Barrwatch, with Special Guest Star Alan Keyes

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Wil S. Hylton interviews Bob Barr for GQ. What's the tenor of it? Here's a taste

Would you have opposed the New Deal and the Works Progress Administration?
That's a hypothetical.

Everything I'm asking is a hypothetical.
Well, that's a double hypothetical. That's a hypothetical on top of a hypothetical.

Every time I ask what you'll do as president, it's a double hypothetical.
No, that's just a hypothetical.

Meanwhile, in the best news of a day severely lacking in the stuff, the American Independent Party has disaffiliated from the Constitution Party and affiliated with America's Independent Party: better known as the astroturf stomping grounds of Alan Keyes. Independent Political Report explains what this means:

1. Alan Keyes will now be on the ballot in California and Chuck Baldwin will probably not be able to get a line.

2. Based on voter registration totals, the new AIP now claims to be America's third largest political party.

Also, as our own Jesse Walker first pointed out, the AIP was founded as a vehicle for George Wallace. That it will now present California voters with a Barack Obama-Alan Keyes rematch is one of the great political ironies of the last couple decades.

UPDATE: Bah, the IPR story has been retracted.

NEXT: Radley Balko on the Radio

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  1. The GQ interviewer comes across as an asshole that feigns omniscience with 20/20 hindsight.

  2. Say what you want about Barr — he’s gotten tons of media exposure — by the far the most of any Libertarian candidate.

    He was even on Fox News on Sunday, if I’m not mistaken.

  3. Seriously, the interviewer is retarded.

    And this is a democracy, and the government should do what they want.

    and

    The government exists to do whatever people want it to do.

    Ugh.

  4. so who IS the largest third party in the US? maybe it is time to reregister libertarian.

  5. “one of the great political ironies of the last couple decades”

    Oh, I get it, they’re both black, while Wallace was a segregationist.

    If that’s one of the greatest ironies of the last couple decades, I must be nuts for never thinking Al Franken was funny.

  6. Let’s paraphrase part of this interview, for the purpose of clarity:

    GC: So of course the government can do anything it wants, yeah?

    Barr: We have a Constitution. It limits government.

    GC: So that means the voters get anything they want.

    Barr: We have a fucking Constitution, you moron.

    GC: So the government has the right to do anything the people tell it to do, right?

    Barr: You stupid prick. What part of Constitutional republic don’t you get?

    GC: The part starting with C and the part starting with r?

  7. Good libertarians cannot let Bob Barr detract us from electing the TRUE mainstream libertarian, John McCain!

  8. I was hoping AIP was American International Pictures. Roger Corman is a candidate I can back.

  9. …the American Independent Party has disaffiliated from the Constitution Party and affiliated with America’s Independent Party…

    SPLITTERS!

  10. I can’t wait for the end of this campaign season. Then Alan Keyes can go back to his troll hole for another four years.

  11. Re: prolefeed | June 30, 2008, 7:50pm

    Well done, sir. Well done indeed.

  12. I don’t envy Barr this summer.

  13. Say what you want about Barr — he’s gotten tons of media exposure — by the far the most of any Libertarian candidate.

    Yeah but every single interview/publicity appearance is “You supported this, now you’re running against it. What gives? You shameless politician.”

    I still don’t know how its going to play, there’s a chance it gets viewers to think and challenge some ideas like Barr did (at least so he claims) or it might just make him look like a joke. I don’t know, but I do know he’s better than Wayne Allyn Root.

  14. Are there any more questions regarding Barr’s DOMA stance? Seems pretty clear now. It seems people have been accusing him of avoiding it, but it’s all right there in this interview.

  15. Good point MP, I actually like his clarification of DOMA in this interview.

  16. Are there any more questions regarding Barr’s DOMA stance? Seems pretty clear now. It seems people have been accusing him of avoiding it, but it’s all right there in this interview.

    Yep, and it’s the same answer he gave me, personally, on the convention floor in Denver, right before the final round of balloting.

    It’s still not an answer I like, but on the whole, Barr is still the best overall candidate running this election.

  17. You fools. Barr is still in his heart pro-DOMA, which is less mainstream libertarian than our only hope for a free society, John McCain!

  18. You fools. Barr is still in his heart pro-DOMA, which is less mainstream libertarian than our only hope for a free society, John McCain!

    Bullshit.

    John McCain:“I supported the Defense of Marriage Act adopted by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.”

  19. I think Ralf is being sarcastic, Mr. X. Although if you were playing straight man to it (and these days, what with all the double-inside-jokes, ironies, innuendos etc. etc. on the intarwebz, who the fuck knows anymore?), well played, sir.

  20. I’m embarrassed for that reporter.

  21. From Mr. X’s link:

    “I refer to Federalist Paper 45 to explain my vote, in which James Madison wrote “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State. I stand with Mr. Madison on this question, and against a federal marriage amendment that denies the states their traditional right and their clear opportunity to resolve this controversy themselves.”

    He’s a federalist! Libertarian! LIBERTARIAN!

  22. I must be nuts for never thinking Al Franken was funny.

    You are nuts. Al Franken was funny.

    This interview helped clarify for me a great deal about Barr, and slides him for me from a hairy smelly ‘?’ to a solid 6 on the Freedom scale, so long as he remains consistent. (I put Obama at a 3, and McCain at approximately .00001). Still can’t vote for him; Pro-life, pro-life!

    Also, though you guys are being hard on the interviewer, I think he was prodding him intentionally with that popular democracy stuff.

  23. You are nuts. Al Franken was funny.

    I agree. Once or twice Al Franken was funny.

  24. Okay, sorry. He is funny looking.

  25. So Ralf is like some sort of anti-Dondero performance art?

    Personally, I thought Dondero had that niche filled.

  26. The interviewer was an absolute idiot, but Barr didn’t do the best job he could have explaining himself and libertarianism, either. He usually does better than that.

    Also, him trying to dodge the New Deal question makes a whole lot more sense when you read the rest of the interview, which mainly consisted of the interviewer setting up such questions and then saying “but look at all the good it’s done…!”.

  27. Also, him trying to dodge the New Deal question makes a whole lot more sense when you read the rest of the interview, which mainly consisted of the interviewer setting up such questions and then saying “but look at all the good it’s done…!”.

    Not for nothing, but that’s *precisely* the question, and the attitude in which it will be asked, that *needs* to be answered persuasively by libertarian candidates and voters before libertarians will ever get electoral traction.

    Again, I don’t think the interviewer was an idiot; I think it was intentional. Even if it wasn’t, these are the types of questions that Barr better have/get a good answer for.

  28. I’m not disagreeing, Elemenope, but this interviewer had already clearly demonstrated that he was more interested in ‘gotcha’ games and other nonsense than letting Barr explain his position.

    I do agree that Barr should be MUCH better prepared to answer “If you didn’t have [government program], wouldn’t [bad thing] happen?” type questions.

  29. Sounds like a bunch of Political double talk to me as usual.

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  30. I hope the reporter’s “we-don’t-need-no-steenking-Constitution” questions were just to be provocative, although there *are* people who think like that, and this guy could be one of them.

    But in one key respect the reporter is better than the guys and gals of the “mainstream” media, as indicated by this remark at the beginning of the interview:

    “I don’t really have any campaign questions. I don’t care whether you’re a spoiler, and I know why you’re doing this: because you want to be president.”

    Then he asks questions about legitimate issues, even if his grasp of constitional philosophy is at the level of a moron or a public-school graduate.

    On the DOMA issue: what Barr really needs to do, to dispel the skepticism of the gay voters, is to pose for a GQ photo spread.

    “Bob Barr wants a government stripped to its bare essentials – like Barr himself in the photo above.

    “I asked Bob Barr about his opinions on monetary policy. His moustache accentuating his pouty lips, Barr replied, ‘I’ve always been a supporter of *hard* currency.'”

  31. Your information on the American Independent Party is wrong. IPR has retracted their bogus report:
    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/06/american-independent-party-convention-and-national-affilliation/

  32. Roger Corman is a candidate I can back.

    Just like every time John Walters name comes up I think “Pink Flamingos”; then get bitch-slapped back to reality.

  33. the American Independent Party has disaffiliated from the Constitution Party and affiliated with America’s Independent Party

    BRIAN: Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    REG: Fuck off!
    BRIAN: What?
    REG: Judean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! Judean People’s Front. Cawk.
    FRANCIS: Wankers.

  34. Hey Mad Max,

    A lot of us public school graduates got a solid foundation in the constitution in our social studies education.

  35. Although I am willing to admit that may be because I went to school in MA, where school also focuses a great deal on the American Revolution and founding of the United States, probably because of all the fun local field trips we can take.

  36. A lot of us public school graduates got a solid foundation in the constitution in our social studies education.

    Count me as one. Public high school & college. Admittedly most of what I have learned was not in class, but they *did* give a solid foundation. I honestly think that people just don’t pay attention / don’t have the memory retention.

    Now, on the other hand, those public schools that don’t tech civics / social studies at all…those kids are fucked.

  37. Oh, RI here for school. Not many notable field-trips here except a theater showing of Schindler’s List during our WWII unit, which in retrospect was pretty ballsy; they’d never get away with it now.

    Though one of my favorite high school assignments was in Soc./History. Teacher asked us to write a paper where we had to pick only *five* of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights to keep. Which would you keep and why?

  38. My US history class had debates about the constitution. It was really fun and helped think about the little things that are easier to overlook alot more, although most of it focussed on the bill of rights.

  39. Could be, we’d be better off without any of the Bill of Rights. They only define things that the Feds can’t Constitutionally do anyway, and they sure haven’t worked. I mean, what part of “shall make no law” isn’t clear, but ignored regardless?

  40. This is all pointless. We libertarians (big and small L both) blew it. That’s right boys and girls, we dropped the ball, snatched defeat right out from the jaws of victory. We had our man. The true libertarian. Smart, handsome, well spoken and charismatic, America’s Mayor. A once in a lifetime chance and we let it slip.
    Shameful.

  41. The man who said, with a straight face, that “Freedom is about authority” was the “true libertarian”?

    Unless by “America’s Mayor” you mean Ed Thompson…

  42. “Just like every time John Walters name comes up I think “Pink Flamingos”; then get bitch-slapped back to reality.”

    Don’t you mean John “Waters”?

    ….and I need to quick move to California…..I’ve always wanted to vote for a dick with ears……

  43. J,

    I ought to rewrite that:

    “A moron or someone possessing only that minimal amount of civics knowledge required for public-school graduation under federal standards, and most state standards.”

    That allows for the existence of good public schools, and good students in any school.

    How’s that?

  44. Much better, Max. Much better.

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