Saturday, April 07, 2012

Strike At The Root

I was floored with comments made by Wayne Root, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. From Reason Hit & Run:

Wayne Root, who ran as Bob Barr's VP candidiate with the Libertarian Party in 2008, currently a member of the Libertarian National Committee that runs the Party, exhibits a lack of dedication to the LP by saying this on a Bill Cunningham podcast, right in the first couple of minutes:

I think the important thing now is to make sure Obama is not elected,and that means in my mind, I would love for a libertarian like Gary Johnson the two term governor of New Mexico would actually get elected President, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen so therefore it’s got to be Romney there is no choice.

I can accept wide ranges of policy thought within the libertarian camp. I cannot tolerate a Libertarian Party leader who recommends voting for a candidate who is not a Libertarian Party candidate.

I'm no fan of witch hunts. Root was once a Republican. I was once a Democrat. A great many people come to the Libertarian Party from either of the two old parties, and that itself is not a problem. It's a great thing! What is a problem is when a party leader doesn't understand his fiduciary duty to his organization. In the last year especially, Root's commentaries have struck me as being increasingly too pro-GOP. I can get being anti-Obama, since Obama is in the White House and sets policy tone. But the response for a Libertarian Party leader should always, always, ALWAYS be to offer libertarian policy solutions, and Libertarian candidates, as the alternative.

Mitt Romney? I mean- please. It could be forgiven if it were Ron Paul he was touting.

I'm very concerned for the Chair vote in the Las Vegas convention. I strongly support Mark Rutherford, but things I'm hearing from Libertarians across the US suggest that the association with Root is going to kill his chances to be Chair. This would be most unfortunate. Under Mark's guidance, the Indiana LP has developed marvelously, and I think the same could happen nationally if we were elected Chair. See my recent comments in support of Rutherford for Chair.

I am a delegate to the national convention. I will be voting against Root for any LNC leadership.

In the meantime, I call for Wayne Root to resign from the LNC immediately. He just doesn't understand his position on the LNC.


Doug said...

If you're coming at politics from a "lesser of two evils" philosophy,seems like you should just be a member of one of the major parties.

patriot paul said...

There are multiple issues: the party or the person; what is for public consumption vs. private opinion.
I think Mike has a point. If you commit to being a Party official, but better not betray that party trust with a disagreeable personal opinion (at least not publicly). You are a party man all the way and does not necessarily coincide as a staunch ideologue or certainly prohibits cross party cherry picking. It is party above all. It is party; not the person. Argue all you will, any party frowns on perceived disloyalty. If you are a candiate/official, you can be realistic about your chances, but you cannot be publicly forlorn & dismal about your prospects and conclude another party has the edge & is the lessor of the evils, in order to vote out a higher evil.
Conversely, if you vote for the person, not the party, either you will have to explain why a libertarian party departure or describe why your personal libertarian beliefs outweigh the party. I know libertarians who voted for Greg Ballord for mayor instead of Fred Peterson, and they have their reasons.
Back to the point, Mark Rutherford sang praises for Bob Barr, who promoted his self-proclaimed & new found libertarianism, at the National Libertarian Convention, yet Barr recently endorsed Newt Gingrich. Reason in part was because Barr had name recognition and following. Wayne Root is in the same boat for the same reason: name recognition and promotion, though it might be arguable which he has been more effective; the LP or self-promotion. "He has a vision of the Libertarian Party being worthy of calling itself a national party. He has a background of success in business and his personal life. The party must have a visible leader and is primed for his leadership.”-Rutherford.
And some take a dim view:

"The Libertarian Party is now and has been the personal property of the Mattson – Knedler – Rutherford – Root and associates for over a year now. It will completely explode when Wayne Allyn Root is selected to be the 2016 Presidential nominee in Los Angeles.
The continued assassination by a few selected state chairs, especially some of the state chairs like Indiana is of further concern.
If Mark Rutherford is elected national chair to completely seal the ownership by the Mattson group, one can expect to see more states to start making the necessary arrangements to withdraw."
Additional critical comments can be found:

The bottom line is that even the best vetting of "conversion candidates" can later lead to disappointment & embarrassment. If only the LP would stop their fascination with high profile name recognition and high visibility promoters, maybe the party would be taken seriously.

Indy Student said...

As someone who regularly listens to Cunningham and hears Root as a guest, if he is renouncing the LP as a party, I say good riddance. He's gone increasingly crazy since 2008 and has gone full out birther. Crap like that gives libertarians a bad name and is one in a line of several flat out crazy representatives the national LP has had over the past several years.

Thank goodness a sain voice like Gary Johnson seems to be increasingly accepted in LP circles. Even if I don't agree with him on anything, I know I won't be ashamed if I vote for him.

Todd S. said...

I have some sympathy for Root on this, because he was approaching things from a practicality standpoint. That said, I do wish he would NOT have said this.

But the thing I don't really understand (outside of tribe loyalty like Doug prefers in comment one-zing!) is this idea that Obama is going to be really, really bad for the future of this country so you have to vote for...Mitt Romney. Seriously? How are those two guys that much different, policy-wise? Obama has used up a lot of his political capital and alienated a significant portion of his base. I don't really see him being that dangerous in a second term. Romney championed and passed the pre-cursor to Obamacare. Enough said there.

But I guess at the end of the day it comes down to one has a D after his name and one has an R. Big deal.

(And just to be clear, I was only make a joke about Doug's post on this thread; I have no idea how much loyalty he has to any particular tribe.)

Mike Kole said...

The old saying goes, "It's hard to serve two masters". There is a role for a member of the spokesman of any political party that includes loyalty always and promoting only that party. There can be no confusion.

His other master is his pundrity business. If it conflicts with the LNC role, than he needs to unconflict. The Romney slip shows that it does conflict. He really needs to rectify this, choosing one or another, or training the hell out of himself such that slip-ups don't happen.

Root asked on my Facebook page, to the effect of, "I did 4,000 interviews and only one mistake. Can't I be forgiven"?

I think of my spokespersons for the Libertarian Party much in the way I view heart surgeons: Sorry, no mistakes. You must be perfect. If somebody listening to the Cunningham show heard about the Libertarian Party for the first time, and heard Root say, "There is only one choice, Romney", that person died on the metaphorical Libertarian operating table. We'll never have that person. And to lose that person because of a failure to reconcile personal business with fiduciary duties? It
really is inexcusable.