Dogs and Cats, Living Together … Mass Hysteria!


Former Congressman Bob Barr, apparently fed-up with Al Gore's mushy middle-of-the-road rhetoric, appeared in Vermont yesterday with Rep. Bernie Sanders. At a forum on war and civil liberties they probably agreed more than they did in 10 years together in the House of Representatives.

"I can't understand that while you have a president thumbing his nose at Congress and the country and expressing disdain for the Constitution that Congress just sits there and takes it," Barr, a top member of the American Conservative Union, said. "How is it that one individual can take power from the people and not be held accountable?"

Sanders is running for the US Senate, and there's a fun lame-o quote from one of his Republican challenger's staffers.

"You might think that Bob Barr and Bernie Sanders are the odd couple," Lennon said. "But they're both extremists and they are the main reason why people around this country are shaking their heads at Washington."

Really? People are angry at Washington because too many politicians are working outside of the two-party system and loudly demanding checks on presidential war powers? I had no idea. But then, I'm not running a losing Senate campaign.

Reason's Jesse Walker spoke with Barr in 2003.

NEXT: Socialized Health Care At Work—Denying Patients Medicine

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  1. I trust that the loud and proud critics of the two-party duopoly will take advantage of this opportunity to elect an Independent to the Senate.

  2. [Y]ou have a president…expressing disdain for the Constitution…Congress just sits there and takes it.

    Wow, those are some cajones on those boys. It is a contest we all lose, but Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd pull their pants down and squat over the Constitution at least as frequently as the President.

  3. Independent in name only?

  4. I love Ghostbusters.

    It’s between that and Big Trouble in Little China for my favourite film ever….

  5. Actually I think the lame-o quote strikes gold. These two are an odd couple. As extremists they will generally agree that Congress sucks, but disagree on why.

    When you find them agreeing on the reason behind their criticisms, then Congress generally has earned whatever head-shaking ensues.

  6. The check on the President is the voters, or if urgent enough, the Congress through impeachment and removal, though they too then face the voters.

    That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Two branches can’t gang up on the third except through the rock scissors and paper removal arrangements, and the voters get to comment on that in the next election.

    That’s pretty flexible, and makes good law by not being hardened into a law.

  7. extremist inside the beltway is a codeword for someone with principles I disagree with.

    moderate is a codeword for someone who sells out whatever principles they may have at the drop of a hat. This is called pragmatic comprimise.

  8. The Rasmussen report which was linked above notes the fact that more than 70% of Vermonters rate the War in Iraq as a bigger concern than immigration. No surprise there, since Vermont has, like, 2 immigrants, and they live in Burlington, which many Vermont residents don’t even consider to be a part of Vermont. As for the war, Vermont has had the highest casualty rate in the country (7.8 deaths per capita), mainly from national guard units, so the priority of that issue is logical. It is important to realize that the population of the entire state isn’t much greater than 600,000.

    It’s also no surprise that Bernie has a big lead in the Senate race. He has excellent constituent relations and a reputation for getting things done for his state in the face of often overwhelming odds. His politics are to the left of everybody, but he has a solid rep for pragmatism, which is why he is able to make deals on the Hill.

  9. Joe: Very funny. I guess it all depends upon what the word “independent” means. At any rate, politics in Vermont is personal; party doesn’t count for much here.

  10. Ahem, that was 7.8 deaths PER THOUSAND.

  11. Ahem again, that’s deaths and injuries per thousand.

  12. Apparently Jesus doesn’t like Civil Liberties

    More than 700 gentle Christians converged on the Rowan-Salisbury School Board last night to stand for Christ and say, “No,” to the radical homosexual agenda that is weaseling its way into our public schools. After feeling the heat of the Christian community, the board reversed its decision and voted unanimously (8-0) to dissolve the student club Gay-Straight Alliance. “Our city and government officials continually tell us, ‘Our hands are tied.’ We continually remind them that the hands of the Church of Jesus Christ are not!” Rev. Benham said.

  13. Twba,


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