Bill Woolsey gets it right, as usual. Here's a look at the bigger picture:
Less Antman does an excellent job of trying to make this contretemps be about bright-line calendar-accident injustice, rather than the fundamental issue of children's rights. It took Ruwart eight days to back off from her book's position that the rules should be age-blind, but once she endorsed a sliding rebuttable-presumption standard, there was no longer an interesting controversy here about "age of consent". (She's still vulnerable for her mistaken claim that "desire" can be the only reason for a child to competently want to engage in sexual activity, but that's a technicality that most of her critics, and all of her supporters, will overlook.) Even the question of whether the rules about consent should be established by legislation vs. markets doesn't make for a truly novel controversy among libertarians -- although this is surely the first time that a serious LP presidential contender had a written record on this extremely sensitive subtopic.
No, the most intellectually interesting remainder of this controversy is the question of how children's rights are balanced against the rights of parents as guardians. Ruwart's book clearly suggests that she sees parents having no rights whatsoever to constrain their children's choices, except by denying them e.g. transportation to the child's pornography photo shoots. This is a topic that Ruwart and her supporters aren't touching with a ten-foot pole. And with good reason, because it leads directly to an unanswered question I asked of Ruwart ten days ago: "Do you agree with Rothbard that it should not be a crime for parents to starve their children, or do you hold that the legal system should require a positive obligation of parents not to starve their children?"
In the context of abortion, Ruwart opines that the "predominant" Libertarian view is that "parents do not have a *duty* to support their offspring". However, it's nowhere *near* "predominant" that Libertarians agree with Rothbard (and his new acolyte Alex Peak) that parents may starve their offspring (even if the parents post public notice that anyone may now "homestead" the guardianship rights to the kids -- I'm not making this stuff up). She says her own personal belief is:
MR) Once the embryo is old enough to live outside the womb, the woman is still under no moral obligation to carry the child to term. She can invite people to her house, change her mind, and ask them to leave. She can invite an embryo to grow inside of her body, change her mind, and ask it to leave (MR
If there's an anti-Ruwart conspiracy, it's dropping the ball by not asking Ruwart whether parents have obligations to infants that they don't have to viable fetuses. (Somebody needs to tell Dr. Ruwart that humans stop being called embryos after the 8th week of gestation, and that fetuses aren't viable until about 23 weeks.) But of course there isn't an anti-Ruwart conspiracy, or else she'd also be grilled for her checkbook-justice theory of restitution ( http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/05/checkbook-justice-in-ruwarchistan.html ) and for her published opposition to the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to subpoena witnesses. (The Bill of Rights: void where prohibited by Ruwarchy.)
My only interest in the dark corners of Ruwart's anarchist worldview is that she is a Restore04 supporter explicitly running to be the ideological leader of the LP, and who has been uniquely touted by her supporters as a quarter-century paragon of "plumbline" ideological virtue. But now we have so-called radicals like Less Antman and Tom Knapp tripping over themselves to angrily say that Ruwart is choosing not to "hold high the banner" of a growing list of her own "plumbline" principles. Maybe Ruwart's campaign slogan should be "holding low the banner of plumbline libertarian principle". :-)
These are valid reasons to either prefer or not prefer Ruwart as the LP presidential nominee, depending on your ideology. She herself says that the nominee will be the de facto intellectual leader of the LP for the next four years, and that her record of libertarian principle is why she is best qualified among all the candidates. Tom Knapp can wish all he wants that she never said it, by I've heard her say it in multiple interviews.
P.S. Alex, it's still simply false that Murray Rothbard was a founder of the LP. I've already pointed you to the old issues of Rothbard's Libertarian Forum where he criticizes the newly-formed LP. Wikipedia is great, but it's not inerrant.