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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rule Police Redux

vicious adj. spiteful; malicious

Debra Dedmond, readers can decide for themselves whether it was spiteful and malicious to say Alicia is "almost always shoe-less", or that you "bet Stew the butterball jacked off at least 5 times writing that resolution".  Those kind of remarks say far more about you than about the people you're attacking.  As for "lightening up", well, I tried injecting my own brand of humor into the Denver proceedings with my graphics and movies poking fun at the ideas (not waistline or feet) of radicals, and was widely criticized by humorless radicals who bitterly insisted there was nothing funny whatsoever in my material.  Their reactions were far funnier than what they were reacting to. :-)

The available evidence about what Duensing did with our meeting space is at  The money shot is this: "Duensing could find nobody who remembered the 'commitment' he says was made, and cited no authority by which anybody could have bound the PlatCom in the first place."

Paulie, the bylaws say that a JudCom member cannot be an LNC member.  Ruth could resign from JudCom to join LNC.

The ideological difference between Alicia and Susan on a 17-member administrative committee is orders of magnitude smaller than the difference between Root and Kubby in the VP spot under Barr.  The presidential ticket is as much about ideology as it is about communication, and that's why I voted for Kubby even though I was voting for Root after the first ballot of the presidential race.  The LNC's primary function is administrative, but I'm not one of those who deny that ideology should be a consideration.  LNC members will have to decide for themselves how much they want to solemnize the idea of LNC ideological factionalism by allowing such considerations to override a straightforward application of the runner-up voting for LNC at-large.

Debra, you're mistaken to assume that "Robert or his rules don't give a crap about restoring liberty".  Henry M. Robert in fact once wrote "Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty."  You're right that "none of us got to be Libertarians by obeying all the rules just because they’re so."  Instead, we got to be Libertarians because we abhor the arbitrary rule of the mob and we uphold the rights of the individual -- even when every last member of the mob lines up against her.  We got to be Libertarians because we believe in the sanctity of contract and we say that violating voluntary agreements is naked aggression.

One voluntary agreement that all Libertarians by definition accept is the LP Bylaws, which say "These articles shall govern the association known as the 'Libertarian Party'".  They go on to say that Robert's Rules "shall govern the Party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order adopted by the Party."  This contract that we party members make with each other doesn't say that these agreed rules "shall usually govern" or "shall govern the Party in most cases".  This contract doesn't say that the rights of those who agreed to the rules can be ignored just because some subset of us decides that doing so is for "the greater good".  That is exactly the morality of the paternalists who impose without our consent the "unfair laws" and "free speech zones" that you rightly decry. Forcibly-imposed laws are in a completely different moral category than voluntary agreements among consenting adults.