Saturday, April 29, 2006

Calling a spade a spade

When Ed Thompson ran for governor of Wisconsin as a Libertarian he stunned pundits by garnering 185,000 votes. It was said that he took the election from the Republican. These days that's not so bad a thing. Considering that this brother Tommy was the former Republican holder of that office only added to the drama.

The Christianist controlled Republican Party of his brother has again come under attack by Thompson. Republicans who control the state legislature are trying to push through a constitutional amendment to ban recognising gay relationships. And while I have not read the measure yet reports seem to indicate it is another Christianist measure which restricts such recognition even when privately given --- so much for Republicans defending civil society from state intrusion.

Thompson wants none of it. At a recent convention of the Libertarian Party he said the Republicans are trying to push through "laws of prejudice" and told his audience "If you can accept [these laws] you're not a Libertarian. You're not even an American. You're a bigot." No wonder 185,000 people voted for him even though no one expected him to win. So many people, including faux libertarians, are trying to pander to the Christianist Right that it is refreshing to see someone call a bigot a bigot.

In related news former Masschusetts governorn Bill Weld, now of New York, is seeking to be governor of that state. Not only is he seeking the nomination of his own Republican Party but also seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party. No Republican has won election to the governor's mansion without the support of a third party -- normally the Conservative Party. But the Christianists in the Conservative Party won't endorse Weld because he refuses to toe the line on their big government morality agenda. They want him to support banning abortion and want him to reject equal rights for gay people. Weld is not willing to kowtow to the bigots on the Religious Right and hopes that the nomination of the Libertarian Party would increase his chances of election since the Conservatives will refuse to endorse him.

The Libertarians won't go out empty-handed. If they nominate Weld they stand a good chance of having a large number of Weld supporters cast their votes for the man on their ticket and if 50,000 do that the party could have automatic ballot status for the next four years. The potential downside is that Weld is still facing significant opposition within the theocratic GOP and the nomination for that party may not be decided until September. If Weld loses that nomination and withdraws from the race the Libertarians could be without a candidate. I would hope that Weld would reassure them that he will stay in the race. With him as the Libertarian candidate, even if he is not nominated by the GOP, it should mean the Libertarians gain ballot status and it should be enough to deny the Christianists in the Republican Party control of the governor's office in New York. Both are worty goals. It is a sad thing to say but these days Americans are better off electing Democrats than conservative Republicans.