Saturday, May 24, 2008

Listening in on Bob Barr live

What an amazing age we live in! I'm listening in on Bob Barr discussing issues at his booth at the LP National Convention. He's discussed habeas corpus, health care, the fall of the "status quo" parties, the elimination or near-elimination of certain federal departments (Education, Energy, Commerce, Agriculture), health care, the Fed & home mortgages, his experience growing up at times overseas (3 years in Baghdad, 1 year in Tehran, Peru, Panama,...). Barr's "been on the dark side", he says. He's now come to the light of freedom. He delights in the level of political discussion he's had at the Libertarian Party convention, more than he's experienced in the past 30 years at events hosted by other parties. He expresses gratitude for being there. At Republican Party meetings there's no discussion of substantial issues. All they're interested in is getting their candidates elected, keeping them in office, and raising money. The Democratic Party is falling into the same trap, the "trap of incumbency."

Barr expresses his belief that in the heart of every American beats the heart of a libertarian. He or she just isn't conscious of it. We have six months.

Free video streaming by Ustream

Update (May 24, 2008, 12:33 pm): Most interesting twitter from daveweigel -
Even odds that the LP will reject Barr for an anarchist...
In a year full of defining moments (Ron Paul in January, America in November), tomorrow is the defining moment of the Libertarian Party.

Update (May 24, 2008, 1:55 pm): How Americans will judge the LP will depend not only on whether they choose Bob Barr as their nominee, but also on whom they nominate as VP. I don't see any rational alternative to a Barr-Root ticket. A Barr-Gravel ticket would be nice symbolically if only Gravel were more respectful of people's natural right to pursue health care and insurance peacefully, in peaceful society, deciding individually, and not through government use of force, health care free of government-enabled big-cat domination.

Update (May 24, 2008, 2:15 pm Central): A report from the American Spectator on the debate token deadline 15 minutes ago -
The final official number of Libertarian Party delegates registered as of this morning's cutoff time is 562. That means that presidential candidates hoping to participate in tonight's televised debate will need 57 tokens to qualify. (Each registered delegate is issued one token to give to the candidate of his, her, or its choice.) The cutoff time is 1 pm Mountain Time (3 pm Eastern) about ten minutes from now.


UPDATE: The Barr campaign just turned in 93 tokens to qualify their candidate for the presidential candidate. However, that sent up a cheer from supporters of Wayne Allyn Root, who turned in 94 tokens. This represents a strong showing by the pragmatist wing of the LP, since Root is also a telegenic ex-Republican. Meanwhile, candidate Christine Smith failed to meet the 10 percent threshold necessary to qualify for the C-SPAN debate.

UPDATE II: I've just been informed by a senior source with the Barr campaign that their token total was actually higher, but Barr shared some of his tokens with Mike Gravel in order to help the ex-Democrat qualify for the debate. "We wanted him in the we actually had by far the most tokens of any candidate," the source said.
I'm glad Bob Barr did that, if the report is true. It's important that Mike Gravel engage in the debate. Though, is it permitted by the rules? I suppose that it is since by their very nature tokens can move from hand to hand. Does anyone know the answer to this question?

The process of one candidate transferring his tokens to another reminds me of the process after the general primary in For a Truly General Form of Election.

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