Monday, May 26, 2008

For those upset about Bob Barr....

For those upset about the Bob Barr nomination, two things:

1. It was not that implausible. His responses in the debate helped him a lot.
2. And on the merits, check this. You may or may not find it helpful. But the "he voted for the Patriot Act" claim just isn't right. Or, at least, it's more complex.

In fact, now that I think about it, it's the heart of the matter. Bob Barr opposed the Patriot Act. He tried to compromise, and agreed to vote "yes" on the Patriot Act, in order to get some improvements in a bill that was going to pass anyway. Now, one can say that that was a mistake. In fact, it was. But it is not the same as "voted for the Patriot Act."

The problem with having a candidate who has actually held elective office is that it is likely the person has had to make some actual policy decisions. Whatever else are the merits of the Barr nomination, we are going to have to decide if we want to have some Libertarians who are actually IN office, or if we are just going to continue to be proud of our irrelevance. 'Cause we have a lot to be proud of.

I didn't vote for Bob Barr. I supported Mary Ruwart. But I'm glad Bob's the nominee, and I have already contributed to his campaign. I urge you to do the same.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Ron Paul delegate but even if I don't go to national I will never vote for Bob Barr. It's pretty simple really, he's a NeoCon and I think there will be a mass exodus from the Libertarian party. I would have supported Mary in a general election if Paul is not on the ballot.

John Q Public said...

don't take this the wrong way, but i'd rather give *you* any of my dollars meant for a political campaign. i'm ready to discount most negatives from his record if he claims to have 'seen the light,' but that's a far cry from getting my cash.

br said...

Thanks Mike. That does help some. Thank you for voting for Mary. I thought early on that she would win when Root fell out. I didn't mean to insinuate earlier that all NC delegates voted for Barr. The number 6 comes to mind from the earlier rounds.

The whole Patriot Act and having libertarians in office explanation feels like a Prisoner's Dilemma excuse.

Looking at Votesmart.org, Barr's voting record's not exactly stellar. Hogarth forgot to mention that he's also voted for:
minimum wage increases HR3448;
energy research funding HR4;
farm bill HR1906,
various land conservation bills HR701,2854,961;
no child left behind HR1;
various troops in miscellaneous countries bills HR 4205,1838,etc;
minimum sentences for gun crimes HR 424;
flag desecration HJ Res 33,36,54,79;
medicare preservation HR2425;
english language empowerment HR123

Noland tries to paint Barr as comparable to Ron Paul, but [also from votesmart.org] Barr voted Yes 319 times in 461 votes (69.2%). Paul voted Yes in only 215 of 1003 votes (21.4%). And for comparison, McCain only voted Yes in 378 of 872 votes (43.3%). I know this is non-scientific and doesn't account for changes in house/senate demographics, but it seems like a pretty good gauge to me.

With plenty of libertarian candidates to choose from, I just don't get it. Listening to the state representatives, gave the feeling, at least, that the LP was growing. Now, I'm afraid we're sending a non-cohesive message, which I'm making worse.

Being an ex-Republican, I'm pretty sketchy about toeing the party line. Being a political observor, I'm not exactly dying to support a candidate based on campaign time promises that he's seen the light. Like Mary said[paraphrased], "Welcome to the party. Now, go do some libertarian things before you seek the candidacy."

Steve Newton said...

I'm not sure I am on board with Barr/Root, but you make a strong if succinct case--and we have to have a national party to have a state presence.

Here's my take

http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/05/michael-munger-and-one-answer-to-my.html

Derek Conjar said...

I know that a lot of people are questioning Barr's conviction since his recent switch from Republican to Libertarian. I don't think it's anything we'd have to worry about, though.

Don't forget that Barr's VP is Wayne Allen Root, which was my favorite nominee. You can't question his conviction. He's the Las Vegas gambler. The S.O.B. - son of a butcher.

You don't have to believe that Bob Barr is a born-again Libertarian to support him. If he flip flops on policy with Wayne Root in the White House, we could expect some Washington DC brawls. It's a lot easier to trust Bob Barr when you remember that Wayne Root is right behind him. It's similar to how easy it is to detest George Bush when you remember that Dick Cheney is right behind him.

I had a dilemma about who I was going to vote for, because I was not too enthusiastic about Barr in the debates, but I did not know the results until recently. I think Barr and Root is a killer combination: Experience + Pure Passion.

What's more amazing is that they have a chance to, not only be the biggest 3rd party spoiler in American history, BUT TO WIN!!! Barr is already recording around 10% on polls, and he hasn't even started yet. Most people don't even know who he is or what he stands for, yet.

The fact is that most Americans are not happy with the 2 party system, now more than ever. What kind of decision was George Bush vs. John Kerry? McCain vs. Obama? Why not just shoot me? It's the commie vs. the warlord, plain and simple.

I don't see him being a spoiler. Who would he spoil? McCain or Obama? There are libertarians endorsing both, using a lesser-of-two-evils approach. Right-libertarians will vote McCain. Lefties will vote Obama. Free trade libertarians will vote McCain. Civil libertarians will vote Obama.

This is how I want it to play out:

1) Obama becomes democratic candidate (many conservatives and libertarians would have supported Hillary, but not Obama).

2) Obama and McCain run a fairly close race, and Barr raises enough funds to successfully compete.

3) Barr commands votes from angry Republicans, Democrats that oppose Obama's extreme economic policies, left and right Libertarians, and the massive population that doesn't vote.

If Barr can cash in on the people that don't bother to cast their vote because of the failing 2 party system, he's got it won.

Barr has to win. If he loses:

1) Obama pushes socialist economic policies that look pretty on paper, but cause tons of financial hardship. I'm from Baltimore, which is a city that suffers from economic over-regulation. My part of town is the murder capital of the USA (Northeast Baltimore) because of the insane regulations that force citizens to deal drugs and join crime organizations. Barack's policy would make it much worse. If you don't believe me, read his Blueprint for Change and take an Econ course.

2) McCain said that he wouldn't mind staying in Iraq for 100 years. He also changed an old Beach Boys song to "Bomb Iran." If you don't believe me, watch the videos on YouTube.

VOTE BARR!!!