Free Markets, Free People

Damned Libertarians! (Updated)

That’s the basic message of a post by Melissa Clouthier blasting those who voted for Bob Barr.

Here, let me quote her:

Don’t blame me!” Bellowed one of my redneck relatives,” I voted for Ross Perot!” Did ya now? And that vote wasn’t a “screw you” vote, that felt inwardly satisfying while it also served Bill Clinton the presidency on a nice, silver platter (the one taking a prominent position on a shelf in his sprawling residence out on Long Island)? Oh no! It was a vote of conscience. It was a morally superior vote. Sniff.

Have conservatives, libertarians, and other factions on the Right learned nothing from history?

So now, people are coming out of the woodwork saying, “Don’t blame me! I voted for Bob Barr!” I ask you, Is that something to be proud of?

You know, when you start something like this, it is usually best to have the facts at hand so you don’t say something silly like:

President Obama is a disaster for America and I hold those who voted for Bob Barr every bit as accountable as if the so-called principled person voted for Barack Obama himself. It was a vote that aided and abetted an enemy of freedom. How can a freedom-loving person be proud of this?

Bob Barr pulled all of 511,324 votes. Statistically that’s 0% of the electorate. Had every Bob Barr voter voted for John McCain, he’d have ended up with 58,854,995 votes instead of 58,343,671 to Obama’s 66,882,230.

Apparently Clouthier believes that libertarians are a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP and due a righteous lecture for their lack of support.

It may be time for a little reality check for the good doctor.

A) Obviously if every vote Barr got had gone to McCain, it wouldn’t have increased McCain’s final count by even a percentage point. So the attempt to blame your abysmally poor GOP candidate’s abysmally poor showing on Barr voters is technically a non-starter.

B) The reason the GOP sucked so badly in the last election has absolutely nothing to do with Bob Barr and/or libertarians.  It had to do with how poorly your party governed.  Like most libertarians I haven’t voted for a Republican since Reagan. And frankly what happened to the size of government under Reagan is one reason why. Bush compounded the problem (Medicare Part D? “No Child Left Behind”?) and the eternally squishy McCain promised more of the same.

C) The only reason libertarians even somewhat identify with your party is because it sometimes pretends to be concerned about less spending and smaller government. Unfortunately, as I imply above, the GOP mostly just talks the talk and rarely walks the walk.

D) The GOP picked John McCain, not libertarians. John McCain was the worst of all worlds and your party gave him the nod. He was a candidate who had once been considered as a VP pick for John Kerry for heaven sake! He proved he was an enemy of the 1st Amendment with his campaign finance bill. His definition of “compromise” was to give the Democrats what they want.

E) Libertarians don’t owe the GOP a damned thing. You want libertarian support?  Then quit whining and lecturing and earn it! Put up candidates that actually do what you claim to want to do in terms of spending and the size of government. Yeah, that’s right – cut spending drastically and reduce the size of government radically and then you can start asking why libertarians aren’t supporting the GOP. Then you’ll have grounds to do so. But until then – we owe you nothing.

Barack Obama sits in the White House not because of Bob Barr or the libertarian vote. He sits there because the GOP has completely and totally failed to live up to its claimed philosophy and its word for decades. John McCain’s nomination told libertarians all they needed to know about the lack of seriousness within the GOP to remedy that situation.

If the GOP wants libertarian votes, then it had better mend its ways. We don’t do “tents” and we don’t do “plantations” and we don’t belong to the GOP. You want us, you’d better do what it takes to get us – and you’re not even close right now.

UPDATE:  Melissa Clouthier graciously acknowledges my criticism and for the most part understands the reason for it. She does, however, ask a couple of questions that deserve an answer and make a couple off remarks that deserve comment.

A Barr vote did nothing except register discontent.

Really? So those who voted for Barr couldn’t conceivably have been voting “for” something, only “registering discontent”?

With that bit of disrespect as a preface, here are the questions:

What about the next election? You know, when there are more impure Republicans? Do the libertarians plan to vote for an independent or vote for a Democrat?

Well now that it is hopefully clear that libertarians will actually vote for something and not just “register discontent”, the answer should be obvious. So here’s a question for the GOP – who do you plan to run that will cause us to vote for you? The ball is in your court, not ours.

All I’m saying is that McCain WOULD be better than Obama and I don’t want to see the Right fracture into delusion that nets us socialists in charge. That is worse. Much worse. It is worse right now.

In the case of McCain, “would be better” is really a non-starter of an argument for him among libertarians. In defeat, of course, he’s suddenly sounding Republican again, but McCain is a Snowe/Collins “Republican” from way back. Frankly I think you’ll find most libertarians believe that Obama and McCain are equally awful, just in different areas.

But the Libertarians don’t help anything by flopping around at the edges and indulging in third party fantasies. Libertarians needs to put their formidable energy into the Republican party at the bottom and take the party back to constitutional greatness.

Fixing the GOP is your job, not ours – you need to quit trying to outsource it. Libertarians have no desire to be a part of the GOP per se because there is enough not to like to keep us away. But libertarians will support a GOP that commits itself to the principles of less spending, smaller government and less government intrusion. But only when the GOP actually does something about them – find and run a candidate who actually believes in those principles and elect Republicans to Congress who will help he or she act on those principles.

Until then libertarians aren’t going to support the GOP. You can call it “flopping around the edges” or whatever you wish, but that won’t change the fact that until the GOP actually does the hard work of recreating itself in alignment with its stated principles it can’t expect support from libertarians just because the GOP thinks the Democrat’s candidate is worse than theirs.

~McQ

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60 Responses to Damned Libertarians! (Updated)

  • I didn’t even vote for Bob Barr.  His history in the ‘War on Drugs’ kept me from supporting him.  I know he came out and said he was wrong about that.  I also remember his saying something along the lines of, “I learned more about the Constitution hanging out with Libertarians than I did while serving in congress.”  And how many years was he a congressman who hadn’t bothered to learn about the Constitution?  Thanks, but no thanks.
    I stayed home.  Some people will say that since I didn’t vote I can’t complain.  The hell I can’t.  No matter who got picked I’d still get screwed.  I’m tired of voting for the least undesirable candidate and I won’t do that anymore.  If it means the worst rises to the top then so be it.  The runner up is still that.  A runner up to being the worst.
    As long as the DNC, the GOP, or the LP put up losers I’ll stay home.  Don’t put the blame on me for the parties picking losers.  Stop picking losers if you want my vote.

  • Eh, I didn’t want any of the democrats so badly (and didn’t want most of the republicans!) that I actually registered republican so I could vote for Fred in the primaries.
    My first presidential election was Clinton, and I voted for a random third party over those clowns…

  • “abysmally poor showing” – was it really that bad, especially coming off Bush and versus rockstar Obama with 150% MSM support?

  • “C) The only reason libertarians even somewhat identify with your party is because it sometimes pretends to be concerned about less spending and smaller government. Unfortunately, as I imply above, the GOP mostly just talks the talk and rarely walks the walk.”

    Aint that the truth!

  • Not to be disrespecful of Libertarians, but it is not even clear if the GOP truly needs their support in order to win. It seems the case that Bush won his last election by pumping up the turnout of his base- especially evangelicals. And it also seems the case that McCain lost in large part  (but not solely) because the natural GOP base declined to turn out.

    But yeah, if the GOP really wants you, they need to earn your vote.

    • I’d contend it depends on which way the GOP wants to win. If they want to be Democrat lite and go after the squishy middle with a candidate that was supposed to appeal to that constituency, they now know how well (46%) that model works for them.

      But to your point, yes, you’re probably right about the numbers v. libertarians.

  • It seems that we are supposed to be “strategic” voters whenever the GOP candidate is horrible. Which, just coincidentally, happens to be all the time.

    • Precisely Joe – which is why I thought it important to make it clear that if that’s the conventional wisdom within the GOP they need to revise it quickly.

  • But the Libertarians don’t help anything by flopping around at the edges and indulging in third party fantasies. Libertarians needs to put their formidable energy into the Republican party at the bottom and take the party back to constitutional greatness.

    Fixing the GOP is your job, not ours – you need to quit trying to outsource it.

    If you’re waiting for a political coalition to exercise power according to the preferences of a group as averse to exercising power as the libertarians, you may be waiting a while.

    A reliable LP vote doesn’t signal either major party to reform.  People who use their LP votes conditionally in a given election act as a slightly stronger signal of voter preferences, indicating a particularly strong LP candidate or a particularly un-libertarian field of Republicans and Democrats.  But even they almost never change the outcome of an election, even a relatively close one.

    If libertarians are just offering occasional support, then I’ll tell you exactly how it’s going to go: Each party will pay lip service to libertarians, but will only really support limiting government power while the other party is exercising it.  Once in power, they will use the power of the state to make political payoffs and buy new votes.

    If libertarians don’t become candidates or staffers, the party isn’t going to behave in a libertarian fashion when it comes to power.  Personnel is policy.

  • I thought that it was the kind of blind allegiance from people like the chiropractor here that got the GOP to the place they’re in now.
     
    Cheers.

  • McQThe reason the GOP sucked so badly in the last election has absolutely nothing to do with Bob Barr and/or libertarians.  It had to do with how poorly your party governed.  Like most libertarians I haven’t voted for a Republican since Reagan. And frankly what happened to the size of government under Reagan is one reason why. Bush compounded the problem (Medicare Part D? “No Child Left Behind”?) and the eternally squishy McCain promised more of the same.

    Perhaps I’m a little… um… draconian or even downright sadistic, but I’d like to brand this on the forehead of every Republican member of Congress, Michael Steele, and George Bush.

    Bryan PickI’ll tell you exactly how it’s going to go: Each party will pay lip service to libertarians, but will only really support limiting government power while the other party is exercising it.  Once in power, they will use the power of the state to make political payoffs and buy new votes.

    This is the fundamental problem with our government: BOTH parties are into using power to mold, shape and otherwise force American society to fits its own utopian ideal.  This is because the majority of our people have gotten the idea that this is the proper role of government.  Whether it’s the democrats forcing all of us to be “virtuous” by paying for a bunch of deadbeats or the GOP forcing us to be “virtuous” in the way we live our lives, both sides are about forcing us.  I confess that I find the GOP ideal to be MUCH more palatable that the socialist workers dictatorship paradise dictatorship that the dems want, but I’ve stopped fooling myself that the GOP is any less about running my life than the democrats.

    I’m not sure where to go.  It seems to me that the best (perhaps only) useful role that the libertarians have is one of educating the public: tell people WHY small, limited, unintrusive government is ideal for the American people.  This is a tough job, especially since neither of the two major parties is interested in allowing this “pernicious” philosophy to take root, and will be enthusiastically joined by MiniTru in trying to convince everybody that it’s just a lot of crazy talk by a handful of extremists who are only interested in being able to legally smoke dope.

  • 53-46 with the aforementioned MSM, plus 35 million in illegal campaign contributions after he disabled any sort of verification on his website, plus the ACORN chicanery in multiple jurisdictions? Wasn’t exactly a blowout either…..

  • I agree with pretty much everything you wrote here, except possibly: “Frankly I think you’ll find most libertarians believe that Obama and McCain are equally awful, just in different areas.”

    I am probably more moderate than a lot of ‘libertarians’ (and certainly Libertarians, as in party members) — in fact, I think you and I are in accord on most issues. But I think I have a pretty good feel for the general climate of libertarian thought (from being a regular reader of Reason amongst other outlets). I think most would acknowledge (rightfully, in my opinion) that McCain is by far the lesser of two evils. Mainly, because I think most libertarians view free market economics as the bedrock of freedom in general, and most think McCain would represent those interests better.

    Anyway, to regress to the ad hominem, who the hell is “Doctor” Melissa Clouthier? Finding a stupid opinion expressed on a blog is quite like finding sh*t in a birdcage. And I think it’s quite pretentious for anyone, much less a chiropractor, to preface every instance of their name with the (highly dubious in this case) appellation of “doctor”!

  • I am sure Dr. Clouthier is, or soon will be, a rising star in official Rep. party circles. Blaming their defeats on the ignorant voters rather than their own errors or incompetence is pretty standard for the Rep. nomenklatura.

    I used to be a Rep. I regularly volunteered for their candidates, etc.
    This attitude is one reason that I no longer support or vote for them. I have seen this attitude in several states. I will no longer be condescended to by hypocrits, liars, and pompous self-serving ignorant political hacks. If they want my vote, they can get the old fashioned way–by earning it. As Clarence Thomas said (I think), ‘I don’t work on your plantation’.

    Perhaps the good Dr. should brush up on her Shakespeare;

    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our voters, but in ourselves”
    (My apologies to Mr. S.)

    • PS

      At least in my state, the decline in registered Rep.’s and contributions would seem to indicate that other Rep.s share my opinion. It ain’t just Libertarians that vote for write-in candidates or NOTA.

  • Doubtlessly, the dedicated “libertarian” base is at present a small minority in the country, but votes for Libertarian Party candidates is not an accurate measure of its size. That discounts the libertarians who either (a) vote for Republican (or Democratic) candidates for realpolitik reasons, or (b) don’t vote at all out of disgust at their available options.

    The GOP hasn’t in the recent past needed libertarians to win elections, but that’s not necessarily an accurate model for the future. It would be foolish to think that a shift toward libertarianism, particularly in economic and budgetary matters, is impossible. Political thought is dynamic, and Americans are reactionary. Both parties have been playing Jenga with numerous houses of cards over the past several decades, and it is only a matter before those come crashing down. One just did, and it was a small one by comparison to the others that remain (Social Security and deficit spending, for example). Slowly, it will dawn on the American people that both parties are culpable to various degrees of propping up systems they knew were untenable in the long term. If we could go back in time, I suppose we could ask the Whigs and the Federalists about their unassailable political dominance.

  • To “libertarians”: The reason why your “Reagan” will never appear is because you’ll never compromise with the rest of the GOP in the primaries. As soon as some Ron Paul/Bob Barr shows up, BOOM! All libertarians vote for him, which means that the REAL ACTUAL GOP CANDIDATE will besome piece of trash like McCain. Seriously, you guys need to face it. At the time being, as in 2008, all we can do is just promote “more libertarian” candidates among the GOP. Even if it’s no Ron Paul or Bob Barr, Guiliani vs. Obama or Romney vs. Obama would have been better than whatever actually happened had in 2008. You guys need to quit moaning at the GOP and realize that it is, in fact, the only thing we have against the tide of socialism. You want Reagan? Be prepared to comprise. And EARLY ON.

    • Nice general hand-wave there. Some libertarians are going to always vote for the libertarian candidate. That’s because they’re … wait for it … libertarians. Get over it.

      Others, however, understand that there are acceptable types of candidates from the GOP which we can support. It’s your job, if you want that vote, to provide them.

      And, btw, we’re not the one’s “moaning”. We’re the one’s being chastised for not voting for that piss-poor candidate you put up last time.

    • First, tell me again, on what party ticket did Ron Paul run in the last election….?

      Your premise that Giuliani would have been better than Obama doesn’t make any sense from a libertarian standpoint, and if that’s the conclusion the Republican Party draws it is going to have a longer tenure in the wilderness than it otherwise would. A Giuliani (or whichever other fiscally liberal Republican) administration may have been slightly less rapacious in the short term, but it’d still be nothing more than a slight hitch in the explosive growth in size, spending, and intrusiveness of the government. Look back over the past decades, you’ll see that Republicans more conservative than Giuliani who were guilty of continuing that trend.

      Maybe, hopefully, the Republicans will realize that they can be punished for offering essentially the same things as the Democrats. In a two-party system, their role is to act as a counterbalance, and from a financial standpoint, the Republicans failed miserably at that. The GOP has strayed far from what should be their core principles, and now they (and all of us) are paying the price for their dalliances — disastrous flirtations with big government and profligate spending. Hopefully in the long run, it will bring back real competition in American politics, and our country will be stronger for it.

  • Yeah I want that Libertarian Vote…all .3% of it…how oh how do I get it?

    Give me Bob Barr, Ron Paul, and Michael Badnarik babee, give them to me and more and all of their literally HUNDREDS of followers!

    It is to laugh…I like this site, I like certain libertarian ideas, but to think that the GOP should court a bunch of legalistic goobs whose philosophy verges on tax = theft, is absurd.

    • 62% of people self-identify as either Republican or Democrat. That leaves 38%. I’m certain more than 0.3% would consider themselves libertarian.

    • Absolutely right, Joe. The GOP should court people who want bigger government, because there’s a lot more of them. 

      In fact, I’m pretty sure that was George Bush’s governing strategy. It worked so well that the GOP is now at its lowest ebb since the 1960s.

      And the fact that Reagan and the 1994 Congress won by vigorously advocating libertarian-leaning principles? Sheerest coincidence, I’m sure. 

      • Well here’s a news flash, at least one study shows that those members of Congress most PRO-LIFE, are also, consistently, the most for LOW-TAXES…and the most Pro-Choice, also the most High Tax…

        CONSERVATIVES, not Libertarians, describes them….one can be in favour of over-turning Roe V. Wade, fighting the War on Drugs, and STILL for small government. You create a straw man….but thanks for playing.

        Yeah 38% of the voters may not be R or D or Conservative or Liberal…but look at the voting track record…Libertarians get FEWER VOTES THAN THE GREEN PARTY. Be still my heart, let us get that .3% or FEWER votes!

        22% of voters are “libertarian” I’m one of them, and have NEVER voted for the LP! And the reason(s) is/are clear…listening to Ron Paul or visiting a libertarian web site is all the reason I never have, and most people who are “libertarian” never will vote for a l/Libertarian.

        Libertarianism is the anti-Marxism of our age…a legalistic, millennial, formulaic intellectual dogma that afflicts the over-educated…it is no different than the Marxism that infests faculty lounges across America. It is just as real-world grounded and useful.

        • Well, I think Ron Paul is whacked. One can be libertarian and still recognize that. The reason I started coming here instead of places such as Hit and Run is precisely because there are libertarians that are dogmatic and cannot be satisfied. So you’re the guy with a strawman argument, assuming that all libertarians are Ron Paul zombies.

          I maintain that such people are outnumbered heavily by those who lean libertarian and don’t embrace several mainline conservative principles. They don’t buy the definition that life begins at conception, they recoil in horror from creationism, and they think people ought to be able to run their own lives, meaning that if someone wants to smoke some weed, it’s nobody else’s business as long as they’re discreet about it.

          So they already don’t buy a lot of what the supposedly-conservative Republicans are trying to sell. But they might swallow a lot of that if Republicans actually did anything to promote freedom and small government. That’s where it appears to me that your argument goes seriously wrong. You conflate “conservatives” with “the Republican Party”, which is simply wrong. The GOP is not conservative, and hasn’t been since about 1998. So pointing out what a good conservative you are, and how you don’t like those wacko libertarians, is a complete diversion from the problem. You ought to be attempting to make some common cause with libertarian leaning people on the areas that there is substantial agreement, which means pro-freedom, small government principles.

          Instead, libertarian leaners see Republicans start up programs such as No Child Left Behind and Medicare Rx, and increase federal spending faster than Democrats! So the Republican’s credibility with small-government advocates is shot. It’s up to the GOP to earn it back. You can talk all day about “conservative principles”, but I can’t see what that has to do with the argument, since the GOP doesn’t show any.   

          Railing about how dogmatic those extremist libertarians are is utterly beside the point, Joe. The GOP has lost it’s way! All it has to do to bring back those pro-freedom, libertarian-leaning voters is to get back to small government principles. And I for one do not believe the current GOP establishment, infested with men who have been assimilated by the Beltway collective, is capable of doing that. Therefore they get no support from me, because I’d be spending my time and money helping someone whose only selling point is that they take away my freedom and my money somewhat slower than the other guys.

          Those are the votes the Republican Party is throwing away. Most of these people don’t follow politics that closely, because they have so rarely seen any politician, including any Republicans, support genuine pro-freedom principles. (A few talk a good game, but a vanishingly small number actually walk the walk.)

          Many of them voted Republican during the 1980s (I did), and the landslide GOP wins in 1994 were due in no small part to those people becoming energized enough about the GOP’s small government principles to support it. But the GOP turned their back on these voters by the end of the nineties. Enough hung around to give Bush his wins, and then they saw that “compassionate conservatism” = “socialism by the scenic route”.

          So those people are on the bench. Do you want them to stay there? If so, hey, that’s fine, it your party, so to speak. But I’m telling you, Joe – Republicans are driving away people who believe in freedom. Now, the other party specializes in attracting people who don’t believe in freedom, so I don’t see how the current GOP path can possibly lead to success.

          • Then I wouldn’t call them libertarians…I’d call them “Conservatives”.

          • They don’t buy the definition that life begins at conception, they recoil in horror from creationism, and they think people ought to be able to run their own lives, meaning that if someone wants to smoke some weed, it’s nobody else’s business as long as they’re discreet about it.

            Well, if this fits your definition of conservative, you’re a lot more broad minded than the people at Free Republic.

            So, fine, rephrase the questions in your terms. Why is the GOP driving away libertarians conservatives? Why should libertarians conservatives support the GOP until they begin genuinely supporting freedom and limited government? Should libertarians conservatives support candidates such as McCain who demonstrate the contempt for freedom by creating restrictions on free speech?

  • This is a semantic debate. First, who cares about “libertarians?” They ain’t voting for the GOP. And secondly, we certainly can’t blame them for Obama. After all Bob Barr got what, 200 votes? WOW! According to Wikipedia Bob Barr got 523,000 votes! Had we only got his voters victory would have been McCain’s!

    No this isn’t about blaming people who voted for Bob Barr, if it is it’s a silly debate. Bob Barr is a doofus, who got very few votes, he got .87% of McCain’s votes.

    Like everyone else in the GOP Tent, McQ is trying to make HIS group the “important” group…”if only MY group ran things we’d have won. YOUR group is dangerous and cost us the election.” Well it’s obvious that libertarians or Libertarians aren’t a particularly important group.

    This is really about CONSERVATIVES…Someone started a rant about how the GOP isn’t Conservative…OK, it isn’t…I’m not arguing from a GOP standpoint, at least a GOP stand point alone. I’m just saying libertarians aren’t the “fo Shizzle” in this electoral mix.

    It was the lack of CONSERVATIVE votes, not libertarians that sank McCain…Lotsa of us stayed home…I almost did. I’m pretty dumb…not smart like so many libertarians who voted for Obama, like Buckley’s kid…and I try not divide the Conservative Camp up, you know Fiscal Con’s, Soc-Cons…Neo-Cons…I’m just a dumb ole Conservative. I like bombing the Taliban, cutting my taxes, opposing pot smoking, opposing Gay Marriage, opposing Open Borders, and mayhap making the Federal Gub’mint a mite smaller….you know a CONSERVATIVE. Now some of that there ain’t really libertarian ‘cuz it interferes with yore personal rights…sorry ‘bout that. But I figure we’d be a whole lot better off with Conservatives running the place than the current crew or Libertarians. An’ since libertarians or Libertarians have as much chance of election and control of the government as monkeys have of flying outta McQ’s butt, well then I invite you’all libertarians to hold yore noses and join up with us hom-phobic, bible thumpers an vote…well most likely for the GOP.

    Bottom-line: I don’t blame Bob Barr OR his voters….I blame McCain and Hastert…they de-energized the base…the CONSERVATIVES. And it is to the base, Conservatives, not some odd little overly intellectual grouping of “libertarians” the Nation needs to look, or more specifically the GOP…because the Democrats aren’t going to be looking at bitter Religious Clingers with guns. Now all you folks here can vote as you see fit, but I will say you do better INSIDE a party than outside it, throwing rocks.

    • Like everyone else in the GOP Tent, McQ is trying to make HIS group the “important” group…”

      That’s what I love about you GOPers … you consistently don’t get it.

      I’m not in your tent, Joe. Apparently, however, you guys aren’t either. Which explains your present position. The “tent” you keep yacking about is empty. It contains only a nice set principles that none of you follow. Heal yourself and perhaps you will have a tent full of disparate groups trying to make their group the “important group”.

      But right now … I really don’t care about you or your tent. And I’m damn sure not going to take blame for what your party did to lose so badly.

      • GOP tent 59 MILLION votes
        Libertarian Tent 500 THOUSAND votes…

        I am d@ming with faint praise…I don’t blame all you l/Libertarians who didn’t vote GOP, I blame the GOP…It’s silly to blame one half million voters and a small crowd of hangers-on for McCain’s defeat. I don’t…I just don’t see y’all as anything near the salvation of anything either…

        Bottom-Line: nearly sixty MILLION folks voted for the loser GOP…a number fewer than the 16th largest city in the US voted for the Libertarian…who’s closer to being in charge? And who should the GOP care about?

  • Dropped a line from my post, sorry…so whose tent is empty McQ???????????????????

  • Yeah no interset in the tent that may run the Congress after 2010 and the POTUS after 2012…I guess your interest is in telling us what we “should be doing” not in actually DOING anything.

    Review your position and if another person were saying this you’d find it laughable, McQ…

    • Really? Heh …

      In reality I find nothing laughable about the shape the GOP is in. I find it to be unfortunate as hell. But until they come back to their stated principles and actually do something to earn my vote, I’ll leave it to true believers like you to continue to think that John McCain is the answer and dutifully shuffle on into the voting booth to pull the lever.

  • Did I say McCain was the answer…please review my postings I don’t believe you’ll find me saying McCain was the answer. I believe I BLAMED McCain and Hastert for the current situation. Who I did not and do not blame are Libertarians…they are such a small body of voters as to be all but invisible.

    What I DO say is that being “more libertarian” isn’t going to get the GOP into power…being more CONSERVATIVE will, and that may mean lower taxes, a smaller government…but it will NOT mean an end to the War on Drugs, or Open Borders, or Gay Marriage, or an acceptance of state’s passing Medical Marijuana Laws…in short it won’t be very libertarian. You guyz might want to sign on anyway…again better to be INSIDE the tent, than outside of it shaking your fist(s). But that’s up to you.

    And it is to laugh to hear a libertarian lament the state of the GOP…really tell me when was the last time a libertarian won the POTUS????? Oh yeah…can ANYONE name ANYTHING l/Libertarians run? Oh yeah you can talk about the 1,000-plus ELECTED libertarians in office…but can you point out anything libertarians run???? No, I didn’t think so….because you don’t. From Dog Catcher to Congress there may be libertarians there, but they have no power…heck the Socialists/Independents can make a better claim…I believe they have 1 US Senator….and that’s infinitely more power than libertarians wield.

    So exactly who ought I pay attention to, McQ and a bunch of libertarians that aren’t likely to stay voters or the more centrist Country Club Republicans? Who votes and who gives me money is who I pay attention to. Right now I hear a lot of complaining, but don’t see a lot of reasons to pay attention to the complaining? Mayhap libertarians ought to take a page from the Daily Kossaks. They vote and contribute to DEMOCRATS, even as they excoriate them for being spineless and DINO’s…I think they have more power than libertarians. But again that’s your call, not mine. You want a place at the table, I’d recommend that you guyz find a party and stick with it…otherwise you’re just free-loaders…once the GOP/Democrats has power you’re willing to tell them how to wiled it, eh? Pretty good work if you can get it, just politics don’t work that way. Pay some dues, pay some money, work some elections, THEN you can talk.

  • Yeah I voted McCain-PALIN…had it just been McCain-(Insert Generic GOP Drone Here) I might have stayed home. Is your point that YOU were too good to vote for the lesser of two weasels and so you didn’t vote or that you threw your vote to Barr?

    MY TENT is going somewhere McQ YOUR tent is going to sit and continue to whine and moan and kvetch…but get no one in office. If you want to be PURE, go right ahead, be pure and be POWERLESS.

    As I say, the GOP needs more CONSERVTIVES not more libertarians. If we get the libertarian vote that’s fine, but it’s icing on the cake…and only useful IF for every libertarian we get we don’t lose 1.05 voters….in short you guyz need to bring more votes than you cost to the table. But you gotta bring some voters, not cost voters and not vote GOP one year and then, decide you’ll more “comfortable” voting for Badnarik/Barr…

    In short do you want to play politics or do you want to just be a part of a neato-squeato debating club? Until YOUR team can demonstrate something of value to my team, I really don’t see the need to lament your loss.

    • Yeah I voted McCain-PALIN…

      Oh yeah, that makes all the difference. A bit like saying “I voted for Obama- BIDEN”, like that would make any difference.

      Sheesh.

      • So tell me McQ what did your vote do to prevent the current train wreck? EXACTLY how many of your policy prescriptions have YOU had put into law? To the extent that what you support as good Public Policy has it been thru the efforts fo the Democrat or Republican Parties? So, in short, aren’t you a free-loader? And if you contribute little to EITHER party, why should either party care to court you or your vote?

        This is an ego thread…”Oh-OH someone trashed us Libertarians. We still count for something.”

        No not really….thanks for playing, though. Feel free to adhere to a political philosophy that has few adherents and whose major accomplishments have been at the hands of others. Certainly it’s your right, but please don’t expect anyone from the major parties to take you seriously, as a party or a governing philosophy….

        You can only complain of what the Republicans did to lose power…wow! What a sad admission…it simply means that you have no power of your own….You are a NASCAR fan who wants to be a driver, but can’t afford the car, so you sit near pit row and complain about the other teams. It’s why you like “Divided Government” because what you believe can’t govern…so you seek to prevent anyone else from governing. You can’t generate a governing coalition, my party has…Barak Obama has….you tell me who is going to do more for this or To this country… the “libertarians” who can’t even govern a school board or the Democrats or the Republicans? Yours is the empty caviling of a powerless minority….a minority that seeks to use power that it has not acquired.

        Your “hero” ought to be Tom Hayden…instead you simply complain about the party that is in opposition, because sadly your philosophy is so tiny and powerless it can’t even be thought of as “opposition” at all. Yours is a boutique a political philosophy and if it’s ever to be anything more than that it’s going to take a lot of work and tremendous amount of compromise, on the part of libertarians.

  • Both McQuain and Clouthier are playing fast and lose with the facts.

    Clouthier has no basis to judge whether Libertarians cost anyone the election.

    Likewise McQuain’s red herring of using absolute vote totals is meant to deceive. McQuain knows that we don’t have a popular vote for President. So, in order to judge whether the 500k vote would have made a difference, one has to know within which States those votes occured, and, could they have changed the electoral outcome for several States.

    I do not read Ms. Clouthier’s blog, but I do read Q&O where Mr. McQuain does post. In his zealous attempt to hammer Clouthier, McQuain uses a strawman argument that, frankly, is beneath him.

    • I’ll obviously have to disagree Don2, although I appreciate your criticism. Your point about the electoral vote is well taken. However, 0.4% of the vote, no matter how judiciously applied throughout the nation, even purposely, wouldn’t have had an effect electorally. The assumption was that that was understood.

      The entire point of producing the number was to demonstrate how small it was in relation to the total turnout. I acknowledge your point, but offer as a counter-argument that using the electoral vote wouldn’t have been as useful in demonstrating that point nor would it have been as clear as using the popular vote. And that was the purpose of using it.

  • So that’s your response a cheap one liner?  So only Obama’s voters can be counted?

    OK, I’ll remember that…When the GOP is power, and we will be…ONLY OUR VOTES matter…you didn’t vote our way you don’t count?

    Is that REALLY the position a libertarian wants to adopt?  So why bother discussing public ploicy, Remember Obama won…

    Basically I think you’ve argued yourself into a box, because you don’t like owning up to the fact that you represent a boutique philosophy and can’t seem to get traction witht he larger electorate.

    Because you know 523,000 votes isn’t very many votes…IF nearly 60 million votes is worthless how much more is, or is it less so, are 523,000 votes?

    Like I say, I don’t blame the libertarians, I blame McCain and the GOP…blaming the libertarians is like blaming the left-handed, blue-eyed, red-haired womyn…such a small segment of the populace really can’t be blamed can they?

    • So that’s your response a cheap one liner?

      Seemed to answer the question pretty darn well, Joe. The rest was your usual boilerplate in support of what you thought my answer should be. Obviously it wasn’t quite what you expected.

      So only Obama’s voters can be counted?

      Who is President, Joe?

      So how much, in the big scheme of things, did your vote do?

  • MCQ – And, btw, we’re not the one’s “moaning”. We’re the one’s being chastised for not voting for that piss-poor candidate you put up last time.
    I put up some candidate “last time” ? Really, who? My earlier comment for this blog entry here was my first ever on qando.net. Can you point me to that “LAST TIME” candidate I allegedly “put up” ?
    Seems like the only thing piss-poor is that last line of your response…

    • Uh, “last time” as in last election? As in the candidate that your party ran “last time”, i.e. John McCain. Heh … geez simmer down, sparky.

  • H3ll McQ NO ONE’S VOTE COUNTED…are you so boxed in you can’t see the consequences of your arguments?  McCain got 59 MILLION votes what’s one vote more or less for or against him?  And Obama got even more votes…so why should ANYONE ever vote?

    Why bother…you represent a small group that has no power, and at the rate it’s going will never possess power…it might be good if you allied yourself with a larger group.

    Bottom-line: McQ has no real arguments…Obama won and no one vote’s mattered..wow! Stunning argumentation.

    • H3ll McQ NO ONE’S VOTE COUNTED…

      Gee Joe, every election I’ve ever seen has had that outcome — the only votes that counted in the final analysis were those the winner gathered. Those voters got what they wanted.

      So tell me – did you get what you wanted?

      If not, and other than obviously giving you a case of the red-a$$, what did your vote count for, Joe? Seems my “argumentation” would be obvious to everyone, even to a Republican.

  • Why speak out against ObamaCare or Cap and Trade?  Remember only Obama votes count….why does QandO bother posting anything at all about Public Policy? Remember only Obama voters opinion counts…Obama won.

    Your vote didn’t count…only Obama’s votes counted….

    • God this is funny – for whatever reason I picture you sitting on the floor spinning in a circle and spitting and foaming while “your vote doesn’t count, your vote doesn’t count, your vote doesn’t count” repeats perpetually in a monotone as you roll your eyes and smoke pours from your ears.

      Heh … so tell me – in the presidential race, did your vote count? If so, for what?

      To remind you Joe, because its obvious you’ve forgotten, this was about a blogger who blamed libertarians for Obama’s election.

      Obviously that wasn’t the case. In fact it was your party that was the reason for Obama’s election. You need to learn to deal with that.

      Oh, and why speak out?

      Because I want to and I can. That’s probably because I understand how the legislative process works, regardless of who is president.

  • The only votes that count for presidential elections in the U.S.  are the 538 tallied every four years in January.

  • I think we are heading in that direction. I have had several friends over the last ten years, become libertarians, from both parties, more so from the GOP side.  Most people in this country only think there is 2 party’s, but that is changing.  And I have found that a lot of the younger genaration esp. like the views of the Libertarian Party once they know what it is.

  • This was AWESOME!!
    I always love it when joe shows up.  Hilarity ensues.
     
    You are a NASCAR fan who wants to be a driver, but can’t afford the car, so you sit near pit row and complain about the other teams.
     
    You see, this “doctor” blames the GOP loss on libertarians, McQ says “that’s silly, besides… you don’t own my vote, you have to earn it.”  To which then joe says, “screw you small fry, you can’t drive my race car.
     
    Comedy gold.
     
    Personally, I think the best place to be is in the stands.  That is if joe and his GOP buddies are sitting in the drivers seat.  They keep driving it into the wall.
     
    And people in the stands are screaming… “NO!  You’re supposed to turn the wheel.”
     
    Cheers.

  • All NASCAR racers turn left, if the GOPers are going to drive, they need to run the race in the other direction.

  • And somewhere on the other side of the political spectrum, enviro-lefties are having the same debate: Greens vs. the DNC

  • The person that has the problem is you McQ…I’m agreeing libertarians have no claim for the Election of Obama…because they are such a tiny group, who cares?

    But if you understand the legislative process then you understand that it will be the GOP, not some mythical bunch of libertarians that stop Obama, right?

    I just keep agreeing with you about yuor impotence…and pointing out that many of your rejoinders simply make no sense from someone that purports to discuss public policy, from a minority PoV.

    That guy, at the end of the day, with the problem is YOU, in a movment with 500,000 voters, for now…no Congressional delegation, but who wants to tell the real opposition what to do. It’s to laugh.

    Pogue what’s funny about the analogy…McQ’s “party” has no power, but to tell my party how to settle it’s own affairs…sounds like folks who want to drive, but can’t afford the car, to me.

    • The person that has the problem is you McQ…

      Well such is life, Joe. I’m sure you’ll get over it. I have.

      But I do see a lot of projection in your whining. Tell me again, speaking of impotence, what you accomplished with your vote?

      I’ve never wanted or sought “power”. You, otoh …