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Sunday, September 21, 2008

RE: [LibertarianReformCaucus] Re: Toward a Bigger Tent

Welcome, Rachel!

RH) it is a war, folks - both sides are intractable, and filled with nasty rhetoric.  (RH

I've seen "nasty rhetoric" from people in both camps, but in the Radical Caucus it's as likely to come from the leadership as from the rank-and-file.  I don't think you can find very many examples of "nasty rhetoric" from Reform Caucus leaders -- and even fewer examples that went unprotested by their peers.  I can't remember a single example of "nasty rhetoric" from Radical Caucus leaders that was protested by their peers rather than applauded.  (I think this dynamic is fed by the fact that the LPradicals list is heavily censored, so that sunshine can't help disinfect the nastiness.) I will note, however, that Susan Hogarth has since Denver almost completely abstained from nasty rhetoric, and I'm baffled as to how or whether this is related to her losing her LNC race.

I say "camps" instead of "sides", because one thing I learned in Denver is that most LP members, and even most NatCon delegates, pay almost zero attention to the Reform and Radical caucuses -- as you just helped confirm. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective) there is an abstract awareness among activists of the alleged tension between principle and pragmatism, and many activists have an opinion on whether the LP has in general been too focused on one or the other. 

As I'm sure you would agree, the two caucuses have almost no influence on the LNC.  Only two voting members of the LNC are members of the Reform Caucus: one I had no idea was a member and only joined a few weeks before Denver, and the other is not in the caucus leadership and has only posted to our forum on a single day a year and a half ago.  By contrast, five members of LNC -- Ruwart, Wrights, Keaton, Hinkle, and you -- are active in the Radical Caucus and/or Restore04.  Still, I've seen no evidence that caucus politics drives LNC voting, in part because the LNC (quite rightly) spends little or no time on the issues that divide the two caucuses.