Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just another thing to blame Angela Keaton for: their own attorney disses the LNC

Everybody in Libertarian circles has been taking notice of the announcement in the Libertarian National Committee agenda for the upcoming San Diego meeting that the LNC intends to take 30 minutes for the discipline of Angela Keaton.

For those who don't remember (or never gave a rat's butt), Angela got in hot water for supposedly live-blogging about hush-hush discussions in an LNC Executive Session, and (oh yes!) for giving web-based expression to a few passing, whimsical--perhaps even satirical--sexual fantasies about the hired help.

This brings to mind two responses too rational for the libido-challenged, freedom-loving Bob Barr supporters of the LNC:

1) Nobody--not the Republicans, the Democrats, the Greens, the Socialists, or even Robert Milnes--really gives a damn about your secrets.

2) It's a lot more harmless fun reading Angela's musings about cougar conquests than it is thinking about what licensed parliamentarian M Carling and the Libertarian National Congressional Committee has done with its money instead of support candidates, or learning the incestuous dealings between the Barr campaign and various LP insiders.

So they hauled Angela into a star chamber (not a Starchild Chamber, which at least would have been interesting) and demanded that she apologize or be kicked off the LNC.

Oh, and I think they are also pissed that sometime later she chose to cover her shapely self in a Boston Tea Party Tea-shirt.

There's a lot of room for Dr Freud here, therefore, when the LNC meets again to discipline Angela Keaton. I'm thinking she should wear something in PVC or latex, and bring them the tawse they really want to use, but lack the reproductive hormones to admit it.

[Interesting aside: my spellchecker does not recognize "tawse," which means, I think, that the geeks at Microsoft have never read either The Story of O or A Man with a Maid, much less the soon-to-be-classic Disciplined Cougars of Liberty. I guess calling them wankers is not justified.]

Of course, they only get to discipline Angela ("No, over my knees, first!") if Wayne Allyn Root stops talking.

This is all rendered pretty moot in an Emperor Has No Clothes sort of manner by the November 18 letter [h/t LastFreeVoice] from LNC counsel Bill Hall, who is jacking up his price for representing this group of adrenally challenged clowns by nearly 25% at least partly because of

the rampant political nastiness on the LNC and in the LP, which makes my role as general counsel much less enjoyable than in the past.

Maybe if they let Bill do some of the disciplining personally, his work would be more enjoyable.

There's nothing like personally laying a stripe across that round, firm....

Ouch. Stop that. Libertarian erotica is so ... Boston Tea Party.


John Famularo said...

Because the LNC has no real strategic plan (although they pretend to) they can not do effective cost/benefit analyses on the various proposals put forward by members of the LNC. The exponential increase in legal action is one example of this. They do what sounds good or is of passing interest. Critical analysis or challenging of assumptions is never done. They are a microcosm of the U.S. congress. The “The Trial of Angela Keaton” is just too ludicrous to spend much time making commentary.

A good example of legal action serving no real purpose, but assumed by every LNC as sacrosanct, is ballot access. Everyone assumes that ballot restrictions are a major impediment to Libertarian success. However, look at New Jersey; they have one of the easiest ballot access requirements of any state for independent and minor party candidates. You can run for President or any statewide office with only 800 signatures. Congress and state legislature candidates require only 100 signatures. County and municipal offices require proportionately fewer signatures. Now is New Jersey a bastion of elected Libertarians? Something else must be the problem but the LNC has not spent 10 minutes considering this in the last 10 years.

Brian Miller said...

That makes far too much sense, John. It will never get considered by the LNC, which is more about it's inflated sense of self-importance (and the egoes of a few overweight, underendowed white guys) than about getting anything useful done.

If they manage to purge Angela, I also predict that M Carling and Alicia Mattson will be appointed to the LNC at around the same time. Keep in mind that both of them couldn't get enough votes for their candidacy, and Angela was the most popularly elected of the bunch.

So yeah, a lot like Congress. :)

PlanetaryJim said...

Florida and Colorado also have light ballot access rules, as does Tennessee and Louisiana. I think these four combined are about as many signatures as New Jersey.

To my knowledge, there aren't any LP candidates now serving in office in Colorado, Louisiana, nor Tennessee. I know that Jeff Hunt of Duval County won his (non-partisan) race, and that he is a member of the LP. He was endorsed by the Boston Tea Party.

Massachusetts, which has rather harsh ballot access rules, is another case in point. The Boston Tea Party's other serving public official is in Billerica.

I think ballot access lawsuits make sense in some instances. The NH lawsuit to remove Phillies and Bennett from the ballot seems quite perverse, since the LP's other candidate got onto the ballot there. I know there are three or four Free State Project members in office in NH, so Winger's argument that the way the ballot is organised makes it impossible to win is a bit silly.

The best part of what John wrote is his very sensible call for strategic planning. I think planning, organisation, and some types of structure, are consistent with the goals of liberty. I suspect that many people feel threatened by plans, organisations, and various types of structure as an affront to their freedom and independence.

It might even make sense to consider whether there is strategic value in pursuing elected office, given the hurdles involved, and the limited effect on our freedom the few candidates we like who have been elected (from the various parties) seem to have had on the condition of our liberty. I think there is a reasonable educational goal to be pursued in running candidates for office, just as there is a reasonable goal in seeking peaceful change while that seems possible.

John Famularo said...

A prerequisite to strategic planning is a clear unambiguous mission statement, otherwise planning sessions degenerate into "Let's do everything". It is also important to differentiate between the Libertarian Movement and the Libertarian Party. The LP can't do everything and can't do multiple things well. Attempting to manage multiple concurrent strategies requires a level of management skills that the LP has never come close to demonstrating.

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