Bob Meets the Press

Libertarian candidate Bob Barr just wrapped a combative press conference down the hall from the Ron Paul presser. It took some time for the latter event to end. Paul and the candidates retreated from their main room to a side room with a mix of reporters and people who just wanted to take pictures with them. Max Anthony, the head of the Cecil Chesterton Society, confronted Paul on why he'd written the introduction to a Chesterton anthology that included anti-Semitic footnotes and jokes about Jews. "The best economists are Jewish!" Paul laughed. "Ricardo was Jewish! Von Mises was Jewish!" Anthony pressed the issue. "I'm not familiar with this," Paul said. "I'm not going to get caught in that trap." Nader got almost as much attention as Paul, and posed together for cameras. "The best event we've ever done," said one of his staffers.

Out in the hall, third party candidates for various and sundry offices handed out literature and buttonholed journalists. The buzz was what the hell Barr was up to. "I heard he's dropping out!" "He wanted Ron to endorse him." "He doesn't want to share a stage with Baldwin." Barr arrived at 11:50, and I saw Iraq War Veteran Against the War and Barr backer Adam Kokesh walking towards his room, looking purposeful and pissed off.

Barr opened with a statement on how he'd gotten to this point, and why he'd not attended the Paul event.

- In December 2007, he authored the LP's statement of intent to nominate Ron Paul for president if he lost the GOP nomination. Paul turned it down.

- Yesterday Barr sent Paul a letter (which I have a copy of, and I'll scan in a bit) asking Paul to run as Barr's vice presidential nominee. Wayne Allyn Root agreed to step aside if Paul wanted the job. Paul turned this down.

- Barr signed onto the statement of principles that Nader, McKinney and Baldwin signed, and stands by it. But he declined the offer to appear this morning.

"This is no reflection, certainly, on the tremendous and positive leadership that Ron Paul has provided to the liberty movement over the years. He recognized, for example, the strength of that movement, which has to come from the outside, back in 1987," when he left the GOP. What Barr is offering voters is...

bold, focused, specific leadership. That is not the amorphous kind that says "any of the above" or "none of the above." That's not leadershp. What is leadership is what I, and our campaign, and the LP are doing. Putting before the American people not a wish list, not a menu of things you can pick and choose, not a group of candidates, but a candidate for president, Bob Barr, who stands for very specific programs and policies and direction for this country.

Some of Paul's supporters, sitting in the back of the room, snickered at this. Barr pushed on. "The primaries are over" and the only measure of libertarian success will be how many votes the LP gets.

The print press asked for more details on Barr's offer to Paul and details on what Barr supported from the message of that earlier event. Kokesh raised his hand and started talking; Barr campaign chairman Russ Verney asked him to identify his media organization. "I'm an independent blogger," Kokesh said. Verney and Kokesh talked over each other for about 30 seconds, Verney trying to move on, Kokesh explaining what had made him so angry. "Leadership is not just about knowing when to lead, but knowing when to follow," Kokesh said. "You failed that test today and I retract my endorsement of you."

There were more harsh questions (is Barr a Republican agent trying to destroy the LP?) but nothing quite that harsh. The conference emptied out and Barr's staff kept on message: All respect to Ron Paul, but "support one of these nice candidates" is not a libertarian campaign. "Dr. Paul is allowing the Ron Paul Revolution to wither," said Barr aide Shane Cory.

I asked Barr specifically if he thought Paul was squandering the momentum of his presidential run. That seemed to be the message, not buried too deep in subtext. But Barr repeated that presidential primaries and a third party run were not the same thing. "The votes you get on election day influence policy," he said. "Ross Perot's 19 percent of the vote in 1992 influenced policy. It made the 1994 Republican revolution possible."

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  • ||

    This is one thing that sometimes annoys me about Ron Paul. He's so dedicated to the principle of non-aggression that he refuses to even recommend a candidate. He keeps talking about how he doesn't like telling other people what to do. That's fantastic, but he needs to learn to differentiate between legislating and simply giving his personal opinion.

    On top of all that, his endorsement of McKinney and Nader is ridiculous. Sure, I appreciate them signing on to the four principles, but I'm sure Paul recognizes there are quite a few additional principles which should be nonnegotiable.

  • ||

    I wish Paul had taken up Barr on the VP offer. He'd bring a lot of votes.

  • svf||

    Barr can kiss most of the die-hard RP support good-bye at this point, but it seems he did the right thing here... (not that anyone other than the 30 people reading this blog post even care...)

  • Dave Weigel||

    On top of all that, his endorsement of McKinney and Nader is ridiculous.

    There are two ways of looking at it. The optimistic way is that it's nice that these counterculture figures want to adopt Ron Paul's message, and that the energy outside the two parties is all Rothbardian, anti-state activism.

    The pessimistic way is that a lot of people want to exploit Paul's celebrity and fundraising and that Paul is too nice to shoo them away. The Birchers, the Greens, Nader, etc and etc, are all getting attention they couldn't have otherwise got by gluing themselves to Paul. How many of those donors who gave $35 million to this campaign said "boy, I hope this can be used to promote Ralph Nader one day"?

  • ||

    Barr's staff kept on message: All respect to Ron Paul, but "support one of these nice candidates" is not a libertarian campaign. "Dr. Paul is allowing the Ron Paul Revolution to wither," said Barr aide Shane Cory.

    I don't see how this is very respectful. why don't you guys post the video of Ron Paul's conference?

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Ron_Paul_offers_support_to_thirdparty_0910.html

    Ron Paul does an expose on the sham that is the CPD and the two-party system and explains why in a democracy we shouldn't have 60% of the population dissappointed in the choice of candidates!


    ANYONE who has observed the last three to seven election cycles from a libertarian perspective understands how important the stranglehold ont he debate format is. His message was that if 60% of the population can combine forces(many of whom ARE NOT LIBERTARIAN) can combine forces and destory the shame debate format then the nation would be much better off...libertarians would have won a monumental battle!....barr fought againt this movement! He obviosuly is not in favor of attacking the CPD.

  • idiotface||

    Pieter F, exactly. I don't fault Barr on this one. I fault Paul. The only reason he's not outright endorsing Paul is due to the fact that he wants to maintain some minimal standing in the Republican party.

    Barr has every right not to stand line with the likes of Nader and Baldwin. Campaign for Liberty??? please.

  • ||

    If Barr said he would be there he should have been there. He also should have known that offering the second slot to Paul would be seen as insulting. Personally I think Ron Paul's affiliation with Birchers and other fringe groups is poison and Barr should never have committed to be there. But he did. And it is insulting for him to show up a few minutes later to piggy-back on Paul's press conference. I guess he "borrows" press conferences about the same way he borrowed the LP.

    I just wish there were a libertarian running. Paul was a kooky fringe type with his Birch Society bull, his conspiracy theories, etc. And Barr is a conservative -- much like Paul is on civil liberties. I want a candidate who is pro civil liberties on social issues, pro market and anti-war. And this year there is none.

  • idiotface||

    Dave, as someone who gave money to Paul, I feel bamboozled.

  • ||

    How many of those donors who gave $35 million to this campaign said "boy, I hope this can be used to promote Ralph Nader one day"?

    And my wise decision to continue never giving a dime to a politician without a gun to my head is vindicated.

  • Paul||

    FYI,

    Don't know if Reason talked about this, but Paul refuses to endorse McCain.

  • idiotface||

    Epi, lesson learned. svf, Barr never had much Paul support. Paul was a cult of personality of his own. That sorta thing doesn't transfer w/o prodding from the personality.

  • Dave Weigel||

    Don't know if Reason talked about this, but Paul refuses to endorse McCain.

    That's not news. He's been refusing for months. McCain's team made a final half-assed effort to stop Paul from endorsing the Quartet, but with Palin giving them a poll boost they could probably give a damn right now.

  • Mike||

    Dave, I'm hoping the optimistic perspective has some truth to it. If Paul wants to bring out the libertarian impulses in the socialists who support the likes of Nader and McKinney, maybe that's a good thing in the long term.

    I feel bad Austin had to get caught in the middle of this. He's a good guy.

  • ||

    Paul seems to have one or both of the following problems:

    a) He cares more about working within the GOP framework to improve his standing as a Republican in the House than he does about spreading the message of liberty outside of the dilapidated RLC.

    and/or

    b) He prefers to be known as "the guy who would rather be right than powerful" more than being "the guy who is right AND powerful"

    Other than that, he's doing a great job...

  • ||

    I don't like Nader...but if he agrees he doesn't want deficits to increase and he wants to abolish the fed a more peaceful foreign policy and he wants people to understand the CPD is a sham debate organization then he is infinitely better than McCain or Obama.

    The only thing his four principles leave open is increasing taxes and with honest debates the pro tax crowd can be easily defeated by more libertarian sorts.

    It seems you Weigel are more against John Birchers than you are against lying about wars or endless government concentration of power.

    If you think the Birchers are such a big threat to the world and refuse to even talk about the sham that is the CPD and who backs it and for what reasons...than why don't you do a article defending the Comission for Presidential debates expalining how much sense their criteria makes and answering the libertarian criticims of the phony proccess.


    I don't agree with all birchers stuff( they used to be pretty pro-drug war) but one of their biggest things is that the two party system is controlled to keep out the questioning of a corrupt foreign and monetary policy.....what is so bad about that David Weigel?

  • Jeff Wartman||

    "The votes you get on election day influence policy," he said. "Ross Perot's 19 percent of the vote in 1992 influenced policy. It made the 1994 Republican revolution possible."

    This is fairly stupid. How did Perot affect policy when the ONE proposal he opposed the MOST (NAFTA) was passed not long after the 1992 election?

  • ||

    While I too regret that Ron Paul will not be on a national ballot this fall, Barr's actions this morning demonstrate clearly that Paul's unwillingness to share a ticket with him was precisely the correct choice.

    What Barr did today was reprehensible. It consisted of the following: He tried to bribe an endorsement by offering a VP slot, and possibly attempted to extort it through the threat of undertaking this action today.

    This is "hardball" Washington politics as usual, exactly the kind of crap that libertarians of principle are supposed to be fighting against.

    Further, what Barr fails to understand, is that Paul's efforts are not about himself, or about winning a specific election, but rather about undertaking the best, strategic, long-term plan for undermining our corrupt anti-Constitutional government. And as far as that goes, creating a coalition is something that should have been undertake a long time ago.

    Instead, Barr, apparently acting unilaterally, without the LP's knowledge or permission, chose to undermine that coalition by perpetrating a fraud. He apparently claimed that he had joined the coalition by agreeing to participate in this press conference, when in fact he had no intention of doing so, and instead used his last-minute withdrawal to grandstand and marginalize the efforts of the other minor parties.

    How exactly is this going to win the Libertarian Party friends or respect? What part of not committing force or fraud does Mr. Barr not understand? Instead of demonstrating those libertarian principles, Barr has established himself as a shining example of libertarian hypocrisy for all to snear at.

    At this point, unless the LP takes the strongest of remedial actions to repair its reputation, I dare say they should just pack it up and go home.

  • Constantine||

    Many of you need to look up the meaning of libertarian, for that matter, perhaps you should learn the history and philosophy of Libertarianism. Paul is right in what he is doing and demonstrates a clear understanding of the principals and philosophies of such. He gets it. I see many of you do not. I am not pulling some "better than thou" nonsense here, I have just studied the history from Locke to today's libertarians, many of you should do the same. Barr would have never voted for the patriot act if he were legit. No matter. he has not even been a member of the party for very long, and should never have been the nominee. I donated to Paul, it was money well spent, his message is spreading.

  • ||

    So much for Paul's "big announcement". Pretty lame. "Vote for one of these guys" as a strategy accomplishes pretty much nothing.

    I don't understand why Ron, after all the abuse he's taken from the Republicans, remains "loyal" - even while endorsing other candidates. His amaturish campaign and lackadasical unwillingness to either run third party or endorse the LP, (or even the CP) squanders whatever momentum remains to his movement.

    Barr, OTOH, got some explaining to do. While it is questionable how many "Ronulans" quit watching Alex Jones long enough to vote for Barr there is no reason to intentionally 'tic them off either. I can see why Barr would not want to be lumped in with the likes of Baldwin, Nader and McKinney but in reality the LP *is* a small third party. There must be more to it.

  • ||

    Jeff Wartman, you miss the point. Barr is correct. Perot's race, and significant vote total did influence things and "made the 1994 Republican Revolution possible".

    Republicans didn't want to be in the same boat as in 1992. Perot's run made them recognize the fact that many voters were upset and wouldn't vote for the positions taken by the GOP in 1992.

    The GOP moved toward Perot's voters.

    As for a comment being "fairly stupid", why ignore Perot's 19% of the electorate? What does support for NAFTA have to do with anything? I know we are on Reason (liberty lite and all, where support for NAFTA isn't seen as being at all "stupid") but come on.

    19% of the voters went for Perot...who was crazy, sure, but certainly no more crazy than any so-called libertarian masquerading here at Reason.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I donated to Paul. It was money down the drain. His message is spent.

  • ||

    That's not news. He's been refusing for months. McCain's team made a final half-assed effort to stop Paul from endorsing the Quartet, but with Palin giving them a poll boost they could probably give a damn right now.


    It may not be news that Ron Paul has been busy not endorsing McCain for months. I think it is news that McCain recently asked for an endorsement. This shows they give a quantity some value that is greater than "a damn."

  • ||

    Ron Paul is making a point of attacking the Remocrat (pronounced ream-o-crat) duopoly. Until a successful attack can be waged on the 2-party stranglehold, the LP (and other third parties) will continue to flounder. I don't know that Ron Paul is making a brilliant move here, but at least it's not the same old "run a candidate every 4 years, get less than 0.5% of the vote, and expect to make a difference" game; at least he's trying something different.

    Barr made an idiotic and catastrophic error for his campaign today. He alienated many libertarians who already doubted the sincerity of his libertarian "epiphany."

  • jaylin||

    Seth - you are right on about Barr's bribe and fraud. He is smearing the LP reputation.

    But I highly doubt the LP will take strong remedial actions to repair its reputation. They were the ones to accept a candidate like Barr in the first place! He is just another "politicking" Republican whose sole motivation is to make a name for himself by trying to ride the media coat tails of others and exploit the supporters of more principled candidates.

  • svf||

    Barr made an idiotic and catastrophic error for his campaign today.



    Perhaps. Then again, does the LP really want its presidential candidate joining a coalition that includes theocrat Baldwin, socialist Nader and stark-raving-mad Marxist McKinney?

    I know there's no such thing as bad publicity, but given that neither Paul nor Barr's press conferences will get any publicity anyway, didn't Barr actually end up doing the principled thing on behalf of libertarianism here?

    hm.

  • ||

    "Max Anthony, the head of the Cecil Chesterton Society, confronted Paul on why he'd written the introduction to a Chesterton anthology that included anti-Semitic footnotes and jokes about Jews."

    Is Anthony referring to a reprint of Hilaire Belloc and Cecil Chesterton's The Party System by IHS Press?

    http://www.ihspress.com/index1.htm

  • ||

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Ron_Paul_offers_support_to_thirdparty_0910.html

    I encourage everyone who is intersted in libertarianism to actually watch his press conference at the link provided. Pauls focus was on opening up the debates. Ross Perot couldn't have gotten his 19% without being in the debates and if you look at the history of the CPD you'll see the democrats and republicans really tried to make sure that another "ros perot type event" never happened again. So to say that Barr is right...by not attacking the CPD is insane!

  • a name before submitting the f||

    I haven't watched it yet. What is CPD!?

  • ||

    Perhaps. Then again, does the LP really want its presidential candidate joining a coalition that includes theocrat Baldwin, socialist Nader and stark-raving-mad Marxist McKinney?



    That's the point, he wouldn't be "joining" them in any sense other than agreeing the duopoly needs to be broken, and if Barr doesn't believe in that cause, he shouldn't be running as a Libertarian.

  • ||

    wow, you guys actually believe a lifetime neo-con warmonger had a change of heart? What a bunch of morons. If you were smart, you would all be fighting for Ron Paul, who at least has dedicated his ENTIRE CAREER to the cause of Liberty, no 2006 epiphany for him.

  • ||

    oh my god! ron paul is an anti-semite?

    i think you were supposed to then explain why the head of the Cecil Chesterton Society was out of line in asking such a question and why mentioning such an un-blogworthy thing is stupid.

  • Jeff Wartman||

    John Slevin --

    I don't think you quite understood the post.


    "As for a comment being "fairly stupid", why ignore Perot's 19% of the electorate? What does support for NAFTA have to do with anything? I know we are on Reason (liberty lite and all, where support for NAFTA isn't seen as being at all "stupid") but come on."

    There is no comment at all regarding whether NAFTA is good policy or not. The point is that Perot did not have an effect on policy because the one piece of policy he opposed the most, which was NAFTA, was passed by Congress soon after the election.

    The 1994 election had nothing to do with Perot. It had everything to do with opposing Clinton.

  • ||

    So let's get this straight:

    Barr asks Paul to replace Root as his running mate, which would effectively take Paul off the ballot for his Congress seat, and throw under the (short) bus the man he cut an endorsement deal with at Denver to secure the nomination.

    Paul smartly refuses.

    In the process Barr disses the Campaign for Liberty and chucks all LP credibility and alliances with that movement out the window, and probably cost him a large chunk of votes. That genius Cory then calls the C4L "withering" when it dwarfs the LP. Real smart, genius, and your boss, too!

    Root, meanwhile, fresh on the heels of his own "Million Dollar Challenge" Ted Dibiase moment, issues his own statement that he would welcome being cast aside, which would effectively kill his own professed 2012 aspriations in the process. What planet is he on?

    Then Davis, in whatever Kool-Aid-induced trip he's on, calls Barr a "major player" in the election after all of this?

    Maybe only if the TX suit succeeds. Otherwise, FUGGEDAHBUDIT!

    I see the McFly locomotive going into Eastwood Ravine, and the DeLorean won't hit 88 MPH. Quick, disconnect the rest of the cars, and everybody off, now!

    For those of you in Denver who voted for these fools: Thanks for nothing!

  • Paul||

    I think it is news that McCain recently asked for an endorsement.

    You beat me to it. Dave Weigal, I should have been more clear. I found it curious that (as far as I interpreted the article) Phill Gramm was on the phone to him, browbeating him on an endorsement.

    If they don't need the endorsement due to the Palin bump, why is Gramm pestering Paul for an endorsement as recently as a week ago?

  • Hooter_McBoob||

    Legate Damar said:


    "b) He prefers to be known as "the guy who would rather be right than powerful" more than being "the guy who is right AND powerful""::


    I'm reminded of a quote a friend recently sent me:



    The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.

  • Paul||

    Erh, Weigel. Sorry.

    I will use the preview button.
    I will use the preview button.
    I will use the preview button.

  • Hooter_McBoob||

    I'm of the opinion that Paul would do more harm than good to the movement he's furthered by running for office on an LP ticket, or by endorsing one of the candidates. The system is broken. It needs to be changed. It wouldn't be wise for Paul to expend the capital he's earned on a no-win endeavor. When the system is fixed, the LP will have a real shot, but until it is, we'll always be on the outside looking in.

  • Paul||

    When the system is fixed, the LP will have a real shot, but until it is, we'll always be on the outside looking in.

    Unfortunately, the system is moving away from being fixed, not towards it.

  • kinnath||

    Barr asks Paul to replace Root as his running mate, which would effectively take Paul off the ballot for his Congress seat, . . .

    Wrong. Lloyd Benston ran for VP and his house seat at the same time. TX law does not prohibit it.

  • ||

    I was at this press conference and maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't see it as an endorsement of Nader or McKinney. I have the entire thing on DVD, and it simply looked like an extension of the Campaign for Liberty thing. I think he is thinking bigger than November 2008 and more along the broader, non-partisan lines of the campaign for liberty.


    But I think anyone who was there would be hard pressed to call his comments an "endorsement" of the nader/mckinney or baldwin candidacies. What he was endorsing was the idea that these candidates, who have gone through the terribly difficult qualification process to be on the ballots in enough states to theoretically give them enough electoral votes to win the presidency, that these candidates should be allowed to debate in the same forum as the major 2 party candidates. that was the extent of his "endorsement," as far as I saw it.

  • Anti-Globalism||

    The pessimistic way is that a lot of people want to exploit Paul's celebrity and fundraising and that Paul is too nice to shoo them away.

    I think he's just trying to build consensus. If we stopped demonizing people like the Birchers, and paid attention to their EQUAL RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR OPINION, we could use them together with our votes to have a saner notion.

    I mean... you wouldn't support shooting them, would you? So they're always going to be part of this society. Best to get them on track to something productive.

  • Elemenope||

    I haven't watched it yet. What is CPD!?

    The Commission on Presidential Debates. A *bi*-partisan hackjob of a thing that replaced the infinitely superior custodianship of the League of Women Voters, which was *non*-partisan. A crucial but often elided difference.

  • Zerg||

    I think Barr did the right thing, but his staff should have been more respectful towards Paul and the C4L.
    I don't know what Paul is doing running around with a bunch of dumbasses like Baldwin and Nader, let alone McKinney.

  • JMR||

    Everyone's rightly complaining about Nader/McKinney, who are nutty in many areas, but maybe Dr. Paul just snookered them by attracting their supporters' attention in this way to Barr/Baldwin as choices. I'll have to watch the whole thing to be sure, but this might not be the bad thing some folks think it is. I doubt many halfway-educated RP supporters would vote for the lefties.

  • Brian Defferding||

    Not pleased with Barr missing the Paul press convention. I heard he sent a message to his head staffer last minute that the appearance was "not worth it." Along with trying to use litigation to get into that private Presidential forum, Barr's gaffes are more self-detrimental than most of the other big two candidate's. Barr is making sure there is no steam in his campaign engine.

  • JMR||

    Even when the League of Women Voters ran it, the CPD's predecessor pretty much disdained or outright-hated 3rd parties, especially Libertarians. Just not with the vigor of the duopoly's current incarnation of the same thing.

  • hotsauce||

    Dave,

    Can we get an update on this:

    Maybe only if the TX suit succeeds.

  • ||

    It is amazing how much time Paul spent talking about the need for a less corrupt CPD and more open debates compared to the amount of time reasonoids and Weigel spend complaining about "Birchers" and how Barr did the right thing by avoiding being seen with 3 other minor party candidates who all agreed to 4 planks of any good libertarian platform.

  • ||

    I don't know I never heard of CPD or Carroll Quigley...this sounds like more nutty conspiracy theory stuff. I'm glad Barr did the right thing and distanced himself from the Birchers. They hate jews soo much.

    Weigel lets follow up on Paul hopelessly trying to defend himself from working with the anti-semites.

  • ||

    I think a lot of libertarians would rather be "right" and alone than "right" and successful. It's more about lording over the other 99% of people the fact that "they just don't get it" than actually attempting to make real changes (which requires actual compromise). Good for Barr and the stance he took on this.

  • ||

    Paul has been one disappointment after another since NH. Today was definitely a big one. But what the hell was Barr thinking? What does he gain by being a dick? Who though pissing off the people we have the most common cause with was a good idea?

  • ||

    Anybody who has spent any amount of time around the Paulbots and their pavlovian response to the words "inside job," "alex jones," and various other buzzwords knows that Barr was dead-on correct that this press conference was, indeed, not worth it.

  • David Weigel||

    It is amazing how much time Paul spent talking about the need for a less corrupt CPD and more open debates

    Yes, I'm sure Ron Paul's campaign got $35 million in donations because people wanted him to advocate for Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader getting into presidential debates. Not because people wanted a libertarian-minded candidate to succeed or because they wanted to reform the GOP.

  • ||

    It's amazing how much time is spent inventing, cherry-picking, or pointedly looking for new and exciting ways to cast the available alternatives to the two-party system in a negative light instead of focusing that negative light on the two-party system itself, or just remaining positive in the first place.

    Get a clue, people. You're willfully poisoning your own well with one hand while wagging your index finger at whoever you've decided you don't like in a holier-than-thou fashion with the other. You lack the moral high ground when you can only insinuate and construe Bob Barr's actions as destructive of the libertarian movement even as your own actions are clearly and unequivocally destructive of the same.

  • ||

    Speaking as a former Paul supporter. The rallies I attended were most concerned about three things

    1) A non-interventionist foreign policy
    2) Repeal the PATRIOT act
    3) Sound money

    There were many other things that people cared about, but those were the ones that the most people cared the most about.

  • Garrett Quinn||

    The more I dive into the libertarian movement the more I am amazed at the spectacle of it all. The libertarian movement is probably the most frustrating thing I've ever aligned myself with.

    The Ron Paul people have frightened me to the point I that I no longer wished to be associated with them.

    Chuck Baldwin is batshit insane.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The conspiracy crowd can always find a conspiracy, the schismatics will always support a schism, the personality cultists will always find a personality to worship, even within libertarian politics.

  • ||

    Former United Stated Senator from Alaska:
    Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel

    Got history cred?

  • ||

    Bob Barr just lost my vote. I thought he was a grown up who was going to try to take the Libertarian Party up a step. He's just another run of the mill nut job loser.

  • kinnath||

    Yes, I'm sure Ron Paul's campaign got $35 million in donations because people wanted him to advocate for Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader getting into presidential debates.

    I said when Cynthia announced that I would love to see her in the debates, because should would probably assault one of the major party candidates.

  • mrdowns||

    Barr's response is extremely frustrating, as are a lot of the comments here. OK, Nader and McKinney are socialists whom libertarians agree with on almost nothing, but surely anyone who watched this press conference can see that Paul isn't actually endorsing their views?

    This isn't about political philosophy AT ALL, but about opening the election process up to 3rd parties. We can debate economics with socialists after we're in a competitive race with them. For now, they're our allies in attempting to open up the election process.

    Barr's response is so frustrating because he's been harping on how one of the major goals of his campaign is to open up the election process after this cycle. This was a great opportunity to do so, but he instead let his ideological intolerance blind him to what was really going on.

    I'll still vote for him, just as a vote for the Libertarian party. But really, if I thought he had any chance of winning I probably wouldn't.

  • D||

    I contributed to Ron Paul and I am pleased to see he has found such a wonderful use for my money. Promoting choice and diversity in American politics is far more important than supporting a particular candidate who has no chance of winning. Thanks for spending my money wisely, Ron. I wish you were going to be the next President of the United States.

  • Lance Brown||

    Garrett,

    Not to diminish your (entirely appropriate) frustration with the libertarian movement, but thankfully Chuck Baldwin is not part of it. So you can remove him from your calculations, at least.

  • ||

    I think Bob Barr should accept any support from Ron Paul, that he can get. Even if it's the way Ron Paul did it.

  • Geotpf||

    This is all irrelevant. Look, Paul's poor showing in the primaries shows how small the numbers of pure libertarian voters are. Thousands of general elections also prove this-when given the choice between a Democrat, a Republican, and a Libertarian (or a Green or a Constitution or whatever), 99.9% of the time, in a three candidate (R, D, and L) race, less than 10% of the voters pick the Libertarian, and the majority of the time, less than 2% do. This isn't because the Democrats and the Republicans have a stranglehold on the process-it's because 90+% of the population perfers either a Republican or a Democrat to a Libertarian.

    Third party candidates who have a popular message can win. Jesse Ventura, for instance. Even Ross Perot was ahead in the polls for awhile, until he started seeing CIA agents in his rose bushes and dropped out of the race (and then rejoined).

    The Libertarian message is NOT popular amoungst the general public. If it was, they would have much better electoral success.

    Now, this isn't saying that Libertarianism is "right" or not. I'm just saying it's not popular, which is different than being "right".

  • ||

    The libertarians - whether they are Ron Paul supporters, Constitution party, or the LP - have a tendency to be their own worst enemy sometimes. Today is an example of that.

    Only days after the Feds nationalized housing and the Liberty movement decides to implode within a span of only hours.

    This is depressing.

  • ||

    "Yes, I'm sure Ron Paul's campaign got $35 million in donations because people wanted him to advocate for Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader getting into presidential debates".

    Are you one of the contributors to the Paul campaign, Weigel? What makes you think you can speak for them? What makes you think one cent of the 35 m was spent on Cynthia McKinney? Not a dime.
    Fact is most of the money has already been spent and built up the movement, which is the largest grass-roots movement since decades. The campaign has probably something like 3,5 m left which it can use. Nowhere was it mentioned that money would be used to get other third party candidates in a debate. In fact, I heard they said the Independent Greens said they would sponsor a few of the debates.
    The Campaign for Liberty simply facilitates and has achieved a lot getting 4 diverse parties signing s very libertarian statement.

  • ||

    Weigel, if the GOP or you ignore the Ron Paul movement based on the current polls, theya re making the mistake of their lifetime. The GOP is very afraid/scared, in a close election you need each and every single vote. The Palin "surge" can also be a very temporary thing. Wait till a few interviews and a debate. McCain selection of Palin is a bold move, from which he profits, but also highly risky...it can backfire, make or break his election. With Paul received up to 25% of the primaries in a few states, the last few all in double digits, in crucial purple states...what chance does the GOP winning those states without Ron Paul support? The answer is zero.

  • nonPaulogist||

    My contribution to the Paul campaign was a way to say "thank you" for all of the work the good doctor has done. Sure, I was disappointed with the campaign results, but little of that was the Good Doctor's fault.

    I will be taking Dr. Paul's suggestion and joining the league of principled non-voters. I refuse to give legitimacy to this farce of an election process.

    The system is unfixable and anyone who can't see that isn't looking hard enough.

  • ||

    Geotpf,

    Nothing is irrelevant when it comes to Liberty.

    Besides, the Republicans and Democrats do have a strangle hold on the election process.

    The ballot access rules for third party candidates are very difficult in some states, but very easy for R & D's... and guys like Barr get hit with frivolous ballot access lawsuits like the one McCain hit him with in PA... not to mention the CPD is rigged to keep third parties out of debates...

    The latest "polling" that shows McCain and Obama "tied" didn't even bother to ask people about the third party candidates... how is a third party candidate even supposed to get 15% in polls - and qualify for debates - when there name isn't even mentioned?

    The Republicans and Democrats do have a stranglehold... through their gerrymandering and other tactics... breaking that is part of what the whole liberty movement is about.

    Elections are a charade in this country. Choice is an illusion. That's why so many people don't vote.

    What we have is the tyranny of majority rule determined to stay in power.

  • ||

    Bob Barr: "...the only measure of libertarian success will be how many votes the LP gets."

    I don't agree with his statement, but he might end up wishing he'd never said it, what with his ballot access struggles, McCain's selection of a VP candidate likely to placate the conservative Republicans Barr was counting on, and his decision to skip Paul's press conference, providing yet another reason for Ron Paul supporters to ignore him.

    The only measure of Bob Barr's success will be how many votes Bob Barr gets, and right now, it's not looking very good.

  • ||

    Geotpf there's a long list of reasons why your conclusions aren't accurate, but I'm not willing to compile it for you.

  • ||

    If you're keeping score at home:

    Campaign for Liberty: 98,000+ members signed up in a couple of months.

    Libertarian Party: 22,000 members signed up after 30+ years.

    Ron Paul: 1.2 million votes in the primaries and $28 million raised.

    Bob Barr: Will be lucky to beat Michael Badnarik's fundraising and vote totals from 2004.

  • mrdowns||

    @Craig, yeah, funny that. Clearly part of the reason for that is that he got a prominent national stage in the debates, but I think it's equally because he can argue libertarian points enthusiastically without making us sound like unmitigated assholes.

    When O'Reilly asked Bob Barr what his ideal tax rate would be, he said it would be 18% flat, with no exceptions for the poor ("Fair's fair!"). Thanks, dude! Now I'm gonna go explain to my friends yet again why I don't hate poor people.

  • ||

    Bye Bye Barr. You failed miserably. You should have followed RP. I withdraw my support. I will be voting Baldwin.

  • ||

    What the hell could Barr have possibly been thinking? I'm struggling to comprehend how he thought this would play out to his advantage.

    I actually agree with a lot of the critiques of Paul. Even if Barr had been there, this press conference would have accomplished nothing. Paul *has* failed to provide a coherent sense of direction for his supporters, and that has been disastrous.

    However, whatever legitimate points Barr and his people might have had are overwhelmed by the sheer sleaziness and arrogance of his contemptible tactics.

    Where the hell are we (libertarians) supposed to go from here?

  • ||

    Baldwin absolutely isn't an option for me, either. The CP is everything that was bad about Ron Paul, on steroids, with none of the good. It's a party of theocracy and bigotry, plain and simple.

  • ||

    Barr is talking to the press? What a novel thing to do. Someone should tell Sarah Palin about that.

    I love how she acted tough at the convention with all the attacks and since then has basically hid like a scared mouse from (gasp) questions from the press.

  • ||

    I don't understand all this. Anyone who supported RP would be some kind of fool or compromiser supreme not to support Barr. They may differ on some things but certainly Obama and McCain differ on more. The more votes Barr gets the more the two parties will look at attracting that vote next time around.

  • Mad Max||

    The Libertarian Party has an unfortunate tendency - which Barr is currently manifesting - to have divisions between the Libertopian People's Front and the People's Front of Libertopia ("splitters!").

    All Barr had to do was stand on the podium with Dr. Paul and look nice and smile and wave - then, later - even a day later - he could have started tearing into the other 3rd parties if he wanted.

    I wish I had the luxury of choosing between Barr and Baldwin, but my state won't let me do that. Baldwin is not only off the ballot, he isn't recognized as a write-in candidate, either, so any vote I write in for him will be thrown out.

    If I swallowed BADnarik, I can swallow Barr, because he is the least of several evils.

  • ||

    Yes, eric, Bob Barr should have stuffed his tail between his legs and followed the Republican Ron Paul. Since he didn't, you intend to vote for Chuck Baldwin.

    I love the contorted logic among some of you guys. Chuck Baldwin stands for exactly what the Republican Party stood for over the past couple decades: Religious Right Conservatism. I find it interesting when someone lambastes Barr for being a Republican in Libertarian clothing, and immediately follows that with a pledge of support for Chuck Baldwin.

  • ||

    Mad Max what if he had? Hell he already spends most of his limited interview time dodging Nader comparisons. What if he handed the biased media, on a silver platter no less, video and photos of him standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Nader? Likewise Ron Paul has not only been systematically sidelined from the beginning, but has also been painted as something akin to Hillary Clinton... a primary season loser that won't go away. Getting a bit too cozy with Ron Paul had similar risks.

    I think this was a smart move on Bob Barr's part, regardless of what the over-sensitive types or previously committed Barr-bashers may have to say about it.

  • ||

    Nice Guy,

    Maybe I'd agree with that if the only choice was to vote for McCain, Barr, or Obama. But there are other options. As much as Barr was a sell out selection for the LP, the Constitution Party took the high rode and chose Chuck Baldwin, who is probably their most libertarian nominee ever. Baldwin was also a vocal Paul supporter when Paul was still running and has appeared in a positive role in nearly all Ron's major events. Maybe Paul supporters would rather reward the Constitution Party for what they did right this time rather than condone the LP's shift to the center.

  • Mad Max||

    "Chuck Baldwin stands for exactly what the Republican Party stood for over the past couple decades: Religious Right Conservatism."

    If you mean they're Christian and pro-life - but the Repugnican leaders tend to see these issues as boob-bait, while CP leaders actually mean it.

    On other parts of their platform - like repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments - I'm not aware of Bush, DeLay, Newt or McCain supporting those.

    Then there's this from the CP platform - I missed the parallel provisions in the Repug platform:

    "One of the greatest contributors to deficit spending is war. If the country is to get rid of debt, these United States cannot become gratuitously involved in constant wars. Constitutional government, as the founders envisioned it, was not imperial. It was certainly not contemplated that America would police the world at the taxpayers' expense.
    We call for the systematic reduction of the federal debt through, but not limited to, the elimination of further borrowing and the elimination of unconstitutional programs and agencies.

    "We call upon the President to use his Constitutional veto power to stop irresponsible and unconstitutional appropriations, and use his Constitutional authority to refuse to spend any money appropriated by Congress for unconstitutional programs or in excess of Constitutionally imposed tax revenue.

    "The debt could be more rapidly eliminated if certain lands and other assets currently held by the federal government were sold, and the proceeds applied to the debt. This policy should be employed, and funds from the sale of all such assets should be specifically applied to debt reduction."

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php

  • ||

    Barr said: "Ross Perot's 19 percent of the vote in 1992 influenced policy. It made the 1994 Republican revolution possible."

    That is debatable. What is not debatable is that Ross Perot's 19% got him UN-invited to the debates in 1996. This is because of the duopoly that Ron Paul is talking about. This is what we need to fight. And I'm sorry, but Bob Barr can't even get libertarians (~10% of the electorate) excited -- what does he think he is going to accomplish here??

    IMO, the system has been destroyed to the point that it is no longer salvageable. Elect McBama - let the system crash and burn so the phoenix can arise from the ashes.

  • ||

    I'm an individual before I'm a libertarian... and a libertarian before I'm Libertarian Party.

    What I mean is that since the LP and Paul supporters are groups - with what now seems like collective group mentalities and the backstabbing to go with it - I reserve the right to disassociate myself from both groups if they start behaving irrationally.

    If libertarians are going to be split by such trivial nonsense then they deserve to be treated as a joke... and they certainly are not showing the ability to govern wisely... because this sort of insane nonsense is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    McBama is much worse... so I won't go into how ridiculous those collectives are.

    I'll still pull the lever for Liberty this Novemeber... but not for any one man in particular.

    Ron Paul and Bob Barr - and their supporters - have left me with nowhere to go.

  • ||

    "If you mean they're Christian and pro-life - but the Repugnican leaders tend to see these issues as boob-bait, while CP leaders actually mean it"

    They are not just "Christian and pro-life", they're theocratic and authoritarian. It's people like them who have destroyed the reputation of Federalism by using it to hide their agenda of state-level tyranny.

    Also from their platform:

    The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

    This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

    The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

    ...

    We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into these United States from foreign sources. As a matter of self-defense, retaliatory policies including embargoes, sanctions, and tariffs, should be considered.

    ...

    The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted

    ...

    [We] affirm the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior.

    ...

    We oppose any legal recognition of homosexual unions.

    ...

    We oppose efforts to legalize adoption of children by homosexual singles or couples.

    ...

    Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country.

    ...

    We favor a moratorium on immigration to these United States

    ...

    We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

    We commend Former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court for his defense of the display of the Ten Commandments, and condemn those who persecuted him and removed him from office for his morally and legally just stand.

    ...

    Pornography, at best, is a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony, and at worst, is a destructive element of society resulting in significant and real emotional, physical, spiritual and financial costs to individuals, families and communities. We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy.

    With the advent of the Internet and the benevolent neglect of the previous administrations, the pornography industry enjoyed uninhibited growth and expansion until the point today that we live in a sex-saturated society where almost nothing remains untainted by its perversion. While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards
    ..............................................

    The idea that any libertarian or liberty-minded person could support these people (who tend to be *more* extreme than the platform lets on) as a matter of "principle" is absurd.

  • ||

    Paul those that are engaging in driving wedges between libertarians are either excessively-devoted (often to the point of blindness) Ron Paul/Chuck Baldwin/Charles Jay supporters, or Bob Barr's detractors. I'm not sure where Bob Barr's supporters fit into your comments.

  • ||

    Andy Craig thanks for responding for me. I didn't really feel like having to point out the obvious.

  • ||

    I see your point anonymous...

    I just don't see the advantage in antagonizing Ron Paul or his supporters right now. Some of the comments that the Barr campaign director made about Paul on his blog today were over the top.

  • ||

    After this spectacle, I know I will be voting for Lyndon LaRouche.

  • ||

    Yeah, thank you Andy Craig... I need to be reminded from time to time that the Cons. Party shouldn't really be referred to as "libertarian".

    Some CP activist gave me a flier once... and amongst all the pontificating madness was a bit about mandating that all companies be "100% employee owned".

    Hardly the libertarian view there.

  • ||

    Bob Barr is not the perfect candidate. No one is. If you are going to take one thing and hold it against him, I think its idiotic. Obama and McCain supporters don't do that. That's why one of them are going to win. But not us Libertarians, we are too Principled to come together and win. Barr isn't the problem, you whiners are.

  • ||

    Paul some of these things need to be attributed to frayed nerves and the very wedges we've been discussing, and thus taken with a few grains of salt.

    The Barr detractors are especially eager to blow this all out of proportion. It serves their purposes. Obviously when they've already proven themselves capable of reshaping innocuous facts to resemble deleterious innuendo they're more than able to magnify a minor squabble into a major debacle. Welcome to Operation Self-Defeat. This is the whole reason why I scoff at those that accuse Bob Barr of being a destructive force while simultaneously engaging in destructive activities. It's the height of absurdity.

  • ||

    This isn't attacking Barr because of his more moderate positions or because he's supposedly out to destroy the LP. That stuff was and is nonsense. This is something totally different. This is people disowning Barr because of his malicious, arrogant, sleazy back-stab of people who wanted to help him and work with him.

    I supported Barr until today, and it's not because I'm a blind follower of Ron Paul.

  • ||

    I promised myself in 2004 I would never vote for anyone who voted for the war. Barr did.

  • ||

    Good point again anonymous...

    It seems to me that many of the Barr detractors - whether they're LP or not - don't support him because of some vain or personal reason.

    I don't think it has anything to do with his libertarian credibility... quite the contrary, I've paid close attention to his campaign and I think he's a very good spokesman for liberty.

    His detractors - whoever they are - just seem bitter for whatever reason.

    In order for the Libertarian Party to grow libertarians have to realize that people like Barr have to cross-over and be forgiven for past votes before he was libertarian.

    I'll still vote for Barr because I think he's the best liberty candidate on the ballot and because I want to help the LP... but I am disappointed in today's events.

  • ||

    That's just it, though, Andy Craig. Was it a malicious, arrogant, sleazy back-stab? Depends on who you ask, and who you listen to. Unfortunately most of those that would be willing to sensationalize this situation are also those responsible for sensationalizing the stuff you accurately label as nonsense.

    Did it really happen? I wasn't there, and I refuse to let staffers, supporters, and spectators frame my opinion for me. What I do know, factually, is that Barr asked Paul to join his campaign. Despite how some want to frame it this was something that Paul supporters have been asking Barr to do on an almost-daily basis. I've seen it for myself. I also know that Barr has spent many of his interviews countering the argument that he's going to do to John McCain what Ralph Nader did to Gore in 2000, including one with the subtitle under him that read "The Nader Effect." So I can understand why he'd be wary to give the media an excuse to continue with that Nader=Barr / Barr=Nader logic.

    According to an account on the LP site ( http://www.lp.org/blogs/andrew-davis/to-our-supporters-and-volunteers ) the Barr campaign wasn't provided with details about what the press conference would entail until sometime in the middle of the night last night. It is conceivable that they had legitimate concerns about the arrangement, and decided to pull out at the last minute. That is, of course, their choice. Perhaps Barr intended to mention his offer to take Paul on as his running mate at Paul's initial press conference, but decided to do so separately after pulling out. This is likely what happened, and changes the way the situation is framed entirely. Now Barr didn't hold a separate press conference simply to "piggyback" or "ride coat tails" as many have tried to cast it, but because he had an announcement to make and no longer had an appropriate venue in which to make it.

    None of this kind of analysis is possible, though, among those that have long-since abandoned reliance upon objective thought.

  • Josh||

    Give me a break.

    All of Barr and LP's actions were TOO LATE. Instead of nominating Ron Paul Dec 2007, the LP could've stood by him the whole round until after Super Tuesday.

    Instead of asking Paul to be the VP now, they could've asked it earlier.

    There's no productivity in arguing who's right or wrong. We know the real criminals are the 2 parties, and voting away from them should be all that matters now.

  • ||

    Paul I fully agree with your last post. It'd be one thing if Bob Barr was acting like a total nutcase, and spouting patently non-libertarian drivel every time a camera is pointed at him. He's not doing that. If he was I'd be right there in the angry mob holding a club in one hand and a torch in the other.

    Granted he makes a slip here and there, but they're usually minor. Unfortunately after the Barr Bashing Blogs chew on these slips for awhile, misquote him, misconstrue his intentions (by viewing them through Barr-hating goggles), speculate, put words in Barr's mouth, and cross-quote/cross-reference other Barr Bashing Blogs to support the nonsense suddenly the minor slip looks like a tectonic plate slip. Then there's an earthquake in the blogosphere, damage control, needless deaths (in the form of hopeful-turned-disillusioned potential Barr voters), and violence in the streets (in the form of libertarian infighting). It's ridiculous, and disproportionate. Some people are operating from the playbook they should have only used if Bob Barr was acting like a total nutcase, and spouting patently non-libertarian drivel every time a camera is pointed at him.

  • ||

    Josh these two lines are disconnected from reality:

    "All of Barr and LP's actions were TOO LATE. Instead of nominating Ron Paul Dec 2007, the LP could've stood by him the whole round until after Super Tuesday."

    Ron Paul refused to leave the Republican Party, and continues to remain firm on that decision.



    "Instead of asking Paul to be the VP now, they could've asked it earlier."

    How? Before the Republican National Convention/Rally for the Republic? That would've been disrespectful, and would've sparked off a silly and unnecessary shit storm just as today's events did. Today was the only logical opportunity to extend this offer to Ron Paul.

  • ||

    Josh,

    The whole VP issue is much ado about nothing. If Ron Paul wanted to be the LP Presidential candidate, it was his for the taking. He didn't want to run as a third party candidate. He did it once, knows how futile it is, and had no desire at 72 to do it again. A guy who essentially turned down the Presidential nomination isn't going to accept the VP nomination.

    I think what pisses people off about Barr is this- he won the nomination against the wishes of the hard core libertarians. The anarcho-capitalist and extreme minarchists just don't trust him. And not because of the things he said 5 years ago but because of things he's said this year, like his tacit endorsement of drug prohibition on Hannity and Colmes. So given that dynamic, one would think Barr might go out of his way to throw us some bones. But all we've gotten out of him is piss. And I think this is kind of the last straw for a lot of people. I was totally willing after the Convention to put away my bitterness and allow Bob Barr to win my vote. But he hasn't even made the attempt.

  • Mad Max||

    Andy Craig,

    I did not mean to suggest the CP are libertarians. My point (replying to you) was that they're not like the Repugnicans. For better or worse (I think mostly better), their position is distinguishable from what Repugs have advocated over the past several decades. The Repugs agree with the CP on a small # of issues issues - see the stopped-clock principle.

    I'm afraid that not all your CP platform quotes due justice to the (dare I say) *nuances* of their position. Except for the porno plank, which you quoted fully.

    A key paragraph in the immigration plank says (you quoted the first phrase about the moratorium):

    "We favor a moratorium on immigration to these United States, except in extreme hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances, until the availability of all federal subsidies and assistance be discontinued, and proper security procedures have been instituted to protect against terrorist infiltration." That's quite similar to Dr. Paul's position.

    The drug paragraph you quoted, about a ban on drug imports and considering retaliation against foreign source countries (where the CP is no worse than the duopoly) is followed by this:

    "At the same time, we will take care to prevent violations of the Constitutional and civil rights of American citizens. Searches without probable cause and seizures without due process must be prohibited, and the presumption of innocence must be preserved."

    Try and find *that* in the duopolist drug planks. Does Barr actually disagree with the CP on drugs?

    The family plank does, indeed call for support for the evil patriarchal family, but it also contains the following:

    "We recognize that parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, educate, and discipline their children. We oppose the assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency without the express delegation of the parents or legal due process."

    As to the gambling plank, here is the full thing (preferable to the federal-oppression model promoted by the duopolists):

    "James Madison said: 'The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.' (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

    "Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries, or subsidization of Native American casinos in the name of economic development. We call for the repeal of federal legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states."

    (they could have added that many professional gamblers have questionable morality, but they obviously didn't want to insult Wayne Allen Root).

    And check out the Social Security plank - McBama would *not* approve.

  • Mad Max||

    Note - I'm not sure if Dr. Paul wants a moratorium on *legal* immigration, but he sees the danger of combining open borders with a welfare state.

  • Mad Max||

    Ah, I see it wasn't Andy Craig who compared the CP to the Repugs - sorry about that.

  • ||

    Quote: "Barr said: "Ross Perot's 19 percent of the vote in 1992 influenced policy. It made the 1994 Republican revolution possible.""

    And we should celebrate this why exactly? The 1994 GOP "revolution" fell down on most of its promises and instead created a bankrupt corporate state that only stops making war on other nations when given the opportunity to spy on American citizens instead. The GOP can take their "revolution" and stuff it.

  • Sean Scallon||

    So, Bob Barr was willing to sign a statement of common principles along with theocrat Baldwin, the socialist Nader and the mad Marxist McKinney but unwilling to be in their presence because he had better things to do. That's about as credible an explanation as the Gnostic gospels.

    As the irrepressible Dave Weigel reports, Barr is ticked off at Paul because he wouldn't give him his sole endorsement? Paul stated clearly in Minneapolis, this is bigger than just one party and those who share his ideas or give them credit can share in his support no matter what their ideology or party. He will not be pigeoned holed or put into an ideological or political ghetto. This was the whole point to his campaign, the what he spoke in favor of was powerful enough to united persons of different ideological and political and social backgrounds into a common cause. This is why he eventually wound up with more delegates votes at the RNC than Rudy Guliani, Mike Huckbee, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romeny combined. What do you think would have happened to RP's camapaign if it relied on just Republican support? It would ahve died in August of last year.

    Ron Paul isn't about controlling anyone's votes or actions. He's not about micromanagement or dictation. He truly lives as a libertarian would expect to live. This is why the whole newsletter issue took place. This is why he hasn't endorsed just one candidate or party. Amazing isn't it that so many people around here call themselves libertarians and yet can't recognize libertarianism in action when it's right in front of their faces.

    And after what McCain's goons did to Paul's delegates in St. Paul, dis anyone honestly think Paul was going to endorse McCain? Despite the fact that several writers from Reason were at the convention, not one of them has seen fit to write a report about how the First Amendment was repealed on the floor of the RNC. Ron Paul's deleagtes and alternates were treated as if though they were in North Korean, being followed around and chaperoned, having signs and DVDs confiscated, being threatened with expulsion if they so uttered the name Ron Paul. Nope, not a thing from either Weigel, Welch, Cavanaugh or Gillespe even thought they were right in the middle of it.

    But never fear, Conservative Heritage Times has copied reports from several Paul delegates on their harassment by McCain's prison guards and offers it to you here: http://conservativetimes.org/?p=2172. Needless to say Paul wasn't openly happy at their treatment which is probably why he was willing to support the major third party camapaigns of 2008 we hadn't done so in the past.

    Until Barr made an ass out of himself.

  • Frank Rizzo||

    Ron Paul should have told it like it is and said all of the candidates are crap, don't waste your time voting for any of them. That would have been the radical and consistent message.

  • ||

    Seth... Barr was saying Perot's run is likely responsible for causing the Republicans to stand up, take notice, and offer the "Republican Revolution" in the first place. It likely also helped to solidify voters behind an agenda of reform and fiscal responsibility.

  • omg clowns||

    Rumor has it Root didn't know about the Paul VP offer until sometime this morning, sept. 10th, and covered Barr's butt on this stunt.

  • Brian from Florida||

    Adam Kokesh (Iraq War Veterans Against the War) is a mean looking M-Fer. Dude is a bad-a**. I mean that as a sincere compliment!

    Plus, he's right that leadership is also about knowing when to lead and when to follow. I'm glad I got his autograph on my "Revolution" book.

    /Still voting Barr 2008

  • ||

    As they say "lead, follow, or get out of the way."

    I think Barr was trying to get out of the way of the cameras that were sent to get as much film of him and Nader in the same frame as possible.

  • Anti-Globalism||

    I think a lot of libertarians would rather be "right" and alone than "right" and successful. It's more about lording over the other 99% of people the fact that "they just don't get it" than actually attempting to make real changes (which requires actual compromise).

    Most political groups are like this.

    Politics, for most people, is an identity and not a means to an end.

  • Pablo Escobar||

    Thank god Ron Paul didn't endorse the neo-con Barr/Root ticket. Now that Bob Barr and his campaign staff have shown their true colours, it's pretty evident that Dr Paul made the right decision.

    What a sense of entitlement this Barr fellow has. He thinks he's somehow entitled to Paul's following. He doesn't even realise that he has to earn it.

  • ||

    Yes, Pablo, just like Barr has to earn 15% support in 5 polls while the media virtually ignores all alternative candidates and only one of those 5 polls even mentions his name. That's similar to how you unfairly (and untruthfully) label him a neo-con with one breath while talking about how he has to earn the trust of you and your friends with the next. You already denied him any opportunity to earn that trust. The word for this is prejudice, if you weren't aware.

    To borrow some of what "svf" said: On a field with two statists (McBama), a theocrat (Baldwin), a socialist (Nader), a stark-raving-mad Marxist (McKinney), and some also-rans... why shouldn't Barr expect Ron Paul to support him? Ron Paul didn't win the Republican nomination. Your "what a sense of entitlement" point might have made sense if Barr had been presumptuous enough to expect Paul to make a move early-on, but he waited until Paul had exhausted his election campaign options. Now we're in the end game. Rather than take a lackadaisical approach and fiddling while Rome burns Barr is taking risks. He's making noise and trying to accomplish something. That's worthy of some respect, or at least it would be if some of you would take your blinders off.

  • Nick||

    "but he sees the danger of combining open borders w
    with a welfare state."

    Oh, you mean the one illegal immigrants pay for through sales, property, and sometimes income and social security taxes? Many wouldn't even qualify for an income tax and none qualify for Social Security, food stamps, welfare, affordable housing programs, etc. If they were here legally, they'd be getting so many tax credits it would actually cost us even more money.

    Re: the forum, Barr, etc.

    Now if someone would just point out that progressivism and libertarianism are completely compatable, that a laissez faire system would be one built almost solely on small enterprise proprietorships and where corporations wouldn't exist, that HMOs are government creations, that free trade is the only successful way to prevent war, etc. maybe there could be a meaningful coalition between libertarians and the Left.

    As for this election, I'm more likely to vote for Adam Smith (the dead one), a rusty horseshoe or my neighbor's dog that any of these candidates, and Barr is not striking me as being any better than McCain or Obama, what with his continued support for a war on illegal immigrants, animosity to private property/complete misunderstanding of libertarian principles (his lawsuit), and his much chronicled anti-libertarian past.

  • ||

    Wow, I cant believe how some of you have twisted the entire message of the press conference.

    The point is about a RETURN TO DEMOCRACY. Dont you see?? Before you can talk about policy issues, or what you think is best for the nation, you MUST have an outlet, you must have the means to choose. What is the point of bickering over which third-party is the best when all of them will fail because of the same corrupt system. You must address that first!!

    Ron Paul understands the bigger picture, that its about empowering Americans in having real choice. Lets not get caught up in who is standing next to who, jesus christ! Dont you see the challenges we face?

  • ||

    Silas I appreciate your capacity for taking the long view, and putting things into the abstract. Objective thought, at Reason, who would've thought it could be so?

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