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.