Burning the Right Bridges

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Earlier this month Bob Barr, the Republican ex-congressman from Georgia, suggested that he might vote Libertarian rather than cast another ballot for George W. Bush.

This week he confirmed that he will.

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  1. Hell has officially frozen over. 🙂

  2. Bob Barr:

    “Conservatives of all people ought to stand up for the belief that there needs to be limits on executive power. [The Bush administration] says that terror trumps everything. To me, nothing should trump the Bill of Rights.”

    Bob Barr, you are a true patriot. We would be in a far better situation if more politicians adhered to these principles with the fealty that you display. Thank you.

    Also from the article:

    Barr doesn’t like the way the Patriot Act whittles away at the “probable cause” standard that justifies government snooping on citizens. He doesn’t like the circumventing of judges via “administrative subpoenas.”

    Let’s rejoin the fight against the civil liberties threatening aspects of the Act lest it be used to punish dissent. Remember Clinton? Nixon? I shudder at the thought of the powers of the Patriot Act in the likes of their hands.

  3. Well, looks like somebody other than Lincoln Chaffee is not going to get invited to anymore GOP functions.

  4. Rick, before you get too enthused about Bob’s libertarian creds, please recall Barr wrote the amendment to the Washington DC budget that blocked city officials from spending local money to count the medical marijuana ballot.

    The U.S. District Court ruled that preventing city officials from counting and certifying the referendum results was a violation of the constitutional rights of district voters.

    Bob was against allowing people to even vote on the measure. Ptui.

  5. Maybe, but Barr, by endorsing the Libertarian ticket, has sent a signal that his drug-warrior tendencies are subordinate to his commitment to general liberty. I find that to be a positive sign.

  6. gary,

    I know. The War on Drugs is Bob’s weak link for sure. But, we can certainly make league with him where he’s right. I wonder if he has given the War on Drugs any reconsideration, either on principle or in view of its tragic failure.

  7. All the more remarkable considering that the Libertarian Party specifically targeted Barr as part of their “Incumbent Killer” strategy, running TV ads that targeted his anti-medical-marijuana opinions and may have cost him his seat. Apparently, he’s a politician that doesn’t hold a grudge.

  8. James: When I interviewed Barr for Reason, he said — in an exchange we wound up editing out for space reasons — that he thinks he would have lost whether or not the LP ran those ads.

    That’s his story, anyway, and he’s sticking to it…

  9. Apparently, he’s a politician that doesn’t hold a grudge.

    And one who puts principle above personal electoral politics.

  10. Fellow libertarians,

    I’m not an Islamic expert, but I know Islamic fascists want to destory us. They had two cracks at the WTC because the same ho-hum attitude prevailed. The first time I worked directly across the street, the second time I was four blocks away.

    Bottom line: do you think John Kerry understands the deep-rooted seething in major parts of the Arab world? I don’t. Do you think he has the fortitude to fight them? I don’t. He and his fellow travelers want to forget about 9/11. Tom Friedman of the NY Times praised Kerry for “wanting to put terrorism back into perspective.” Is he nuts?

    This is a fight to the death until enough people in the Arab world are convinced that nuking the free world is a bad idea.

  11. Liberty Lover,
    No sale. This fight to the death crap is exactly what motivates them to kill us. GW has put the country at greater risk with his jack-booted policies. I don’t know if Kerry will be any better, but I know he can’t be any worse when it comes to fighting terroism. The freedom vs. security ultimatum is just bullshit. We’re loosing both.

    Jesse,
    Shame on you for the Registration required link. I remember when the LP was all party hats and noisemakers over Barr’s loss. Reason ran an article pointing out Barr’s libertarian leanings, other than the drug war. Looks like Reason was right. Barr’s criticism of the administration would have more weight if he were seeking re-election (assuming he would stick to principle in such circumstances).

  12. Warren incomprehnsibly declares: “No sale. This fight to the death crap is exactly what motivates them to kill us.”

    Huh? Liberty Lover has it exactly right. There was NO “fight to the death” crap prior to 9/11. Islamic nutjobs issued death sentences and bounties on a “blaspheming” Western novelist and his publisher, Carter stood impotent in the face of Iranian hostages, Reagan turned tale in Lebanon, Saddam tried to kill a former POTUS and harbored one of the masterminds of the 1st attack on the WTC, Leon Klinghoffer was thrown into the ocean from his wheel chair & etc. Such responses as there were, were effete; the LAST thing they were was “fight to the death crap.”

    Hence, 9/11.

    And hence my vote for Bush.

    But I share Barr’s opposition to aspects of The Patriot Act. Just not enough to signal to the murderous jihadists that we have no confidence in the man who will kill them before they kill any more of us, as quickly as we can, unless they prove they are now willing to behave as civilized human beings.

    –Mona–

  13. In all fairness to the LP, the problem with Barr wasn’t that he simply supported the Drug War. At last count 534 people in Congress claim to support prohibition. The problem was how ardent he was about it. He went beyond simply blending in with the crowd on this issue and actively worked to make things a lot worse.

    Now, whether or not that outweighs his other libertarian stances is a complicated question. But the LP’s decision to target him was based on more than just his support for prohibition; it was also based on the degree of his support and his support for legislation to escalate the drug war.

  14. Those reticent about registering with ajc.com can read a summary on the Badnarik site. @

    http://badnarik.org/newsfromthetrail.php?p=1478

    Kevin

  15. Liberty Lover,

    “deep-rooted seething” amplified 1000 times by the W.

    So let’s turn the cause loose on the problem.

    I agree with Warren, Kerry absolutely could not be any worse!

  16. Seething is not the issue – liberty is the issue. if they chooose to hate rather than confront eveil that is not Bush’s or America’s fault. The middle east is riddled with hate because justice is not an objective.

    I think that much of the Bush bashing made by Kerry and his supporters is off the mark. I have not heard a single one of them criticize Clinton or any of his experts on their failure to deal wth or capture OBL.

    We did not yet capture OBL and its not a big deal. Disrupting terrorism is the issue. OBL is one network that is on the run. Many other links have been pulled apart. We are clearly winning the war on terrorism.

    In addition, we see that most of the terrorists are now in Iraq. This is good for all of us. I would rather fight them with soliders than american citizen across playgorunds across the country.

    I beleive many who focus on OBL as the isuue do not understand the network nature of terrorism or are blinded by party affiliations. Him living in constant fear is a good thing.

    The terrorists are on the run, Afgan has held democratic election (counter to what all the EXPERTS said) and Iraq is headed for elections. This sounds pretty good to me. The messiness of what is happening is called life in a world inhabited by humans. To cry over every problem is just immaturity.

    Let’s get real and acknowledge a couple of things right now:
    (1) Bush has vision and leadership that exhibits intellegence far beyond what has been displayed by Keery (paradigm shift – we took the fight to the terrorists and have them running, this is not a criminal code violation)
    (2) The US again is leading the world with Europe to eldery to stand up for reason (Reagan lead the last challenge)

  17. “In addition, we see that most of the terrorists are now in Iraq.”

    Except that, according to the US military itself, the vast majority of those terrorists are people who were living there anyway.

    There are estimated to be as many as 20,000 insurgents: http://www.eagletribune.com/news/stories/20040709/FP_002.htm

    And approximately 1,000 of them are believed to be
    foreigners:

    Thus, your statement makes as much sense as someone announcing in 1967 that the US had to stay in Vietnam because that’s where most of the Communist infiltrators and saboteurs were.

  18. Yes, yet another joins the chorus of “conservatives against Bush”…wonderful. I’ll laugh when the mainstream media talking heads are carrying the look of puzzlement at Badnarik showing up better after the polls close than their preferred “spoiler” Nader — taking their implied assumption that the problem w/ our political system is that “the people” are further Left than is realized and smashing it to bits.

    As for Barr’s pro-war-on-drugs stance: I’m not sure if he follows this train of thought, but I have heard a line from many conservatives that could be summarized as “it’d be fine as long as I didn’t have to pay for it”. The implied view by many of the situation w/ narcotics is that if they were legalized it’d make yet another addition of people to the Welfare State, and the Libertarian Party explicitly rejects that, so unless one has a deep moral revulsion to legalization (or a belief that it’s the job of gov’t to “preserve society”, in which case they’d more likely chew broken glass than support a libertarian) they can set aside that concern.

    To “liberty lover” & similar types: I’d like to know what it is that makes Bush so much better on defense. Kerry’s approach is crap obviously, but it’s not like what we’re doing now is all that great, neither of them really get the point for the most part — neither realizes that we get into this type of situation because of a national habit of slapping at hornets nests, and that the proper response is actually more narrow than they’d like to admit. If Bush had said (in more words of course) something along the lines of “plain & simple, we’re going to relentlessly kill the ones that want to kill americans, and then disengage once they discover logic” and made no attempts to placate globalists of either stripe I’d see the point, but as it is now we’re merely arguing between two different flavors of Wrong.

  19. I have a suggestion to advance the cause of liberty in these last days before the election:

    Call your local talk radio stations and speak against any initiative or proposition that raises taxes. Come up with the arguments that you judge will be most compelling for voters to reject the tax increases. Call as much as you can. And remember, in the face of opposition, if you encounter it, reinforce your arguments instead of raising your voice. You can make a difference!

  20. It is amazing that Libertarians want everyone to be so morally perfect. Democrats and Republicans alike are filled with freaks in their ranks. It is completely irrelevant. There is nothing complicated about supporting Michael Badnarik, the only candidate who wants a less intrusive government with lower taxes and greater civil liberties for all. It is so simply that the only shocker is that the LP can only manage 1% of the vote. It may get better when people realize that no vote picks the winner and that the only wasted vote is for the lessor of two evils.

  21. Liberty Lover,

    We don’t have to be in a “fight to the death” certain people in the Arab world. And the cruel irony here is that, as it usually is, the problem has been found to be caused by our government in the first place!

    It’s the misguided actions of our government that draws targets on our backs. The overwhelming evidence is that then 9/11 was motivated as a direct result of our government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy, vis a vis the Mid-East. Note that the 9/11 commission findings reveal:

    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    The evidence is that the tragedy of 9/11 probably wouldn’t have occurred but for our government’s intervention in the mid-East, specifically its support of the Israeli government’s brutal occupation, which is a terribly unethical thing for our government to be doing with our money anyway.

    In his 9/11 Fatwa Bin Laden gave us his three reasons for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula too close to Mecca. (This idiocy is at last ended)

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

    The best way to keep us safe from terror is to adopt the wise recommendation that Bush made in his foreign policy debate with Gore in the last election: “A more modest foreign policy”. (Remember, Gore would have none of it.) Of course, that one wouldn’t involve an expansion of the government so don’t expect a lot from Kerry here.

  22. “the only wasted vote is for the lessor of two evils”

    Keep shooting yourself in the foot libertarians. Splitting the libertarian vote between Reps and the 3d party elects more authoritarian democrats. If libertarians weren’t so damn flaky (like Barr), and got organized WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, like religious conservatives have done, it might make a difference.
    Not voting for Bush is a vote for Kerry, and Kerry is worse than Bush on every issue except gay rights and perhaps abortion and the war, depending on one’s view. Kerry will propose more spending on every program, propose more regulation by every department, and more taxes. His court picks will be more authoritarian (compare Ginsberg and Breyer to Scalia and Thomas).
    Really, unless a libertarian is an extreme isolationist, or puts abortion on demand higher than every other issue combined, how can a libertarian not vote for Bush? It really blows my mind. Or are most libertarians really more interested in cynical posing than economic liberty and constitutional government? Bob Barr made his answer plain.

  23. Mona:

    “Reagan turned tale in Lebanon”

    Reagan was right to depart Lebanon. Our government’s military never should have been there in the first place. Our military should only intervene when it is necessary to protect our security. When it intervenes with out this criteria being met, it diminishes rather than enhances our security. The Israeli government’s occupation of Lebanon was not our fight and our government shouldn’t have gotten involved even if the whole endeavor didn’t turn out to be counter productive to the interests of most of the Israeli people.

  24. Reg,

    Government might well grow less if Kerry is elected but the Republicans hold the house and senate and we reinforce their numbers with more fiscal conservatives.

  25. Reg:

    Really, unless a libertarian is an extreme isolationist, or puts abortion on demand higher than every other issue combined, how can a libertarian not vote for Bush?

    27% growth of the federal budget-The prescription drug bill. That’s more than enough.

  26. There’s a problem with Rick Barton’s prescription for avoiding targetting by terrorists. Arguably, our support for Israel is unjust. But what if that support is just?* Or what if a terrorist group is annoyed that we support another country that isn’t doing anything wrong by our lights, but is by the terrorists’? [Consider the Islamic radicals who make trouble in the Phillipines.] Is the judgment of the American polity to be subject to a veto by anyone who can rig a explosive vest? I really don’t think Rick would support that.

    I’d actually prefer it if our citizens who wanted to help a foreign country could whip out their own checkbooks. That sort of activity, along with volunteering for military service with a foreign power is frequently held to be a violation of such seldom-used laws as the Neutrality Acts and the Logan Act. That does open the can of worms where the UK sees Irish-Americans donating to NorAid+ as the equivalent of Arab-Americans giving to the Holy Land Foundation.# “One man’s terrorist…” being the cliche.

    Kevin

    * I still think the Jewish people deserve a homeland in the Middle East. Would it have been better to have proclaimed a secular, non-partitioned Palestine, perhaps with a federal structure that balanced the the multiple religious and national communities therein? Well, barns, horses and locked doors. Someday there may be an Israel and a Palestine side-by-side, or even a condominium over territories considered sacred by both. But a solution that makes Israel effectively indefensible is just not going to happen, nor should it.

    + Irish Northern Aid is supposed to funnel funds to the families of nationalists imprisoned by the UK government, but is widely suspected of diverting cash to the Provisional IRA for the purposes of carrying on an armed struggle in the 6 counties.

    # Holy Land Foundation, and some other ostensible Muslim charities have been accused of being conduits for fundraising by Hamas and other terrorist outfits.

  27. “Really, unless a libertarian is an extreme isolationist, or puts abortion on demand higher than every other issue combined, how can a libertarian not vote for Bush?”

    Funny, it seems to me you’d have to have the IQ of a radish not to think the exact opposite.

  28. “Bush has vision and leadership that exhibits intellegence far beyond what has been displayed by Keery”

    This is astounding (and I’m not even voting for Kerry). One has to have an understanding of any given situation in order to have a vision. Bush brags about not reading the newspaper. His “vision” is mostly shaped by his (typically uninformed) religious beliefs. Like a spoiled child, he refuses to take responsibility for any mistakes he’s made. He is demonstrably divorced from objective reality and seems to prefer it that way.

    He and his administration lie every time they say that “75% of Al Quaeda leadership has been brought to justice.” He and his administration lied in order to gain support for the war in the first place (I used to believe he was just pathetically ignorant, but you can get away with saying blatently false things over and over again for just so long before that excuse wears thin). With the exception of a quick victory (which was not exactly a tough call), his war architects got everything wrong about our conflict in Iraq.

    It’s interesting to me to read of those who support Bush because he’s “tough,” when it seems to me that he is, in fact, the biggest pussy ever to hold the office. What else to call a man who says “bring ’em on” to terrorists thousands of miles away? What else to call a man who can’t admit a mistake (not to mention staunchly supporting a war and doing everything possible to avoid serving in it)? A pussy, I say!

    Being “tough” without being smart is weakness, pure and simple.

    So, if you’re satisfied with a willfully ignorant, religious fundamentalist who bases his decisions on his child-like theology and his demonstrably dishonest and incompetent administration, I suppose you’ve little choice but to vote for the Bush.

    I understand people not voting for Kerry, but voting for Bush is a complete mystery to me.

  29. Well spoken, Les.

    Many people are seeing through this pathetic sham of a president.

    He will go down in history as one of the worst leaders of all time.

    But on a more positive note, in a couple of weeks, he’ll be nothing more than a bitter ex-president, bitching about how if we’d just threw in a few billion more in cash and a few thousand more in lives, we could’ve… why, we would’ve…

    And then he trails off, looks into the distance and sighs.

    Problem solved.

  30. Hell froze over when the neo-cons at the Objectivist Center had Barr give the opening invocation at their new DC office — I’m sure he’s been purged from their records and pictures since he decided to support the LP and civil liberties.

    Speaking of neo-cons and crazy O’ists – anyone hear Bailey’s presentation about the war in Iraq? Ron Bailey sounded like a Trot and the O’ists were in never never land — apparently Saddam hide WMD in the Bekka Valley…shameful really. Good to see the Cato folks like Prebble and Carpenter hand them their heads…

  31. “Really, unless a libertarian is an extreme isolationist,”

    skippy,

    Why do librarians see this slur more often even than the misidentification with Lyndon LaRouche?

    If an anarchist can speak for a librarian, librarians are at the other end of the spectrum from isolationists.
    Librarians simply object to government types building embassies and otherwise trying to sell the “ugly American” face while putting a red bullseye on their back.
    Librarians are already out in the world looking to make a buck, as is everyone else in the world able to move past propaganda.

  32. “Government might well grow less if Kerry is elected but the Republicans hold the house and senate and we reinforce their numbers with more fiscal conservatives.”

    First of all, massive amounts of damage can be done by the president without Congressional approval. First in Judges and other appointments, and second in setting administrative rules. Get ready for pro-labor, pro-green, and anti-business regulation for the next 4 years.
    As far as Congress goes, You must have more faith in John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chafee, and the rest of the RINOs in Congress than I do to stand up against Kerry’s big government proposals. First he’ll whine about the deficit to get tax hikes through, which they will, and then go on to raise spending anyway scaring seniors over their benefits or promising more education dollars, or whatever else. And of course, the RINOs fold to gain the media’s continued adoration.

    “27% growth of the federal budget-The prescription drug bill. That’s more than enough.”

    It makes no sense to punish a guy when the replacement will be worse. So if Kerry promises to increase spending further and increase the drug bill, does it make sense to support him over Bush? That makes no sense at all. My favored position is spending reduction, Bush raises it 27% and Kerry promises more, so I shouldn’t vote for Bush? No wonder libertarians get no respect, their arguments make no sense.

    Also, if Bush loses to Kerry, next time the Republicans have little incentive to become more libtertarian; the incentive is to go further left to get more of the middle; especially when libertarians are so fussy as they vote against the guy promising to raise spending less and cut taxes more. What point is there to even try for that fussy vote?

  33. Les, Les, don’t you know anything? Bush is a dick not a pussy. Only dicks like Bush can fuck assholes like al-qaeda.

  34. Ruthless,

    Last time I checked, this wasn’t a site for librarians

  35. Reg,

    Isn’t Bush a RINO?

  36. It’s L-I-B-E-R-T-A-R-I-A-N

    Is this Saturday night?

    Relax thy sphincter.

  37. Reg,

    If Bush is a dick, he’s surely a limp one. And it’s hard to get penetration when one refuses the lubrication of objective fact and competency. 🙂

    Also, it’s not that I’m for punishing Bush with someone worse (which is arguable, seeing as how I don’t know that Kerry is willfully ignorant of world events/history/geography, or would consult with ambassadors to totalitarian states before his own secretary of state when he decides to wage war). I’m for punishing Bush for being dishonest and happily inept.

  38. “Isn’t Bush a RINO?”

    Yeah, so how does that defeat my point that RINOs in Congress won’t be sufficiently committed to defeating a Kerry agenda. In the 90s they were highly motivated behind Gingrich, thought they had a mandate after 94, and made a go of it. Look and see how well the Republican Congress did at slowing spending after 1998 when they suffered losses.
    If Bush loses to ultra-liberal Kerry, it won’t embolden Republicans to go farther right. It will strengthen RINOS to work even closer with the Dems across the aisle.

  39. “I’m for punishing Bush for being dishonest and happily inept.”

    Nothing wrong with criticism of Bush, there hasn’t been enough of it from the right, especially for his secrecy and spending. But its not good for a person’s position to elect somebody even less friendly to that position than Bush. Pat Buchanan at least could figure that out.

  40. Reg,

    I agree, that’s a good point. I guess then, what Bush supporters (or “preferers,” if that’s a word, which I doubt) have to do is lay out a case not just that Kerry is more liberal (which he is, but not much), but that he’s demonstrably more dishonest and more incompetent.

  41. Reg:

    If Bush loses to ultra-liberal Kerry, it won’t embolden Republicans to go farther right.

    It might well-a political rebound effect- happens all the time.

    The idea is that the GOP congress would vote in a more fiscaly conservative manner against a runaway liberal like Kerry. They shut down Clinton’s big government agenda but have rolled over for Bush’s. Now part of that has been the post 9/11 “rally round the Pres.” mentality.

    Here are the facts; as much as federal spending has exploded, Bush has asked for even more spending, and if the Democrats in congress had fully gotten their way, we would have had an even substantially larger growth of government than Bush requested! The ones that showed relative fiscal restraint were the congressional Republicans. Democratic members of congress tend to vote for far more spending then do their GOP counterparts:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/

    As I said, the GOP congress did the American people a great service when in put the clamps on Clinton’s expansive (and expensive) agenda. A very encouraging development now is that many Republicans in congress are coming to the realization that they will have to do the same with Bush. If I could trust in that trend, and trust that Bush wouldn’t let the neos con him into any more elective wars, I would be much more sanguine concerning a Bush victory. Rather than helping Pres. War-Bucks, we should work for a more fiscally conservative congress.

  42. maybe republicans in congress need a democratic president… its much easier to say “no.”
    Im telling you people, gridlock is the way to go.
    Kerry in 2004.
    Republican congress in 2004.

  43. I’ve been drinking, so I’ll just add one more thing.

    A lot of who we want as America’s President has nothing to do with ideology. There are practical matters, as well.

    I suspect we can all agree that it’s important for the President of the United States to be regarded by most (even and/or especially by those who oppose him) to be an intelligent person, a thoughtful person, a quick-witted person. We all know we need as our Commander-in-Chief an independent thinker, a student of history who is aware of the state of things in general throughout the world.

    Can we agree that the President of the United States should be honest? That he should not have inclinations to say things which are demonstrably untrue?

    Can we agree that he should be a man who critically examines his performance and takes responsibility for his actions? That he be determined to weed out incomeptency and dishonesty in his administration?

    Can we agree that all of these qualities (none of which have anything to do with domestic spending or foreign policy) are necessary in the President of the United States?

    It’s absolutely fascinating to me that George W. Bush is in possession of exactly none of these qualities, yet intelligent people actually want him to hold one of the most powerful positions in the history of humanity.

    Fuck ideology, what about basic standards?

  44. The only fear I have about Kerry is that he’ll raise taxes. Well, guess what, the Republican congress will stop that. Gridlock is our friend. Bush hasn’t vetoed a single bill. Kerry will be busy proving how tough he is, he’ll be fighting the terrorists — but he might actually do it based on logic as opposed to faith, ideology and the desire to hand out pork dollars to his friends. And the Republicans might even realize they need to stop stomping on our civil liberties and getting in our bedrooms, by nominating someone a bit more acceptable on these issues.

  45. Rick Barton and other Barr lovers,

    Why don’t you ask him if we can use Patriot Act to use “only against” the drug offenders – I bet the scoundrel would jump up and agree!

    He was on Neal Boortz radio show defending his fight against drugs (i.e. PRO-DRUG WAR) and didn’t sound one bit like a libertarian/liberal.

    Wasn’t he the guy that withheld funding for DC unless they changed airport signs to say ‘Reagan National Airport’?

    Granted he has a libertarian streak (at least when it suits his …whatever), but nothing to go gaga over

  46. Les,

    read in the Sunday NY Times that Bush’s IQ was higher than Kerry’s (when they were in their 20s)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/politics/campaign/24points.html

    So, you may want to remove the “intelligent” bit from your “requirements” 🙂

    Since Americans supported Clinton in 1996 (after knowing he was dishonest and lied) we can safely conclude “we” don’t care about honesty either. That goes for “taking responsibility” – unless you give Clinton credit for taking responsibility for slavery and apologizing to Africa.

    So, I don’t see where you get the “we all agree on …” premise

  47. zorel,

    You misunderstand. I didn’t say that any Presidents were in possession of all those qualities, just that we should be able to agree that a president should have them. Just because Clinton lied doesn’t mean that we here on this board can’t agree that honesty is an essential quality for the President to have. Indeed, most of us here can agree that Clinton was not in possession of many of the qualities I listed above.

    My point was that Bush is in possession of NONE of those qualities.

    Just because he tested higher than Kerry on the IQ test doesn’t mean he’s demonstrated a level of intelligence appropriate for the office (as Kerry hasn’t either, I think). Then again, if anyone can provide a link to anything Bush has said off-script, on his own, that indicates a special insight or knowledge of any subject, I’ll reconsider my position.

  48. Thanks to everybody who responded. I’ll try to answer them. Do not take these arguments as an all-out defense of everything the Bush admin does. I’ve done my own share of criticizing.

    Warren,
    I didn’t offer the liberty vs security argument.

    RandyAyn,
    I think Kerry would be terrible against terrorism for the reasons I cited.

    b-psycho,
    Bush understands the existential threat posed by Islamic fascists (for lack of a better name), Kerry does not. That the Iraq war is not a smooth operation is a different argument.

    Bush finally confronted the Islamic fascists rather then run from them or stick our heads in the sand ala Kerry’s ostrich.

    Leaving Saddam in Iraq followed the same path we always did and it is what politicians do with domestic politics: attempt to manage conflict and problems rather then fix them. In foreign policy its called realism, domestically its called job security.

    ‘p’ has the argument right.

    Rick Barton,
    To not support Israel is to not support a democracy. Would you think the same way if England was attacked instead of Israel?

    Criticizing U.S. government policy is like watching a sporting event. Its fun, its easy. Even tinpot dictators do it. But, finally, someone did something substantial. Bush withdrew troops from Saudi Arabia, and is in the process of withdrawing troops from Europe and S. Korea.

    To believe that 9/11 would not have happened is to ignore history. The Islamic fascists struck the WTC in 1993. They tried bombing LAX airport and Seattle in the 1999-2000 New Years Eve celebration, they’ve attacked overseas targets for years.

    To Iraq war critics,
    Being a IT manager by profession I can tell you that even the best thought-out plans get changed – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

    Its impossible to foresee in advance events that emerge spontaneously. Contingencies can be built into planning, but to have everything occur in the right sequence and in the timeframe you envision is rare.

    In a way how you view the Iraq war or a business project depends on your altitude from the situation. Pointing out the daily problems like the media does in Iraq is akin to me reporting to my manager on a daily basis the status of a project I’m working on. But the view from the CEO level is more general: my staff is working on the project and its going in the right direction.

  49. To not support Israel is to not support a democracy. Would you think the same way if England was attacked instead of Israel?

    I think England is a great country. But I wouldn’t want the feds to send them a subsidy from our tax dollars every year. I actually think that overall Israel is a pretty decent country, despite my misgivings about certain policies of theirs. But I wouldn’t want to subsidize them either.

  50. zorel:

    “Why don’t you ask him if we can use Patriot Act to use “only against” the drug offenders – I bet the scoundrel would jump up and agree!”

    I don’t think so because Barr said:

    To me, nothing should trump the Bill of Rights.

    But, the War on Drugs is Barr’s weak link for sure.

  51. Kevin at October 23, 7:14 PM:

    “Is the judgment of the American polity to be subject to a veto by anyone who can rig a explosive vest?”

    Hell no, but our government shouldn’t be needlessly aggrieving the weak, whose weapon to confront our government’s power is terror against us.

    “I’d actually prefer it if our citizens who wanted to help a foreign country could whip out their own checkbooks.”

    Hear, Hear!! And repeal the Neutrality Acts and the Logan Act. It’s freedom baby-Yeah! Ok, I’ll calm down, but that really is a good and pro-liberty idea.

    “But a solution that makes Israel effectively indefensible is just not going to happen, nor should it.”

    I agree, but Israel is an affluent, industrialized nation that doesn’t even need our government’s help and is using the billions of our tax dollars for their government to prosecute an aggression, a brutal occupation of Palestinian land.

  52. Les,

    I like your opinions.
    Bush is a pussy. When the WTC was bombed he sat in the school room making funny faces for ten minutes. I would have left immediately while apologizing, “Excuse me. I have to leave. I have very important business to attend to.”
    If I had been president I would have resigned for failing so miserably to do my job of protecting the U.S.
    I didn’t like Clinton but Bush has made me appreciate him a little bit. Bush could have used the same tactics Clinton did regarding Milosevich. He also could have used the same reasons “ethnic cleansing.” Then he would not have had to lie and he could have saved hundreds of soldier lives and thousand of Iraqi citizens lives plus a ton of money.
    From 2001 I have made fun of his lack of intelligence. He said something like this about OBL, “We’re gonna hunt em down. We’re gonna smoke em out. We’re gonna get em on the run.” I thought it was funny he could not seem to get the right order. I thought we should have smoked them out so we could get them on the run and then we could hunt them down.
    Why won’t that pussy push for more equitable trade practices with China? Why does he try to keep any dissenting opinion far from his presence? pussy
    When he was “elected?” I never thought he would have done such a miserable job.
    I wish I had seen alot more bush and not much gore over the past four years but Gore may have been better than Bush.

  53. Liberty Lover:

    “To not support Israel is to not support a democracy”

    Democracies do terrible things. Also, before you spray the Israeli government with the “it’s a democracy” Teflon, consider that the Israeli democracy is one in which the head of state actually supports “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land, in open discrimination against the 15% to 20% Arab citizens of Israel:

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html
    and:
    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    It’s not the Israeli people that are the problem. In poll after poll, the majority of Israelis are found to be in favor of ending the occupation of Palestinian land. The problem is that the Israeli government is influenced by nut-ball fundamentalist Jews, who somehow believe that God gave the occupied lands to them, and also that the lives of non-Jews, are to be discounted.

    To understand the background of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak and also Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Shahak was a non-leftist, anti-Marxist human rights activist and a Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    “To believe that 9/11 would not have happened is to ignore history.”

    No, because that history is also one of our government meddling where it shouldn’t including the subsidization of aggression against the Palestinian people by the Israeli government and the corrupt PA. Also, our government supports the repressive Egyptian and Jordanian governments as well. Ask me again; Why do they hate us?…It’s the stupid actions of our government over the years. This is consistent with the evidence , including what the 9/11 commission found.

    Bush withdrew troops from Saudi Arabia, and is in the process of withdrawing troops from Europe and S. Korea.

    These are positive steps.

    But the view from the CEO level is more general: my staff is working on the project (the Iraq war) and its going in the right direction.

    How can that be, when war not for the sake of our REAL security needs is always wrong? It can’t be going “in the right direction”. For it to be going at all, is wrong. Our government needs to bring the troops home now. The longer they stay the more Americans will die or be maimed without just cause. The suffering is very real. War can be the stupidest government program of all.

  54. Not to impugn anyone’s intelligence or partisanship, but I find a vote for bush particularly baffling this election cycle. I have no problem in admitting that I was a reluctant Gore supporter in 2000, simply because I did not believe that GWB was up to the job. When he took office, I was absolutely willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he would strive to do what was best for the country, but was pretty quickly disabused of that notion.

    I have never seen an administration’s policies so crassly partisan and political, even Nixon didn’t rise to this level. The litany of failed policies that have steamed out of the White House since 2001 is simply astonishing. Call me a biased partisan, but the series of administration’s gaffes and missteps should be enough to shake the confidence of even the most devotedly partisan in the Republican Party.

    Both Barr and Buchanan have both said that they could not, in good conscience, vote for George Bush this time around. This should give every conservative in this country pause for thought.

    And ‘werd-up’ Rick, I found myself agreeing with almost everything you said.

  55. Republicans looked down their noses at Democrats for thinking with their emotions and not with reason.

    Now with this mess in the middle east, how can Republicans ignore the previous 50 years of disasterous US policy of interventionism and meddling?

    No, it is because they hate our freedoms. Nice. That’s the best they could come up with.

    IDL

  56. To Iraq war critics,
    Being a IT manager by profession I can tell you that even the best thought-out plans get changed – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

    Pointing out the daily problems like the media does in Iraq is akin to me reporting to my manager on a daily basis the status of a project
    Comment by: Liberty Lover at October 24, 2004 02:04 PM

    Kudos to you for equating the failed Iraq War “occupation” plan to a botched Windows XP roll-out.

    I don’t know about you, but I expect a little more from my Dapertment of Defense than I do from the Information Services Department at Wal-Mart.

    After all, no one dies when a service pack doesn’t get loaded on their workstation.

    Thanks to you, whenever I complain about my Microsoft Word not loading my custom dictionary, I’ll think of Donald Rumsfeld not knowing whether or not we’re creating more terrorists than we’re killing in Iraq.

  57. Liberty Lover:
    I do believe that Kerry “gets it” better than Bush.
    [typos corrected] I’m not an Islamic expert, but I know Islamic fascists want to destroy us. They had two cracks at the WTC because the same ho-hum attitude prevailed. The first time I worked directly across the street, the second time I was four blocks away.

    Bottom line: do you think John Kerry understands the deep-rooted seething in major parts of the Arab world? I don’t. Do you think he has the fortitude to fight them? I don’t. He and his fellow travelers want to forget about 9/11. Tom Friedman of the NY Times praised Kerry for “wanting to put terrorism back into perspective.” Is he nuts?

    This is a fight to the death until enough people in the Arab world are convinced that nuking the free world is a bad idea.

    Kerry clearly understands that terrorism is not an entity in and of itself. It is not necessarily related to nations or states. He shut down BCCI and has been preaching anti-proliferation for years. He may be serving up super-sized portions of waffles on a number of topics, but he gets my vote on terrorism. The fight is against jihadism, and it requires a lot more than guns to win it.

  58. The problem with Badnarik is really the problem with the LP — for those who view the WoT as a real war that needs to be fought, the LP position on this makes them a non-starter. But that’s not all. There is no position that the LP (and/or its cadidate) takes that is anything short of wildly extreme. It didn’t use to be that way.

    The LP has made a conscious decision to avoid being a serious party. They seem utterly unconcerned with attracting voters, thinking that 0.5% is some kind of win. Instead of finding positions that might resonate with the many, many politically homeless people between the “pure” libertarian corner of the Nolan chart and the center, they’ve decided to cram themselves as tightly into the purist corner as they possibly can.

    In short, the LP is irrelevant, and will remain so until they come back towards (not TO, but TOWARDS) the center. Given that, I can see no other course that voting for the lesser evil, as the greater evil is too great.

    See here for a graphic.

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