Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Here's the Thing About Weld's Departure

Over at We Are Libertarians (a fun podcast, btw), one of the participants (I'm not  always so good at identifying voices, but I think it may have been WAL chief poobah Chris Spangle) bemoans treating it as a "victory" that the Libertarian Party managed to "drive someone away" (quote from memory).

I'm not sure seeing the back of Bill Weld (again) is a "victory," exactly, if for no other reason than that it's not obvious that said departure had anything to do with intra-party "infighting" or criticism.

What it is is, just possibly, a first step on the way to repairing the massive damage he's done to the to Libertarian Party's prospects and the Libertarian Party's brand over the years.

In 2006, Weld ran simultaneously for the New York gubernatorial nominations of the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party. The LPNY nominated first. He was publicly asked to pledge to remain the LPNY's nominee even if he lost the GOP contest. He so pledged -- and then dropped out as the LPNY's nominee within hours of failing to procure the GOP nomination. That put "permanent" ballot access out of LPNY's reach for a minimum of four more years (it ended up being 12).

In 2016, Weld told LP national convention delegates he had changed on gun rights issues, right before going out in the hall to reassure CNN viewers that he hadn't changed on gun rights issues. And despite that bald-faced lie and his screw job on the LPNY ten years before, got the party's vice-presidential nomination.

After which he went out and campaigned against due process and gun rights for people on secret government enemies lists, and in favor of continuing the war on drugs that aren't marijuana.

Damn right I'm glad to see him gone. Not just because he's a lying, traitorous snake whom no one should ever, ever, ever trust even an eensy teensy little bit, but because every past association between him and the Libertarian Party has damaged, and any future such association will damage, the latter.

Of course, we're not entirely shed of that association -- if he does run in the Republican presidential primary, both supportive media and his opponents in the GOP (to the extent that they deign to notice him) will tout his LP vice-presidential nomination, further tarnishing the LP's reputation and hurting its 2020 prospects every time they do so.

There's even a pretty good chance that after he collects some media coverage and loses a couple of Republican primaries, he'll come sauntering back to the LP wanting its 2020 presidential nomination. If we respond to that by doing anything other than laughing him out of the room, we're a bunch of fucking idiots.

Anyway -- the more distance we put between ourselves and Bill Weld, the better. Damn right I'm glad to see him helping with the distancing.

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