Perhaps, Bob Barr and his campaign staff are not stupid. by Rick Fisk
Friday, September 12, 2008
Bob Barr, Russ Verney and the Libertarian Party leadership want you to know that Ron Paul isn't the über-leader this country needs. After all, a man who showed "true leadership qualities" would have given Barr an exclusive endorsement while snubbing a good portion of the country's voters.
As you may know, Ron Paul held a press conference on September 10, 2008. In attendance were three candidates for President who had signed a pledge agreeing to carry out four planks important to Dr. Paul in exchange for an endorsement of their candidacies. Bob Barr, who had promised to attend, backed out in the final hour before the event began. He decided, in an apparent attempt to demonstrate his leadership qualities, that it would be best to distance himself from Ron Paul and assure the country that working with others in politics is a terrible idea. In spite of his sour-grapes-induced temper-tantrum, Barr still signed the pledge.
Therefore, what you may not have realized about Ron Paul's press conference is that it was unprecedented in the history of American politics. How powerful must one political figure be to get four candidates -- one independent and three with party affiliations -- to agree to four major platform planks which are important to him? Very powerful. Which apparently made it that much more unpalatable for Barr to deal with a putative snub by Dr. Paul. If you still aren't sure how influential Ron Paul has become, the fact that the McCain campaign made an attempt to gain his endorsement is in and of itself evidence of his ever-increasing influence in national politics. Were Paul just some bit player in this year's Presidential election, there would be no reason at all to seek his endorsement.
While we can infer by the actions of McCain, Nader, McKinney and Baldwin that Dr. Paul's importance in this election can never be over-estimated, we can also infer by Barr's actions that his pledge to bring home the troops, restore civil liberties, investigate the Fed and reduce corporate welfare can be taken with a grain of salt. He can't even complete a pledge to attend a press conference. How do you think he'll treat his pledge to bring home the troops?
The Barr campaign and Russ Verney in particular, made it clear that the only acceptable outcome of the press conference would be an exclusive endorsement of Barr's candidacy. When no promise of exclusivity was forthcoming, Barr's campaign bailed and attempted to discredit Dr. Paul.
See, alienating a few million voters who follow Dr. Paul, is "true leadership." O.K., I'm being facetious. However, while it may be true that the Barr campaign is just plainly stupid, there might be another possibility to explain their actions.
The two major political parties in this country have increased, exponentially, the number of belligerent laws designed to prevent competition in political ideas from flourishing. They have been wildly successful in this endeavor. In spite of this, over the past 25 years it has been the Libertarian Party which has consistently organized its members to obtain ballot access in every state, with few exceptions. As Dr. Paul indicated in his press conference, the number of non-voters who refuse to participate in protest and the number of voters who refuse to vote for the major-party candidates puts the major-parties in the unenviable condition of seeking a majority from a minority of eligible voters. It is the independent voter who has moved into the majority. If we were to band-together, the "major" parties would cease to have any significant affect on the elections. The major parties know this and their tactics become increasingly suspect in moral, legal and ethical terms.
Many of you may not know this, but Bob Barr lost his congressional seat due to an organized LP effort to defeat himself and other "drug warriors" in office. Since that time, Barr has allegedly reformed and sought the nomination of the very Party which managed to unseat him. Barr's current communications director, Shane Corey was driven out of the Libertarian Party leadership for advocating larger government intrusions into our lives and a perpetuation of the war against terrorism. He also was accused of orchestrating a smear-campaign against Mary Ruwart, a candidate competing against Barr for the LP nomination. Smear campaigns are a normal routine in politics lately. However, the fact that this particular smear originated from the LP leadership, calls into question the objectivity of the Party's power-elite. That Corey eventually ended up working for Barr's campaign is just more fodder for speculation. It can't be easily explained.
Barr, a former CIA agent, voted for the PATRIOT act while in Congress and prosecuted hundreds of citizens who ran afoul of the nation's drug laws while he was a federal prosecutor. His track record as a leader for the cause of liberty is barren. And to top off a dubious set of career accomplishments, the tactics he has used to gain the LP nomination are suspect.
In 2000, the implosion of the now-defunct Reform Party was caused, coincidentally, if not accidentally, by another ex-Republican, sealing the fate of the GOP by removing the threat of a growing Reform Party machine, which had cost George H. W. Bush his re-election bid in 1992. Was this intentional? It's hard to tell, but there appears to be a greater body of circumstantial evidence for the intentional sabotage of the LP by Bob Barr in 2008, than there is for the work of one Patrick Buchanan during the 2000 election.
Whatever truth may be told about the demise of the Reform Party and the current LP crisis, it is true that the two major parties have been systematically attempting to destroy any chance that anyone who rejects the false dichotomy offered to us every election cycle will have any representation in government. By legal and not-so-legal shenanigans, they have successfully prevented us from offering a meaningful challenge to their hegemony.
Whether or not Barr and his clan's efforts are intentional, they are destroying the Libertarian Party's ability to even remotely advance the cause of liberty. Russ Verney and Bob Barr would have you believe that this is the result of "true leadership." Well, if that's their idea of leadership, then I'll stand behind Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader before I would stand next to either of those two.
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I don't understand why Paul scattered his votes. It seems to me that a single non Dem / Rep with a lot of votes rather than 4 candidates with some votes would make a better statement. The only way to change what's going on is to knock these people out of office. I’ve read a lot of the comments to articles like this one. Almost all the people wanting Barr’s head seem to be pissed because he insulted their hero. I am a Paul supporter but he is no longer in the Presidential race. Even Dr. Paul has said that it’s not about an individual but about turning this country around.
The simple answer is, lots of people don't want to vote Libertarian, so if they're not going to vote Libertarian, which would you rather... that they vote for another 3rd party, or McBama???
Change won't come by us unifying behind one party... especially if the party becomes as corrupt as the Libertarians have become recently! Change will only come when everyone stops voting for candidates with an R or D next to their name. If you're to the left, vote for McKinny/Nader, if you're a Libertarian, then vote for Barr (ack). If you're more religious, or you just can't stand the fact that Bob Barr turned out to be a schmuck, then vote for Chuck Baldwin. 60% of Americans wants third choice, all Ron Paul did was tell them that they DO have a choice. And even if the votes did get spread around 60% of the American population would crush McBama if they all voted for a random 3rd party candidate.
So who are you going to vote for? Let's look at the reality of the situation. Barr/Root will be on the ballot. Its too late to replace them. Ron Paul will not be on the ballot and if you write him in it will not be counted in most states. So no one will ever see your vote. It will not even show up as a protest vote. It will be a totally wasted vote.
Your other options are;
If you're fed up with the Ds and the Rs you can scratch the first two.
If you don't want a socialist you can scratch the last two.
That leaves Barr and Baldwin. I could vote for either of those two. I've been leaning Barr until the latest fiasco. As of this moment I could go either way. Personally I'd like to see all of us who wanted Paul, vote for one guy. If we're lucky he might get 1% of the vote. If we split up the vote between the two then each will probably get 1/2% of the vote... if we're lucky. In the big picture it probably doesn't matter much either way. We're either going to end up with a socialist or a neo-con war-monger.
The Alas Shrugged plot is starting to sound like the best possibility... the country is falling apart so just let it go and hope we can pick up the pieces afterwards. (BTW I don't support helping it fall apart as in Ayn Rand's famous novel)
As I stated earlier, I'll vote for Barr. Why? Because once the Redpath gang is unseated and Shane Corey re-registers as the Republican he is, the road will be paved for a Johnson or Ventura or Ruwart or Kwiatowski or another REAL libertarian ticket.
Divide and conquer. The mainstream stategy planners might be immoral, but they're not idiots.
Ron Paul disappointed me with his sell out encouraging people to vote for the likes of Nader and McKinney: two people who represent everything opposed to the libertarian cause.
The liberty movement always faces setbacks when it becomes a personality cult. Such as was the case with a great man, Ron Paul. As much as I respect his philosophy of governance, I cannot support making it about him. Paul, himself, may not have done this, but too many in his campaign have.
It was indeed a smear campaign. Fact is, nobody is harmed by the mere posession of an object. The people who like to claim that any criticism of the federal government's tactics in prosecuting these "crimes" cannot seem to make the distinction between real child abuse and the mere posession of images some cop, judge or social worker deems is "porn."
We can trot out enough prosecutions against parents who took innocent photos of their children in the bathtub to fill a trunk.
The real crime is the abuse. By targetting those who may (or may not) posess real images of abuse, the government is making it less likely that the real abusers will be caught.
That doesn't seem to concern the faux prudes who go around screaming "pedophile!" to anyone who notices that the government's tactics are unconstitutional.
These prudish, usually childless hysterics are also generally unaware that the biggest purveyors of child-porn are government employees.
These people cannot be serious. Barr is the candidate. He was selected at the convention. All this because he refused to share the dias with socialist, theocrats and anticapitalists. Paul is a fool not to back the Libertarians and tell his tribe to vote for Barr. Ours is the only philosophy in line with his hopes and dreams, which it appears he has lost sight of in his ego trip of a campaign..
From your article I learned that Barr was ex-CIA. Wasn't GHWB ex-CIA? I don't have anything against lawyers and lawmen and military men becoming President of our once-great country, but it seems those with the heavy hand are being put in the position of power by the king makers. I think we need to read this as a sign of its exact meaning: the king makers think you and I need a heavy hand in the position of the executive branch head.
With all the collectivist Executive Orders, with the gutting of the Bill of Rights (ref: Napolitano's 'Constitutional Chaos'), with the way the government feels it's perfectly okay to break its own laws 'enforcing' bogus ego-justice laws on the rest of us, I don't think there need be any further evidence than what you may have seen that reveals that Bob Barr has been put on a multi-year CIA assignment to implode the LP party. Once CIA, always CIA (isn't the Marine motto semper fi? I don't doubt the GOD boys take that one to heart).
Two articles in the Barr topic slamming him for "Snubgate"? Well, I think I'll have to move my own articles over here as well; give everyone a chance to read both sides.
In that light, I'd like to call attention to my articles on "Bob Barr's Real Record" (which paint a different light on Barr's actions in Congress than what's in your article). As well, I'll point out that Shane Cory's two offenses you mention were actually the same one: he sent out a press release calling for greater federal-state coordination in the battle against child porn. And what he (and other libertarians) objected to was not possession of porn, but Ms Ruwart's comments that libertarians must respect their preteen children's autonomy to determine their own sexual relationships.
Posted By: Michael Shanklin
Date: 2008-09-20 16:31:10
I can't believe that Dr. Paul would associate himself with big government Nader and McKinney(Black Panther)! I just hope the libertarian message can still be heard through all this arguing! Barr 2008! Let's get the libertarians in the debate come 2012!
Great article. The Barr apologists, as usual, are unmoved.
If getting three (reluctantly four) parties to agree on four pro-liberty precepts is not "true leadership", the one-third-party-to-rule-them-all exclusivity must be the "true freedom" message, simply 'cause freedom is only for people who vote (L). Sarcasm aside; it sounds that way, tjoseph.
"Divide and conquer." Indeed.
Fight single-handedly the status quo, by using their tactics, and alienating other potential allies? Must be hubris I detect from the Barr Campaign. Fact is, some people will NOT vote Libertarian. I'd be "dissapointed" a (L) would encourage, directly or indirectly, a vote for the Left/Right Paradigm; even condone it!
Sorry, that is wrong. Shunning people away from other so-called less desirable 3rd Party candidates, will only leave more votes left to apathy or the One Party. Personlly, I'd rather Socialists voted for Nader or McKinney then Obama.
No, I haven't decided; not a Socialist either. We'll see...