-4 votes

A vote for Sarvis is a vote for Sarvis! (Republicans are desperate)

Written by Josh Walker

As Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial race draws to a close, it appears that Republicans are in full-on meltdown mode as it becomes increasingly obvious that Ken Cuccinelli is going to lose. As is the case in most contests – political or not – the losers rack their brains desperately trying to pinpoint an external cause of their demise. Enter Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. Sarvis is fairly unknown in the realm of politics, having only run for statewide office once before; he lost. He’s been campaigning across the state in his wife’s minivan. He was not allowed in any of the debates. He is polled at garnering roughly 10% support. And he has raised less than $100,000 in campaign cash. Despite all of this, if one peruses the Internet, it becomes obvious that Republican voters and operatives are engaging in a last minute misinformation campaign against the Libertarian candidate.

Of course we all know, especially from past presidential contests, the ire that third parties can draw. Republicans and Democrats have it out for Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, respectively, to this day. As the election draws near, one will find more and more of the standard “A vote for Sarvis is a vote McAuliffe” peppering local news sites’ comments sections and even his Facebook page. The implicit premise in that phrase is presumptuous on so many levels. First, it presumes that Sarvis voters would actually vote for Cuccinelli if Sarvis was not an option. Second, it presumes that at least some Sarvis voters would not vote for McAullife. Lastly, it presumes that Sarvis voters would actually bother going to the polls if Sarvis was not on the ballot. As a recent Slate column indicates, the first two of these presumptions are highly questionable; when Sarvis is not an option on the ballot McAuliffe still leads Cuccinelli. Sarvis is drawing support from both Republican and Democratic voters. One also has to question the third presumption on the basis of the fact that neither Cuccinelli nor McAuliffe has had a favorable rating in the black for the duration of the campaign; it seems likely that at least some Sarvis voters would just stay home on Election Day if Sarvis was not on the ballot.

If the standard Republican anti-spoiler talking points weren’t enough, several Republican bloggers and operatives have taken to launching a smear campaign against Sarvis. Ben Domenech writing for The Federalist accuses Sarvis of being a “libertarian-in-name-only,” saying that he supports higher taxes, loves Obamacare, doesn’t fully embrace Austrian economics, and supports installing tracking devices in everyone’s car. As far as taxes and healthcare go, a cursory glance at the candidate’s website will show his actual positions. He supports reducing or eliminating a whole host of taxes, and supports decentralization in healthcare policy. The accusation of car trackers is a blatant distortion of a video in which Sarvis lists a whole host of potential ways that transportation could be funded more in line with the principle of user-pays (note that government trackers aren’t even mentioned). It is also a struggle to see why Austrian economics should be of prime importance. If a candidate is running on a platform of ending preferential subsidies, removing barriers to entry, and ending crony-backed, monopoly-inducing regulatory policy, then why should anyone care about what he or she thinks about Ludwig von Mises’ view of business cycles? Even if someone is so dogmatic as to think that adherence to Austrian economic is essential to libertarianism, it’s not like Cuccinelli is any sort of libertarian in this regard.

Which brings us to the strangest Cuccinelli tactic thus far: his surrogates are claiming that he is the actual libertarian in the race. Dr. Susan Berry writing for Breitbart argues that Cuccinelli should be the choice of libertarians pointing to his plan to cut personal and corporate income taxes, saying it will create an “environment that is ripe for the free market.” His plan would reduce the corporate income tax to 4% from 6% and personal income taxes to 5% from 5.75%. Apart from the fact that such a change is pro-business as opposed to pro-free-market and essentially amounts to a corporate subsidy paid for by average workers who will now pay a higher percent than their employers, Sarvis is the only candidate who has said he would like to abolish income taxes altogether. Despite information from the Republican propaganda machine to the contrary, preferential tax treatment of businesses is not a principle of the free market or libertarianism.

Cuccinelli is also parading his endorsements by Ron and Rand Paul as evidence of his libertarian bona fides. It’s hard to see how the Pauls’ endorsement of Cuccinelli is surprising; they are both Republicans after all, and Rand has explicitly rejected the notion that he is anything other than a Republican. And despite Ron Paul’s acceptance by a large portion of libertarians, many of his views can far more easily be classified as conservative Republican than libertarian. Let’s also not forgot to mention the fact that Gary Johnson (you know the 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for president) has endorsed Sarvis.

Many people want to make light of Cuccinelli’s social views, but they are arguably the strongest evidence that he is not libertarian. He supports the state’s ban on same sex marriage and expresses support for tightening restrictions on abortion. The libertarian view on same sex marriage can be complicated, but the most popular position is that the state should remove itself from the realm of recognizing relationships altogether, allowing consenting adults to enter into whatever arrangements they prefer. Support for same sex marriage is seen as the second best option; it is argued that if the state extends such recognition, it should not be discriminatory in its extension. Abortion is far more complicated, but many libertarians see it as an issue that should be decided by a woman in consultation with her physician not the state. The Libertarian Party’s official platform says as much. The issue that many Virginian’s are probably most acquainted with is Cuccinelli’s attempt to have the state’s anti-sodomy law reinstated. He argues that it is needed to help protect children from adult predators. If Cuccinelli wants to crack down on child predators, a law with that specific purpose would easily breeze through the General Assembly. Regardless of his stated intentions, the letter of the law he sought to have reinstated bans oral and anal sex between consenting adults. No libertarian would support the existence of such a law, even if it goes unenforced.

Republicans would have people believe that voting for Sarvis steals votes from Cuccinelli and gives the election to McAuliffe. The evidence just does not support that. The attempts to paint Sarvis as an authoritarian are silly and disengenious. Ken Cuccinelli is no libertarian, and any attempt to portray him as such is chicanery par excellence. A vote for Robert Sarvis is a vote for Robert Sarvis.

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+1 for subject and logic.

If I lived in VA, I'm 99% certain I'd vote for Cucinelli.

That said, the lesser evil argument really irks me. I gave you a +1 because your logic is unassailable.

Had your critics stated, for example,"A vote for Sarkis IS LIKE a vote for McAuliffe," then they'd have the logical high ground. But in their attempt to propagandize a vote for either the GOP or lesser evil, they make the FALSE statement that a vote for A = a vote for B. No, it does not. A vote for A = a vote for A. You nailed it.

The only argument you didn't employ and I wish you had is this one: in the marketplace products can AND SHOULD fail unless and until they become superior. In other words (and again I would vote for Cucinelli in all likelihood) perhaps the GOP needs to fail so it can come back with a superior product (like Goldwater, Reagan or Paul) and win. And that the GOP shouldn't be attacking Brand C, when the GOP is Brand B in the generic race. They should improve their brand and take over the Brand A slot.

Well said!

thanks Spirit of '76 I was getting pretty lonely here on the fence. I do respect your voting decision as you feel Cucinelli is right for the job, rather than voting AGAINST someone else. I kinda had your argument that i did not use in mind but could not say it as well as you did.

Label Jars, Not People!

Ron Paul has never endorsed a LP candidate...

....if there's a GOP candidate in the race. He'll either endorse GOP or not endorse.

But he did endorse the

But he did endorse the Constitution Party in 2008. I wonder why?

Who was the GOP candidate in the race?

Can you state?

Well...MclLame was. But why

Well...MclLame was. But why wouldn't he have not endorsed anyone at that point?

If you read what he EXACTLY said.

He did not endorse.

Why? Because that's Ron Paul. He will NOT endorse a non-GOP candidate if there's a GOP candidate in the race. He'll either not endorse or endorse the GOP candidate.

If you need more details you'd need to ask him directly, I'd imagine.

Interesting. If my memory

Interesting. If my memory serves me correctly I would swear it was an endorsement. I'll have to look at it again.

He said "I'm supporting."

I guess that can be interpreted as an endorsement. It definitely breaks his typical MO. But, as you pointed out, it was after all McLame as the GOP candidate, the Manchurian Candidate, no where close to Cucinelli.

Right...but he didn't endorse

Right...but he didn't endorse anyone in 2012. I'm guessing cause he had so many delegates that he didn't want to break any hearts.

Ron Paul endorsed Cuccinelli...

...and will be speaking tonight at a Cuccinelli rally.


"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

How Ron can continue

How Ron can continue associate with an organization that has repeatedly very publicly dumped on him is beyond me.

He rallied for Cuccinelli.

I don't know what organization you're talking about.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

The GOP.

The GOP is not a monolith

Working within the GOP does not entail agreeing with or supporting every member or faction of the GOP. Ron Paul works in the GOP for the specific purpose of building up a liberty faction so as to fight the party establishment. If his goal is to promote liberty, why on Earth WOULDN'T he do that? Walking away and letting the establishment retain control of the party = failure.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Did Cuccinelli dump on him?

Did Cuccinelli dump on him?

democrats and republicans

Same old us vs them propaganda. Some will never admit that this country has BIG problems created by dems and repubs. The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again expecting different results! But by all means, ignore the obvious delude yourselves into thinking you are not insane!

Label Jars, Not People!

Protest vote when it's rational

Certainly the Republican Party has problems. Ron Paul supporters know that better than anyone (or at least as well). But a protest vote for Sarvis in the Virginia governors race doesn't make sense.

Fed up with the lack of differences between the two parties? Good! Me too. It's the corruption. But we're working on it.

The goal is to get good people in at all levels. Work to ensure that all the people in charge of running the party in Virginia are good people. That's not a Republican Party con; that's what Ron Paul supporters have worked to do, with some success.

But now we're looking at the Virginia governors race specifically. The next governor of the state will be either Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe and a protest vote for Sarvis buys you nothing.

There are serious and fundamental differences between these two guys. Terry McAuliffe is a crooked Washington insider who's made a lot of money illegally with the help of political connections. He's basically a mobster. He's even under investigation by Obama's "Justice" Department (but only for a business in which he had Republican Party insiders as partners).

Ken Cuccinelli has no such baggage and has shown as the state's Attorney General, that he has a much better stance on individual civil rights and the Constitution.

Why in the Sam Dagit would you protest against Ken Cuccinelli?

Correlation does not prove causality!

Protest vote?

Big words from one who backs a coward too scared to debate Sarvis. Lets see how well your guy does with no money and naked without major party status! Dem vs Repug is like 2 guys in a phone booth trying to kick the Libertarian. Protest vote? yeah I protest the 2 party corruption that passes for liberty these days. A vote for Sarvis buys me nothing? Wrong again! 10% of the votes buys my party MAJOR PARTY STATUS...you know, something your party always takes for granted because you made a deal with the dems to keep it that way...

Label Jars, Not People!

Wow! You're voting for major

Wow! You're voting for major party status! Congratulations! You will singlehandedly hand your state over to another one of Obamas minions.

Ron Paul himself endorsed Cuccinelli. Third party is a lost cause.

you guys are all the same

with this divide and conquer stuff. this country has big problems because of democrats and republicans.

Label Jars, Not People!

But listen...since at least

But listen...since at least 2007, there has been a liberty movement in the RP. And we are winning. Why else would the DP finance a LP candidate? Make sense to me.

"Your government today, is

"Your government today, is the direct result of always voting for the lesser of two evils."
That's a quote from my 2012 Gary Johnson yard sign.

Monkey Wrench Gang

Oh, I thought we were talking about the candidacy of
Doc Sarvis... I'd vote for him or George Washington Hayduke.

Never mind.


Very simple.

The Republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party.

Nothing will change that now.

Join the Libertarian party today.

Lost cause. Join the rest of

Lost cause. Join the rest of us in taking over the RP.

What's he gonna give me?

What is Ken Cuccinelli going to give me that I really want, as a Constitutional Patriot, to make me vote for him and not Sarvis?

Police sensitivity training to reduce police abuse and frivolous traffic ticketing of the citizens?

I'm not asking for more money and government freebies. I'm just asking for more respect and better treatment from my government employees.


Lesser crimes, unfalsly charged victims, looks like dr. Paul is getting him into the federal reserve. 2nd amendment patriot. If Terry gets in I'd be afraid of virginians loosing there right to bear some fire arms.. further gun restriction.. I think ken is better than sarvis. I don't like sarvis on the guards of his medicaid exspansion, global warming, no borders.

McAuliffe has no plan

and he is going to do what he always does. Follow the orders of his puppet masters. This is about 2016. Deny the GOP Virginia and lock up the electoral votes for Hillary. McAuliffe's War on Coal would devastate South Western Virginia AND his higher taxes and embrace of ObamaCare will devastate the economy in the rest of the state. Virginia has one of the BEST unemployment rates in the country but that won't last lone. He also plans to bring in Bloomberg-style NY Gun Control. McAuliffe has a history of making promises that he never follows through with. Just as the folks at Green Tech. They are still looking for the automobile plant to be built. Bloomberg, Hollywood, Obama and The Clinton's are ALL backing McAuliffe. That is all you need to know. Ron and Rand are backing Cuccinelli. Think about it.

Not so fast...

This ain't over by a long shot and Cuccinelli has closed the gap so that this is a toss-up at this point. ObamaCare is scaring the hell out of people in Virginia (as it is in other states) and McAuliffe wants MORE of it while Cooch wants less. Sarvis is not ready for prime time just yet and has made some non-libertarian remarks that have shaken the faith of his supporters. This is going to come down to turn out and the TEA Party is mobilizing. People are starting to realize that this is a precursor to the 2016 Presidential Election and if Virginia falls now then Hillary has an easier path to The White House.