Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Everything Old is New Again, Libertarian Party Edition

In the late 1990s, the Libertarian National Committee decided to give Harry Browne's prospective 2000 presidential campaign a boost by sending a copy of his 1996 campaign book to every new member.

This time around, they're doing the same thing only on a cheaper scale.

I just got a snail mail letter that is ostensibly a fundraiser for the LNC and for this year's candidate crop.

What it actually and transparently is is part of someone's pre-announcement campaigning for the 2020 Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

On the envelope: "From the desk of Gov. Bill Weld."

Inside, a flyer with a photo of Weld on the 2016 vice-presidential debate stage, his facial profile prominently featured, partly eclipsing that of one of his likely 2020 competitors (Larry Sharpe) and with the facial profiles of the two other candidates in that race (Will Coley and Alicia Dearn) diminished/blurred so as to be be less recognizable.

Timed, of course, to arrive right after a George Will puff piece for Weld 2020 in the Washington Post, and right before the 2018 Libertarian National Convention, where Weld is slated to show up for a charm offensive.

If party members complain, the LNC's response will be along the lines of "Weld agreed to help us raise funds and there's nothing at all improper about raising funds with the name and face of a willing past candidate."*

But that's bullshit, and anyone who's thinking straight knows it's bullshit.

The LNC is actively campaigning, using party members' money, for a particular presidential candidate, two years before the nomination.

* I suspect that Nick Sarwark will be more careful than then-chair David Bergland was about the Browne thing and not just flatly tell the members to "sit down and shut up."

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