Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Betting On a Good Pair

This was posted to the LPNC Yahoo List by KPC friend and frequent commenter Tom Howe. It addresses the questions asked by many, including the judicious Steve Newton, about the Barr-Root ticket:

As a poker player, I assure you that a good pair will often lose. But it will often win, too. On thing is sure: if you don't bet, you can't win. One more thing is sure: if you bet big and then let a small raise scare you away, you have lost.

The LP chose to bet big on a good pair. We might win big -- we might get several per cent and get credit for destroying McCain. We might do this and attract hordes of thoughtful people who had liked our ideas, but previously believed our cause too far fetched. Of course, there's a chance of losing: we could be invaded the way the Reformers were.

We have a lot of chips in the pot. If we are scared away now, we're just certain to lose.

Hang tough! We have a good pair; the pot is huge! Back these candidates and the LP can be the politcal powerhouse you always wanted. Don't get wobbly now.

yours in Liberty,
Tom Howe

That is a fine way to put it. Play out the hand. If we fold, we lose the pot for sure.

And, yes, we might lose. That's how poker, and politics, work.


Anonymous said...

Has the Green Party become an enormous success after 2000? That should follow from Tom's logic.

Tom said...

Please forgive the spelling and grammar errors in the quoted text. My excuse is that I was composing while on the convention floor.

In answer to anon, above: to the best of my knowledge, the Greens were not betting the way Libertarians are. Nader did not have a record of opposing the essence of their (socialist) party. So they were trying to win big without having a lot at stake.

The poker analogy breaks down here. I think the Greens both won and lost -- but they lost more than they won. They got additional exposure -- always a good thing in politics. But they are now famous for having a celebrity candidate who turned out to be a fool. I'm pretty sure Libertarians will not have that particular problem.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please explain to me how the Libertarian position favors Obama over McCain?

Tom said...

Anon asked how "the Libertarian position favors Obama over McCain."

Mr. Barr is on record opposing the civil rights abuses of Bush. He has also promised a quick end to the Iraq war. Voters who think those are important issues, but who are uncomfortable with Obama for other reasons, could decide to vote for Barr.

It too early to tell how big an effect that might be. Also, it has to be balanced against the "disgusted Republican" factor. Much depends on Mr. Barr's fund raising.

Steven H. Newton said...

Fair enough; I also agree with Thomas Knapp that we have to start pushing Barr/Root to take stronger stands and live up to the Libertarian brand, not threaten to bring it down.

So in that spirit

Steven H. Newton said...

And as far as a nationwide strategy