Campaigns/Elections

Let America See Bob Barr Debate Those Other Two Bores!

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According to a Zogby poll, 55 percent of likely voters want Libertarian candidate Bob Barr included in the presidential debates:

Should Bob Barr Be Included in Presidential Debates?

Men

Women

Big City Dwellers

Suburban Dwellers

Married

Single

Yes

60%

52%

56%

54%

54%

61%

No

35%

36%

35%

36%

36%

34%

Not sure

5%

12%

9%

10%

10%

5%

Thirty-nine percent of Dems and 41 percent of GOPpers do not want the former Georgia congressman to horn in on their parade.

Sadly, Barr has no shot of getting in the debates, which are run by the Commission on Presidential Debates, "a private non-profit corporation that has organized debates in the last several presidential election cycles."

The CPD requires that to be included in their debates, candidates must appear on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority of Electoral College votes, and must be winning at least 15% support in national public opinion polls before the debates.

In this latest Zogby Interactive poll, Bob Barr won 6% support.

More here.

Screw 'em! Here's a different rule to consider: Any candidate whose polling covers the spread between the two leaders should be allowed to bore Americans to death on national TV just as much as the major-party candidates.

Not that Barr would be boring. Take a gander at him (and Mike Gravel, Vern McKinley, and Wayne Allyn Root) here:

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  1. Whoa! I just had a “300” flashback when I read that title. Weird.

  2. Any candidate whose polling covers the spread between the two leaders should be allowed to bore Americans to death on national TV just as much as the major-party candidates.

    Too far! Gore beat Bush by 0.5%.

    I could by 5%, but not 0.5%.

  3. Hey, can I remind everyone that this is a private organization and it’s right to do what it wants blah blah blah

  4. Mr. Nice Guy: Yes, it can, and nobody is suggesting legal action against the CPD.

  5. Funny, I don’t recall seeing anything about illegal immigrants degrading our culture or burly union men not getting enough bens… what’s MNG doing here?

  6. The only way to get Barr in the debates would be for a grass roots petition with at least a half a million signatures to be presented to the the networks wherein the signers declare, “I will not watch any presidential debate that excludes Bob Barr.”

  7. MNG —

    Sure, it’s private on paper. But it gets loads of support from the government for maintaining things as they are.

    How is it (please, PLEASE someone explain) that the CPD isn’t legally dragged through the coals for making a de facto donation to the two dominant political parties by airing their debate and excluding others from participating?

  8. Obama should agree to debate Barr alone, just to give him more attention and take away from McCain.

  9. Reinmoose,

    MNG is french-canadian. Can you blame him for having a chip on his shoulder concerning immigration?

  10. p.s. Nigel Watt —

    In 2004, the Lib party and the Green party did take legal action on that exact basis. It was basically tossed on the issue of mootness: the debates would have already happened by the time the issue could be decided.

  11. Damn, BDB, I wonder what kind of hijinks would ensue from that!

  12. Well joe, it helped Reagan in 1980 when he debated Andserson. Carter lost a lot of states because of him.

  13. LMNOP: Oh. I shouldn’t try speaking for other people. I’m not suggesting any legal action be taken.

  14. How come Gravel was the only one who knew it was picture time?

  15. Every debate should have at least three bores in it. But say he gets in, what do we need to do next to get them to include a libertarian? Preferably one who doesn’t attend rallies for bigots like the Minutemen.

  16. Obama should agree to debate Barr alone, just to give him more attention and take away from McCain.

    And then afterward, Obama and Barr can even prang McCain for being “against freedom”.

    And then they can hug and ride off into the sunset together.

    (No, but seriously, this is a very good idea you propose.)

  17. Don’t we have any boffins who could rig a
    “You were to hear an address from President Thompson. His time is up. etc. etc.

  18. BDB,

    Before my time. Why in the wide world of sports did Carter ever let that happen?

  19. If a candidate is polling at greater than or equal the margin for error in at least 12 states(roughly a quarter) he or she should be allowed in the debates…this then takes into account a candidate’s effect on electoral college votes rather than the popular vote. Of course you would have to get pollsters to standardize polling to include all candidates registered on a particular state’s ballot to make it accurate.

  20. “Before my time. Why in the wide world of sports did Carter ever let that happen?”

    Because the LWV was going to include Anderson anyway, but Carter refused to go if they did. There was a deadlock, and Anderson asked to debate Reagan alone and he agreed. Just by getting his name out there he went from 2% to 10% in the polls.

  21. Anyway if by some miracle Barr gets to debate either of them on TV, McCain can kiss Georgia, North Carolina, and maybe even Mississippi goodbye.

  22. How’s this for an idea:

    CPD should offer a seat at the debate as a *product* for sale to presidential candidates.

    Non-negotiable
    $50,000 for a seat
    first-come-first-served
    limit one per customer
    # in stock: four seats

    Gets around campaign finance and makes it a fair buy-in.

  23. So the two biggest stat. vectors that correlate with a person supporting Barr’s inclusion in the debates are: being male and being single. Too bad they didn’t ask about enjoying science fiction.

  24. Hmmm. Support for Barr’s inclusion is highest among single men. Do they have a crosstab for single white men under the age of 40 who work with computers for a living and drive compact imports? They might be unanimous.

  25. Connie Rice: Top 10 Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know About the Debates

    In related debate news (via email):

    Yesterday, I reported to former Congressman Barr that we’ve exhausted every avenue. I told him, “We’ve had calls placed to Pastor Warren from very powerful leaders from the left and the right, we sent in our personal request, and placed numerous phone calls that have not been returned. You are not going to be included.

    “Our only option left is to threaten to file an temporary injunction as our attorney’s believe they are in violation of the law.”

    Bob responded by saying, “No, don’t threaten to do that . . . Just do it.”

    As you read this, our attorneys are filing an injunction against Saddleback Church to include Bob Barr in their forum this Saturday.

  26. Single men that live in the city… cosmotarians!

  27. LOL, Political debates of today are a JOKE. They are full of lies to the sheeple and accusations against the other debaters. Yet the Sheeple jsut sit back and lap it up!

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

  28. I think if we can get libertarian ideas discussed intelligently in the mainstream, a lot of people will start to see the truth.

  29. Let’s be frank–I’d love for there to be a chance for third party candidates, but that would require a miracle like preference order voting. And the problem with third-party candidates as they work now is that they tend to be narrow agenda or otherwise fringe, so for any one of them there are things they’d be good debating in the name of the majority, but other things no one is supporting them on. So it’s a mixed bag. If we’re going to put in someone who won’t be elected why limit ourselves to who’s running? Let’s just put Gore in to debate them on Climate Change. Let’s put Kevin Phillips in to talk about the fiscal crisis. And so on. Get some real subject area experts in there and push them to actually speak on issues. I bet Obama might be willing. I doubt McCain would. But either could surprise me…

  30. As a result of this guy’s spam here, I will never, for the rest of my life, ever approach anything bearing the words anonymity and ultimate. If he’s pushing it, it can’t be good.

  31. Hey, Maybe getting shut out of the debate could be a good thing if he is allowed to airtime to discuss his points of view after the debate…… then there would be no chance for McBamba to Dispute his points.

  32. Yeah, someone give anonospammer airtime far away from here.

  33. The debates should be between the two people that have a chance to win and not wasted on a person that has absolutely no chance. And how come you are not arguing that Cynthia McKinney should have a spot? The Green Party usually garners as many, if not more, votes than the Libertarian Party

  34. “LOL, Political debates of today are a JOKE. They are full of lies to the sheeple and accusations against the other debaters. Yet the Sheeple jsut sit back and lap it up!”

    I love this message board? Why? Because it is full of arrogant assholes who call others sheep because they have the temerity to disagree with the political views of arrogant pricks.

  35. “Anyway if by some miracle Barr gets to debate either of them on TV, McCain can kiss Georgia, North Carolina, and maybe even Mississippi goodbye.”

    Hahahahahahahahahaha, sure thing. It amazes me that people can actually believe that states that went Republican by 20+% are going to go Democrat because an absolute nobody like Bob Barr is allowed into the debates.

  36. “Every debate should have at least three bores in it. But say he gets in, what do we need to do next to get them to include a libertarian? Preferably one who doesn’t attend rallies for bigots like the Minutemen”

    So now opposition to illegal immigration makes one a bigot? When did that happen?

  37. “Well joe, it helped Reagan in 1980 when he debated Andserson. Carter lost a lot of states because of him.”

    Jesus christ, Carter lost the fucking election in a huge landslide because he was the worst president in American history, not because Reagan excluded him from a fucking debate.

  38. With the announcement that Kerry might be Obama’s running mate, and McCain’s penchant to get into WW3, I think the major parties are trying to throw the election to Barr.

  39. Carter lost the fucking election in a huge landslide because he was the worst president in American history

    As awful as Carter was, it’s hard to argue that he was worse than LBJ. Johnson’s 1964 campaign was one of the most dishonest in history — promising peace and painting Goldwater as a warmonger, even while secretly planning “escalation” in Vietnam. He created Medicare and Medicaid, massive entitlements that now threaten to bankrupt threaten the federal treasury. His Galbraithian guns-and-butter fiscal scheme sparked the inflation that continued to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy for more than a decade after he left office. Most of all, had it not been for LBJ’s spectacular failure, Nixon never could have become president.

    Whether you’re a hawk or a dove, a liberal or a conservative — or, perhaps especially, a libertarian — it is difficult to escape the conclusion that much of what has gone wrong in American political life for the past 40 years began with LBJ.

  40. I love this message board? Why? Because it is full of arrogant assholes who call others sheep because they have the temerity to disagree with the political views of arrogant pricks.

    I love how B is so stupid he got snookered by a *spammer*. UA Guy doesn’t even rate “troll” and somehow B got trolled by him.

  41. Charles Jay should also be allowed to debate them. He is the actual libertarian in the race.

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