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Bob Barr: Libertarian In Name Only



February 17, 2010 – Comments (5)

I did not like Bob Barr while he was in office as a Republican. I thought of him as a smug elitist bunghole, a slightly smarter verion of VP Joe Biden. Then he cut ties with his party. Later he joined the ranks of the Libertarian party, the one to which I belong. I found this encouraging. "Pehaps a zebra can change his stripes", I thought. There were signs in interviews that he had relaxed, become more embracing of individual liberty and the Constitution. After giving the man a chance and voting for him in the Presidential election, one he had no shot at winning, I purposly lost track of him. I had other things on which to focus.

Then today I found this tripe, this objectionable piece submitted by Mr. Barr to the local Atlanta paper. This is the old Bob Barr, the closed-minded, exclusionist  hypocrite that I remember from years ago. To me after writing a piece like this he shows that he is no longer commited to Libertarian ideals, if he ever truely was. Shame on him. And shame on the party if they do not issue a statement seperating itself from the words of this man.

Read the article at the provided link and make up your own mind. Maybe I'm over reacting, but I think not.




5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 17, 2010 at 3:15 PM, kdakota630 (28.86) wrote:

I would agree with him about not wanting the U.S. Air Force to create a "pagan worship area" on the base, but the last paragraph makes him come off as a bit of a 'smug elitist bunghole' as you so eloquently put it (which did literally make me laugh out loud, or at least chuckle).

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#2) On February 17, 2010 at 3:46 PM, russiangambit (28.68) wrote:

Military shouldn't be building any worship areas, whether for pagans or christians or muslims.

As for what exactly prompted Barr to comment on this situation is hard to tell, so no opinion on him here.

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#3) On February 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

I agree with you, Russian, for the most part. I do not want our tax dollars to go towards building worship areas for any faith. I believe in a strict separation of church and state. That separation was overlooked when those in charge at the time built a cathedral for Christians on campus. Once that line was crossed it opened the door for any other faith that demands to be accommodated.  

If I had my way, and I rarely do, I would have the cathedral and pagan worship area moved to private land, off base. Any other houses of worship would also need to built off base with private funds.

It should not matter if you worship one god or 1,000. When you join the United States military you are required to surrender the self so you can be broken and rebult into a soldier. That is one of the common bonds shared by all of our armed service people. When you leave boot camp you should be able to look at everyone in your group and know that you can count on any one of them to save your butt as you would theirs no matter if your wear a pentagram, cross or other symbol around your neck. As I've been told by a buddy of mine "When you die you will die. When I die I will die a Marine!" And that friend of mine is Jewish and left the corps ten years ago. Talk about dogma!

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#4) On February 17, 2010 at 6:51 PM, TMFLomax (87.54) wrote:

Interesting, thanks for posting this (he had fallen off my radar too). I always kind of suspected maybe he was one of those "libertarians" who was just a P.O.'ed Republican. That post of his kind of seems to prove that point. I mean, also that he could be fussing about something about the military without talking about cutting defense spending seems pretty telling. I'm pretty sure that's a far bigger issue than what he's talking about here, which is really none of anybody's business (and agreed with the comments here on separating church and state). I don't really see anything remotely Libertarian about that post of his at all. I agree that the party should distance itself. Good grief.

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#5) On February 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Very interesting. The selection of Bob Barr was extremely curious and the fallout it created damaged the LP's credibility among its core constituents very badly.  In the old days, the LP was about educating the peole on the subject of Liberty.  Sure they hoped to win a few elections, mostly local, here and there but politics was not the driving force behind the party's motives. In 2008, that all changed.  How drastic the difference between Barr and Michael Badnarik, who was selected just four years earlier?  Badnarik taught me so much about the Constitution and the difference between real freedom and State granted freedom.

And for what gain?  The political machinations of the LP resulted in only dividing Libertarians even more, further driving apart the more radical Rothbardians like myself from the more pragmatic Cato Institute. And both sides still bicker more than ever.  It makes me sick when I see anti-Cato rants on and vice versa.  Honest, intellectual, scholarly dissent between different elements of the libertarian world is healthy.  The petty bickering between Cato and Mises is pathetic. 

The Barr selection brought the worst elements of the LP to the forefront and the Rothbardians did themselves no favors with their vitriolic reaction.  Let's hope they can come back together in 2012 and join forces.  The time is ripe.  Let's not blow another opportunity to make serious headway in the fight for Liberty.

Your Friend in Liberty,

David in Qatar

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