Saturday, July 26, 2008

On Keeping Our Own House in Order: Sonny Landham and Camel Dung Shoveling Genocide

The conservative-leaning wing of the Libertarian Party/movement nearly creamed its jeans when former actor Sonny Landham announced he was pursuing the Libertarian nomination for Senate in Kentucky:

Landham leans towards the conservative end of the libertarian spectrum. According to other news reports, he is Pro-Life, Anti-NAFTA and stridently opposed to Political Correctness.

Then Sonny started giving interviews.

As published in Third Party Watch:

Libertarian Party of Kentucky candidate for US Senate explains his earlier statement:

“We should go and bomb those camel-dung shovelers back into the sand,” if they don’t lower their oil prices.

On the radio show “Weekly Filibuster,” Landham expands on his comment:

“I’m a pro-American all the way. The Arabs, the camel dung-shovelers, the camel jockeys, whichever you wanna call ‘em, are terrorists. And they are doing a terrorist act on this country with the high gas prices. They’re about to wreck this economy, not only our economy, but the world economy.”

Or, with more detail in Independent Political Report:

Sage Koontz: So are you calling for a complete genocide of the Arab race? Is that what you’re saying? Unless they raise the white flag?

Sonny Landham: When you are in a war, you kill every thing that moves.... [later additional comment] I call for outright bombing them back into the sand until they surrender and if they don’t surrender, then you continue the war. Because if you don’t, you will never have peace in the United States. Now do you want peace in the United States or do you want to live to some utopian ideals that are impossible in a world?

And as far as the Libertarian ideal of non-aggression might be concerned:

Sonny Landham: Uh, look, I’m the type of person that I have beliefs, core beliefs, and I won’t trade my beliefs for anybody. I’ll look you in the eye and tell you what I believe, and tell you what I think, and what I feel, and what I believe. And now unless, and I’m subject to change my mind on anything if you give me a rational argument, show me where I’m wrong and how we, what would be a better plan. I’m not carved in stone on things. But as long as I believe in something and I look you in the eye and tell you “this is what it is,” that is my word and I stick by it until somebody can showme a better way. And as any party, I don’t care if it’s Libertarian, Republican, Democrat, or whatever else party you can conjure up, will not change my beliefs. My belief is a better life for the people and giving the people an honest shake, an honest day’s work. In their government. That’s where I stand and I don’t care what anybody else thinks or doesn’t think as far as a party, now we’re talking as a party platform.

So, for Sonny Landham, the Libertarian Party is essentially only a vehicle for (wait for it) ... Sonny Landham.

None of this, of course, has more than slightly mediated the fawning over Landham in some circles. Eric Dondero's Libertarian Republican does not distance itself from the use of camel-dung shovelers, only for the use of camel-dung shovelers for all Arabs:

Derogatory terms for our enemies, most especially Islamo-Fascists, are quite appropriate and the use of such terms by Americans should be encouraged. But they are not appropriate when used for everyone of a particular race, ethnicity or nationality.

In other words, it's OK to call African-American criminals niggers, as long as you carefully avoid applying the term nigger to patriotic Middle-Class African-Americans.

This sort of vitiates Dondero's argument (which does have merit) that some of the people criticizing Landham most vocally are the same people who were involved in Ron Paul's racist newsletters.

Dondero believes that the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and Landham should simply correct/apologize for the broad sweep of his characterization of all Arabs, but continue to push forward with his call for direct action against any Arab nation perceived as working against US interests (and, naturally, to insure that when Landham talks about rag-heads, he's only talking about terrorist rag-heads.

Landham's candidacy has also further exposed existing rifts in the Libertarian Party. Many are calling for the LP of Kentucky to repudiate Landham's endorsement, but others are portraying Landham's nomination as the logical consequence of pragmatic or reform Libertarians calling for a broader-based party.

Apparently, to them, the world is divided between anarchists and minarchists on the one hand, and war-mongering racists on the other.

Here's the real deal: Sonny Landham is a racist demagogue of the type that emerges from time to time, and attaches himself to the fringes of a real political party or movement. David Duke claimed to be a Republican or a Democrat when it suited him. Lyndon Larouche's movement has repeatedly attempted to infiltrate Democratic Party politics.

Sonny Landham is an embarrassing offshoot of American politics that shows up from time to time.

Libertarians will only be besmirched or embarrassed by Landham if they remain silent about disowning him.

Among other things, Kentucky Libertarians need to think very carefully about supporting him, and about providing him campaign coverage on their website.

As for Bob Barr?

While I don't support him, I can sympathize in this instance, because Landham puts Barr in a very difficult situation.

Sooner or later (presumably sooner), Barr will be asked to endorse or repudiate Landham's words, as the Presidential candidate of any political party should be asked in regard to a Senatorial candidate from his own party.

I wonder how the Bobster will manage to go in both directions at the same time on this one?


Lance Brown said...

I think that if Barr is made aware of the extent of Landham's comments, or even any of the key quotes of his, he won't have any problem disavowing him, or at least his views.

Arthur Torrey said...

Well also according to IPR of just a few moments ago, the LPKY Exec Committee has just voted unanimously or close to it, NOT to attempt to revoke Landham's nomination, or otherwise not support him, though they are "thinking about it" and might change their mind in a meeting on Monday....

As to Barr's reaction, it is worth remembering that he is a former CCC speaker, just like Landham, and when called on it, his excuse was laughably weak - so I wouldn't assume that Barr would be in the least bit uncomfortable w/ Landham, any more than his supporters like Dondero are.

LPMA Elector NOT casting an Electoral vote for Barr...

Eric Dondero said...

Spoken like a true Far Left Libertarian.

If you were anymore of a Leftist you'd fall off the scale.

BTW, it was "Mainstream Libertarians" who were creaming their jeans over Sonny's nomination.

Conservative Libertarians like the folks at, Little Green Footballs, Pam Geller's Atlas Shrugs, Ace of Spades, Pajama's Media, Jack Wheeler's Blog, ect... were mostly silent.