Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 27, 2008

A Bob Barr For President Update

by Doug Mataconis

Former Congressman Bob Barr is now talking seriously about running for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination:

On an Internet site called Anti-War Radio, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr confirmed on Wednesday that he’s “very seriously” looking at joining the race for the White House as a Libertarian — and had harsh words for both the Iraq war and for the Bush Administration’s defense of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

(…)

On a presidential run, Barr said:

“There’s been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I’m looking very seriously at.”

Barr said a Libertarian candidacy would essentially be an extension of the Ron Paul campaign.

“Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness. Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have ….a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom in this election cycle,” Barr said.

On Iraq:

“What we’ve fallen into in recent years — not just since 9/11, but particularly since 9/11 — is this notion that, in order to protect ourselves, we have to preemptively go into and — in the case of Iraq — occupy another sovereign nation,” Barr said. “Simply saying, ‘Gee, it’s better to fight over in this other nation and destroy another nation, so we’re not potentially attacked here, is the height of arrogance.”

As for the Bush administration’s refusal to define waterboarding as torture, Barr referred to the practice as “sophistry of the worst and rankest order.”

You can listen to the full audio of the interview over at my personal blog.

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  • RegularRon

    I could indeed get behind Barr. If he’s going to carry the torch for Dr. Paul, then why not. Granted he will piss off the Gravel, Kucinich crowd, and Libertine voters. Which, I don’t have an issue with. Wish they would go back to the Democrat party.

    A Barr/Root, or if Barr some how could get Dr. Paul on board, would be amazing to me.

    But have to say, and Pablo brought it up, maybe us Libertarians, should leave the LP and work within the Republican party to get it back to it’s “Old right” views. It’s a leap, but stranger things have happened.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    If Bob Barr runs for president, assuming he doesn’t reveal any more skeletons in the closet than what he’s got now…he’d have my vote.

    I think that Barr/Paul for president/VP would be problematic in the election mainly because of the race-baiting baggage…although I think Ron Paul would be a decent VP (assuming he’d even be interested).

  • oilnwater

    the race-bainting baggage you and dung tried desperately to foster. you=fail.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    oilnwater,

    the race-bainting baggage you and dung tried desperately to foster. you=fail.

    Riiiiight…because we actually wrote those newsletters for Ron Paul 10 years ago and we were the ones who created the Mexican gang member mailers and stuck them in peoples’ mailboxes. I obviously forgot that it’s never Ron “Jesus” Paul’s fault when he fails.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    UCrawford,

    Yea that was a tough job back then wasn’t it ?

    Between studying for finals and taking the bar exam I was afraid that my race baiting anti-Ron Paul conspiracy (hatched when I was but an infant under the guidance of David Rockefeller) would fail.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    Why is that even an issue anymore? I thought this was settled with a rousing comment war as far as the eye could see a few weeks ago…

    And it wouldn’t be baggage if the campaign treated is as such: an issue to be addressed. To my memory, they pretended like it would go away (big mistake), and therefore anyone who holds such against RP & the campaign, has every right of decency to do so.

    I actually hold the failed idea of using such to incite hatred against the state (Rothbard & Rockwell’s idea) as the main fault here, aside from the RP campaign of course.

    Besides, I would be more outraged at Gravel right now than a failed campaign; that is, if you hold the LP have any relevance anymore. Recent events say no, however.

    Being open minded to criticism & different opinions seems to hold less & less value nowadays.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Nitroadict,

    I actually hold the failed idea of using such to incite hatred against the state (Rothbard & Rockwell’s idea) as the main fault here

    No argument from me on that.

  • uhm

    Yeah Bob Barr! I don’t think people will move away from the duopoly. I’d like to see what a Bob Barr and a Mike Gravel ticket would do. It would be an interesting novelty drawing interest from the left and right of the political spectrum which needs to happen.

  • http://tiger.towson.edu/~apeak1 Alex

    Mary Ruwart for president 2008, Chris Bennet for vice president 2008.

    Barr isn’t ready. Although I applaud him for his born-again libertarianism (he often votes with the radicals on controversial issues, and appears to not oppose the war on drugs and the war on Iraq), he’s still viewed with skepticism by some in the party.

    If he runs in 2012, he will have plenty of time not only to prove his libertarian credentials to his skeptics, but he would also be able to give a good two-year race; whereas, if he runs in 2008, he’ll only have a seven-month race. He should go for the two-year race and use the media exposeur he would get.

    If, in the next four years, Gravel reforms his many un-libertarian views, and proves himself in the same way Barr is currently doing, he will probably make a great vice presidential candidate.

    As for 2008, I have to go with Ruwart/Bennett.

    For one thing, Ruwart is an amazing speaker, and will be absolutely marvelous as communicating libertarian ideas. She knows when to give long responses, and when to give sound-bites, and she is a professional at each.

    For another thing, I think she is one of the few persons who has the potential to unite the radicals and the moderates in the party. She’s not derisive. She cares more about winning over the hearts and minds of her listener than she does about bashing her opponents.

    She’s also a doctor and a best-selling author.

    There are many women who I believe are libertarians but who either A) don’t know it or B) know it, but avoid libertarian organisations because they are viewed as being a bit of boys clubs. Ruwart’s presemce will help attract women to the idea that it’s okay to be a woman and a libertarian, thus growing our movement.

    I think she would do a great job attracting the Paulites who feel screwed over by the Republican Party, but would scare away the Don Black types. That’s a win/win.

    And even if the Don Black types aren’t scared away by Ruwart, they will be by Bennett, a black man running for the vice presidential nomination of the libertarian party.

    Thus, we get the Ron Paul supporters, minus the nut-jobs.

    Unlike Root, who seems to be only campaigning for Republican votes, Ruwart is in a prime position to also draw votes away from small-government Democrats by not alienating them. In other words, she would draw votes from both major parties, whereas Root would draw a fraction from the Republicans. (And, considering that he had endorsed McCain in the past, a tiny fraction at that.)

    Unlike Kubby, she wouldn’t scare away the more straight-laced libertarian-leaners, while at the same time advocating the same drug policy as Kubby.

    Dr. Mary Ruwart is an amazing candidate, and I am so happy she is running. I haven’t been this happy since last March, when Dr. Paul announced his candidacy.

    Go Mary/Bennett 2008! :D

  • oilnwater

    so what if you find out there are nutjobs rooting for and showing up to her events? will you puddle hop to the next candidate whose supporters you believe will be sanitized and %100 nutjob-free? this is really something i dont understand about people. suddenly they want to obsess over the cleanliness of a candidate’s supporters as though that is the highest priority of any other. it’s really lame.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    Democracy in this country itself has become sort of a lameduck, so i guess it evens out, oil.

  • http://www.fitsnews.com FITSNews

    Popular southern political blog, FITSNews, is reporting that Bob Barr will announce his run for president next week. See link below.

    http://www.fitsnews.com/2008/03/31/barr-to-announce-presidential-bid-next-week/

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