DENVER — It's the strippers who give it away, the not very well kept secret that the Libertarian Party Convention is a little different.
At the average mainstream major party convention, such things as adult entertainment are off campus, left to delegates to find themselves. At the Libertarian fest in the basement ballroom of a Denver hotel, the strip club has its own booth.
And why not? Libertarians detest the idea of the government regulating morality.
Shotgun Willies occupies prime turf in the exhibit hall outside the convention meeting room, renting a booth that displays a grass skirt — empty — in front of the sign proclaiming it "Denver's #1 Gentleman's Cabaret and Cigar Bar."
The club shares a curtain divider with the campaign booth of presidential candidate Bob Barr, the former congressman from Georgia who gained fame by helping press the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying under oath to conceal an affair.
It's just around the corner from the Marijuana Policy Project, which fights to make marijuana legal for medical use, and for non medical use.
A few doors down is the Northwestern Mutual booth, where the cash value life insurance is advertised as "the ultimate Libertarian Asset" because the government will never be able to seize it.
And Shotgun Willies sits square across from the booth of Liberty Dollars, where Joby Weeks of Denver sells a new, non-government form of money that boasts, "in just eight years, the Liberty Dollar has become America's second most popular currency."
Before you can ask why it took eight years — was there another No. 2 currency ahead of it? — consider Weeks' pitch about how silver retains its value while the government's money has lost its value. (Libertarians HATE the Federal Reserve.)
"An ounce of silver bought five gallons of gas in 1950, it bought five gallons of gas in 1970, and it buys five gallons of gas in 2008," says Weeks. "The price of gas hasn't gone up. The purchasing power of a dollar has gone down."
But the best reason? "The strippers take silver," he offers.