Archive for July, 2009

— In GrassrootsLibertarians@yahoogroups.com, marc guttman wrote:
> Maybe Root would have joined the crowd in shouting down a candidate for the LPCT nomination for US Senate, Vincent Arguimbau, at a July 4th Rally in Hartford, with chants of “USA, USA, USA,” we he discussed cutting defense spending:
> I consider this my finest four minutes.
> Vincent
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jnQAZJdHlI
> Congratulations, Vincent. -Marc

Tom Knapp on this

Steve Gordon, quoting his own previous advice to “Tea Party” organizers:

If you are an event organizer or speaker, keep in mind that pretty much everyone will agree with your fiscally conservative message. The Second Amendment is probably pretty safe turf, but not necessary for the purpose of this coalition. Conservatives or libertarians wandering off into territory such as abortion, gay rights, immigration, medical marijuana, and the Iraq War will be creating unnecessarily divisive issues.

And from the same account, his evaluation of one of the events he attended on the 4th of July:

During the candidate speeches leading to the main event, one candidate (I couldn’t hear him well due to the poor accoustics backstage) went off on a rant about our participation in the Iraq War. He was immediately facing a roped-off section of veterans, and I couldn’t hear the end of his speech at all because of the boos he was receiving. To their credit, everyone else pretty much stayed on topic. Fortunately, there were plenty of Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul, Libertarian Party and other folks there who were bright enough to focus on coalition building, as opposed to pressing issues destined to kill a team effort.

In other words, these events are political dry humps: The function of libertarians in the whole scheme is to help conservative Republicans achieve their daydream fantasy of pseudo-smaller-government orgasm without ever getting so fresh as to suggest that they should put out for real.

What, precisely, is such a “coalition” supposed to achieve? Libertarians have relentlessly stroked the conservative Republican … er, ego … for 45 years now, and what has it got us except used? For the love of God, Steve, get up off your knees and wipe that big white glob of “family values” off your face.

The Tea Parties were supposed to be a popular revolt against big government. In the space of a few months, they’ve become just another GOP astro-turf “revolt” against a few selected bits of big government that conservative Republicans dislike, and “hush, now” if anyone brings up the parts of big government — marriage apartheid, the war on drugs, foreign military adventurism — that they desperately want to save.

“Coalition,” my ass. When are you going to realize that there is no “Republican” in “team?”


Steve Gordon replies,


I think you’ve missed a key point I’ve made in the post you linked and quite a few others.

There are many GOP astroturfed events and many which are true grassroots coalitions. I continue to give examples of each — except on national television, where I spent my time last Tea Party trashing Gingrich, Huckabee and Keyes.

Considering that quite a few of the organizers, speakers and attendees were libertarian, constitutionalist, Alex Jones fans, Libertarian, Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul supporters, Bob Barr supporters, at least one Mike Gravel supporter, etc. it seems unfair to paint them with the broad brush you just did.

Whether you supported him or not, you surely see the difference between a Ron Paul supporter and a Giuliani supporter.

Most of the Republican candidate speakers (good and bad) were “Ron Paul Republicans” for what that’s worth.

Additionally, you damned well know that I’ve supported coalition activities which cross political boundaries (Free the Hops) as well as more left-leaning coalitions (like bringing Lew Rockwell to an anti-war rally or pushing medicinal marijuana).

As I wrote in the article, “Republican” wasn’t a welcome word at that rally.


Gordon in response to other commenters:

Don’t you ever join in coalitions with the left regarding gay rights issues? I thought you were a participant in SF Pride parades.

I see the Obama administration has left you cold and dry, as well.

On issue-related stuff, I’ll work with anyone on our side of the line.

With regard to results, the last Tea Party (before this current batch) in my state led to the death of a very major GOP-proposed tax increase by a 2-1 margin. If you will recall, I was very active in that effort, too.


Are you saying that we should oppose Senator DeMint and a majority in the Congress who are working on an Audit the Fed bill because we oppose each and every one of them on some issue or another?

One more point.

Aside from Knapp, I don’t recall you guys providing any support or encouragement whenever I’ve worked with the left or taken swipes at the right.

Some examples include:

Repeated jabs at conservative hypocrisy.

Going after judge Roy Moore, mostly because of statements insinuating that it might be OK to exectute people for homosexual acts.

Pushing the Cory Maye story really hard in it’s early days.

Helping push medicinal marijuana legislation in Alabama.

Helping push Loretta Nall to the top of the Internet charts and then to national television.

Bringing together a coalition effort to reunite a nursing baby with his undocumented mother. This issue also forced the resignation of a state cabinet official.

Bringing Lew Rockwell to an antiwar rally.

Trying to provide some positive media when Mike Gravel joined the LP.

Hitting the national news protesting the RNC Convention in 2004. This included one article where I was holding up a rainbow-colored sign which read “Compassionate conservatism is so gay.” I couldn’t buy my own drinks that night.

Taking heat from “conservative” libertarians for my support and work for Aaron Russo.

How come you folks want to chew my head off when I work with the right, but never even seem to notice when I do anything left-oriented?


On rereading my comments, I’ll retract and modify one statement: “On issue-related stuff, I’ll work with anyone on our side of the line.”

I won’t work with racists, pedophiles, Nazis, and other extreme groups in any manner.

I should have said I’ll work with most people, regardless of their political persuasion, on issues-based activities.


My reply:

A few points:

Steve is absolutely correct on the point that he has done effective outreach to the left.

And Tom is not the only one who knows this; I have defended Steve on that ground many times, although I don’t usually have as extensive a list of examples handy.

I think Tom has a good point in that we should make ourselves a distinctive presence at both right and left events.

Consider, for example, the message that “taxes fund the war machine”. This is a message we can carry to both anti-tax and anti-war gatherings. Sure, some people at anti-war gatherings may not like that point because they are pro-tax, and some people at anti-tax gatherings may not like it because they are pro-war.

But what is the alternative? We can keep quiet on economic issues at peace events and never distinguish ourselves, and we can keep quiet at economic freedom events and never distinguish ourselves.

Someone who follows us around may eventually notice that we are at both types of events – assuming of course that we actually are (I certainly did not see the level of promotion for peace rallies or any other left leaning coalition/outreach from the LP as I did for the tea parties). But then, even in this rosy scenario, we will mostly end up with folks who are scratching their head as to why we are there at all.

On the other hand, if we agree on the main premise of the event yet clearly distinguish ourselves everywhere we go, and go everywhere, we make our challenge to the dominant view of how the world works much more unavoidable.

Regarding CLS point on Lew Rockwell above, there is a vast difference between Rockwell and Buchanan on economic issues, at a minimum; let’s not lump them together.

CLS and Steve Gordon are both two of the best libertarian activists; it’s really too bad that there is such bad blood, it is very counterproductive to the many areas where we can still work together.

In other news, how about some debates between Wayne Root and Ernie Hancock? Hancock is willing. Or how about Loretta Nall? Couldn’t get in touch.

Humor break brought to you by AaronStarr.com
Paulie | 07.07.09 – 7:51 am | #


Reply to me from Chris Bennett:

Kissing much butt lately Paulie?

What about an apology from Steve Gordon about supporting a candidate who eulogized to the highest degree a former US Senator who was clearly RACIST even at the time of his death. YES I’M TALKING ABOUT BOB BARR!!!

Gee Steve is this how you throw away your friends who until as early as 2008 supported you in any endeavor you took part of. I’m still awaiting, you have my number but I shouldn’t hold my breath about it.

Yes I do admit that Steve has done much outreach to the left on issues that concern libertarians and liberals alike.

Even so (you still get the GAS FACE!)


My reply to Chris:


I never kiss anyone’s ass, not yours and not Steve’s.

I told Steve from the start that I did not think Barr would be a breakthrough candidate, and I did not think that the conservatives who supported Barr for his record in congress would set aside their differences with libertarians who liked Barr for (at least supposedly) being a changed man.

I criticized the Barr campaign in many ways before and after the nomination. In case you have forgotten, much of that is still easily available.

Barr was one candidate, one year, just as Russo was another year, and Ron Paul, Badnarik, etc., and just as Ruwart and Kubby almost were.

I don’t always agree with Steve, but the nastiness on all sides is counterproductive. For another example, the LNC is about to spend about $25,000 in travel costs to go to a meeting whose main focus will likely be a single $25 donation and how it was handled.

The nasty tone of the infighting is what really leaves a bad impression and drives people away, or keeps them from working with each other on future projects just because they disagreed on one campaign or strategy.

I call out all sides on that, and on other things – lack of activity, organization and follow through, lack of sunshine and transparency, etc.

I can work with almost everyone in the
party to some extent, and I can and do criticize anyone and everyone when I think they require it – although I’m trying to be more constructive about it.
Paulie | 07.07.09 – 12:44 pm | #

> ________________________________
> From: Starchild
> To: Bruce Cohen ; Wayne Allyn Root
> Cc: CALibs@yahoogroups.com; Grassroots Libertarians Caucus ; LP Radical Caucus
> Sent: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 4:31:17 AM
> Subject: [GrassrootsLibertarians] Re: [ca-liberty] Wayne Allyn Root discovers the value of anti-government protests
> Wayne Root apparently believes that until very recently, being
> interested in “saving your country” meant being a flag-waver, never
> having a bad word to say about the U.S. government, and never having
> been to a protest in your life. All in sharp contrast to those
> “typical socialist radicals” and “counter-culture hippies” who
> habitually disturbed our tranquility with their numerous unnecessary
> complaints about harmless things like undeclared wars and police
> brutality! In Wayne’s World, it seems the only people who went to
> protests before Obama came along were unpatriotic “American-haters. ”
> Although besides the “American-haters” he also reports the presence of
> that quasi-mythical creature, the “professional protester,” a species
> only somewhat less steeped in popular mystique than the legendary
> “welfare queen.” (No Bigfoot sightings, Wayne? I’m disappointed! ) But
> I’m glad he’s discovered that you can go to protests and still be a
> good person — indeed that perhaps it is even (gasp) Patriotic. When
> it comes to speaking out against abuses of power, better late than
> never. See you at the Tea Party!
> Love & Liberty,
> ((( starchild )))
> On Jul 6, 2009, at 12:01 PM, Bruce Cohen forwarded (in part):
> > I was a Witness to History
> >
> > By Wayne Allyn Root
> >
> > The protestors at these Tea Parties are not the typical socialist
> > radicals, counter-culture hippies, and professional protestors of
> > the left who attended the war rallies. The Tea Party protestors
> > define middle America. These are small business owners, blue-collar
> > workers, parents with young children in tow, grandparents, patriotic
> > war veterans. These are people who have never said a bad word about
> > America in their lives. These are flag wavers- not flag burners.
> > These are lifelong Republicans and conservatives and libertarians
> > who have never attended a protest in their lives. These are patriots
> > looking to save their country, not American-haters looking to tear
> > it down…

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