Saturday, July 5, 2008

It really scares me when some people agree with me (at least, sort of)

Some people it seems, including Eric Dondero, can actually do simple math.

They've finally figured out that if Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr is polling 3% (which would equate with 2.8 million votes), he's already pulling the attention of hundreds of thousands if not a couple million people who have never thought of voting Libertarian before. (For a detailed break-out of where the Libertarian "base" actually is, and how large it is, check here.)

To Dondero at Libertarian Republican and those promoting the Bob Barr, this means

Diehard Ron Paulists are all over the blogs in comments sections saying how they just "can't bring themselves to vote for Barr." Paul supporter and radio talk show host Alex Jones, of 9/11 Troofer fame, just publicly bucked Barr, and endorsed Constitutional Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. Lew Rockwell and his merry band of Paleo followers have been lukewarm at best to the Barr candidacy. (Though, in fairness, it should be pointed out that a healthy chunk of Ron Paul backers have come over to supporting Barr.)

But with Barr's current poll numbers, should Barr backers be concerned about a few disgruntled Anarchist Leftwinger ‘V’ for Vendetta types going on chat boards, claiming that they “won’t vote for Barr.”

ABC News with George Stephanopolous tomorrow morning; Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace last Sunday; numerous appearances on other Cable News Networks since he won the nomination; Vanity Fair magazine, Mancow, Glen Beck and countless other radio talk show appearances in the last few weeks. And 3% in nationwide and statewide polls, the most ever received by a Libertarian Presidential candidate in the Party's 36-year history.

Should Barr pander for the Anarcho-Libertarian vote?

Dondero points out that even without the backing of what he calls the radical Libertarians, Barr hit his July 4 donation target, and that fundraising prospects continue to be good.

Compare this with what I wrote yesterday:

Recently checking his website I discover that Bob Barr's campaign has reached its July 4 goal of $88,000 (they stood at something like $91,000 a few minutes ago).

We know, of course, that this will be followed by the next fundraising objective....

While it's unlikely in the extreme that the Barr/Root ticket is going to raise the $35 million or so Bob predicted at the national convention, a few million will undoubtedly come his way, primarily from former Ron Paul supporters or the conservatives who've ditched Senator John McCain.

Dondero draws the conclusion that this means that Barr doesn't need the people who've always thought of themselves as Libertarians.

I draw the conclusion that the people who've always thought of themselves as Libertarians aren't very important (specifically in a financial sense) to Bob Barr:

I'm serious. Bob Barr is going to collect far more from disaffected conservatives than Libertarians could ever donate. Moreover, it is Barr who benefits most directly from every dollar you send to National for ballot access....

If you were to send $100 to Barr/Root, you would join a legion of people (admittedly much smaller than the Obama or McCain legions, but still) ... or you might just be purchasing an air conditioning unit.

So in a weird sort of way, I suppose Eric Dondero has actually endorsed my suggestion that Libertarians who can't bring themselves to support Bob Barr should Adopt a Libertarian candidate of their choice in a local or State race, and then commit themselves financially to that person.

And actually, I'm personally flattered by the attention:

Meanwhile, prominent Radical Libertarians have distanced themselves from Barr since he won the nomination in Denver a month and a half ago. 6th Place finisher in the Presidential nomination battle, George Phillies of Massachussetts has been highly critical of Barr in past weeks, saying that he has no appeal to "Wiccan and Pagan voters." Tom Knapp of "Knappster" fame, is threatening to re-ignite his defunct Boston Tea Party to give "Anarchist Libertarians a home" for the election. Knapp even called Barr a "Dixie-crat" conservative in a recent article. Mary Ruwart's people have been noticeably slow to jump aboard the Barr bandwagon. The independent Delaware Libertarian blog has been particularly harsh on Barr, calling him a "conservative" and not really a true libertarian.

How about that? I'm a prominent Radical Libertarian who was--as late as June 21, telling people to buck up and support Bob Barr. On June 23 I made the point that Bob Barr has made the best foreign relations statements of anybody in the campaign. Read the comments sections in either of those posts to find out how much crap I took.

It wasn't until June 30 when Bob Barr made states' right and the ability of individual state's to take away the civil rights of certain classes of American citizens part of his definition of Libertarianism that I finally parted company with the Bobster.

And I've continued to cover--in far more detail than you can find anywhere else--Barr's impact in week-by-week polling.

As a matter of fact, if you took the time to browse the comments on sites like Last Free Voice, Independent Political Report, or Third Party Watch, you'd discover that thinking of me as a radical would frankly surprise damn near everybody.

But then, checking the actual facts is time-consuming, boring work, not something you'd engage in if you were, let's say, a Republican ideologue who spends most of his time trying to talk himself into Iraq being a gigantic American victory (but who [read the comments] cuts and runs himself when somebody actually answers his schoolyard taunts).

That's why it really scares me when Eric Dondero--even in a back-handed way and quite by accident--agrees with me.

It makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong.


Brian Miller said...


You'll soon learn that anybody who disagrees with "Dondero" Rittberg is a "radical" who "hates America."

He's got some issues.

Eric Dondero said...

Firstly, here's my cell number: 832-896-9505. Feel free to call any time, if you think I "run away from criticisms". No, I'm just too busy busting my ass for libertarian causes across the nation, and can't spend my life on the computer. More likely to catch me in front of a grocery store with a clipboard in my hand. Thus, the need for communications via cell phone. Again, that number is 832-896-9505.

That said, why do we end up agreeing here? Could be something in the Delaware water. You should recall, I raised in the First State, from age 6 to the day I joined the Navy at 18. Grew up in Newark (Chapel Hill, off Possum Park rd.). Graduated from NHS.

I'd alter the old saying: Great minds think alike, especially when they both hail from the State that Started a Nation.

I honestly do like your Blog. You have one of the best, and most up-to-date News blogs for libertarians on the web. Problem is, it's too limited with the title of "Delaware Libertarian." You should consider changing it to something more national-oriented, cause most of your posts seem to be on national LP News.

I'll continue to quote you, and quote from this blog, occasionally blasting you from time to time.

But hey, that's good publicity for you, 'eh?

All in good fun...

Again, that cell phone number is 832-896-9505.


Eric Dondero said...

Oh, and ironically, I do endorse your proposal. I agree, Radical Libertarians who can't bring themselves to support Barr/Root, should work on campaigns of LP members downticket. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think that's already occuring to a great extent.

I've recently been petitioning in Ohio and Illinois for Barr/Root. Practically everyone I turned my petitions into, on the LP state level were not Barr/Root supporters, but rather had supported Mary Ruwart.

All of them took the attitude that they were helping the petition drive for Barr/Root to help with LP ballot status in the future.

Nothing wrong with that. Politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.

Steve Newton said...

I'll take you up on that call sometime soon (but I'm traveling on business now).

Why do we end up agreeing?

Because there is an element of truth in both sides: Barr has to appeal to a larger audience and Libertarians have to support their own candidates. If Barr doesn't appeal to a larger audience, he's sunk. If Libertarians don't support their own candidates, no one else will.

I parted from an endorsement of Barr reluctantly. He still has the best foreign policy position of all candidates, but we all have our make or break issues. For me, there are two with Barr:

1) I don't buy that "states' rights" is a component of Libertarianism; and--

2) and I cannot endorse any candidate whose stand marginalizes American citizens based on sexual orientation. Barr changed his position taken at the LP convention in which he said he understood the pain DOMA had caused many people to arguing that the states' rights elements of DOMA made it an example of Libertarian ideas in action.

Blast away--it makes better reading and better fun.