Barrwatch: Hoosier Passion

|

It's been a busy week in Barrtopia. Declan McCullugh reported from Las Vegas on FreedomFest and Barr's promise to be the candidate of privacy.

Barr focused almost exclusively on privacy and eavesdropping–and argued that both major parties are far too surveillance-happy. "Both of them will continue down the same track," Barr said, noting that both McCain and Obama supported last week's bill to immunize telecommunications companies that illegally opened their networks to government snoops.

Congress' legislative rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is "not about surveilling al-Qaida," Barr said. "It's about surveilling U.S. citizens in America." He added, for good measure: "This administration is the most anti-privacy, the most anti-individual freedom, in our nation's history, certainly in my lifetime."

"The best way to control the populace is to take away their privacy," he said. "The digital age, and what will come after that, makes it much, much easier for the government to abuse those powers and erode the Fourth Amendment."

Today, Barr attended the launch of Al Gore's We campaign, and fired off his impressions for the press.

I commend Mr. Gore for his efforts and leadership in this area, and urge Senators Obama and McCain to join me in studying, debating, and finding solutions to the problem of energy needs, consumption and effects. The American people deserve to hear all of our views and proposals on this issue and others. I am particularly pleased that Mr. Gore agrees that the public debate of this issue should include me so that the American people can make an informed choice after hearing a range of views. However, the fact that neither of the two major party candidates attended this event may indicate their unwillingness to address this important issue. Mr. McCain, for example, seems to have adopted already the internationalist approach and relying on the cumbersome and costly "cap and trade" formula and he may therefore be unwilling to engage in a real debate that would reveal how flawed that approach truly is.

After that, Barr got on the phone for an inaugural blogger conference call. Ed Morrissey has the rundown and some thoughts.

Barr, it should be emphasized, sounds eminently more reasonable and competent than Ron Paul. Even on issues where I'd disagree, Barr gave reasoned, thoughtful answers, as opposed to the kind of conspiracy-theory kookiness Paul spouted at debates and in interviews. The Libertarian Party has its most credible candidate in years, if not ever. However, unless he suddenly finds a way to organize Libertarians and convince vast swaths of Americans to start pitching money into the kitty, his best hope will be to influence the major-party candidates to start addressing some of the legitimate concerns of the Libertarian Party.

I missed all but 10 minutes of the call, sadly, but I had a reason: lunch with three Indiana LP candidates for U.S. House, state Senate, and state House. Rex Bell, who's making a second run at the 54th district House seat after scoring 15 percent in his 2006 race, told me that he'd love for Barr to come to the state and campaign for him. "Four years ago, nobody asked me about our presidential candidate," he said. "At the booth at the last fair I went to, people were asking me. Even if they hadn't heard about Barr. They wanted a new candidate. They don't like either of the major party choices." (EDIT: Added the last part of what Bell said to make this clear.)

Also, Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney talks to Newsweek.

Q: There are quite a few prominent third-party candidates running this year, including your former fellow Congressman from Georgia, Bob Barr, over at the Libertarian Party. Is he basically the conservative version of you?

A: The only thing I would say about Bob is that it's interesting that Georgia is so well-represented in the non-major party lineup. Of course, I worked in the Congress for a long time with Bob Barr and, in fact, members of the Libertarian Party have reached out to me on several occasions this year and I expect there will be more mutual reaching.

Q: So you might actually be working together on some issues?

A: I didn't say that.

Q: What does mutual reaching mean then?

A: It means that where there is the possibility of having discussions, then I wouldn't turn down discussions. There's nothing afoot, if that's what you mean. I would take it issue by issue, and see what the future brings.

NEXT: Learning the Lessons of History

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Barr is really sounding polished, and he hasn’t misstepped really at all in terms of being a libertarian and not a conservative.

    Very cool.

  2. They wanted a new candidate

    I assume this means a new type of candidate for the party. Not a new one other than Barr?

  3. Who paid for the lunch?

  4. I caught a few minutes of Paul talking to the Market shows. I think I heard him on Kudlow saying that he’ll come out with his presidential endorsement in September. And while he won’t rule out Barr, he is ruling out McCain.

  5. Barr is a fake, write in Ron PAul to make a real statement to the Bildeburg group!!! SAY NO TO THE NWO! Freedom 2008!

  6. Ironically the Digital Age has made it *easier* not harder to keep things from the pesky governments.

    https://www.torproject.org/
    http://freenetproject.org/

    Protecting us from eavesdropping, is not the government’s job, either.

    http://zfoneproject.com/

    Disclosure: I can’t stand Bob Barr. Anybody involved in getting the PATRIOT act passed, should be put into a pain-amplifier until they cease to exist.

  7. The Libertariann party is going to make some real noise this year! Many will not like hearing it, but you have to give RP some (a lot?) of the credit.

    I’m off my meds till November 5. Expect similar manic thoughts/delusions interspersed with depressing prognostications about the election from me until then.
    😉
    🙁

  8. Remember remember the 5th of November… 😉

  9. Barr is a fake, write in Ron PAul to make a real statement to the Bildeburg group!!! SAY NO TO THE NWO! Freedom 2008!

    Bingo, since I won’t be using them till after the election, would you like to try my meds?

  10. Here’s proof that Bob Barr is a fake.

    I agree with some of his proposals, but the fact that he’s thrown them all out there without even acknowledging the massive opposition that would arise – and describing how he’d counteract it – shows that he’s just trying to fool people. That’s bolstered by the fact that he doesn’t mention what he’d do about those who are here now.

    And, guess what: it’s possible to oppose Barr’s proposals at the same time as admitting that he’s just playing a game.

    As for the call, I’ve also been in contact with Stephen Gordon and I’m completely shocked – shocked! – that I wasn’t invited to join the call.

  11. As for the call, I’ve also been in contact with Stephen Gordon and I’m completely shocked – shocked! – that I wasn’t invited to join the call.

    Lonewacko, you should not be surprised by being excluded from anything. You might even be prohibited from getting in the free government cheese line in the future.

  12. … in fact, members of the Libertarian Party have reached out to me on several occasions this year and I expect there will be more mutual reaching.

    If true, this calls for a purge.

  13. I’d certainly hope that mutual reaching is afoot, but I’d personally prefer if it was a hand. We’ll see what the future brings.

  14. Barr is a fake, write in Ron PAul to make a real statement to the Bildeburg group!!!

    Bingo is the TRUE conspirator! Ron Paul is not qualified as a write in candidate, and is NOT seeking qualification to be a write in candidate. The most truthful member of congress says that he is NOT seeking qualification to be a write in candidate!

    So why does Bingo want you to write in his name? Because he is part of the conspiracy! He wants you to WASTE your vote! It will NOT be counted! If you do what Bingo says you might as well stay home and not vote. Which is what Bingo wants.

    Disgusting.

  15. Ed Morrissey has the rundown and some thoughts.

    Barr, it should be emphasized, sounds eminently more reasonable and competent than Ron Paul. Even on issues where I’d disagree, Barr gave reasoned, thoughtful answers, as opposed to the kind of conspiracy-theory kookiness Paul spouted at debates and in interviews.

    Which interviews or debates does this person alleges to have witnessed where Dr. Paul spouted the so-called “conspiracy theory kookiness” he mentioned? I believe this was nothing more than an opportunity for him to fire up a very sneaky cheap-shot.

  16. Step 1) Pass a bunch of awful legislation
    Step 2) Pretend to change your mind and intelligently argue against it
    Step 3) Run for President on a hopeless 3rd party ticket
    Step 4) ???
    Step 5) Rule the world from atop a golden throne

  17. Step 1) Pass a bunch of awful legislation
    Step 2) Pretend to change your mind and intelligently argue against it
    Step 3) Run for President on a hopeless 3rd party ticket
    Step 4) ??? Change the debate parameters so Libertarian issues are at least discussed
    Step 5) Retire gracefully, leaving behind a more viable Libertarian Party.

  18. I can’t stand Bob Barr. Anybody involved in getting the PATRIOT act passed, should be put into a pain-amplifier until they cease to exist.

    At least he admitted he made a mistake by approving it – very few others have done that. Of course, Dr. Paul did NOT vote for it, giving him a higher moral ground.

  19. Which interviews or debates does this person alleges to have witnessed where Dr. Paul spouted the so-called “conspiracy theory kookiness” he mentioned?

    If I’m not mistaken, he name-checked the “North American Union” and the “NAFTA Highway” on a few debate occasions.

    Which made him sound like Harvey Filben on Acid.

    What I found creepiest of all, honestly, was that he sounded like a wise old grandfather passing down tales and wisdom, consistently, even while spouting such nonsense. It was really disconcerting.

    ……………….

    The Lonewacko just cracks me up; he bitches when the candidate AGREES with him. I imagine to get the Lonewacko’s endorsement, you’d have to fellate him personally…no, wait, then he’d bitch about having been “gayed upon”. So I guess you’d have to be female. Or at least gender ambiguous.

  20. Barr has regualarly distanced himself libertarian positions and invoked a conservative viewpoint == most particularly on the war on drugs. At no point has Barr said he wants the war ended, just the federal part, with the states taking over because, as he put it, they would be more efficient.

    At Freedom Fest his VP candidate was telling some attendees that he wants the US to bomb Iran for a thousand years. Some libertarian.

  21. Jay Severin in Boston has really been talking up Bob Barr. Jay is a very popular radio talk show host in Boston at 96.9 FM. Jay is primarily a GOP guy, but with very strident(the best part about him) libertarian streaks.

  22. BTW, for those of you unfamiliar with the New England media scene, 96.9 FM is a wee bit bigger thatn a college micro station.

  23. Shortly before showing the class that libertarians are known for, Elemenope says: The Lonewacko just cracks me up; he bitches when the candidate AGREES with him.

    I realize that reading and understand are difficult for libertarians, but read why Bob Barr is a fake again. When someone makes proposals that are good, but not only do they not provide a plan to actually make them happen but other parts of their plan make them even less likely to happen, then that person is just playing games. And, when someone spouts the same misleading language as McCain and BHO, they’re just playing games.

    As for the NAU, didn’t WillWilkinson promote that in these very pages a month or two back?

  24. I’m curious, Lonewacko. After you find TheFuckingSpacebar on your keyboard, could you tell us what your plan would be to implement these VeryImportantChanges? Does it involve TheYouTube, and asking HardHittingQuestions?

    I mean, if you have no idea, then how can you judge what will work and what won’t? For example, Lincoln, I’m pretty sure, didn’t have a plan for EndingSlavery when he was running for the Senate. He just sort of stumbled into it.

    What say you?

  25. Elemenope-

    What do you think of Jay Severin?

    And, no input from you on the greatest Russian of all time?

  26. Barr has regualarly distanced himself libertarian positions and invoked a conservative viewpoint == most particularly on the war on drugs. At no point has Barr said he wants the war ended, just the federal part, with the states taking over because, as he put it, they would be more efficient.

    But, in fact, that is the serious proposal of many anti drug war legal scholars. It is the model for repeal of alcohol prohibition. The feds will not dictate to the states, only assist them. If the feds are not involved, there can be no foreign drug wars.

    Some counties are still dry, decades after the repeal of prohibition. As a libertarian, I deplore that. But it is definitely an improvement over a national ban on booze, or pot, or anything else.

  27. Cynthia McKinney is in favour of “more mutual reaching”…. With someone else perhaps, but she’s really not my type.

  28. Elemenope-

    What do you think of Jay Severin?

    I don’t listen to talk radio. Ever. Not a hate thing (though I never did *like* it); I just much prefer listening to music whenever I have access to a radio.

    And, no input from you on the greatest Russian of all time?

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


  29. If I’m not mistaken, he name-checked the “North American Union” and the “NAFTA Highway” on a few debate occasions.

    He simply mentioned something the former president of Mexico mentioned countless times, in my country.

  30. Did Ron Paul REALLY have higher moral ground by not voting for the Patriot Act? That’s an interesting question, considering that A former aide of Dr. Paul’s revealed that Bob Barr was needed to vote on the Patriot Act so he could work inside the committee to eliminate some of the provisions. If indeed that is true, then perhaps Bob Barr has a higher moral ground because he actually did something to weaken it.

    The moral judgments, I’ll leave to you fine people for debate.

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article3876.html

    Here is an interesting article that discusses Bob Barr’s opposition to the patriot Act just days after 9-11:http://www.freeliberal.com/blog/archives/003420.php

  31. When exactly did Barr claim that having the states run the war on drugs would make the war on drugs more efficient?

    When did Barr say that the states _should_ run the war on drugs because it would make it more efficient?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.