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Thread: LP Mises Caucus takeover features in WaPo newsletter

  1. #1

    LP Mises Caucus takeover features in WaPo newsletter

    This piece isn't from the Washington Post proper, but from a newsletter written by "analyst" Dave Weigel that goes out under the WaPo banner,

    Unlike the hit piece put out by the SPLC, it's pretty straightforward and even-handed, and there aren't any gratuitous pot-shots or slanders (though near the end there is a surreptitious link to a Reason item about who wrote the dreaded "Ron Paul newsletters").

    There are at least a couple of things that want correction or elaboration, and I'll address those in a following post.

    The Trailer: Nine summer days that will define the 2022 midterms
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...2022-midterms/
    David Weigel (31 May 2022)

    In this edition: Nine days this summer that will define campaigns, a big takeover in the Libertarian Party, and redistricting may finally be over.

    [...]

    Third party watch

    On Friday, the former Michigan congressman Justin Amash stood on a ballroom stage in Reno, Nev., reading quotes before he identified who'd said them.

    “Anarchism misunderstands the real nature of man,” said Amash. “For the libertarian, the state is an absolute necessity.” Another quote: “It is not at all shameful for a man to allow himself to be ruled by others.”

    Plenty of the delegates to the Libertarian Party's off-year national convention booed. That was the reaction Amash was going for: He'd been reading from “Liberalism,” a book by the late Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, “one of my heroes” and the namesake of an anti-woke caucus that was about to take the party over. [but see post #2 below - OB]

    Just five years after its founding, the Mises Caucus triumphed at the Memorial Day weekend convention, electing Los Angeles Libertarian Party chair Angela McArdle to lead the national party on the first ballot. Accepting the job, McArdle promised to make the 50-year old party into a “force to be reckoned with,” channeling the ideas and energy of movements that were giving hope to free-thinkers and government skeptics.

    “People are getting paid in bitcoin,” McArdle told delegates on Saturday. “Truckers and nurses led protests for freedom. Peaceful secession is actually being discussed all across the political spectrum. There's a growing food freedom and medical freedom movement. And we're blessed to live in the information age, where it's easier to spread our message.”

    The battle for the LP unfolded over Twitter and virtual conventions, web forums and podcasts, after three presidential campaigns where the party nominated ex-Republicans for president and grew its share of the popular vote. But there had always been resistance inside the party to Libertarian-come-latelys like ex-Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

    Critics didn't just have ideological disputes with those candidates, who overcame more radical Libertarian candidates to win. (The 2016 candidate debate, when some delegates booed Johnson for saying he was okay with drivers' licenses, sums that up.) After 2016, especially, they had strategic disputes. Under ex-chair Nicholas Sarwark, during Johnson's two campaigns, the party was positioning itself as a haven for independents who wanted refuge from an increasingly nationalist GOP and increasingly left-wing Democratic Party.

    “Courage. Bravery. Those are things that animate people,” caucus founder Michael Heise said in a speech at the 2021 “Liberty Speaks” gathering. “Ron Paul in front of a bunch of conservatives had the audacity to say we should legalize heroin. He got a bunch of conservatives to cheer that on.” He contrasted that with how Johnson moderated his stance on drug legalization, using the rare forum of a CNN town hall to say that he only favored legalizing marijuana.

    As Mises-minded Libertarians took over local parties, they made noise, taking positions and issuing tweets that generated controversy — which was the point. A now-deleted tweet from the New Hampshire party read “John McCain's brain tumor saved Anthony S. Fauci,” [but see post #2 below - OB] and that approach rankled the coastal, more socially liberal faction that had been running the party. The fight over whether to recognize a breakaway faction of the New Hampshire party ended with a win for the Mises caucus and the resignation of the national party chair, who's since changed his own registration from Libertarian to independent.

    That momentum, for the party's right flank, surged in 2020, with Mises-aligned Libertarians mobilizing against covid-19 mandates — and bemoaning how the old leadership didn't capitalize on anti-mandate energy. (The party's 2020 convention observed social distancing rules, which McArdle mocked after her victory this weekend.) McArdle took a large public role in opposing Los Angeles County's restrictions, organizing a campaign to ban vaccine mandates altogether.

    In a memo sketching out how she'd lead the LP, McArdle wrote that “good, strong messaging grows strong libertarians and libertarian affiliates” and “creates new donors and members.” Nominating people with political profiles who would shy from the party's most radical ideas wouldn't win adherents. Being unapologetic and bold just might.

    “It’s like the front pin in a bowling game,” McArdle wrote. “If we nail the messaging, we will attract the right people.”

    Libertarians have made more high-profile converts than won high-profile races, and Amash's appearance at the Reno convention attested to that. Weld, a social liberal who recommended that wavering voters go for Hillary Clinton in 2016, was ridiculed by the party's new vanguard. Amash, who briefly ran for president in 2020, has a far less confrontational style than the Mises Caucus; he was quoting the economist, he told Doherty, because he wanted all libertarians to be included in a successful party.

    “I'm here because I want libertarian ideas to win in my lifetime,” he said onstage.

    The party's new leadership believed that it could do that by breaking away from strategies that hadn't worked and hadn't taken advantage of the tools — some built by libertarians — that could grow their audience and influence without compromise. Leadership of the LP had seesawed before. In 1980, billionaire David Koch won the party's vice-presidential nomination on the theory that his money could pitch the party to a larger audience. Four years later, the party nominated radical activist David Bergland to run an unapologetic pro-freedom campaign, which called for the CIA and IRS to be abolished and all drugs to be legalized.

    Bergland did worse than any LP nominee, before or since. But four years later, the party nominated then-Rep. Ron Paul for president. Paul lost, but his effort to find new libertarians among people who thought the government was destroying their way of life — even if saying so offended people — is being carried on by the LP's new leaders.

    “The @LPMisesCaucus made the @LPNational the 1st institution to shake off wokism in the country,” Heise tweeted after McArdle's victory. “Now that the party [isn't] a raging embarrassment we can actually outreach to and funnel so many groups. Bitcoiners, people pissed at schools, the major podcast audiences, etc.”

    [...]

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  3. #2
    Here are the corrections/elaborations I made reference to in the OP:

    A now-deleted tweet from the New Hampshire party read “John McCain's brain tumor saved Anthony S. Fauci,” [...]
    That is not what the referenced tweet actually said. Here is the tweet Weigel himself linked to:

    https://twitter.com/SirajAHashmi/sta...33207941832706


    On Friday, the former Michigan congressman Justin Amash stood on a ballroom stage in Reno, Nev., reading quotes before he identified who'd said them.

    “Anarchism misunderstands the real nature of man,” said Amash. “For the libertarian, the state is an absolute necessity.” Another quote: “It is not at all shameful for a man to allow himself to be ruled by others.”

    Plenty of the delegates to the Libertarian Party's off-year national convention booed. That was the reaction Amash was going for: He'd been reading from “Liberalism,” a book by the late Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, “one of my heroes” and the namesake of an anti-woke caucus that was about to take the party over.
    Amash altered the quotes to use the word "libertarian" in place of Mises' use of "liberal" (which of course Mises meant in the sense of "classical liberal"). But the terms are not interchangeably synonymous. Bob Murphy critiqued Amash's surreptitious edits in episode 242 of his podcast, which you can find here (web page) or here (mp3 file) [timestamp: 3:10 to 18:05 (especially from 10:30 on)].

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    A now-deleted tweet from the New Hampshire party read “John McCain's brain tumor saved Anthony S. Fauci,” [...]
    That is not what the referenced tweet actually said. Here is the tweet Weigel himself linked to:

    https://twitter.com/SirajAHashmi/sta...33207941832706
    And in completely unrelated but hilarious Clown World news:

    https://twitter.com/LPNH/status/1533919953149120513


    Here's the "sexist retweet" that got Weigel suspended (now deleted, of course) [and hidden to save space]:
     

    And here's some of Glenn Greenwald's observations on the whole sordid, pathetic soap opera [hidden to save space]:



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