Republican Primary Map; http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/results
Where Have all the Libertarian’s Gone?; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2010/09/06/where_have_all_the_libertarians_gone
This evening CNN announced in a “breaking news” announcement that there was yet another shake up in Michelle Bachmann’s presidential campaign. This time Bachmann’s campaign manager Ed Rollins said that he was stepping down for “health reasons.” Rollins had indeed suffered a stroke a year and a half ago, but that was before he had even signed onto assist Bachmann in her presidential bid. That said why is Rollins’ health such an issue now when it wasn’t an issue just a few short months ago when he joined the Bachmann team? Surely being the venerable political operative that he is, Rollins must have had an idea as to the stresses and strains that go hand in hand with the high tempo of presidential politics. Rollins’ decision in and of itself wouldn’t be that big a story if it were not for the fact that Bachmann’s deputy campaign manager David Polyansky wasn’t leaving the campaign as well, a development that suggests that there is more to this than meets the eye.
Quoting Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza, both of the Washington Post: “Polyansky’s departure at the same time, of course, will raise questions about whether this, in fact, represents a strategic shakeup for a campaign that has taken a back seat in the Republican presidential race since Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into the race. Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll three weeks ago but has struggled to build on that win…The staff changes aren’t the first for Bachmann. Hovering over the departures is Bachmann’s reputation. She, more than most members of Congress, is notorious for the amount of staff turnover in her congressional office, going through numerous chiefs of staff, including some who don’t speak highly of the congresswoman these days. Any kind of departures at the highest levels of a campaign is generally seen as a bad thing.” For the record, Bachmann’s spokeswomen Alice Stewart who confirmed the story to The Washington Post said that this was a “restructuring” not a shakeup.”
Thus it would appear that Michelle Bachmann’s trials and tribulations continue unabated. If it isn’t confusing historical facts, its the revolving door of personnel associated with the controversial congresswoman from Minnesota. Add to that the fact that Rick Perry’s entrance into the 2012 race has contributed directly to Bachmann’s fall off in the polls or the fact that Sarah Palin could join the race at any time and it’s not too big a leap of faith to say that we may already be witnessing the beginning of the end of Michelle Bachmann as a serious contender for the presidency in 2012. The residual question is whether or not Bachmann will be a perennial Tea Party hopeful the way Ron Paul is a perennial Libertarian hopeful, based that is on her small but strident following among the far right fringe of the conservative movement.
Rollins steps down in Bachmann campaign shake-up
Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza: Top Bachmann aides stepping aside
Michele Bachmann’s New Normal: Damage Control
The late Mary Travers once sang a song called “Where Have All the Flowers Gone? It was a lamentation about the human cost of war and it was a popular protest song during the Vietnam era. Well it seems to me that someone could write a song, or at least ask the same question, about Libertarians. Specifically, where have all the Libertarians gone?
In the din and roar surrounding politics in America today much is made of the importance of Libertarian thinking. Some have pointed out its importance to the Tea Party Movement: “More recently, the Libertarian theme of the "tea party" began with Republican Congressman Ron Paul supporters as a fund raising event during the 2008 presidential primaries to emphasize Paul’s fiscal conservatism, which laid the groundwork for the modern-day Tea Party movement.” That said it’s interesting to consider the following two questions: First, if Libertarian ideas are so compelling, how come Libertarians garner such a small portion of actual votes during major electoral campaigns? Secondly, if Libertarians command such low voting totals, how is it that there is such a disproportionate number of Libertarian organizations and who is putting up the money to support them?
During the 2008 election cycle, America’s Libertarian’s had a clear choice among those vying for the Republican nomination for president. Ron Paul was an outspoken Libertarian and had been so for many years. Paul’s Libertarian bona fides were well established, widely known and beyond question. But Paul wasn’t even remotely competitive within the G.O.P.’s contest for candidate in the 2008 presidential election cycle. Yet even though Paul was eliminated from the race, Libertarians still had a choice in the person of Bob Barr, the former Republican Congressman of Georgia, and the Libertarian Party’s presidential pick for 2008. The irony of it all is that even though they still had a horse in the race, in an election that offered four different choices for president, the Libertarian candidate finished dead last with a paltry 523,686 votes or 0.4% of the total votes cast in 2008. With the aforementioned facts in hand, we can only conclude that Libertarians either do not vote, fail to vote for their own candidates or that there aren’t very many of them in existence after all.
Well, if it’s hard to discern the actual existence of Libertarians in any precise number, then how is it we have over sixty five Libertarian organizations afloat in the body politic according to Wikipedia? The Stason Organization lists 11 “Major Libertarian Organizations” and 33 “Think Tanks”. But this begs the question: Why so many organizations for just over a half of a million voters, or less than one half of one percent of the voting public? It seems a bit fishy to me that we have all of these “Libertarian” organizations in a country that seems to have so few Libertarians. If we have so few Libertarians, then where does the cash that fuels all of these “Libertarian” organizations come from? After all it would be pretty hard to fund this large number of organizations out of the pockets of just 0.4% of the voting public. Could it be that these “Libertarian” organizations are propped up by those with a specific agenda and deep pockets or do these 523,686 voters just all happen to be billionaires? So can someone tell me where have all the Libertarians gone, long time passing?
Steven J. Gulitti
Tea Party Movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement
List of Libertarian Organizations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_libertarian_organizations
Bob Barr presidential campaign, 2008: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Barr_for_President
11 Major Libertarian Organizations: http://stason.org/TULARC/ideology/libertarian/11-Major-Libertarian-Organizations.html
33 Libertarian Organizations: Think Tanks: http://stason.org/TULARC/ideology/libertarian/33-Libertarian-Organizations-Think-Tanks.html
The Libertarian Learning Center: http://www.mondopolitico.com/ideologies/libertarianism/libertarianorganizations.htm