Bob Barr's Announcement

The smallish room Bob Barr booked for his presidential announcement was overflowing with journalists. I've seen every Ron Paul 2008 event held at the venue, and they never drew this sort of interest: There were, I think, four working reporters at the press conference announcing the haul from the first moneybomb. But Barr's announcement drew live reporters from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post (even if it was the famously snarky "Sketch" author Dana Milbank). Barr foreign policy pal Doug Bandow stood by him at the podium, and foreign policy maven Jim Bovard sat in the audience.

I doubt the interest will keep up unless Barr's promises come true and he becomes a "credible candidate" for the White House with a chance to win a plurality of the vote. The press corps wanted to know two things: Could Barr be stumped on any policy questions? Did he explicitly want to spoil the election for McCain? The answers were no and no, although Barr's "spoiler" answer wasn't entirely credible. "The thought has never crossed my mind," he said. Well, sure it has. After the conference, Barr's political adviser Russ Verney told me that Barr had tested the waters with an exploratory committee because he didn't want to run if he couldn't win. "There are substantial risks," Verney said. "We're talking about alienating life-long friends. We're talking about putting your credibility on the line." The main thing that would cause Barr to lose friends would be, of course, if he Nadered McCain.

So the media attention puts to rest the claims of rival candidates, like Christine Smith, that Barr is anything but the biggest publicity draw in the race. He was notably less dry than the figure the Washington press remembers from the Clinton impeachment. Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times framed a question about immigration in terms of public "compassion." Barr filibustered a little. "No one's ever accused me of being a compassionate conservative," he said. "Am I compassionate? You could ask my wife." A bit after Barr said he opposed a specific timetable for withdrawal from Iaq, Sean Higgins of Investor's Business Daily asked if Barr knew which states he'd be targeting. "Yes." Higgins asked him to elaborate. "Just as it's not strategically sound to tell the enemy your timetable for withdrawal..." Barr explained.

Is Barr picking up the Ron Paul vote? He acrobatically avoided tying his campaign to Paul, but I talked to a few familiar Paulites in the audience. Ron Paul Rider Michael Maresco, who staged a 60-day bike ride across the country to support Paul, shook hands with Barr then told me he would back him. Brad Jansen, a ubiquitous DC organizer for Paul and manager of one of the Ron Paul Republicans' campaigns for the House (Vern McKinley, in the DC exurbs), talked to Barr about writing a follow-up to his 2002 Liberty article defending him against attacks by the then-leadership of the LP.

The audio of the press's questions is here. The reporters are hard to hear, but Barr's voice should be clear.

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  • ||

    McCain can't be happy.

    He can't help but remember the cheering from Republican debate audiences when Ron Paul denounced the war and called for ending it.

    Not all of the them. Not even most of them.

    But enough that the debate halls echoed.

  • Neil||

    The only way Dems can win are with right-wing spoilers (such a Perot). Still no majority of the popular vote, though.

  • ||

    "A bit after Barr said he opposed a specific timetable for withdrawal from Iaq,..."

    I thought Barr had adopted a more libertarian friendly view about Iraq? If he is a "stay in it until we win it" guy, how is he better than McCain?

  • ||

    First off--Great comment, joe.

    It seems to me that the main danger for Bob Barr is some sort of purist insurrection at the LP convention. God I hope that doesn't happen.

    If Barr can take it, things could get fun. God, it's been annoying watching McCain act so smug, self-superior, and contented these past few months. The power-worshipping DC press corps has been treating him as if he's something besides lucky. (Not to mention something besides a moron.)

    Now we're in a position to really fuck with him. The neo-cons have been giving it to us high and hard for, oh, about seven years now.

    With any luck, we can drown them in their own nut-sweat.

  • robc||

    JLM,

    While I make no claims to speak for Barr, there is a difference between announcing a date and staying in until we win. I never thought the "we were start withdrawing on Jan 21" was the smartest strategy. That said, I want more details on what he really means. In until we "win" is stupid, unless he agrees with me that we had already "won" the war as of the Mission Accomplished sign.

  • ||

    JLM,

    Barr is not a "stay until victory" type. He seems to genuinely support a quick, Paul-like withdrawal. He just doesn't want to telegraph troop movements.

  • ||

    joe,

    OK.

    By the way, when you leave for work in the morning, is that Neil guy outside your door waiting to heckle you?

  • Bingo||

    The Paulites causing trouble at the national convention and a Bob Barr LP ticket should keep things pretty damn interesting on the GOP side. Good timing too, should keep things interesting now that the Clinton/Obama fiasco is almost over.

  • ||

    So Koch is giving the ok to a Barr candidacy? great! go Barr! we love you!

  • ||

    Is this the same guy who said his alcoholism caused him to be gay?

  • Episiarch||

    I just don't buy Barr's "conversion". He's going to revert to his habits (WoD, social conservatism) during the campaign.

    Methinks some of you are so excited by what he can do to McCain (and admittedly, it is quite exciting *rubs hands*) that you're not realizing what he might do to the Libertarian brand if he reverts.

  • ||

    Barr, Good
    Reason, sucks

  • ||

    Is Barr even a Nader-level spoiler?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not doing a "nyah nyah cosmotarians suck" thing here but we're talking about a guy who is a repubublican who wants to smoke pot, rather than a Libertarian.

    (whisper whisper whisper)

    Pardon me, a republican opposed to pot but thinks that states should be allowed to make the decision themselves.

    Is he even a Nader-level guy?

    And can't we run someone who has had fewer wives than Rush Limbaugh???

  • ||

    Watch the republicans use this against giving Paul a prominent speaking slot at the convention. Paul will never endorse McCain, but he and his supporters will continue to draw signifigant attention leading up to and during the convention (as McCain's nomination will be old news by then). Paul will eventually endorse Barr, but he won't leave the party.

  • Episiarch||

    Neil, what did you think of Takeshi Kitano's performance in Battle Royale? Textured and deep, or was he just phoning in the same Kitano performance?

  • Bingo||

    Epi: You are arguing about "what if" when he's on the record saying he's against the drug war?

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Why worry about Barr's "conversion" when you've got 3 unrepentent heathens to choose from otherwise?

    If only they could all lose.

  • Neil||

    Once a real conservative is on the ticket with McCain (Jim DeMint) Barr will be yesterday's news.

  • ||

    Barr isn't somebody who converted two months before his campaign began.

    I remember reading about his political evolution in Reason back in 02 or 03.

  • ||

    I just don't buy Barr's "conversion". He's going to revert to his habits (WoD, social conservatism) during the campaign.

    Episiarch -- got any links to anything Barr has said or done since joining the LP party that would indicate he'll do this?

    Or just a gut feeling, unsubstantiated by facts?

  • Bingo||

    Is being a pessimistic asshole built-in to the libertarian ideology? Why are so many skeptical of ANY candidate that comes along?

  • ||

    Neil, who do you think is more sinister as Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers: Vincent Price or Charlton Heston? I was surprised by Heston's range in that role, but I just can't seem to get away from being a Price fanboi.

  • Episiarch||

    Or just a gut feeling, unsubstantiated by facts?

    That and his "timetable" comment freaked me out. No, I have no proof.

  • robc||

    Bingo,

    All politicians suck. Therefore, logic dictates that all libertarian politicians also suck. If I ever run for office, I will suck.

    It isnt skepticism when its true.

  • ||

    Bingo,

    Reams and reams of historical evidence makes skepticism the sane position. A candidate who proves themselves worthy of my respect will get it.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    So a man who voted for the Patriot Act, the DOMA and proposed the banning of Wicca in the Military wants to run for President as a Libertarian?

  • Neil||

    Ayn Randian you won't find a bigger Charleton Heston fan than right here.

  • ||

    Bingo,

    Yes

  • ||

    got any links to anything Barr has said or done since joining the LP party that would indicate he'll do this?

    More to the point... Why would he?

    The Republicans he is trying to court are the alienated libertarian-leaning wing -- people who are tired of neocons and moralists having their way and who would, in fact, not care that much if Obama beat McCain.

    Barr's only hope is that a libertarian message built much like Ron Paul's will draw enough of an interest in polls and money that the media pay attention. He can reach back toward conservatives from there, but the center of his constituency will have to be pro-liberty.

  • ||

    Plant Immigration Rights Supporter,

    He got better.

  • charlie||

    it's not strategically sound to tell the enemy your timetable for withdrawal...
    I was willing to forgive Barr for his past support for draconian drug laws and social conservatism (as well as the PATRIOT act and the Iraq war), but there's no way in hell I will now.

    In addition to his support for military intervention in South America, he accepts the framing that announcing a timetable for withdrawal would send a message to the "enemy" (a collectivist/nationalistic term -- who would that "enemy" be? the Iraqi insurgents? Iran?) that is antithetical to the libertarian position that the Iraq war is an illegal act of aggression and that each day it goes on is a continuation of a criminal act.

    If he wanted my vote, and I reckon the votes of many of my fellow "extreme" libertarians, he should've called for an immediate withdrawal - - now he's just another conservative politician trying to use the party to "reform" the Republicans. No thanks.

  • ||

    I don't know that I trust Barr. I'm a Paul supporter and I get the impression that we're all supposed to now rally behind Barr. Well, I still think Paul deserves to speak at St. Paul and I don't see that as being the end to the Paul movement (which will continue to move at the local level). From what I've read of Barr, while he's taking a bold (compared to the other candidates) position on the Iraq occupation, he's an interventionist just like the rest of them. Perhaps that's why Reason is covering him here in a positive manner and the reporters showed up to hear him announce his candidacy.

    I'm not interested in what a candidate *says* they're going to do unless their record backs it up. Paul's rhetoric matches his past/current voting record.

  • svf||

    Once a real conservative is on the ticket with McCain

    you mean Joe Lieberman?

  • ||

    So a man who voted for the Patriot Act, the DOMA and proposed the banning of Wicca in the Military wants to run for President as a Libertarian?

    Have you ever dealt with an ex-smoker or someone who has been through the 12 steps? If so, didn't you find them thoroughly "converted" and pretty zealous?

  • Shazbot||

    Christopher Logue did a pretty good Richelieu in The Devils. He's also a hell of a poet.

  • Bingo||

    Pro Lib:

    So how the fuck is any LP candidate going to be elected?

    1) Large number of libertarians (apparently) need a strong track record of libertarianism before voting for a candidate
    2) In order for a candidate to be elected, he needs large numbers of votes
    3) A candidate needs to actually be elected in order to have a strong track record

    The libertarian movement in the country is hardly going anywhere and half of us are worried about how someone voted 15 years ago, when they've since publicly changed their position.

  • ||

    charlie - you're an idiot.

    What would "immediate" withdrawal mean to you? Do you think 150,000 people and the trillions of tons of equipment would just vanish one day?

    You don't announce the day because you don't want Soldiers getting killed.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Have you ever dealt with an ex-smoker or someone who has been through the 12 steps? If so, didn't you find them thoroughly "converted" and pretty zealous?"

    Smokers usually do not have the power to force me to smoke.

  • ||

    Heston was really good as Richelieu. If you read the novel, Richelieu is not supposed to be a total fiend--he just wanted to call all of the shots.

  • Episiarch||

    Yes, but was Heston a better Robert Neville* than Price? These are the real questions that must be answered.

    * fuck Will Smith I hatessess him

  • Mad Max||

    "Once a real conservative is on the ticket with McCain (Jim DeMint) Barr will be yesterday's news."

    Thereby sending the upbeat, affirming message: "I might suck, but if you vote for me, I might die of old age and get shot, and then you'll have a conservative President!"

    (Assuming Jim Dimwitt is a conservative - I suppose I'll have to take your word for it)

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "So how the fuck is any LP candidate going to be elected?"

    Bingo, IMHO that is not the point of the LP. How many Free Soil Party people actually got elected? The point is education and advocacy, if we get a few people elected that is a bonus but in my opinion not the point.

  • Mad Max||

    die of old age *or* get shot

  • ||

    Nobody shoots mutants with the panache and matter-of-factness of Heston.

  • ||

    Bob Barr's compassion for who? Illegal immigrants or American citizens? He is not going to find much compassion, amongst citizens and permanent residents. They are the ones as overburdened taxpayers, who are supporting cheap labor, because parasite employers have attracted them across our open border. American patriots demand your Democratic representative ignore Madam Nancy Pelosi. demand the SAVE ACT (4088) before the next presidents massive AMNESTY. Millions more will come, after that disturbing law is enacted. Not even our standing army will stop the tidal wave of poor people after that..?

  • Neil||

    Hes ranked as the most conservative, right wing member of the Senate Mad Max.

  • ||

    Smokers usually do not have the power to force me to smoke.

    And what's Barr going to do...force you to be free or something? You completely missed my point.

    If PIRS and charlie are examples of the "radicals" walking...then I hope they walk. I mean, seriously, who converts to a dead-end third party for popularity...you people need to get your heads out of your fourth points of contact.

  • Mad Max||

    I don't deny that the other Senators are more liberal than Jim Dimwitt, but I'm thinking about McCain's campaign message to conservatives:

    "I'm John McCain, and I'm very old. I also have it on good authority that a team of Communist snipers from Vietnam are even now trying to kill me. If *that* doesn't work, my heart has always been bad since my days in a prison camp, and the old ticker could give out any day now. And when I kick the bucket and join the choir invisible, then my running mate, Jim Dipshit, will become President and reverse *all* my policies. He'll have Congress rescind the McCain-Feingold Act, he'll get serious about illegal immigration, he'll veto all federal overspending, and he'll veto all the new big-government programs that I would otherwise have signed but for my untimely death. So vote for me, John McCain - I'm at death's door!"

  • ||

    Pro Libertate | May 12, 2008, 2:59pm | #
    Heston was really good as Richelieu.


    Meh, Heston was alright but for capturing the real feel of the man in red you can't top Tim Curry. He was the only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal film.

  • Neil||

    Mad Max, something like that. Though it wouldn't be put that bluntly.

    And you would like Jim DeMint's policies hes a true, real, right-wing conservative.

  • ||

    If you read the novel, Richelieu is not supposed to be a total fiend--he just wanted to call all of the shots.

    Well, if that's the standard, I didn't find Tim Curry's portrayal particularly fiendish...just brutally Machiavellian.

    Perhaps this makes me an amoral SOB, though...

  • ||

    I like Tim Curry, but that movie was an abomination. And the Richelieu character was written as Satan's tool.

  • Mad Max||

    Neil,

    As long as you're telling me what to like, let me return the favor and recommend the play "Shoggoth on the Roof," a Lovecraftian interpretation of "Fiddler on the Roof." It's shown in 11 parts on YouTube.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qgvogA7r5b0

    But don't worry, it's all handled very tastefully. Especially the "L'Chaim" song, as rendered by Dr. Herbert West. "To life, to life, I'll bring them" - ah, priceless!

  • Episiarch||

    He was the only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal film.

    What's next, Kwix? You going to tell us that William Peterson's Pat Garrett was the bright spot in Young Guns II?

  • ||

    yeah, jeez, Kwix...you completely overlooked Charlie Sheen...

    Or maybe you didn't :-D

  • ||

    Once again, the eminent 80's MJ Fox lookalike Emilo Estavez gets the shaft.

  • ||

    If it's not Dr. Paul, or someone personally anointed by Dr. Paul (or someone at LRC), then whoever we're talking about is a crazed neocon warmonger.

    Buy Revolution: A Manifesto!

    And oh yeah, the Kochtopus sucks!

  • ||

    LIT,

    Estavez will have my undying admiration and respect for Repo Man. Genius.

  • ||

    Make that Estevez.

  • ||

    As someone who supports a timetable for withdrawal, I read Barr's (and Ron Paul's) opposition to a timetable totally differently than does charlie.

    There are two withdrawal positions, fast and negotiated.

    A fast withdrawal, which Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich favor, is basically an order that everybody throw their stuff in a truck and hightail it to the Kuwaiti border. No muss, no fuss, and absolutely no reason to announce when it's going to happen.

    A negotiated withdrawal is about using the withdrawal as a tool to bring about a decent settlement, in conjuction with a diplomatic process involving the different parties in Iraq and its neighbors. Under this scenario, we use the announcement of our intention to withdraw, the renunciation of permanent bases and oil rights, and other indications that we're going (such as actually going) as carrots in the negotiations.

    Barr's statement looks more like Ron Paul than John McCain to me.

  • ||

    Pro Liberate,

    Bonus trivia: Emilio Estevez is Charlie Sheen's brother.

  • Mad Max||

    Campaign commercial

    [Sen. McCain is in a wheelchair, attended by his wife Cindy. Through careful application of makeup, 20 years have been added to his age. In the background the viewer hears the strains of "knock, knock knockin' at heavens' door"]

    McCAIN: I'm John McCain, and I'm running for President. A lot of people say my policies will ruin the country. That may be true, and in ackowledgement of this, I have chosen a Vice-President who agrees that my policies are wrong, and who will reverse them if he can. I . . . ack . . .

    [McCain collapses in his wheelchair. Cindy listens with a stethoscope to McCain's chest]

    CINDY: His heart has stopped!

    [Several medical personnel enter, and apply the heart-revivifying thing to Sen. McCain's chest.]

    DOCTOR: Clear!

    [Slowly, Sen. McCain revives. The medical personnel continue hovering around.]

    SEN. McCAIN: As I was saying, when I go to meet my Maker, I've made sure that a qualified successor will take my place. Someone who actually believes in liberty and the Constitution, unlike me. So do you really want to throw your vote away on a third-party candidate like Baldwin or Barr, when you just need to wait a couple years, and I'm outta here?

  • ||

    Forget the Sheens. Does anyone remember Eating Raoul?

  • ||

    David,

    No, but now I'll have to go check it out after reading the excerpt on IMDB.

  • ||

    LIT,

    Hard to miss that, with the Estevez family all looking so much alike.

  • ||

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that John McCain will select a woman as his runnning mate... or Joe Lieberman, if his face is still attached to his skull.

  • ||

    Pro,

    However, if you don't see them all on the same screen at the same time, its harder to see because its not right in front of you. Obvious in hindsight, but not something you think about beforehand.

  • Episiarch||

    Barr's statement looks more like Ron Paul than John McCain to me.

    That's great, joe, but what about the Heston/Price issue?

  • ||

    LIT,

    I can't remember not knowing. Maybe you're right.

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    So you're saying McCain will move white queen to counter black knight in order to save white rook? That's a losing strategy. All Obama need do is move black bishop to take king's white pawn and its checkmate.

  • Episiarch||

    So you're saying McCain will move white queen to counter black knight in order to save white rook? That's a losing strategy. All Obama need do is move black bishop to take king's white pawn and its checkmate.

    Racist.

  • ||

    As in chess, seperate but equal...until someone loses a pawn.

  • ||

    That's great, joe, but what about the Heston/Price issue?

    Name one Michael Jackson song with a monologue by Charlton Heston. Just one.

    You can't, can you?

    I rest my case. No mere mortal can resist the evil of the Price.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa...

    (Best. Christmas. Ever.)

  • Episiarch||

    joe, if you haven't seen Witchfinder General (aka The Conqueror Worm), I suggest you check it out. Price is fantastic as always, and he does the sleazy Inquisitor thing perfectly.

  • ||

    So you're saying McCain will move white queen to counter black knight in order to save white rook? That's a losing strategy. All Obama need do is move black bishop to take king's white pawn and its checkmate.

    Heh, clever. But really only true if you suggest taht he move the black bishop out of the way! :)

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    Not so. The black bishop is only a hindrance when operating on your side of the game board. Once unleashed against the opposition in their territory, he causes havoc, especially on the slow moving pawns. Unfortunately, most pawn defensive strategies can force the bishop back into his original position, preventing the king from castling and fortifying a stronghold. The key is the use of the bishop, especially for end game wins when all other pieces have been taken off the board.

  • ||

    This is a bit of an aside, but looking at pictures of Bob Barr just now I finally realized who he reminds me of...
    Royal Tenenbaum!

  • ||

    Mad Max, those are plausible scenarios but for one thing - you forgot all the, "my friends..."

    Otherwise, bravo!

  • Stephen the Goldberger||

    IMHO Barr is a Conservative not a Libertarian. I am unable to support him until I am convinced otherwise.

  • Swot||

    Tim Curry? Why not just drag in Michael Palin's Richelieu?

  • charlie||

    Ayn Randian:

    I've already told you how you come across as a petulant ass with a shitty, total war-advocating idol as a moniker, but it should be clear: an "immediate withdrawal" is one that begins immediately. Maybe Barr favors that -- I sure hope he does if he gets the LP's nod -- but his insistence that announcing a "timetable" sends the wrong message to "the enemy" shows that he's incapable of breaking out of the framing of the debate established by the inside-the-beltway types.

    Announcing that you are going to begin withdrawing troops Jan. 21 with a goal of getting them all out within nine months could either be seen as "immediate withdrawal" or "setting a timetable" -- but Barr, by rejecting one, is implicitly rejecting the other, at least that's how I read it (and I know I'm an "idiot").

    If you say "setting a timetable" is broadcasting the wrong message to your enemies, what kind of message does saying you will withdrawal all of the troops within a year send? What the hell's the difference? On top of Barr's insistence that we need more interventionism in the Mideast, his recycling of a stale Republican talking point in regard to a timetable does not bode well for his commitment to a foreign policy of peace and non-interventionism.

    Then again, I don't have my copy of The Fountainhead on me, so can you tell me What Ayn Rand Would Do to get us out of Iraq (besides incinerating all the Arabs for their lack of respect for property rights)?

  • David Nehme||

    I'm excited about the LP getting some publicity, but Bob Barr doesn't seem like a libertarian at all: voted for the Iraq war (sounds only slightly better than Hillary in explaining why), the Patriot act, pushed the war on drugs. I know he's a fiscal conservative, and says he regrets some of the non-libertarian things he did in congress, but he sure doesn't look libertarian to me.

  • ||

    Swot,

    Sorry, but Palin portrayed Ron Higgins, professional Cardinal Richelieu impersonator, not the august cardinal himself.

  • ||

    I see no inherent conflict between Vincent Price and Charlton Heston. The world needs both.

  • charlie||

    Joe,

    In re: to the "timetable" vs. "immediate withdrawal" semantic game -- how could the U.S. military hightail it out of Iraq without it being de facto announced? Is Moqtada al Sadr going to wake up one day and realize all the Americans are gone? Does the U.S. government just not announce when the end date of the withdrawal will be, therefore it no longer qualifies as a "timetable"?

    That's what I don't understand about Barr's statement -- if he supports withdrawing all the troops, why play into the whole "sending the wrong message to the enemy" Bush/McCain framing of the debate? After all, for the military to conduct an "immediate" withdrawal, one would think there would be some "timetables" involved in order to get all of those 150,000 troops out...

  • ||

    The United States should build a giant tunnel between Iraq and Kuwait. When it's ready, all of our troops will enter the tunnel and leave, all at once. At night, unannounced.

    Simple!

  • Fluffy||

    Charlie -

    You're dead wrong.

    The "timetable for withdrawal" slogan represents a non-immediate withdrawal. I have always viewed the calls for a timetable to be a rhetorical concession to people who want to stay. The people who talk about setting a timetable for withdrawal are basically advocating picking a date a year from now [or whenever] and using that approaching date as "incentive" for the Iraqi government to "get on with it". [Whatever "it" is.] Having a timetable for withdrawal only makes sense if you don't favor immediate withdrawal.

    To me, if you favor immediate withdrawal and someone asks you, "Do you favor a timetable for withdrawal?" the answer is No.

  • Neil||

    Folks age wont be an issue in this election except for left wing loons.

    McCains mother is still alive and shes 90. He has good genes.

  • ||

    charlie,

    how could the U.S. military hightail it out of Iraq without it being de facto announced?

    The issue is when to announce it, when to let the militias and whatnot realize there is a withdrawal happening - six months before, so they can have six months to plan, or a week before?

    And the word "semantic" actually has a definition, and is not just a catch-all term for "argument I don't have an answer for." There was nothing remotely semantic about the difference between the positions I outlined; rather, there are a number of very significant substantive differences.

    if he supports withdrawing all the troops, why play into the whole "sending the wrong message to the enemy" Bush/McCain framing of the debate? Because he's not making the Bush/McCain argument about "sending a message." He's talking about conveying useful intelligence information about troop movements and our plans. I know what you're talking about - the "saving face" and "emboldening our enemies" arguments. As I read Barr's comments, I don't think he's making that argument at all.

  • ||

    "why would he convert to a unpopular third party if he weren't genuine?"

    I get the bad feeling that the word was given from on high to send reporters to Barr's press conferences, get Ron Paul to publicly endorse him, build him up as libertarian man then they will pull out all the old child pornography pedophile pictures or show him dealing cocaine in 2002 and put him on the front page with the headline..."Populist Libertarian is a Raging PEDOPHILE"....then they can recycle a libertarians are pedophiles mantra for the next 20 years anytime they want.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "And what's Barr going to do...force you to be free or something? You completely missed my point."

    No, I did not miss your point. I have known former smokers and sometimes - in times of stress - they pick up the habit again for a while. This harms no one but themselves. POTUS is a very stressful job - one that would test the resolve of a former smoker. I did NOT miss your point.

    "I mean, seriously, who converts to a dead-end third party for popularity..."

    Alan Keyes is an example.

  • Mad Max||

    "I get the bad feeling that the word was given from on high to send reporters to Barr's press conferences, get Ron Paul to publicly endorse him, build him up as libertarian man then they will pull out all the old child pornography pedophile pictures or show him dealing cocaine in 2002 and put him on the front page with the headline...'Populist Libertarian is a Raging PEDOPHILE'....then they can recycle a libertarians are pedophiles mantra for the next 20 years anytime they want."

    Nonsense, only morons would swallow that kind of blatant smear - taking the scandals of particular people and using those scandals in an attempt to taint and smear an entire organization.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "only morons would swallow that kind of blatant smear - taking the scandals of particular people and using those scandals in an attempt to taint and smear an entire organization."

    Agreed, only morons would swallow that kind of blatant smear. Unfortunately, there are a lot of morons - some of them vote. I am not saying we should play to the lowest common denominator, but we should avoid potential landmines if we can.

  • Fluffy||

    No, I did not miss your point. I have known former smokers and sometimes - in times of stress - they pick up the habit again for a while. This harms no one but themselves. POTUS is a very stressful job - one that would test the resolve of a former smoker. I did NOT miss your point.

    But that wasn't his point, so I guess you did miss it.

    His point was that often recent converts are the most militant. Smokers who just went through the 12 step program to quit are often the most aggressive and obnoxious about pressuring others to quit. Reformed drinkers are the most aggressive about telling everyone else who drinks that they have "a problem" and need "a higher power".

    That would imply that there's a chance that the recent vintage of Barr's conversion would make him a more militant libertarian, and would enhance his libertarian credentials, and not detract from them.

  • ||

    A fast withdrawal, which Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich favor, is basically an order that everybody throw their stuff in a truck and hightail it to the Kuwaiti border.

    No muss, no fuss,

    Well, unless you're an Iraqi trying to survive the resulting power vacuum and collapse of civil order.

    and absolutely no reason to announce when it's going to happen.

    There is no way on earth that over 100,000 US troops and all their gear can be turned 180 degrees and moved out of the country without an awful lot of people knowing when it will happen, well in advance.

    The issue is when to announce it, when to let the militias and whatnot realize there is a withdrawal happening - six months before, so they can have six months to plan, or a week before?

    The notion that we can announce the withdrawal a week in advance shows a touching naivete, joe. Most people can't plan a family vacation with so little notice.

    A bug out withdrawal is a recipe for chaos, and in the real world the Bad Guys (however you define the term) will have all the notice they need.

  • Mad Max||

    PIRS,

    To be fair, the Libertarian Party isn't the *only* organization I was referring to as the target of moronic smears.

  • Mad Max||

    "Well, unless you're an Iraqi trying to survive the resulting power vacuum and collapse of civil order."

    Wouldn't it have been nice if our lords and masters had taken this into consideration before commencing their cakewalk, home-by-Christmas, we'll-be-welcomed-with-flowers war.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "That would imply that there's a chance that the recent vintage of Barr's conversion would make him a more militant libertarian, and would enhance his libertarian credentials, and not detract from them."

    We do not need more "militant libertarians". We have more than enough of those. What we need are consistent libertarians with the ability to communicate with many different kinds of voters and not alienate major potential voting blocks. Because of his past Barr could very well alienate gays, pagans and privacy advocates. Wiccans, whose religion Barr tried to ban in the military have as one of their texts something they call the Wiccan Rede - it begins "An it harm none, do as ye will" (I may not have the wording exactly right but that is the sentiment. This is a very libertarian sentiment - in a sense this makes Wiccans theologically libertarian. Barr, if he got the LP nod could alienate these people from the libertarian movement.

  • charlie||

    Fluffy,

    I agree entirely that the term "timetable", when used by a Democratic politician, is usually meant to imply keeping troops in Iraq indefinitely but setting meaningless hoops for the "Iraqi government" to hop through. But that's not why Barr objected to the term -- he did so because he thinks it would convey the wrong message, strategically, which I would argue is bullshit. Also, notice how he did not follow his comments with a call for an immediate withdrawal, so if his position is distinguishable from the the mainstream Democrats on this then he didn't express it.

    And joe, I think when most people talk of a "timetable" to withdrawal, they are talking about the actual process of withdrawing, i.e. 30,000 troops with three months, 90,000 within six, etc. -- at least that's how I intended it. Again, does not a withdrawal that begins tomorrow and ends in six to nine months constitute a form of "timetable." My point about semantics was not to belittle your argument, but merely to point out that Barr's vehement opposition to the idea of timetable when it was brought up was not because it didn't go far enough; no, all he said afterward was that we needed to reduce our "footprint" in Iraq. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

    And as a side note, am I seriously to believe that telling the Iraqis when we're going to withdrawal is going to make a fuck of a difference in the end? This all reminds me of the logic behind Nixon and his "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam. Just as it was clear by the troop buildup in the Mideast in 2003 that there was going to be war with Iraq, I think the signs will be clear when the American military prepares to leave, whether it's publicly announced and flaunted or not.

    I fail to see how announcing a timetable, even the one you are discussing (a timetable of when to begin to withdraw) could make the U.S. exit from Iraq any better or any worse -- after all, the U.S. military can't prevent the militias and whomever from doing whatever they want when its gone (and it's not doing much better a job as it is now).

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "To be fair, the Libertarian Party isn't the *only* organization I was referring to as the target of moronic smears."

    I agree many organizations can be smeared quite easily in the eyes of morons.

  • Shakin_T||

    This article contains proof that Bob Barr will revert to his neo-con views, based upon something Barr posted on his own website. Barr now supports medical marijuana, maybe even legalizing pot, but he still seems to be against legalizing anything else. (Does anyone have proof that Barr is now totally against the WoD?) He also supports an aggressive foreign policy in Latin America, especially against Chavez and the FARC, even though he wants to withdraw from Iraq.

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12689

  • Shakin_T||

    Here's a direct link Barr's neocon tirade about the need to be more aggressive with Chavez and support Colombia's Uribe, written March 0f 2008.

    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/printedition/2008/03/19/barred0319.html

  • Allen||

    I'm not sure the linked AJC article really reveals Bob Barr as a neocon imposter. All he says regarding South America is that we should pay closer attention to what happens there since there is a big economic impact. He doesn't really suggest HOW we should interact with them - whether it be militarily (neocon) or through opening channels of communication and trading with them (libertarian).

    So, while the article "sounds" like he's taking a hard-line neocon type stand (the use of the phrase "security interests" always raises a red flag with me) I'm not sure that it's so cut and dried.

  • Swot||

    Pro L, you've forgotten the episode where Cardinal Richelieu impersonates Petula Clark. That's the real Cardinal Richelieu - sixteen stone of pure man.

    For penance, you have to kick Bob Barr up the arse.*





    *Father Ted reference, but not a bad idea.

  • ||

    Do not intend for this to sound pejorative or trite, but doesn't Bob Barr look like Rev Jeromiah Wright's twin brother?

  • ||

    Barr is strongly crtitical of preventative war and nation building. He is almost directly opposing the principles of "neocon" foreigh policy. He has also called for reducing the number of U.S. bases and troops abroad. The impression is that he supports a very large reduction, though he claims that the decision will be made on a case by case basis, looking to U.S. national security.

    If I had to describe his policy, it looks to be something like the "strategic disengagement" advocated by Cato. My guess is that he will avoid that "anti-imperialist" rhetoric employed by Ron Paul.

    I believe that opposition to the neo-con foreign policy in principle, and the Bush's administration actual politicies in the middle east is the most important issue. I think
    Barr is doing great so far.

  • Susan Hogarth||

    Do not intend for this to sound pejorative or trite, but doesn't Bob Barr look like Rev Jeromiah Wright's twin brother?

    Oh, my - you're right! If only Barr had 1/100 of Wright's charisma and integrity, the LP would be in wonderful shape.

  • ||

    Please read before voting for anti-American Amnesty Mccain;

    http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin447.htm

  • ||

    Ayn Randian-

    Have you ever dealt with an ex-smoker

    Yup.

    He bummed a cigarette off me at the bar last night (while saying, "I only smoke when I am drinking.")

  • ||

    I'm having a hard time with Bob Barr. At this point in time I'd rather write in Ron Paul than vote for him. I've held my core beliefs for most of my life so its difficult for me to believe that he's suddenly changed his mind.
    I'll wait to see how the LP's convention goes, but I hope he at least directly apologies to all of the people he's hurt with his championship of the WoD. Oh I'll be honest, unless he promises amnesty for all all non-violent drug "offenders" arrested for possession then I'll probably never trust him.

  • ||

    Overall a good year for libertarians. There is something in the air. First Ron Paul surprises with a strong bid as a Republican and now Bob Barr is creating a buzz like I have never seen for a LP candidate. No matter where one falls on the details of Ron Paul's or Bob Barr's rhetoric I think it all has been a tremendous a boost for libertarian movement in general.

    I supported Ron Paul in the primaries because even though I strongly disagreed on some specific issues he is the strongest libertarian leaning candidate so far. I will support Bob Barr for the same reason once Ron Paul gives up the GOP race. Heck I would be thrilled if they both ran on the same ticket!

  • ||

    Barr should have answered the spoiler question saying that he intends to spoil things for both parties.

  • Susan Hogarth||

    Barr is strongly crtitical of preventative war and nation building.

    But he's pretty much OK with sanctions and shoveling U.S. taxpayer money to South American governments to fight 'narco terrorists'.

    He may not be a nation-builder, but he *is* an admitted interventionist.

  • ||

    I am a Paul supporter and I would never back Barr. Why, all of the sudden, has he changed stances to fall in line with Paul's - could he I am against any smoking ban, against extra taxes on really have a change of heart on so many issues in such a short time period? I don't trust him. I will vote for Chuck Baldwin probably.

    Also for the comment "Have you ever dealt with an ex-smoker?"
    I am an ex smoker but I will protect anyone right to smoke.

  • ||

    (edit of previous post, it got scrambled)

    I am a Paul supporter and I would never back Barr. Why, all of the sudden, has he changed stances to fall in line with Paul's - could he really have a change of heart on so many issues in such a short time period? I don't trust him. I will vote for Chuck Baldwin probably.

    Also for the comment "Have you ever dealt with an ex-smoker?"
    I am an ex smoker but I will protect anyone right to smoke.

  • DR||

    To succeed Barr has to embrace true conservative principles (reduce gov't, reduce taxes, strong defense, reliance on the individual). True consevatives are hungry for a candidate; so, we'll see.

  • Patrick||

    Barr got the nomination.
    War on drugs, government interventionist...

    How's he a Libertarian again? Oh, he said he was sorry for the bills he voted on and the ones he sponsored.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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