As I noted on Sunday, Wayne Allyn Root had announced his participation in a “trial” of President Obama led by Rev. James Manning, a noted birther and virulent Obama critic. Late yesterday, Root issued a statement saying that he had decided not to participate in the event:
I had a chance today for the first time to read about the highlights of the first day of the “Obama trial.” I found myself uncomfortable being involved or associated in any way with the wild charges, claims and conspiracy theories that have been publicly aired by this mock trial. I believe these wild charges and claims actually damage any future legitimate opportunity to question President Obama’s background. This forum has an agenda and I have come to the conclusion it is not my agenda. I called Pastor Manning personally this morning to explain why I’ve decided not to participate. He understood completely. We wished each other well.
I believe any association with this trial would discredit the opportunity to have a fair, open and balanced discussion or debate in the future. I want to be part of any such future opportunity. I have much to say about President Obama, and many questions about his past and present actions, but I’m more comfortable airing them in a mainstream media forum. More importantly, I’d rather spend my time discussing, debating and questioning Mr. Obama’s current policies that I believe are toxic to America, the U.S. economy and capitalism, than spending my time debating his past. I’d rather spend my valuable time in the media on educating voters about the dramatic expansion of government under Obama; the nonstop violations of the Constitution; the deadly expansion of deficit and national debt; the political payoffs disguised as stimulus and bailouts; the lack of transparency of this administration; Obama’s pro union agenda at all costs- no matter what damage is done to the economy. All of these are far more important to America’s future than Obama’s past. We cannot change the past, but we can change the future direction of this country away from Obama’s dangerous agenda- if we are not distracted by wild claims and conspiracy theories.
I’ve got to agree with Jason Pye, that this sounds mostly like Root got caught doing something stupid and is now trying to backtrack like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Jason also makes another point:
The Libertarian Party at the national level is broken. It has been for some time. Whenever we gain a sliver of success we tend to do something in another area that messes it up.
Jason has a lot more experience with internal LP politics than I do, but he’s absolutely right, and it’s something I’ve seen for years now, and it really started with the internal squabbling that erupted after the 1980 Presidential campaign, which still stands as the high watermark for Libertarian candidates nationally.
It seems pretty clear to me that Root, who seems more interested in self-promotion than much of anything else based on my observations of the man, would represent another one of those mistakes.