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June 2, 2008

Bob Barr Does What Ron Paul Should Have

by Doug Mataconis

Back in August, Ron Paul received an endorsement and donation from Stormfront, a virulently racist, anti-Semitic white supremacist organization.

At the time, there were many, including yours truly, who said that the Paul campaign needed to do was renounce the endorsement and return the donation. They did neither, of course, and seemed as times to encourage the impression that they were open to support from anyone regardless of how far out on the wacko fringe they happened to be.

Not the best way to run a political campaign to say the least.

Well, Reason’s David Weigel reports that Bob Barr’s campaign has handled the situation far, far differently:

Yesterday, James Buchanan posted a racist Barr endorsement at WhiteCivilRights:

A vote for Bob Barr would at least send a message to the Republican Party that conservatives and Whites won’t sit still as they are stuck with a liberal presidential candidate like McCain. Supporting Bob Barr might even pave the way for a Third Party to replace the increasingly repugnant Republican Party… If voting for McCain is a waste of time, since he’s never going to win (because conservatives hate him), then the best course of action may be a protest vote for the Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. If Barr gets millions of votes, it will be a very strong sign that the neocons and their warmonger policies have failed and the Republican Party should change course and stop supporting wars for Israel.

Stormfront member “WhiteRights” posted the column in the site’s message boards, which is where the Barr campaign found it. Barr campaign manager Russ Verney released this statement:

The Barr campaign is not going to be a vehicle for every fringe and hate group to promote itself. We do not want and will not accept the support of haters. Anyone with love in their heart for our country and for every resident of our country regardless of race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation is welcome with open arms.

Tell the haters I said don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out!

Barr consultant Steve Gordon sent me the statement and added: “We denounce anybody who doesn’t want to treat everybody equally under the law.”

Well done, and appropriately so.

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32 Comments

  1. I was also wondering if Ron Paul did or didnt endorse Barr? How does Paul feel about Wayne Root.? Did Paul endorse or oppose Root? IS Paul thinking about a vp spot with Barr? Ive been looking everywhere for this info. Can find it. They have a couple of videos at http://www.BarrRoot.com but nothing about Paul. The Barr/Root ticket is going to fail without paul. I read an article about Ron Paul maybe being a vp or vice ( veep ) on the libertarian ticket? Would this mean the LP will drop Root and run Bar and Ron Paul? Its a pretty good article but I dont know how true it is. Here is the Link http://www.BarrRoot08.com

    Comment by charles — June 2, 2008 @ 11:56 am
  2. Dear Readers:

    Anyone who has visited this site to read Doug Matoconis post on Barr/Paul should note a few facts. Leading up to the primaries Doug, continued to state he supported Ron Paul and would vote for Paul yet with nearly every post he provided some kind of negative remark about Paul. I did take the time to review the FEC donations for Paul and while Doug said he was a supporter of Paul I found no donation under his name. Once the primaries began Doug then came out-of-the-closet to report he would not support Ron Paul.

    Doug has been very dishonest with many of his posts so beware of his actions and posts.

    In regard to donations from various groups my nonprofit which helps the poor received a donation from a famous criminal who spent 20 years in jail should we have returned his 3K or kept it? While our nonprofit helps those in need we kept the funds to help more people. Paul, kept the funds to fund good intentions supported by positive actions. In Paul’s case the fruit of the tree is only proof of his good nature and love for our nations future. So if more anti-social groups want to send Paul or my non profit more money please do so. In my case it will only help more people while at the same time I will renouce such support and provide a kind thankyou for funding.

    So if you folks want to be duped by a beltway lawyer like Doug Mataconis then just know I tried to warn you.

    Comment by Darel — June 2, 2008 @ 12:23 pm
  3. Charles,

    Based on a David Weigel post at Reason’s Hit & Run last week, I doubt that Ron Paul will openly endorse Barr or anyone else.

    I’ll look for the link later, but, apparently, he is afraid that doing so will cause him to loose his seat on the House Banking Committee next year, since Committee assignments are controlled by the party leadership.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 2, 2008 @ 1:03 pm
  4. Darel,

    I wondered where you went, and here you are.

    I did support Ron Paul. And, no I didn’t donate any money. I have never donated any money to any candidate for any reason. And don’t plan on doing so in the future. It’s a choice I make, deal with it ok ?

    For most of 2007, I knew I would vote for Paul in Virginia’s primary. Then the nonsense started and the campaign became irrelevant, so, I changed my mind.

    It’s a thing that people who think for themselves do every now and then, in case you didn’t know.

    And the differences between your hypothetical non-profit and a campaign for President of the United States are so vast that it’s hard to begin to know where to start.

    But, you know, welcome back anyway.

    Who do you plan on voting for in November, just out of curiosity ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 2, 2008 @ 1:06 pm
  5. I was also wondering if Ron Paul did or didnt endorse Barr? How does Paul feel about the Barr Root ticket. How does Paul feel about Wayne Root.? Did Paul endorse or oppose Root? IS Paul thinking about a vp spot with Barr? Ive been looking everywhere for this info. Can find it. They have a couple of videos at http://www.BarrRoot.com but nothing about Paul. The Barr/Root ticket is going to fail without paul. I read an article about Ron Paul maybe being a vp or vice ( veep ) on the libertarian ticket BarRoot? Would this mean the LP will drop Root and run Bar and Ron Paul? Its a pretty good article but I dont know how true it is. Here is the Link http://www.BarrRoot08.com

    Comment by charles — June 2, 2008 @ 1:42 pm
  6. i see this shithole is still a douche-fest

    Comment by Prometheus — June 2, 2008 @ 2:18 pm
  7. Sorry Doug, your opinion means absolutely nothing to me.

    Comment by badmedia — June 2, 2008 @ 3:45 pm
  8. badmedia,

    Wow, this is devastating. Convincing you was all that I existed for.

    Not so much.

    But I’m glad to see that the Paulistians haven’t changed and are willing to ignore the fight for liberty unless it involves St. Ron of Texas.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 2, 2008 @ 4:56 pm
  9. Doug,

    But I’m glad to see that the Paulistians haven’t changed and are willing to ignore the fight for liberty unless it involves St. Ron of Texas.

    Also, you can help get rid of evil Federal Reserve fiat currency by giving it all to St. Ron of Texas so he can fight for the libertarian ideals of isolationism, racism, protectionism, and bring home pork barrel projects.

    Comment by Kevin — June 2, 2008 @ 6:34 pm
  10. badmedia,

    Sorry Doug, your opinion means absolutely nothing to me.

    Then why did you feel compelled to comment on a story written by him?

    Jackass.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 2, 2008 @ 8:26 pm
  11. Right now, Barr is batting about 1.000 as far as I’m concerned. Not that I agree with him on everything, since I doubt there is anyone who I agree with on everything. But he is currently demonstrating a level of competence and coherence that is unheard of in libertarian politics.
    It’s only been a few weeks, but so far his press shop is doing an excellent job of putting forward a libertarian message without sinking into the fever swamp of craziness that has brought down way too many libertarian politicians.
    At the moment, I’m also loving the level of accessibility the campaign seems to be providing. That may change if his campaign starts to become bigger than anticipated, but right now it’s pretty clear they’ve got a clear idea of where they’re going with this thing.

    Comment by Mark — June 2, 2008 @ 8:30 pm
  12. doug should have done what he should have, which is practice even a 5th grader’s level of discernment by relegating a Stormfront story to its proper place in importance.

    the fact remains that Ron Paul has already influenced this nation on a scale that Barr couldnt even hope to glimpse. that’s what a lifetime of being genuine does.

    of course people like Mataconis, and UCrawford, to their last days, will be saying “oh this is politics, not real life… you want someone who has good administrative-picking skills” this is the excrement it’s come down to, and it’s very instructive. the lesson is that you should just stay away from politics and try to get to know people personally and band together. shitheaps like the people on this blog really are losers. any new person reading this blog need to keep that in mind.

    Comment by oilnwater — June 2, 2008 @ 8:32 pm
  13. Doug,

    Honestly, I don’t know why you bother with this stuff. The only people who are going to argue with you are Paulestinian fanboys who will find any excuse to rationalize whatever Ron Paul does, no matter how hypocritical or stupid it may be. Hell, if they found him red-handed in the middle of Times Square in the act of stabbing a transsexual hooker to death, the Paulestinians would still say that it’s ideologically consistent with his message or claim it’s the mainstream media’s fault.

    They’re trolls, Doug, and they’ve got nothing to say on this topic that’s worth hearing, so why even bother stirring them up? And who cares about analyzing Paul’s presidential campaign? It’s over. Just let them crawl back under their rocks in peace.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 2, 2008 @ 8:36 pm
  14. oilnwater,

    Hey man, leave me out of it. Aside from maybe checking out his book, I’m perfectly happy never to discuss Ron Paul again.

    And if you’ve got nothing but personal attacks for everyone affiliated with this blog, by all means feel free to comment somewhere else.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 2, 2008 @ 8:40 pm
  15. you’re neck deep in it. look at your own history of Paul-related comments, asshole.

    Comment by oilnwater — June 2, 2008 @ 8:57 pm
  16. “i see this shithole is still a douche-fest”

    this

    Comment by ThisSiteStillExists? — June 3, 2008 @ 12:03 am
  17. oilnwater,

    Your assertion that “Ron Paul has influenced the nation” simply isn’t borne out by the evidence. But, if he did, its in spite of himself and it’s the ideas that will win out in the end, not the man.

    Personally, I’m not sure that a career topped off with a Congressional record where you’re pretty much on the losing end of every vote and where not a single piece of important legislation you’ve introduced has made it out of committee is really a sign of anything.

    But you know, that’s just my Beltway-insider (even though I live outside the Betlway), Rockefeller controlled mind talking, so, you know.

    Honestly, your reaction doesn’t surprise me. Bob Barr and Ron Paul are more alike than different, and yet I doubt that Paul’s most ardent supporters will even pay attention to the campaign. Because, you know, he’s not Ron.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 3, 2008 @ 2:40 am
  18. UCrawford,

    You’re probably right, but the point of the post was more Bob Barr than Ron Paul and to point out something I was saying back in August when this all happened — that being a libertarian doesn’t mean you have to accept the support of every wacko that can write a check.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 3, 2008 @ 2:42 am
  19. oilnwater,

    You keep saying I’m lying but you never back it up.

    Don’t attack my integrity unless you’re prepared to support the argument.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — June 3, 2008 @ 2:43 am
  20. I was astounded originally when people thought it was great that Paul wasn’t returning the Stormfront money, and I have no words to describe the stupidity of the people attacking Bob Barr for refusing an endorsement from a white-power organization.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — June 3, 2008 @ 8:17 am
  21. oilnwater,

    you’re neck deep in it. look at your own history of Paul-related comments, asshole.

    At least I’m not stupid enough to be blindly devoted to a politician more interested in putting his family members on the dole than running a serious campaign.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/05/27/ST2008052701255.html

    But hey, feel free to go on thinking Ron Paul’s your messiah. Maybe one of these days that’ll translate into something more impressive than a second place finish in Nevada and winning the MySpace Republican “primary”.

    http://adage.com/campaigntrail/post?article_id=122855

    Comment by UCrawford — June 3, 2008 @ 8:32 am
  22. At least I’m not stupid enough to be blindly devoted to a politician more interested in putting his family members on the dole than running a serious campaign.

    C’mon now. Family members received less than 1% of campaign expenditures and if you look at the breakdown, they all seem pretty reasonable. It would have been stupid of him not to tap family for small tasks. He made a lot of mistakes, but this wasn’t one of them.

    And Doug, he did renounce Stormfront on numerous occasions. We even cited them numerous times for you. I guess if you tell yourself something enough times, you start to believe it.

    The only thing he didn’t do was return the money. You can argue that it’s a bad PR move, but it actually makes sense in a way. Giving the money back to the organization would have tantamount to donating to the organization.

    I’m with UC, though. You’ve said some things over the past year that have angered a lot of people and you stir it up every time you mention RP. We’ll all be better off if you just let it rest.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — June 3, 2008 @ 11:21 am
  23. Jeff,

    Family members received less than 1% of campaign expenditures and if you look at the breakdown, they all seem pretty reasonable. It would have been stupid of him not to tap family for small tasks.

    Actually it’s a very fair and accurate assessment, especially if you look at the positions where he put those relatives, particularly in regards to his press team (which isn’t a “small” job on a campaign by any stretch of the imagination). He surrounded himself with family members and loyalists, most of them inexperienced amateurs, they did a shitty job for him, and once he had the money to hire better staff he didn’t. That’s where he behaved stupidly, assuming he was serious about running a presidential campaign to begin with.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 3, 2008 @ 2:17 pm
  24. I think Ron Paul is guilty of botchery and not butchery.

    I think he has a problem saying “no” to people whom he likes or who have helped him in the past. He has been in politics for thirty years, and for most of them, ever since he began publicly opposing Reagan, he has been isolated from the levers of power. He had very few friends and associates whom he could trust, and he has too much difficulty to throw them under the bus when the time calls for it.
    In the end, he was unwilling to sacrifice his long-standing personal relationships for political gain. This may seem honorable, but it is no different than losing your business because you are unwilling to stop buying supplies from a factory with horrible quality but which is managed by your best friend leading to consumers soundly rejecting your shoddy goods.

    I turned against Ron Paul not because I disagree with his policies. Rather, this campain brought me to suspect that he lacked the set of skills necessary to be an effective executive. Had he won the presidency, he would probably have lost every battle with Congress and would have been plagued by appointees who turned out to be very corrupt. I hated to come to this conclusion because I like the man very much. I think he is spot on on monetary policy and on foreign policy. I think I will be an old man before I see the U.S. recover from the monetary blackhole it is plunging into.

    Comment by tarran — June 3, 2008 @ 6:48 pm
  25. tarran,

    It comes down to the old saying of “If you want a friend in politics, buy a dog.” Personally, I think that once a politician decides that the key to his success is to isolate himself and only work with people he’s got a pre-existing relationship with, he’s done as an effective politician. He’ll surround himself by people who think just like him, the opinions he hears are from people who are predisposed to agree with his, he runs out of ideas, and he finds it increasingly difficult to work with others to achieve anything of import. Basically, he becomes just another stagnant hack living on the dole and the best thing he can do is hang it up and try and find some new blood with good ideas to replace him.

    I think Ron Paul hit this point quite awhile ago, but since he was pretty much the only game in town for libertarians he was able to stick around because he had a fairly diverse following. I’m not so sure, however, that the following outside of the Paulestinians is going to survive his failed presidential campaign, since it exposed his weaknesses (and some very unattractive baggage) quite clearly. I think his primary value to his ideology would be as a gadfly, not so much a leader.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 3, 2008 @ 8:38 pm
  26. putting his family members on the dole

    He surrounded himself with family members and loyalists

    Heh. I see what you did there.

    Yeah, he rode his inner circle right off the cliff, but that’s a significantly different thing than your first statement. There’s no reason to think it was a malicious attempt to put people “on the dole.” It’s more likely that it was just misplaced faith in a team that excelled in AAA, but simply couldn’t hack it in the Majors.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — June 3, 2008 @ 8:47 pm
  27. Jeff,

    You misinterpreted. I never called his hiring of family members or friends malicious. I was just pointing out that to Ron Paul running a serious campaign always came in second to having “his” people (family and close friends) in charge of it, even if they weren’t qualified. That’s the biggest reason I lost so much respect for him. In his own way, Paul’s not so different from Bush when it comes to running a staff…and I’ve frankly had enough of that kind of “leadership”.

    And a better analogy would be a staff that produced at A ball (HOR level), who couldn’t hit at AA (since they whiffed on his senatorial campaign), and who never played a day at AAA (since he didn’t run for governor), and who did terribly in the majors once as a Rule 5 draft pick (’88 presidential campaign), getting moved up to the majors again. That’s incompetent management as well as misplaced faith, no matter how you look at it.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 4, 2008 @ 7:54 am
  28. You misinterpreted. I never called his hiring of family members or friends malicious. I was just pointing out that to Ron Paul running a serious campaign always came in second to having “his” people (family and close friends) in charge of it, even if they weren’t qualified.

    1) “On the dole” clearly implies “something for nothing” and in this context it would require obvious malice towards the donors to give money away like that.
    2) He was always adamant to his supporters that he was in it to win it. If he stuck with “his” people knowing that they were hurting his chances to win, that would again require obvious malice towards the donors.

    I think it is far more likely he is simply a poor judge of talent and/or he underestimated the value of having good talent on the staff.

    Good analogy, btw, but you really can’t hold ’88 against them. You greatest staff of all-time couldn’t have won that one, just as Barr doesn’t stand a chance. And he didn’t just “produce” at A ball, he absolutely raked. In one election, he won a primary against an opponent who had the overt backing of the state’s governor; that simply doesn’t happen.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — June 4, 2008 @ 8:29 am
  29. Jeff,

    Considering how badly the paid campaign staff performed, I think “something for nothing” is a fair assessment. Especially since Paul has been around long enough to know that successful campaigning depends on good staff. If he hasn’t figured that out after this many years working in politics then the man is a fool.

    Good analogy, btw, but you really can’t hold ‘88 against them.

    I don’t…that’s why I compared it to a Rule 5 draft pick. Most Rule 5s fail in the majors too because they’re rushed, so they don’t have a real shot to succeed even if they’ve got the talent. As for raking A ball, plenty of guys do that too who aren’t major league prospects (particularly if they’re older players)…he definitely failed at Double-A, though, and never got in a game at Triple-A so there was no indication he was ready for the big leagues.

    I’ll lock horns on baseball/politics analogies all day…I’m a long-time Royals fan and I’ve seen every way that a baseball team can both succeed and fail in regards to management strategy :)

    Comment by UCrawford — June 4, 2008 @ 8:44 am
  30. Considering how badly the paid campaign staff performed, I think “something for nothing” is a fair assessment.

    C’mon now, you’re stretching big time. There’s a significant difference between paying someone who works hard and paying someone who doesn’t, even if the net result is basically the same for both. The former is bad management/execution and the latter is deliberate sabotage of the organization’s goals.

    I’ll lock horns on baseball/politics analogies all day…I’m a long-time Royals fan

    Ditto. I was born wearing a Tigers hat.

    It’s important identify the areas where the analogy breaks down, though.

    - There’s no 25-man roster in politics and there’s no GM that decides who makes it.

    That means you don’t necessarily have to work your way up the food chain, proving yourself to someone. If you suddenly figure out how to command your plus-fastball and your plus-slider, you can sign up for the big leagues tomorrow.

    - The political landscape is more fluid.

    Setting aside the occasional steroid era, the winning formula is basically the same: power arms, above average defense, and a well-balanced lineup that has a little bit of pop in the middle.

    Politics, OTOH, is constantly shifting. As Brad pointed out a few days ago, voters are constantly swaying back and forth, looking for that magical politician that can actually follow through on his promises. I think we can all agree that the political landscape of 2007-08 was far more favorable to Paul’s platform than 1984. The advent of the internet gave him another competitive edge.

    Anyways, I should get back to work.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — June 4, 2008 @ 1:43 pm
  31. Jeff,

    I was born wearing a Tigers hat.

    I’m not a Kansas native, so I’m an adopted fan :)

    There’s no 25-man roster in politics and there’s no GM that decides who makes it.

    The 25-man roster in politics is the budget and the GM is the campaign manager and the candidate is the owner. They decide who’s underperforming and who gets cut. Well, good ones do :)

    That means you don’t necessarily have to work your way up the food chain, proving yourself to someone.

    They do it all the time. Many people who develop expertise in campaigns do so by starting out as unpaid/underpaid volunteers. That’s the farm system. In smart organizations, they’re evaluated and promoted based more or less on merit. Same as in baseball. Sometimes they’re promoted or retained for reasons other than merit. Same as in baseball.

    Politics, OTOH, is constantly shifting.

    Dude, you need to read some Bill James, or at the very least read “Moneyball” (by Michael Lewis). Baseball, like politics, is constantly changing in what makes a successful team. In “Moneyball”, Lewis points out how teams with fewer resources compete by determining and exploiting undervalued commodities that their opponents miss…which is never a constant as the opponents eventually adapt. That’s very similar to politics. And the era in which the game is played factors in as well. Pitching meant more for baseball teams in the ’60s like being anti-war means more for candidates in the post-Iraq era. An approach that wins for you one year won’t necessarily win for you in another.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 4, 2008 @ 5:21 pm
  32. Ron Paul is like Hillary.. yesterdays news. He didn’t sacrifice anyone. Obama threw his church under the bus and McCain threw John Hagee under the bus. Obama, Hillary, and McCain are racist but they know when to pucker up and kiss an offended groups butt, or attack it if it helps them gain power.

    I’m glad Bob Barr’s campaign set things straight. I figured a racist would try to pull something like this on him.

    Comment by uhm — June 4, 2008 @ 9:01 pm

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