Nothing Here But Us Mensheviks

One of the most unsettling things you hear from Ron Paul supporters – some of them, anyway – is that if you don’t vote for Paul, you’re basically voting for someone just the same as Barack Obama.

As if Mitt Romney will carry on exactly as Obama has.

In the world of the purist – and many of the Paul supporters are exactly the same purists I shook my head at as I left the Libertarian Party – incrementalism, no matter how far and how fast it moves, is never enough.  It’s all, or it’s nothing; nothing less matters to way too many of them.   The fact that Tim Pawlenty was way way way more conservative than Arne Carlson or Dave Durenberger counts for nothing, since he wasn’t as conservative as the one we should have had.  The fact that Norm Coleman was a moderate is all that counts; not that he was the most conservative mayor Saint Paul had had in decades, and that he replaced a Senator who was much worse, and but for a wave of fraud or incompetence, could still be much better than who he replaced, rather than better than the one who replaced him.  

Mr. D, like me, notes that he agrees with Ron Paul probably 80% of the time – but is also a little concerned about their sense of absolutism as well as their rather incomplete sense of history:

Perhaps it’s just me, but my sense is that while the takeover now underway may be a tactical triumph, it holds the seeds of an epic failure. The GOP of the recent past was not the province of Arne Carlson or David Durenberger; those gentlemen of a different era have long been free to be the operational Democrats they always were. For all the problems of the party organization, it’s worth remembering that the GOP of the recent past is as much John Kline and Michele Bachmann as it is Tim Pawlenty and Norm Coleman and Ron Carey.

And there’s the rub; I’ve seen more than a few prominent Paul supporters say, with straight faces, that Bachmann and Kline aren’t sufficiently pure for a Paul supporter.

It will be very important that the Paul supporters understand that it will take everyone, even those they might ordinarily disdain, for there to be electoral success in the fall. Right now, there’s a lot of anger out there. That needs to change. Leadership of a political party means more than taking control and dictating terms. Leadership means building. And the first step will be to make sure those who were defeated are not disdained.

It also means you’ve done something no Big-L Libertarian has ever done; you have to learn “Politics”, which means, more or less, the art of compromise.

And to a purist, that’s a four-letter word.


9 thoughts on “Nothing Here But Us Mensheviks

  1. I just finished a post titled “Minnesota, the Paul factor & the coming counterrevolution.” The Paulers voted their slates & won a short-term victory. They also threw alot of great activists into the political ditch.

    Follow this link to read why this will be a short-lived victory:

    Paulers, Welcome to the counterrevolution.

  2. Mr. Berg, perhaps you might increase your chances at winning next time if your boorish bellowing does not cause half of those in attendance to become deaf as it did at the convention this past Saturday.

  3. Gordon,

    I was handling a mike the way I always do. I had no idea how it sounded on the floor. This is the first I’ve heard.

    And I got more votes than anyone that wasn’t on the “slate”, so I’m not too worried.

    “boorish bellowing”? Stay classy. It was an accident. I take it you’re not one of the ones I”m going to try to get along with.

    BTW, your email address says “Gordon Shudlick”. Which is it? Fleming or Shudlick? Shudlick or Fleming?

  4. Sorry you didnt elected Mitch. Even if I didnt know you before, you had my vote by virtue of the fact that you used your one minute to tell us what you wanted to do with the position you were running for to help the 4CD GOP advance its mission. I only knew about six people who ran for party leadership positions last Saturday and I generally voted for those candidates who talked about what they wanted to do with the job rather than anyone who said (a) Im young or (b) vote for me because Im _______ (fill in religion or ideology here).

  5. Mr. Berg, I use a moniker and do not state my genuine name in my e-mail address because I like to avoid any potential solicitations.

  6. Well, great, but it’s generally considered very bad form to gratuitously insult the host. Especially since I do try to keep it pretty open to everyone.

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