More Libertarian than the Libertarian

The conservative movement is determined to destroy Robert Sarvis.  Here is the latest example from the National Review.   Apparently he is really not a Libertarian at all.

Why is Sarvis getting all of this attention from conservative media and thought leaders?  Namely, they see him as a prime obstacle to Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor.  In their view if the Sarvis voters return to the GOP fold then Cooch will be able to defeat the terrible Terry McAuliffe.

Interestingly though it turns out BigMac has a 47-45 lead over Cooch with Sarvis voters when asked who of the two major party candidates they’d support if Sarvis dropped out.  So maybe something else is going on here?

It could be that the conservatives are looking for someone to blame.  Sarvis is an easy scapegoat.  He has limited resources and will be probably be done with electoral politics when the race is over.  Also, at this point it is better to have someone to go after who is keeping the holy, sacred base from uniting.  Because we all know when the conservative base is united the GOP absolutely cannot lose.

Is it smart right for Cooch to be trying to out-Libertarian the Libertarian?  Cooch keeps saying he is the most liberty candidate elected in his lifetime (was there liberty-off that I missed?) but is this where he wants to be?

Remember, we are just coming off a government shutdown and people in Virginia are still pretty ticked at the GOP for it.  Should Cooch really be going around saying “hey, look at me federal employees and government contractors I want less of you. And all of you people who were mad at the Tea Party for the shutdown, well they’re my buddies!!”

I guess we’ll learn the answers to these questions in 5 days.



Sleeper Issue – Stopping Slutoween


What Halloween’s about.

Growing up Halloween was a holiday for kids.  They would dress up as things like a skeleton, witch or vampire.  Now it’s getting hijacked by adults.  What used to be about trick or treating for 8 year olds is increasingly becoming about 25 year olds dressing like tramps at the office party.

This needs to stop.

Halloween is endanger of being Slutoween.  The candidate, in either party, who has the courage to stand for Halloween and against adults in costumes like this can start measuring the drapes in the White House.








Flipping a Coin In Virginia


Can they save Cooch?

The Republican cavalry appears to be on its way to Virginia.  While BigMac may be closing with President Obama, Cooch has a preliminary 2016 GOP roster coming in to help.  On Saturday Cooch will campaign with Scott Walker and Monday he’ll do events with Marco Rubio and Ron Paul.

Both sides are putting everything into mobilizing their base, which is the norm at the end of a campaign.  For Cooch the message seems aimed squarely at Libertarians and Tea Party activists.   Of course, there is a risk of alienating moderate voters who blame the GOP over the shutdown.

In addition, it is a little surprising that at this stage of the game Cooch needs to rally them.  Even with Robert Sarvis in the race you would still think those folks would have come back to the GOP by now.

If they haven’t come back by now it may be a sign that they aren’t coming back at all, regardless of who campaigns with Cooch.

Around the World

Looking over the traffic it seems we are getting more international visitors.  Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any comments or questions about American politics don’t be shy.  I would love to hear from you.

Also if you want to talk about the political situation in your own country and how it relates to the U.S. please let me know.

Since we are picking up traffic from around the world, here’s a little Daft Punk to celebrate:

From Surveys to Reality

Reason’s Nick Gillespie has a new piece on asking “Who’s A Real Libertarian Now?”  His piece is a response to the 2013 American Values Survey which identified 7% of the American public as consistent Libertarians and 15% as lean Libertarian. Gillespie uses this 22% as sign that this is the new swing vote that can “throw any election in their direction.”

Couple things stick out.

First, he doesn’t mention that 7% of Americans are consistent communalists and an additional 17% lean communalist (which in the report is the other side of the American political scale to Libertarians).  I guess I’ll have to wait for the Washington Post pieces on the upcoming Communalist moment in American politics.

Second, and much more importantly, Gillespie spends the second half of the piece looking at actually translating this ideology into practical politics.  He is critical of Libertarian-hero Rand Paul for supporting Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for Virginia governor and for his position on abortion:

But Paul’s willingness to stump for candidates such as Cuccinelli and his willingness to pander to evangelicals surely makes many libertarians wary of either joining up with or staying inside a Republican Party whose rhetorical commitment to limited government has never been matched by its actual policies.

Where does Gillespie think they are going to go?  The idea of a creating a viable third is almost as laughable as thinking you’re going to take over the Democratic party.

As for Rand Paul not being a perfect messenger, Paul is simply like any other politician who understands practical reality.  Paul gets that in order to have a voice in American politics you have to be in one of the two parties and his ability for career advancement is better in the GOP.

Similarly, Paul’s campaigning for the Cooch in Virginia is a political calculation.  While Paul may be more like Libertarian Robert Sarvis on issues he knows to win the nomination in 2016 he’ll need the support of many people in Virginia, and elsewhere, who agree with Cuccinelli.  There simply are not enough supporters of Sarvis to get him what he wants in 2016.

Why?  One reason could be that social conservatives and Tea Partiers are much larger and more electorally potent groups than Libertarians.  As the report points out (which Gillespie fails to mention):

Libertarians make up a smaller proportion of the Republican Party than other key conservative groups.  Only 12% of self-identified Republicans are libertarians, compared to 20% of Republicans who identify with the Tea Party, 33% who identify with the religious right or conservative Christian movement, and 37% who identify as white evangelical Protestant.

So while surveys that show America is on the verge of a Libertarian (or Communalist) moment come and go, the ability to turn those broad ranging positions into an actual political force is something Libertarians seem right now to be lacking.