Saturday, May 03, 2008

LP official resigns but rot continues.

This blog was among the first to highlight the unscrupulous actions taken by Shane Cory, the executive director of the Libertarian Party. Mr. Cory appeared to be part of a campaign orchestrated to make the leading libertarian presidential candidate within the LP, Mary Ruwart, look bad. The intended beneficiary of this campaign was the neocon candidate, Wayne Allen Root. Also involved were Root campaign people, including a member of the Libertarian Party National Committee.

Numerous people were disgusted by the campaign and Root immediately claimed he had nothing to do with it. He said the press release from his campaign was done without his knowledge. His neo-con history aside, I’m not sure that helps him. If his own campaign acts without his knowledge what kind of administrator is he? After all these statements were sent to the press under his name and quoted him as making them. Apparently Mr. Root would prefer us to believe that he has no idea what statements are attributed to him by his own campaign.

The fury within the libertarian movement was significant. And now Shane Cory has resigned his position. A little late perhaps but a resignation that was clearly needed. The one act of cowardice the LP demonstrates in this resignation is that no where do they mention that Cory had unilaterally taken unlibertarian positions on behalf of the LP.

This whole ugly incident was swept under the rug. Instead the LP press release praises Cory. Various LP officials are quoted saying nice things about Cory including that he “did very well representing the Party” and that he was “an asset to the libertarian movement.”

As far as I know the unlibertarian press release has never been repudiated. In other words the LP is playing the same sort of PR games that politicians routinely play. Instead of admitting that Cory did something he wasn’t supposed to do they are praising him publicly and refusing to withdraw the press release he sent out.

It is the contention of this blog that conservatives have effectively stripped libertarians of control of their own party. One indication of this is that the LP national office recently praised a “new” LP candidate Kent Marmon. Marmon, like Root and Barr, is another failed Republican. He is also the LP’s candidate for Senate in Idaho. They claim that Marmon’s positions “are ones that would make any Libertarian proud.”

A quick look at Marmon’s own campaign site shows he is a conservative not a libertarian. He supports freedom on economic issues only. At no point does he take an issue on individual freedom in the social sphere. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference between his “issues” and those of any far Right Republican. The closest to discussing civil liberties that Marmon comes is his position on immigration and there is another xenophobic Right-wing type bashing immigrants.

He falsely claims that illegal immigration “threatens our national security” ignoring the fact that all the terrorists in 9/11 were legal immigrants cleared by the very entity he demands control the borders. He claims, contrary to what most economists say, that the economy “cannot long withstand an influx of millions of non-tax paying people who do not contribute toward the services they receive....” In fact immigration benefits the economy and only a total moron ignores the facts that illegal immigrants pay billions in taxes, as the federal government has admitted. The IRS even set up special account numbers which millions of illegals use in order to pay their taxes.

Another LP candidate has joined the xenophobic Far Right campaign to bash people who are actually contributing to the economy. This is mere pandering to the Far Right and it is not libertarian. Yet the national LP praises this guy as “Libertarian all along.” Pardon me while I gag.

But it gets worse than this. Marmon is another neocon war monger. He is also against Constitutional government. He writes: “We simply must put an end to aiding our enemy by a meddling Congress that is attempting to handcuff our military and our Commander in Chief.”

First, it is the job of Congress to handcuff the military and the president. That is what the Constitution lays out for Congress. It is supposed to make decisions on war not the president. Only after Congress declares war, which didn’t happen, is the president supposed to command the military. The president has no independent Constitutional authority to wage war on his own.

Marmon makes it clear that the hundreds of billions that George Bush is flushing down the “war on terror” toilet is not enough. He writes, “we must provide the funding necessary for them to carry out their duties to protect us.” There is not a single criticism of the war in Marmon’s statements. Everything he says supports the war and supports expanding the war under the unilateral actions of the Imperial president. His view is that Congress should just get out of the way and let Bush do what he thinks is right.

What position on Marmon’s site distinguishes him from the typical Republican? He takes all the conservative positions on economic issues. He takes no libertarian positions on civil liberties. And on the war he shuns libertarian views and adopts the typical Republican view. I challenge the LP head office to show one area where Marmon’s site actually lays out a libertarian position that differs from the conservative one. They can’t do it. Marmon is just another has-been Republican, or nobody GOP reject, who is looking for another venue to push their own conservative ideas.

When the LP starts running Republicans who refuse to take libertarian positions then the LP has become another arm of the Republican Party and has no justification for existing. The LP is supposed to make the case for libertarian views.

But some people think it is now a make-work center for has-been Republicans. This is done on the pretext that the LP has to run candidates who can win -- by which they mean candidates who are not libertarian. But if the idea is simply to win office then then instead of infecting the LP with bad Republicans these LP officials ought to just bite the bullet and join the Republican Party. I fear that the rot that is consuming the LP has started at the top.