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History started in 1998
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In his book The Argument, Matt Bai wrote that the "political consciousness of most of the bloggers seemed to begin sometime around impeachment, when they had first tuned in."

Apparently, Open Left's Chris Bowers tuned in after that...

Bob Barr was "one of the House managers during the Clinton impeachment trial." In fairness, of course, there are hundreds of US Congressmen I couldn't name, either.

Via Patrick Ruffini on Twitter.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Jon, don’t you think this is, instead, proof that "Barr" is no longer the relevant player in the political theater that he once was? In perusing the Wikipedia page it seems that he has become something of a one-dog act since leaving Congress focusing on the PATRIOT act and warrantless wiretapping. Those are arguably worthy causes but not the sort of activity that gets you reams of continuous media coverage.

Dallying around the Libertarian party further cements his more recent status as "I TOO am relevant..." in my view.
Written By: AIDA
URL: http://
I paid full attention to the impeachment, and while I remember there were a baker’s dozen managers, I don’t remember the names of any of them. Actually, the number of managers may be one reason: two or three names stand out, a list of more than ten is...just a list. I know, from references like yours, that Barr was one of them, but the fact tends to slip out of my memory pretty easily.

What were the names of all the managers?
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
Then again, you don’t have the chutzpah to comment "EVEN I have never heard of him." I’ve always felt that Chris Bowers was a drooling idiot, who needed to stick with his literature PhD. This only further confirms my suspicions.
Written By: Sean
URL: http://
But Bob Barr? Who was so up front in the Clinton impeachment?

It would be like me saying, "You know, I have never heard of this obscure guy from Illinois in the US Senate, who says he is running for President this year. Osama? Barama? What was his name again?"
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Yeah, I’m pretty stupefied by this. Hillary Clinton is important because, once upon a time, she was a very visible and controversial First Lady who parlayed victim status in a scandal that almost lead to removal of President Clinton from office into a Senate seat. Bob Barr was one of the faces of the notorious "House Republicans" who led the impeachment charge. And by the way, Sam Ervin had something to do with Watergate, I’ve heard. What was Watergate? Well, in the Oliver Stone film...

Here’s the reason why it matters. Third party and independent bids, while incapable of winning, can throw elections by splitting votes. In Pennsylvania, 27% of the registered Republicans came out to vote in the Republican primary for the sole purpose of voting against McCain (some voted for Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican, some voted for Huckabee, the Southern Christian Republican).

Most Libertarian Party figures have no real mainstream political experience or name recognition. Barr does because of the prominent role he played as a Southern Republican Congressman. Once it becomes clear that the Paul and Huckabee rides are over, where is that 27% in PA going to go? How big a percentage is it in other battleground states? These are real questions. Us Obamacans are happy to ask them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if McCainites shudder at the thought.

To understand this election, you need to not only see before 1998. You need to think carefully about 1992, because 2 out of the 3 viable candidates remaining are very much hoping to relive it. A strong, vote splitting third party bid from the Right is all that’s missing. Wait for it.

Written By: R. Kevin Hill
URL: http://

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