresponsible notion like replacing the US military and intelligence community with a 18th century notion of a well-regualted militia of citizens isn't the height of LibbieLoon-atic, I guess it would be dope legalization... or going back to the Gold Standard... it's almost as pathetic of the loons who think there is a "Libertarian Movement" abreast or that the GOP "needs" the LibbieLoon-atics.

What a bunch of losers looking for a second political party to destroy. The GOP doesn't need to move backwards in time... it needs to reform itself with the right, conventional message, move toward the political center because that's where Obama's impact on the American political culture will have taken us in 4 yrs and begin recruiting and supporting candidates who believe the best of America still awaits our manifest destiny.

Yep, LibbieLoon-atics nails it.  Perfectly.

So why would an Obama impacted political center...

...abandoned him in four years and vote for a corporate-financed, NCNA moderate tax-and-spend-even-more Republican?

Didn't McCain just lose an election following your advice?

ex animo


David, McCain lost because of disloyal, sit at home snits

I'm thinking you haven't been learning or listening... McCain lost because the GOP relied on the fact that soc-cons and farRight LibbieLoons would pull into line and vote against the realistic excesses promised in an Obama Administration.

Little did anyone know how fundamentally self-interested and disloyal those two groups of supposedly "base-GOPers" could become... I say supposedly because I sure as heck hope they are NO LONGER considered to be part of the GOP base.

McCain lost because of a tanked economy.  He lost because of an unpopular Prez.  He lost because soc-con GOPers in Congress ruined the Party brand.  He lost because he didn't go moderate enough --like dumping Palin before she became the polarizing choice of extremes.

You gotta listen and learn, first David.

Thanks, Matt, for the correction... I was thinking it was McCain's failure to entice enough independents that caused him to fail.

I was just hit with a post here the other day that insisted McCain actually did quite well with conservatives, even soc-cons due to their fear and loathing of Obama.

As for me, I think I will continue to believe McCain lost the support of many independents because he wasn't a Teddy Roosevelt, as he proclaimed himself to be, but a Franklin, when he raced back to Washington and sold this country out to socialism.

But the question remains: Why would an Obama impacted political center abandoned him in four years only to vote for a corporate-financed, NCNA, tax-and-spend-even-more Republican?

ex animo


don't you think it was a mix of factors?

McCain obviously won the youth and minority votes, and I think he was doing poorly among the far-right until he picked Palin. I think the votes he got because people were scared of Obama were probably canceled out by the people that stayed home, the true fiscal conservatives who knew the Republicans had strayed from their values (TARP) but couldn't bring themselves to vote for a Dem.

To your main point, you are correct, I don't think people that voted for Obama are going to abandon him.

the only thing that can get obama voters to switch would be a true fiscal conservative. i think it took a lot for obama to let GM and chrysler fail, and it will take a lot for someone in government to finally start to cut spending. if someone can come up with a real plan to fix social security or lower the budget (excluding war costs), that person will have a lot of support. right now, both parties increase spending so there isnt much of a difference.

Are you sure...

...McCain obviously won the youth and minority votes,

That being said, I think your analysis of what it will take to win is spot on.

 ex animo


haha just a typo


Love the image!



You've been busy on this thread.  You've got your catch-phrase insult that you repeat over and over again ("LibbeLoon").  And you're having a good time beating up strawmen ("grow dope down at the school yard", "back-stabbing", "isolationists" who "want to abdicate the Free World to the IslamoFascists" as we sit isolated with our "well regulated militia").  Yeah, right, that's what we want.  Sure.  An Islamic theocracy of dope-smokers who carry muskets in the town square on weekends.

So you've got your insult.  And you've got your talking points.  "Run to the middle".  "We wanna be the party that wins!"  References to Jack Kemp (that's the third Jack Kemp reference I've read in the last two days, which is interesting.  Guess he looks better now that he's dead).  You could be parroting a Lindsey Graham speech.

But then you have the nerve to talk of the core value of small government.  You people talk about small government but then you lie through your teeth.  You've done nothing but increase the government's size to the tune of multi-trillion dollar budgets.  Your version of the middle has nothing to do with "smaller" (let alone small) government.   Your version of a strong national defense requires spending a trillion dollars to keep troops in 130 countries.  Your version of a free market requires an $800 billion dollar bail-out package and a central bank that starts up the printing presses.  And I'm talking about the Republicans here.  

Basically, you're a Republicrat.  You're what we used know as a war-hawk democrat.  We know your kind and frankly you're nothing but a monkey-boy.  We've been been watching you "win" elections for years.  And to what point?  So you can be a Democrat-lite?

So score your little debating points about "dope-smoking militias".  Your kind will debase the currency,  destroy the middle class, and leave our grand-kids to pick up the mess.  

So, monkey-boy, convince us that your "middle" is not just democrat-lite.  Convince us that you're not a RINO.  What government programs are you going to cut to get the budget back in place?  What military program are you not going to fund?  How are you going to handle medi-care?  What do you think of the Fed and currency debasement?  

Or maybe you'd rather talking about growing dope in theocratic schoolyards while marching around with muskets.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  Pay no attention to the monkey-boys writing bad checks to everybody.  Cause they're in the middle of it all.  And boy are they.  More precisely, they're at the center of it all.

More to the point.  This huge government leviathan is your friggin fault.  Sack up and admit it.

Dan Hansen, insults never get you ahead.

Dan offers: "Yeah, right, that's what we want.  Sure.  An Islamic theocracy of dope-smokers who carry muskets in the town square on weekends".

Ever been to a Libertarian Party function?  You described it perfectly already.  Of course, if your posterBoi of a "man", DOCTOR CrazyUncleRon, had gotten into office, the IslamoFascists would have been running terror cells in America again because he was against the Bush Doctrine and policies which have kept American citizens safe since 9-11. I hate to say this Dan, but just on that point alone --skip all the others you try to raise-- you guys lose the most fundamental, core issue of the day and should be stamped on your forehaeds with the word "Failure".  Remember, you guys would like to eliminate the FBI, IRS, CIA, NSA, etc. and turn the military into a citizen-based militia armed with Uzis and 500 round banana clips... "no gun laws".

National security, American leadership of the Free World and embracing our destiny to be that Shining City on the Hill that Reagan dreamed about isn't compatible with Libertarian Party policies.  Pure and simple.  Failure is your worst enemy but constant bedmate.

Now, as for programs to cut? There are billions of dollars worth... where to start?  Farm subsidies?  Expensive multi-service military weapons programs? Foreign aid? The entire Energy Dept... Education Dept... countless federal agencies? Sure.  Put the natl museums on a pay-as-you-go basis? Sure.  Privatize the National Centers of health, CDC, etc? Sure. Reduce all federal budgets by 25%? Sure.  Cut federal pensions? Sure.  Eliminate SS payroll taxes if the individual agrees not use services later? Sure.  Cut out every single Natl cultural program (NPR, NCH, NCA, etc)? Sure.  Downsize Congressional and Judicial and Executive staff? Sure... as long as it's more than the 25%.  Zero-based budgeting? Sure.  Eliminate earmarks entirely --not just the growth of earmarks? Sure.

There's a lot to be done, Dan.  Can it be done by Libertarians who can't seem to get past amusing 510k voters in the ENTIRE USofA?  Nope.  Can it be done by GOPers?  Sure.

Do Libertarians want to be a part of that sea-change reform? They can if they're willing to man-up, admit their disloyalty to the Party and agree NOT to undercut the GOP in the future.  And drop all these stupid, politically suicidal calls for purity politics and "defeat da' RINOs" as a political goal worthy of consideration by anyone other than the LibbieLoon-atics.

Oh... and they have to hog-tie BobBarr and DOCTORCrazyUncleRon together and parade them through the town square as our newest VillageIdiots.

That's the ticket.  Yeah, that works for me.


The irony of a troll in a political comments area hectoring me on web etiquette is  quite good.  The lighter of your monkey-boy'ness.

Eliminating the entire federal education department is considered a very conservative position.  If you run on a platform based on removing these departments then you will not be running to the middle.  If Mitt Romney starts talking that way in a general election I would be surprised.

If you really take these budgetary positions then you have a lot more in common with your crazy uncle than you're willing to admit.

Vis a vis your fear of muslims.  The United States was safe from Islamic fundamentalists prior to 9/11; it continues to be so.  Al Qaeda had one (unsuccessful) bombing attempt in the U.S. in the 1990's.  They had one (terribly successful) terrorist attack in 9/11.  The success of the latter attack was due to our passive no-resistance approach to plane hijackings which had been formulated under the notion that hijackers were not suicide bombers.  That policy has been fixed - 9/11 will not happen again.

The invasion of Iraq was done for a variety of reasons but it was most certainly not done to make America safer.  The initial completely bogus argument was WMD directed against the United States (including the infamous Rumsfeldian "they will send biochemical bombs on fleets of ultra-lights" comment).  The second was a known-to-be-bogus connection between the Ba'ath party and Wahhabism.  The third was W. going off on a Wilsonian democracy jihad - this was the infamous "they will greet us with flowers" nonsense.

i don't know if you can win with the Fear Card in the next election.  That's the question, isn't it?  Listening to Graham and tracking his spoor it certainly looks like the national party will try.  Given that we have a Rove-friend running the party here is Colorado I imagine I will hear a lot of that talk in the upcoming year.  That's what Bob Schieffer was feeding us in his senate campaign (which he lost).

If you run on the Fear platform you will lose again to the democrats.  But perhaps I'm wrong.  It did work in 2004 after all.

I do like the way you talk on the budget.  Even better than forked tongue talk - when the GOP has a majority of both houses and the presidency you might push your elected Republican reps not to run up the budget by trillions of dollars (e.g., the Bush years).

Even better - throw the neocons out.  Put in some real conservatives.  Yeah.  That's the ticket.




Bob Schaffer

Bob Schaffer.  That's embarrassing.  Apologies to Mr. Schaffer for misspelling his name.