Free Markets, Free People


Reason #3,209 Why I’ll Never Be Associated With The Libertarian Party: Bob Barr

Outside of Libertarian Party types, few people probably even remember who former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) is anymore. He was most famous, of course, for spearheading the prosecution of Pres. William J. Clinton’s impeachment. However, Barr was also a fierce “Drug Warrior” and a leading proponent of the Defense of Marriage Act, which drew the wrath of many libertarians. After his House district was combined with another Republican, Barr was ousted from office much to the delight of liberals and libertarians.

Then Bob had a road to Damascus moment, culminating in his accepting the nomination as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for U.S. President in 2008.

Two years later, Mr. Barr is using his role as putative head of the Libertarian Party to make endorsements of congressional candidates such as … Russ Feingold:

What I look for in Washington are folks in the Senate and the House who put the Constitution first. Not the “R” or the “D”, not partisan politics but the Constitution. And what you have in Russ, and I have worked closely with him over a number of years to try to rein in the Patriot Act, to try to rein in the government surveillance and so forth — this is a man who understands the Constitution, who supports and fights sometimes against his own party to defend the Constitution in the Congress of the United States in ways that are much more consistent and much more proactive than a lot of Republicans.

That’s right, folks, Bob Barr believes that Russ Feingold — the man who helped bring us that delightful attack upon our First Amendment rights known as “McCain-Feingold” — “is a man who understands the Constitution.” Now, I suppose Barr could have meant that Feingold knows the Constitution in that Kierkegaardian sense that one must know it so intimately and thoroughly in order to fully oppose it. But some how I think not.

Instead, Barr intends to throw the weight of the Libertarian Party behind a politician who thinks that political speech can be legislatively restricted, that it is the job of government to provide everyone health care, that Congress can and should set compensation for each and every one of us based on gender, and who takes myriad other anti-freedom positions. Which, for the 3,209th time, is why I will not ever be associated with the Libertarian Party.

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13 Responses to Reason #3,209 Why I’ll Never Be Associated With The Libertarian Party: Bob Barr

  • As a fellow Neo all I can say is “herding cats”. I never thought Barr was a (L)libertarian of any stripe, because he only bought half the argument. I can find Dhimmicretins that will buy half the argument too. You have to cross that 50 yard line pretty far before you proclaim that you are libertarian. If the TEA party will continue and abstain from entering the business of legislating social standards, they will either cause a hostile takeover of the Rethuglicans or they’ll drift our way. Of course if they do make the hostile takeoverand eschew social engineering, we Neos may become superfluous. Well I can hope, can’t I?

  • I registered LP for a number of years, and voted the LP candidate for POTUS in ’92 and ’96.

    That said, the LP is rather odd in a way. They have this “I’m a real libertarian and you are not . . . ” thing going on, yet at he same time they seem to get star struck by someone like Barr.

  • 3,209 reasons, huh?  Well, that’s just cute.

    I don’t know why you even bother keeping count after that many.  After reading your posts all these years, one knows that you don’t even have to get into the double digits of reasons why you’re not associated with the LP.
    Reason #1:  You’re not a libertarian.

    You were a staunch supporter of the Iraq war.  You’re against same-sex marriage.  And judging by what you write about, the drug war along with other issues libertarians hold dear, are the furthest from your mind.  You concentrate on bashing liberals, or at least those you perceive as liberal, and defending republicans.  And god forbid anyone writes a negative thing about the tea party, even someone widely accepted as a libertarian, then they automatically become someone who is an enemy.

    Dale Franks writes of QandO, that this is a “big-tent libertarianism.”  But since Henke left, I have yet to witness any “big-tent libertarianism.”  Anyone who doesn’t fall in line with your version of libertarianism, is doomed to find themselves in your mind, as liberals and therefore the enemy.

    I don’t know why you even pretend anymore.  Say it loud and say it proud – you are a conservative republican.

    And I realize that it is just a joke, but to joke about there being over 3000 reasons you don’t associate yourself with other libertarians doesn’t really scream of “big-tent libertarianism” does it?
    No, it really screams of what your version of libertarianism is: a very narrow and small-minded version.  Lower taxes, smaller government – sure, but in addition, a very strong, authoritarian military and homeland security willing to drop billions of taxpayer money in shitholes around the world.  Justifiable?  Matters not.  Spread democracy as though they were appleseeds.  Everybody knows that apples grow in the dessert, after all.  Don’t agree with me, and you’re OUT!!
    Sounds more like a republican to me.  Hell, the LP probably has over 3000 reasons why you shouldn’t be a libertarian.

    Good luck with this whole “neo-libertarianism” thingie.

    • Ahah. A bit cranky there, Pogue. Not your usual “snipe from the sidelines with clever wit” style.

    • Well, just to show how moronic the “critique” is, Pogue goes from telling me that I’m “not a libertarian” because of positions x and y (among other things that I’ve never done or said, nor do I even know what he’s talking about), to chiding me for being so narrow-minded in my approach to libertarianism (“And I realize that it is just a joke, but to joke about there being over 3000 reasons you don’t associate yourself with other libertarians doesn’t really scream of ‘big-tent libertarianism’ does it?”) without so much as a hint of self-awareness.

      So who is it with the litmus test?

      As for my attack upon liberals, so what? I go after people and ideas that are anti-freedom, who happen most time to be American liberals. Since the vast majority of them are either enamored with statist policies, are insufficiently skeptical about them, I don’t really see the issue.

      Moreover, if you think I don’t go after Republicans, then you’re either dishonest or illiterate. And you sure as heck aren’t listening to the podcasts.

      • From my perspective, Democrats are wrong nearly 100% of the time. Republicans might be wrong 50%, but that’s significantly better than 100%.

        I agree with Libertarians more than Republicans on some issues, but other issues not so much. It is not so much disagrement on issues that poses a problem with Libertarians; rather, it is more about their priorities.

        The LP candidate priorities tend to be something like weed, or ferrit rights, or some such. I voted for legal weed in my mail in ballot, but it is an issue I barely care about in the larger context. Right now my worries are Obama’s socialism and our coming entitlement crash.

      • I find it particularly risible to note that (1) you’re being urged to confess to being a conservative Republicans, contrasted with (2) the assertion that the blog isn’t big tent since Jon Henke left to… join the Republican political establishment.

        So who should be considered a the conservative Republican, Pogue? The one that left to work for Mitch McConnell, or the ones around here who lambast Republicans all the time?

        Finally, the assumption that there is no conceivable libertarian defense of the invasion of Iraq always irritates me. For starters, the alternative “let it lie” Middle Eastern policy that holds no expected long term change in the terrorism landscape could very well lead to permanent solidification of police-state domestic policies in the name of fighting terrorism.

      • Pogue is irritable because all his democrat pals are going down hard.  Good riddance to Pelosi, Reid et al.

        • He’s good at not putting up his views. I don’t know if he’s a libertrian or a leftist.

  • I used to be a closet libertarian, subscriped to Reason, etc.  Used to be puzzled by some of the Libertarian positions, though.

    Then one day I realized that 99% of the Libertarian platform was “legalize drugs”.