Libertarians as Scapegoats

Amazing. In the last 24 hours I have read two media opinion peices blaming Liberarians for the defeat of an Tea Party incumbent Republican in New Hampshire and the defeat of a Republican congressional challenger in Massachusetts. What happened to the GOP’s big stand on personal responsibility?  Congressman Frank Guinta and failed Lt. Governor and Congressional candidate Richard Tisei both knew the playing field going in. They had to build a campaign around winning  with three candidates in a race. So did the Dems. The Republicans didn’t. Dems did.

Yet Howie Carr wants you blame Liberarian Dan Fishman for daring to run to promote his political ideas and party for Richard Tisei failing (or more accurating John Tierney winning a tough fight). Never mind that those who cast Libertarian ballots may have voted just for that purpose. They weren’t protesting John Tierney or Frank Guinta, they were supporting their party. Would these voters even turned out if there was no Libertarian on the ballot. Who can say but for god sake Frank, and Richie and Howie at least man up enough to own your own campaign strategy.

Apparently the Republican party is so lame any adversity stops them from success. Damnit, give me the playing field that best suits me so I can win. Its not fair when other people get involved.(never mind the “I can’t match their field machine so machines are bad” whine)

Richard Tisei had a record voters could judge him on (not that he even advertised it). So did Frank Guinta in NH. The voters did just that and chose another candidate.

Even Howie admits that Fishman wasn’t a “straw” for Tierney. It was an election, people get to run. Libertarians, Labor Party, Independents (ask Angus King about independents winning in a 4-way race).

Obama won with more than one opponent. Carol Shea-Porter won with more than one opponent. John Tierney won with more than one opponent. These incumbents and challengers. Republicans lost. Own it.



7 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. No shortage of liberals and Dems

    blamed Ralph Nader and his voters for Bush “winning.” Many still do. I thought Al Gore had himself to blame first and foremost.

    I voted for Nader myself, in a state I knew would go to Gore by a lot. I was not a fan of the Clinton administration’s economic policies and didn’t see him moving things any more to the left. It’s true that, had I lived in a state as close as Florida, I would voted for Gore.

    • I agree that Libs raisir Nader

      in this context and disagreed with that spin then and now. Blaming third party candidates for your party’s failures doesn’t wash. I just found it striking that the personal responsibility folks are so quick to blame anyone one else for their losses.

      • Just to be clear,

        Florida 2000 was an exceptional case. Gore lost the state by fewer than 600 votes; Nader amassed close to 100,000. Had Nader not run – or, better yet, run, but down the stretch realized that he was on track to royally screw the country and urged his supporters to vote for Gore (holding their noses if necessary), Gore would have won easily. I don’t excuse Gore for running a poor campaign, or for mishandling the FL recount, and he assuredly has himself to blame first and foremost for losing, but nonetheless there is little doubt as a factual matter that Nader cost Gore the election.

        • Losing his home state

          didn’t help Gore much either.

          and Nader being on the ballot was a factor that the Gore campaign should/did take into account. No doubt Nader cost Gore FLA. Just saying you have to win against the field you are running in.

        • Eliding the point

          …but down the stretch realized that he was on track to royally screw the country…

          Nader was not on track to do that, and did not do it. Bush and the people who voted for him did, and so did the Democrats, by offering a candidate that so many people did not want as President. The ongoing campaign to blame Nader for Bush is the exact same thing as the subject of this post. Try this on: “Apparently the Democratic party is so lame any adversity stops them from success. Damnit, give me the playing field that best suits me so I can win. Its not fair when other people get involved.”

          Note that the Democrats have joined with the Republicans to tilt that playing field in a way that seriously discriminates against other candidates. Why, for instance, does the League of Women Voters not get to run any presidential-campaign debates any more? It’s not because they weren’t doing a good job of it.

        • Gore lost his home state

          but the region was trending GOP. He also lost a close race in New Hampshire that would have given him 271-267 for him instead of Bush. There was another state (Iowa?) that was extremely close.

          The numbers are not as compelling as 650 vs. 100K, but Tierney won by 3,500 votes and the libertarian Fishman took more than 13,000. Some might have stayed home, some might have gone to Tierney, but it’s arguably Fishman’s votes cost Tisei the election. Doesn’t mean Fishman doesn’t have the right to run, etc.

          Nader, I think, really believed there was little difference between Bush and Gore. After 8 years of Bush it’s hard to see that, but after 8 years of Clinton’s conservaDem governance and fundraising scandals, it’s more understandable.

  2. NH Follow up

    Was researching NH recounts and came across this recount next Thursday. Republican State Senator David Boutin defeated Democratic challenger Kathleen Kelly by 396 votes. A Libertarian candidate received just over 900 votes in this race. Starngely the Republicans have yet to condemn this offending third candidate for his running and distrupting this race.

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Tue 28 Mar 7:31 PM