Election 2012

Did Bob Barr Really Run for President As a Libertarian, or Did I Imagine That?

The other day my 9-year-old daughter asked me which presidential candidate got my vote four years ago. "Bob Barr," I said. "Babar?" she said. "He must have been a Republican."

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The other day my 9-year-old daughter asked me which presidential candidate got my vote four years ago. "Bob Barr," I said. "Babar?" she said. "He must have been a Republican."

I'm pretty sure she was kidding, but of course Barr was a Republican before he became a Libertarian, and now he seems to be a Republican again, having endorsed first Newt Gingrich (yikes), then Mitt Romney, despite having nice things to say about L.P. nominee Gary Johnson. How was it that I came to vote for this guy? Even when Barr was one of the staunchest drug warriors in Congress, he had some sound libertarian instincts. After he lost the Republican primary in 2002, he began to apply his federalist, small-government principles more consistently, eventually coming out against drug prohibition (at the national level, at least) and his own Defense of Marriage Act. Knowing that Barr favored the loathsome Gingrich in this year's contest for the Republican nomination and now supports the utterly unprincipled Romney over Johnson makes me wonder about the sincerity of his ideological evolution. Still, I would pick him over Babar, whose background as an autocrat does not bode well for his understanding of executive power. I worry that he might turn out like Bush or Obama.

If Babar is a Republican, does that mean Eeyore is a Democrat? I rebel at the notion, since he is the A.A. Milne character with whom I identify the most. I suspect that Eeyore is not a member of any party and does not vote. (And why should he?) Winnie the Pooh is probably a Democrat, since he seems to believe he has a right to other people's honey. Christopher Robin, given his paternalistic attitude and gun, might be a Republican. Piglet obviously is a filthy pinko. 

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  1. Who is this? What is your operating number?

    1. Bailey’s the only one who consistently forgets to post his name.

    2. Would you admit to voting for Bob Barr?

      1. If anything, admitting to voting for Bob Barr is like the ultimate social criticism of democracy: yes, I voted for the lesser of 6 evils, and THAT GUY was really fucking evil too.

        /le sigh

        1. The Lesser of Six Evils!

          I like it!

          I will concede, also, that voting for Barr last time is far more palatable than voting for Barr tomorrow.

        2. I voted for Barr 4 years ago.

          Next to Bush in 1988, it is my 2nd worst vote.

          1. 1988’s Democratic Party candidate was Michael Dukakis, who was really awful, but won the nomination when he beat out such luminaries as David Duke, Jesse Jackson, James Traficant, Gary Hart, Al Gore, and Joe Biden.

            What a list!

            Of course, you could have voted for Ron Paul, but in 1988, I’m not sure anyone even knew who he was.

            1. Traficant, now that was a Democrat. From Wikipedia:

              Traficant was released from prison on September 2, 2009, On September 6, 2009, 1200 supporters welcomed him home at a banquet with an Elvis Presley impersonator, and a Traficant look-a-like contest. “Welcome home Jimbo” was printed on T-shirts. “I think it’s time to tell the FBI and the IRS that this is our country and we’re tired — tired of the pressure, tired of the political targeting, tired of a powerful central government that is crippling America,” he said. Traficant said he hasn’t decided yet whether he would run again for Congress.

            2. I voted for Ron Paul in 1988, but I must admit, I really didn’t know who he was then.

            3. I did, and decided to vote for Bush instead of Paul, because I didnt want to “waste” my vote.

              Yeah, I was young and stupid.

    3. Boring article, anyway.

      1. You just don’t understand the MAJESTY of elephant politicians.

        1. You just don’t understand Star Wars references.

          1. BEN, NOOOOOOOO

  2. Barr was my least favorite LP candidate. Even the hopelessly pure Badnarik was better.

    1. I saw nothing wrong with Badnarik.

      He is probably the favorite LP candidate Ive voted for.

      Badnarik
      Browne ’96
      Johnson
      Browne ’00
      Perot ’92
      Barr
      Bush ’88.

      Yeah, lets go with that.

      1. I was a Badnarik backer too.

      2. Don’t get me wrong, I voted for him, but he was the epitome of shoestring budget and total lack of polish. I really think the party would’ve been better off with either big money Russo or public speaker Nolan.

  3. An article so irritating it deserves no byline.

  4. Pretty sure Kanga’s a Dem and Owl a Constitutionalist.

    Tigger’s probably libertarian-leaning, I would think.

    1. The bossy, know-it-all rabbit is pretty much every Dem politician in my lifetime.

      1. Bloomburg’s bunny.

    2. Tigger, if nothing else, is certainly a legalization advocate, given that he’s constantly high on something or other.

      1. He strikes me as a completely hedonistic libertine, but far from a libertarian. I suspect his only concern is social issues and given his lack of any serious intellect.

  5. When I vote Libertarian, I’m voting for the party, not the candidate. (It’s not like there’s a chance the candidate will win.) True story.

    1. I have voted for every libertarian on every ballot since 1980. The names are not relevant in any real way.

  6. Bob Barr and Wayne Root both turned back into Republicans. I’m not sure they ever were libertarians (or Libertarians) anyway. Now I don’t feel so bad for not voting for the Libertarian presidential candidates last time around. This year, I happily voted straight-ticket Libertarian.

    1. Ugh. My libertarian candidate for Senate is Rayburn Smith, and he has to be the laziest 3rd party candidate I have ever seen. It’s 2012 and he refuses to have a website. I almost want to vote against him to punish his apathy.

      1. Sounds like a Sci Fi character name.

      2. I went through the list here in MT yesterday. Most of the Libertarian candidates are crackpots.

        1. How do you even know enough about them to know they’re crackpots? They don’t ALL have blue skin, do they?

          1. Had to dig.

            And admittedly, if I couldn’t find anything, the assumption was crackpot.

            1. And only one has blue skin, as far as I know.

      3. At least you have Libertarian candidates to vote for. In California, we have “top two” now, except for president, so just G-Money for an LP choice.

    2. Living in California, I find myself forced to vote for GOP candidates on state offices if only to prevent the One Party wet dream of the left.

      1. Not that it works, but I hear you there.

      2. I might give Feinstein’s GOP oppnent a sympathy vote.

        1. I will be voting for “independent” Bill Bloomfield. Because there is no person on the planet I would rather see flayed and sodomized with a hatchet than Waxman.

        2. I would vote for Fidel Castro over Feinstein.

        3. Unless you know the challenger is a pedophile or something, voting against the incumbent is a decent rule of thumb.

  7. I lost my libertarian voting virginity to Bob Barr. I don’t regret it. He’s a doofus and I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it but it was my stand against McCain/Obama. I actually really like Gary Johnson and am much more enthusiastic about supporting him.

    OK virginity and Bob Barr should never be in the same sentence. Apologies to those eating.

  8. Kanga says keep the courts out of her pouch!

    1. But feel free to take half of Pooh’s honey to nourish her pouch. TEH REPRODUCTIVEZ FREIDUMBZ require subsidy.

  9. You should send that joke into Reader’s Digest, or Family Circus.

    Eeyore is definitely a libertarian. “I probably won’t vote on election day..it doesn’t even matter” I expect most commenters on Reason have the same depressingly fatalistic tone when they speak.

    1. I won’t vote on election day!

      I early voted.

    2. the same depressingly fatalistic tone when they speak.

      Wait, I think you’re mistaking US for YOURSELF. Might want to correct that.

    3. You should send that joke into Reader’s Digest, or Family Circus.

      Jesus, no need to be so brutal.

      1. Yeah, that is a curse I expect to be leveled only at Bok.

  10. How was it that I came to vote for this guy?

    Guess you voted TEAM.

    1. +1 TEAM L

      1. We need a color!

        1. We already have one: gold.

        2. Chartreuse?

    2. “How was it that I came to vote for this guy?”
      Best mouse in a horse-show.

  11. Reason is in the tank for McCain.

    1. Dukakis was in the tank for Bush.

  12. I fucking hate Tigger. Is that weird?

    1. Yes, yes it is.

    2. People pay good money to see Streisand, too.

      It takes all kinds.

      1. People pay good money to watch Michael Moore movies, too.

        I see your point.

    3. No, its not weird – I always hoped he would end up as a rug in some poacher’s den.

    4. Always around your garden when you never wanted them around, fucking things up all the time because he’s so aggressive. Doesn’t know shit. Loud and obnoxious. Tigger is like the government.

      1. “The wonderful thing about Tig…”

        “MOTHERFUCKER SHUT THE FUCK UP DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE” *Automatic fire*.

        1. And get off my lawn!

        2. Now I would pay to see that, unlike a Michael Moore movie.

      2. so aggressive. Doesn’t know shit. Loud and obnoxious.

        Yeah, he always reminded me of my kid brother. Hated Tigger.

        1. That thing he bounces around on? That’s not his tail.

          1. Envious, then?

  13. Barr was/is a dufus. His nomination gave “Libertarian” a helluva bad name and set it back years. The Libertarian party apparatus (big L, not small) leans toward the entrenched bureacrats, so they get these statist Repubs who claim to have seen the light. It’s a damn shame.
    If you want a name, put Penn and Teller up there, or the Pawn Stars. And I’m not kidding.

    1. His nomination gave “Libertarian” a helluva bad name and set it back years.

      This is why the right course of action is to concentrate on taking over the Republican party.

      Penn for Pres! I’m in!

    2. If Bob Barr’s candidacy set the LP back “years”, one wonders how it is that Johnson will do at least as well as any other LP candidate.

      1. Because there are other things at play here. Confining the argument to ticks on the national election, then and now, doesn’t supply an immediate answer. There’s a lot of antipathy for both major candidates. So protest votes are muddled. Are they really pro-Libertarian? Although difficult to measure, I see little evidence that the masses have matured from their silly and empty notion — “Libertarians are anti-war Republicans who want to smoke.”
        The movement/ideology/philosphy is so much deeper, still misunderstood, and must catch fire at the micro level, in the communities, the neighborhoods. If that’s occurred in your locale, I need to move there. I see nothing but new rules, new laws, new regulations, day after day, federal and local.
        If Johnson grabs more votes than Barr, great. But that doesn’t tell me that libertarianism is that much more welcome. Hopefully I’m wrong.

      2. Johnson will do as well as any other LP candidate because ~0.5% of voters will punch the LP hole by accident…

        And I plan to do it on purpose. I just don’t think that we ought to get too delusional about the nature of 1% support for the LP candidate.

    3. The Pawn Stars? Are they libertarian?

  14. Eeyore’s a realist. Haters complain that he’s too negative. He might vote if it isn’t raining or there isn’t anything good on TV.

  15. After witnessing his mother’s murder, Babar becomes a male prostitute for an octogenarian French woman. Later, he marries his cousin.

    With no other credentials than a sharp suit and a fancy car he becomes king after the previous king “mysteriously” dies from poisoning. Then for a bold example of cronyism, Babar rewards the guy who nominated him with a lucrative government position.

    1. Doesn’t Babar rape that female elephant, also prepubescent, in that movie? That makes Babar a rapist.

      1. WHOA there guys, I think you’re forgetting Babar’s opposition, here: Rataxes! Now, Rataxes puts on a nice face for the public, but this is his REAL face. RATAXES WILL PUT THE ELEPHANTS BACK IN CHAINS!

        Babar/Celeste 2012

        1. Celeste has Stockholm Syndrome. She should escape the rapist’s clutches while she still can.

          RETAXES 2012 FREEDOM FROM RAPISM

          1. Wait, does this mean all of Celeste’s various gaffes were just a way of coping with that trauma? I will never mock her hilarious verbal clumsiness ever again.

  16. Alt-text is pretty good … however, being elephants, wouldn’t it be the “trample” list?

  17. You can’t really trash Barr for endorsing his friend Gingrich. They are old north Georgia buddies, and Gingrich probably had a lot to do with Barr’s early success.

    He probably also learned his brand of populism from Gingrich too. Barr is no more a libertarian than I am a socialist. He was a SoCon/NeoCon in congress for cryin’ out loud. He’s just a politician who saw a stage he could perform on. I never understood the libertarian party’s flirtation with him. It would be like nominating Chuck Shumer. Sure, the guy’s a good professional politician, but are you really going to put an opportunist on your label when the only thing libertarians agree on is that they are strict ideologues about libertarianism?

  18. A national Republican/Libertarian politician endorsing Romney over Johnson is understandable — he wants to be taken seriously by his political comrades and the establishment media.

    But endorsing Gingrich over Ron Paul in the Republican primaries was ridiculous. Ron Paul had not only a much better pro-liberty, small government platform, he also had more supporters, more cash, and a much stronger campaign organization.

  19. I don’t vote often; but when I do I vote libertarian. Stay free, my friends.

  20. I’m tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney. So I’m voting for Gary Johnson.

  21. The fuckin’ embarrassment I had to endure from my politico-friends when that cop-moustached shit-heel was nominated as the Libertarian candidate….

  22. After he lost the Republican primary in 2002, he began to apply his federalist, small-government principles more consistently, eventually coming out against…his own Defense of Marriage Act.

    Last time I checked, DOMA protects the rights of state governments to rule on gay marriage. Supporting DOMA is supporting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and small government. Unless, of course, Reason has decided that gay marriage is more important than self-government, at which point they’re a progressive rag concern trolling over the deficit.

    1. There are two parts to the act, and that’s not the one that is going to be invalidated.

      The act also prevents the Federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states that have them. Thus a married couple in MA has to file their taxes separately etc.

      1. that’s not the one that is going to be invalidated.

        Dohohohoho. Sorry, bro, that’s not how the political process works. Has there ever been an instance of progressivism that hasn’t mutated horribly into totalitarianism? If so, let me tell you about this great new thing called the income tax. It’s going to apply to the wealthiest Americans only, and it’ll be used to pay down the national debt, and everything’s going to end up swell.

        1. I don’t think you understand. That’s not even being challenged.

  23. I remembered Barr as a muddle-minded religious-right hack when he was a Republican (he started an impeach-Clinton campaign well before the Lewinksy scandal), and simply abstained from voting for a presidential candidate in 2008. I usually vote for the Libertarian candidate. I have no regrets, whatsoever.

    1. I printed up 50,000 Impeach Clinton bumper stickers the day after he was elected. They were sold all over Virginia.
      Remember when Bill & Hillary went to the conference before his inauguration, but Hillary attended while Bill toured Williamsburg with Chelsea? A close-up photo in the newspaper showed those Impeach Clinton stickers all over the hotel entrance gateposts were ones I printed.

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