Monday, August 11, 2008

The Libertarian Party: Failing our own candidates in new and creative ways (Chapter Two)

Today is August 11, 2008.

I usually don’t mention the date, but I wanted to make explicitly clear that today, on August 11, I received my June-July copy of the LP News.

Better late than never, you might think. Then again: not.

You see, it was sort of like opening a time capsule, and finding out with a sense of delayed embarrassment what the world was like in the 1950s.

In his address to his party as LP presidential nominee, Bob Barr makes some fascinating comments:

Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, so will a strong presidential campaign for the hundreds of Libertarian candidates across the nation….

This year is sure to be a banner year for the Libertarian Party not just at the very top of the ticket, but for all of the other down-ticket candidates too.

When voters go to the polls in November to cast a vote for Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, they will be more inclined to vote for other Libertarian candidates for local and statewide races….

This is why it is so important that all Libertarians come together to support Libertarian candidates.

Unfortunately, while expressing this opinion in the LP News, Bob Barr has been out giving interviews re-assuring Republicans that a vote for him will assure better performance for down-ticket REPUBLICAN candidates.

One commenter has suggested that there is, in fact, a price tag of donations for the Barr campaign to be met before he'll visit your state or mention your candidacy. Five figures, says this particular source.

Nor has the national Libertarian Party HQ honored Barr's campaign rhetoric by providing even the most rudimentary support for State and local candidates.

What Barr does not do or say in his statement is to make any reference to the positions or contribution of his competitors for the LP nomination. Given the bitterness of the battle [less lengthy, but in some ways just as intensive as that between Barack and Hillary], it would have been magnanimous--not to say appropriate--for Barr to make at least a small public gesture toward Dr. Mary Ruwart, Senator Mike Gravel, Steve Kubby, Mike Jingozian, or Dr. George Phillies.

Instead, there's only silence. There's not even the publication of the new membership of the LNC.

There is a solid if outdated article on Mike Munger's gubernatorial bid in North Carolina, but it suffers from two significant lapses: (1) it fails to mention that Munger leads a large contingent of Libertarians vying for office and pulling down significant poll numbers; and (2) it mistakenly attributes Dr Munger's chances of improving his position in the race to Bob Barr [most polling in the Tarheel State suggests that not only are Munger's numbers stronger than Barr's, but that he is pulling different demographics than the LP presidential candidate].

How about those state reports, including the one from Kentucky announcing the senatorial bid of Sonny "I walk a mile to smoke a camel-dung shoveler" Landham, which presciently [if it hadn't arrived over a week after the LPKY pulled Landham's support for his racist campaign statements] says:

Landham plans to continue to release portions of his platform and plans for Kentucky and America throughout his campaign.

Can't wait to see the follow-up report in the August edition of the LP News when it arrives in October.

This, frankly, is a disgrace. If the very best that Libertarian Party headquarters can do to communicate with its own dues-paying membership is to put out its monthly newspaper embarrassingly late, fill it with crap, and expect to be considered a functioning political party, then somebody should be singing softly in the background, If I Only Had a Brain.

Right now the strength of the Libertarian movement and what remains of the Libertarian Party exists at the State and local levels. We need to figure out how to build from that, once we've retaken control of that vestigial part of the Party that thinks its in command.

1 comment:

George Phillies said...

LP News did not cover the convention.

LP News *covered up* the convention.

Do you remember 6 ballots for President, with some candidates endorsing others? There's no mention of the votes, let alone who lost. Do you remember a narrow margin between Root and someone for VP? 'someone' remains nameless, along with the vote. Do you recall a modest dispute between the Reform caucus and Restore '04 over the platform? The platform goes unmentioned, let alone the platform amendments that passed. Oh, yes, did you hear that the LNC had elections for its members? The LP News editor did not, or so it seems.

Someplace out there are the people who nominated and seconded Barr. Who were they? When you nominate someone, their performance is your responsibility.

There seem to be some consequences. That very expensive dollar count up clock on the site (which, it appears, does not count papermail donations)?

On July 30, late in the evening, it stood at $132,727. Two weeks later, it stood at $149,007,and increase of 16.3 thousand dollars in two weeks. We'll have to wait to the 20th or so for the LNC to file its monthly financials to learn what part of monthly income the dollar clock represents. If the LNC is going to stay solvent, that part had better be *small*.