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

June 6, 2008

Bob Barr On The Colbert Report

by Brad Warbiany

Overall, a good interview. I think he adequately explained his change of heart on the Patriot Act. However, one bit on the war on drugs got me. He seemed to say that the “current” war on drugs wasn’t working, rather than expressing that the war on drugs was illiberal and wrong. It appeared to be a disagreement with ineffective tactics rather than improper goals. I’m not sure why the rhetoric is being played so softly– whether it be due to his beliefs or trying to craft a message that most Americans will agree with– but it raises some concern for this libertarian.

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  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    I don’t have a problem with his comments on drug policy. Most people don’t care about our ideals. We won’t convince them unless we can show them the practical benefits of our approach.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Jeff,

    If I was certain that Barr believed in ending the drug war on idealogical, not practical, reasons, I would agree with you. In fact, I’m planning an upcoming post about how much I hate the political act of saying what is politically smart instead of saying what one believes.

    Given the choices, I’m either going to vote for Barr in November, or not vote at all. I’d like to get a sense of what the man believes to determine which route I take, and I’m not 100% sold on his “conversion” yet.

  • http://www.LibertarianReview.com Mickey Bennett

    I’m comfortable with the Constitutional approach that Bob Barr takes. Returning the prohibition question to the states may be the only first step that makes any sense.

  • http://www.LibertarianReview.com Mickey Bennett

    Keep in mind that Bob Barr is running for US President, not dictator. He would have no power to end prohibition against the wishes of the people of an individual state. Such a thing would require a Constitutional amendment forbidding any state from implementing prohibition.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    If I was certain that Barr believed in ending the drug war on idealogical, not practical, reasons, I would agree with you.

    Since he stands no chance of winning, I don’t really care if he actually believes it, so long as he does a good job spreading the message.

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

    Brad,

    I suspect it’s because he’s making a play for McCain’s target audience and they’d be reticent about someone who went with a full legalization argument. Even the argument he put out is better than what we’re likely to get from McCain or Obama.

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

    Mickey,

    Very good points.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/stephen/ Stephen Littau

    Brad:

    He seemed to say that the “current” war on drugs wasn’t working, rather than expressing that the war on drugs was illiberal and wrong.

    That’s not the impression I got; I think he misspoke. He may mean that the best way to combat drug use is to end the war on drugs, legalize drugs, or at least decriminalize drugs (which is my position).

    The biggest impact a president could have in ending the war on drugs would be to defund it completely at the federal level and to pardon all non-violent drug offenders. In this clip (the second clip), I asked Mr. Barr if he would pardon all non-violent drug offenders. His answer wasn’t as good as some of the others but he answered it to my satisfaction. I’ll have to leave it up to you and others to determine if you are satisfied with his answer to my question.

    I would like for him to be a little more clear on his position though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664064495 Peter Orvetti

    All in all, I thought Barr’s Colbert performance was very unimpressive. He spent the whole time on the defensive. Will his whole campaign be about explaining away his past record? And if so, can he at least learn to do it more effectively?

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

    Peter,

    It’s The Colbert Report, not a serious news show.

    For the most part, I think Barr did a fine job of getting a message across while playing along with Colbert’s act.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    It’s sad to see such rationalizing over Barr.

  • Pingback: The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Stormfront, Ron Paul, and Bob Barr — aka Why I Hate Politics

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