Barr for President?

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S.A. Miller catches wind of the possible Bob Barr bid for president with the Libertarian Party. What was wishful thinking back in the winter of 2006/2007 and largely ignored during the height of the rEVOLution is now being discussed in high LP circles.

Mr. Barr, a House Republican impeachment manager during President Clinton's administration, yesterday confirmed his interest in running as a Libertarian but said he is unwilling to talk about any "polling we may have done or may do, not at this point."

"There is great deal [of] dissatisfaction with the candidates for the two major parties, particularly among conservatives, but also a great deal of Internet and other support for a candidate like Ron Paul who advocates libertarian and true conservative principles," said Mr. Barr, who is now a Libertarian.

Miller's story focuses on the threat this could pose to John McCain.

GOP presidential campaign pollster John McLaughlin said a Barr bid wouldn't be good for Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. It "takes more points from us than Nader takes from them," he said.

Pollster John Zogby agreed.

"Why should Democrats have all the fun worrying about Nader? Republicans can try to implode, too," Mr. Zogby said. "My gut sense is that Bob Barr can get some votes as a consistent libertarian who opposed the Patriot Act, budget deficits and gun control."

Left unsaid in all is the presence of another maverick Georgia ex-member of Congress in the race: Cynthia McKinney, running for the Green Party nomination. And she's getting zero attention. Barr doesn't have McKinney's problems, but nor does he have Nader's name recognition. He would really need a rEVOLuton-sized uprising to make the money for a go at this.

My original interview with Barr, the week he joined the LP, is here.

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  1. Maybe, if he loses the mustache.

  2. The Borat thing will hurt him.

  3. Am I the only one who thinks “rEVOLuton” is silly?

  4. If he got Stossel to join him as a running mate, they would soooo garner the ‘stache vote!

  5. I don’t know, He has that Hypocrisy problem from the Clinton Impeachment, and was punked by Borat. I’m not sure the rEVOLution would go for him. The FMA is kind of old fashioned thinking too – why should the government say anything about marriage ?

  6. fuck that noise. Barr still hasn’t atoned for the untold human suffering he’s responsible for in the name of the War On Drugs.

    I’m voting LP whoever they put forward, but I’d be happier voting for Bugs Bunny than Bob Barr.

  7. Borat thing will hurt him.

  8. Bugs Bunny is running on the Cartoon Marxist ticket, Warren. Tough luck.

  9. Am I the only one who thinks “rEVOLuton” is silly?

    No, I’m with you on that. Thanks for finally coaching me out of the closet.

    Barr still hasn’t atoned for the untold human suffering he’s responsible for in the name of the War On Drugs.

    You don’t think being a Libertarian is enough? What do you want him to do, Warren, bust out the sackcloth and ashes?

  10. Bugs Bunny is running on the Cartoon Marxist ticket, Warren. Tough luck.

    Who you kidding Episiarch? Mickey Mouse is a Marxist. Bugs Bunny is an anarchist.

  11. Hmm, that’s an interesting position on the FMA, but I don’t see how he can be such a drug warrior even as a constitutionalist, let alone a libertarian.

  12. Shhh, don’t tell nobody, but Dr. Ruwart is probably going to throw her hat in, not Barr.

    Shoe-in for the LP nom.

  13. Am I the only one who thinks “rEVOLuton” is silly?

    *Puts on flame suit*

    *Slowly raises hand*

  14. Change it to DEVOlution and I’m on board with my energy helmet and jumpsuit.

  15. I may have to turn in my decoder ring. I’m getting to the point of being more likely to vote Silly Party than the Libs. They need to stop running dog catchers.

    Am I the only one who thinks “rEVOLuton” is silly?

    Nope.

  16. Well, since Ron Paul has decided to obsess more about the Republican Nomination than the ideals he stands for, we need someone to who at least THINKS about liberty! The current choice of War Monger or socialist is putting me off completely!

  17. I still believe there is time for the major alternative parties, LP, Greens, remnants of the Reform Party, to endorse a unified ticket with the goal of denying the Demo-Pubs anything more than a weak plurality of the vote.

  18. It’s not like spending money–but rather, it is an investment in the future in a blow against the empire.

  19. You don’t think being a Libertarian is enough? What do you want him to do, Warren, bust out the sackcloth and ashes?

    To begin with I want a ‘Mia Culpa’ with tears. Then I want to see him put in a few hundred hours with an anti-prohibition group like MPP or NORML.

    Barr is good on a lot of issues and I don’t think there should be a libertarian litmus test. However, the damage that bastard did in congress should not be so easily forgiven. Let’s face it, he didn’t actually accomplish anything in the name of fiscal responsibility. While he was one of the leaders in escalating the WODs.

  20. How ’bout Barr/ McKinney! What a platform!

  21. How ’bout Barr/ McKinney! What a platform!

    They could call it the “Eewww!” Party.

  22. You’d think the Republicans would be wise to do something other than tell RP supporters to “get lost”. Between such a hubris-plagued party on one side, and a party that doesn’t really want to win on the other, maybe a strong (even if losing) Libertarian candidate might be a very good thing for the country.

  23. Barr still hasn’t atoned for the untold human suffering he’s responsible for in the name of the War On Drugs.

    You don’t think being a Libertarian is enough? What do you want him to do, Warren, bust out the sackcloth and ashes?

    A hairshirt would be appropriate. 😉

  24. Barr/McGovern 2008!

  25. If he could arc a charge of electricity between his fingers, then … maybe

  26. This makes as much sense as the Gravel nomination idea.

  27. JB – What hypocrisy? Was Barr caught cheating on his wife?

    re: rEVOLution

    I’d rather they had done a rEVOLUTION type thing, or revolution/ evolution.

  28. I like a lot of what Barr has to say now, but I’m with the other posters — this is a guy who had a chance to actually push some libertarian-leaning proposals in Congress, but instead his legacy was one of expanding the drug war and impeaching Clinton for the least of his crimes.

    I mean, Bob Barr went so far as to suggest that organizations that promoted drug reform were criminal and should be prosecuted under the RICO statute (the same one used to bust the mafia). Displaying such little respect for freedom of speech, opposing viewpoints, and sovereignty over one’s own body just a few years ago should be a cause of concern to anyone concerned over libertarianism being further tied to phony right-wingers (*ahem*, Cato).

    That said, I could still see voting for him — but only after he issues a mea culpa and lights up a joint on prime-time TV.

  29. CAPTION CONTEST!

    “Who has two thumbs and likes liberty?”

  30. Am I the only one who thinks “rEVOLuton” is silly?

    I dunno. I think its a great logo, and a good way to try to get otherwise mushy-minded campus liberals to direct their resentments in a libertarian direction.

  31. A hairshirt would be appropriate. 😉

    I’d settle for a hemp shirt.

  32. alan | March 21, 2008, 11:48am | #

    I still believe there is time for the major alternative parties, LP, Greens, remnants of the Reform Party, to endorse a unified ticket with the goal of denying the Demo-Pubs anything more than a weak plurality of the vote.

    You mean like 1992. Where the winner Clinton got 43% and the media declared it a landslide.

  33. Ruwart, while loved by the LP insider crowd, would be no better than Kubby, Phillies, or whoever else.

    Our best shot at 1,000,000+ votes and maybe a little press coverage is Bob Barr, for better or worse.

    I hope he takes a shot at it.

  34. Warren: “Then I want to see him put in a few hundred hours with an anti-prohibition group like MPP or NORML.”

    First of all, there’s this more-or-less endorsement of Barr as a libertarian by MPP’s Rob Kampia.

    Finally, there is this from Fox News about Barr working with MPP to reform, ironically, the Barr Amendment:

    “Not more than a decade ago, Barr, a former federal prosecutor, was known for his tough stance on the nation’s drug laws and even helped to thwart the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana law.

    But he has shown time and again that he is open to new ways of thinking, particularly when it brushes up against his constitutional ideals.

    “Some very substantial questions have been raised in my mind” about the federal government’s jurisdiction over state laws regarding medical marijuana, Barr told FOXNews.com

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on pot supercedes state law regarding medical marijuana, but Barr disagrees with that conclusion, noting it’s a conservative issue that deals with both constitutional and states’ rights.

    For the Marijuana Policy Project, he hopes to encourage Congress to change the law on a federal ban and allow states to decide their own policies. Currently, 11 states have laws allowing sick patients access to marijuana, but those patients can still be arrested under federal rules.

    “(Government) has become significantly more invasive since 9/11, and government power over the medical use of marijuana is one of those areas” where federal authority over the states is being questioned by “a lot of conservatives and liberals alike,” he said in explaining how he arrived at MPP.”

    It looks like he’s putting his time in at MPP.

  35. CAPTION CONTEST!

    “WonderBarr powers….ACTIVATE!”

    “…only I’d take Hillary’s head and press much harder.”

  36. “CAPTION CONTEST!”

    …and then these army guys were like, BANG! BANG! BANG! and these other army guys were like BANG! BANG!

  37. Thanks Stephen for looking that up. I recall another statement RE: WOD where he basically said, “I am rethinking my positions” after he joined the LP but I can’t find it now.

  38. I’d like to think Barr is too ugly to be President, but then I remember LBJ, who looked like the result of a one-night-stand between a ‘possum and a coyote.

  39. I put in a bad link above. Here is Rob Kampia’s early statement about Barr.

  40. Kwix,

    The article I just linked may be the source of your recollection.

  41. CAPTION CONTEST!

    “Like I said, I stuck one finger in the goats mouth and the other in his …”

    Yes, I just went there.

  42. That’s Donderooooiffic ‘stache on Barr. He’ll totally get the Freddy Mercury fan vote.

  43. I would probably vote for him depending on his issues.

    And Ron Paul is “obsessing” over the GOP more than his ideals? Was that a joke?

    And Bob Barr shouldn’t be trusted cause he used to be a defender of the War on Drugs and somehow was responsible for killing people because of it?

    And he will get pwnd cause he was pwnd by Borat?

    Wow. The libertarian crowd is a tough one. I thought the GOP had a small tent, apparently they throw people out in the libertarian party too.

  44. The Libertarian Party is a highly exclusive debate club, yo. We’ll ostracize at the drop of a tricorne hat.

  45. lee brenn | March 21, 2008, 2:28pm | #

    The Libertarian Party is a highly exclusive debate club, yo. We’ll ostracize at the drop of a tricorne hat.

    Couldn’t have said it better. Seems like the hardcore members would rather sit around and talk and nominate unemployed and certifiably insane candidates than DO something to build a credible political party.

  46. “CAPTION CONTEST!”

    “Congressman Bob Barr demonstrating the problems associated with man-on-man love”

  47. “The current choice of War Monger or socialist is putting me off completely!”

    Vote for John McCain and get both!

  48. How “libertarian” was he when he drafted the “Defense of Marriage” Act while on what, his own 2nd or 3rd marriage? Wasn’t he the one who drove his wife for an abortion while railing against abortion for his political good?

    Yeah, a real f’ing hero.

  49. The artilce calls Barr a “consistent libertarian”. Hell, that term is now applied to people who want to regulate or ban abortion, build walls on the border and put the INS on steroids, allow the states to violate the bill of Rights, give earmarks out to things like the shrimp industry, etc. Apparently it doesn’t take much to be a “consistent libertarian” anymore. In fact one can be a conservative and advocate massive state interference with millions of people and still get credit as being a libertarian. A century ago the word liberal was corrupted by socialists so real liberals started using the term libertarian. Now the term libertarian is being corrupted by right-wing conservatives. So what label will they take for themselves after that? Well, if there is any movement left after such a disaster I suggest they try “stupid”.

  50. Incidentally, if Bob Barr is the Libertarian candidate, Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” will ultimately be a failure. The Democrat will win.

  51. (To the tune of “Barbara Ann”)

    Tell Bob Barr it’s time he ran
    Tell Bob Barr it’s time he ran

    Oh Bob Barr, take a stand
    (Time you ran)
    You got me rockin and a-rollin
    You sure sound appealing
    Bob, Bob Barr
    It’s time you ran

    Held my nose to vote, thought I’d like to choke
    Saw Bob Barr, so I thought Id take a chance
    With Bob Barr as the can-
    didate man
    Next to the others who are pollin’
    You sure sound appealin’
    Bob, Bob Barr
    It’s time you ran

    Bob, Bob Barr, take a stand
    Make a plan
    You got me rockin and a-rollin
    Rockin and a-reelin, etc.

    Tried B.H.O.
    Tried H.R.C.
    Tried John McCain
    But he was such a pain
    Ran, ran, ran, time that you ran
    Take a stand
    Make a plan
    Take a stand
    You got me rockin and a-rollin
    Rockin and a-reelinetc.

  52. Caption Contest:

    Congressman Bob Barr prepares as Ron Paul goes for a field goal in the world’s fiercest game of paper football.

  53. Maybe McCain should tap him for his vice president.

  54. alan | March 21, 2008, 11:48am | #

    I still believe there is time for the major alternative parties, LP, Greens, remnants of the Reform Party, to endorse a unified ticket with the goal of denying the Demo-Pubs anything more than a weak plurality of the vote.

    Why would either party give a shit? I mean, Perot did this exact thing twice (hell, Nader did so once as well). That sure hurt the two party system…oh wait, it didn’t.

  55. Mad Max | March 21, 2008, 5:43pm | #

    (To the tune of “Barbara Ann”)

    Sorry, “Barbara Ann” already means “Bomb Iran” this election cycle.

  56. The Bob Barr who wrote the Defense of Marriage Act?

    The Bob Barr who tried to start hearings and get legislation introduced banning the practice of Wicca by military members, claiming this country was founded on belief in God?

    The Bob Barr who now claims to be a defender of the Bill of Rights and civil liberties, but has not denounced his assaults on both?

    What is this, the Libertarian Party on Bizarro World?

  57. Barr was the first to file impeachment charges on Clinton, regarding the China stuff, in 1996, two yrs before the monica impeachment.

    [i]impeaching Clinton for the least of his crimes.[/i]

  58. Dave R is right. I’m in favor of a more inclusive LP. I think it’s good there is room for libertarians who are anti-abortion and maybe there will even be room for folks who think sales taxes on gasoline is a sound way of paying for roads. But not the WOD. If you are for the WOD you are not a libertarian. End of story.

    The LP already has a reputation for nominating ineffectual people who advocate harebrained schemes (self-medication with 19th century anti-bacterials, drivers license protesters, …). But anyone associated with the Clinton impeachment is just too much.

  59. Are you racist against blue people?

    Isn’t there a rumor Bob Barr is an octoroon? Is the LP diverse and inclusive for an octoroon? How would he stand up to mulatto candidate Obama?

    PS I think the blue guy is running for Senate again.

    The LP already has a reputation for nominating ineffectual people who advocate harebrained schemes (self-medication with 19th century anti-bacterials

  60. Is it just me, or does Barr look like a B-movie version of the Japanese colonel who is about to torture our hero, the intrepid Yank POW?

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