Steve G.

Bob Barr disgraces the Libertarian Party yet again

In Global Warming, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics on July 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Bob Barr’s true conversion: Not from hardcore statist to libertarian, but from hardcore statist to even harder-core statist… Now he buys into the global warming hysteria of Al Gore.

I tried giving Barr the benefit of the doubt when the story was first breaking:

Bob Barr praised by Al Gore for ‘serious attention to global climate change’

It must be noted, of course, that Barr’s mere attendance at the event in no way indicates an endorsement of Gore’s views. However, Gore certainly seems to think — erroneously, probably — that it does.

That turned out to be a bad idea:

Al Gore praised by Bob Barr for ‘commitment to addressing climate change’

There obviously is a role for government,” Barr said, deviating substantially from libertarian philosophy for at least the second time this week. Earlier, he said he wanted to give the Federal Reserve more oversight powers to regulate the housing market and “privatize” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by contradictorily increasing government support for and regulation of the publicly traded firms.

“There’s a role for private industry,” Barr continued. “There’s a role for nonprofits and certainly a role for the American people, individually and collectively.”

And then, Anthony Gregory confirmed it:

Bob Barr ‘flip-flopping’ on global warming confirmed

On the Glenn Beck show, in early June, Barr said, “Global warming is a myth. And yet it`s being used by the environmental folks, by the internationalists. A lot of the pressure is coming from the United Nations and other countries. Some of which, like China, of course, are pushing the Kyoto Protocol. Why? Because they`re exempt. It`s going to saddle us. And what is McCain doing? He`s out there buying into this global warming, carbon emission cap and trade.”

Now Barr says, “Former Vice President Al Gore and I have met privately to discuss the issue of global warming, and I was pleased and honored that he invited me to attend the ‘We’ Campaign event. Global warming is a reality as most every organization that has studied the matter has concluded, whether conservative-leaning, liberal oriented or independent.”

This, of course, after Barr had the audacity to say that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which trade on the New York Stock Exchange and are considered “quasi” private due to the implied backing of their debt by the government and their heavily regulation — should be “privatized” by making that implied backing a reality and increasing regulation further, saying the Federal Reserve should be given more power.

I haven’t heard from my friends who were foolish enough to vote for Barr, even in later balloting. I hope your silence is out of shame because you should be ashamed for making this cretin the LP’s standard-bearer. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t disgrace the party.

  1. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been suspicious of about Barr. I just don’t get the warm fuzzy feeling that he’s truly committed to the stances he takes, but that he’s choosing stances based on convenience. Ron Paul would NEVER make such starkly contradictory statements to two different audiences.

  2. Uh, G.E., are you arguing that in order to be a “radical,” one must completely ignore the massive scientific consensus that global warming based on carbon emissions is occurring right now — with significant consequences?

    Why are so many Libertarians, who pride themselves on “empirical studies,” so head-in-the-sand on such a cut-and-dry scientific issue?

    It makes the entire party look like crackpots from the Flat Earth Society.

    Global warming is a real and serious phenomenon, and we need to start coming up with solutions for it with a Libertarian approach — rather than pretend it doesn’t exist and slam every serious scientists as “statist” for pointing out what the overwhelming evidence suggests.

    George Phillies had a lot of good ideas in this department, but of course he’s a “bad Libertarian” too, by many’s “standards.”

    Ugh. No wonder we never get anywhere.

  3. Not implying what you’re inferring at all.

  4. Then I don’t really see your point. You need to make it clearer.

  5. 1. That Barr is a horrible flip flopper. A month ago he said “global warming isa myth” and now he says “global warming is a reality.” ONE MONTH, and no mea culpa. It’s just like his flip flopping on DOMA at the convention. He is a snake; that’s my point.

    2. Even if someone believes the (bogus) theory of man-made global warming — a mistaken belief which is no way in conflict with libertarianism — a libertarian does not praise the admitted liar and propagandist Al Gore’s “work” on the subject, nor does a libertarian say “there’s a role for government” and for Americans “collectively.” He’s clearly supporting interventionism.

    3. As far as George Phillies goes: He has the same position (but worse) on immigration that you correctly castigate Ron Paul for. He’s much more statist on marriage, just in the other direction, than Ron Paul (defense of DOMA is inexcusable, but watch Paul’s Google interview). And unlike Ron Paul, Phillies is against free trade and he’s for the evil Federal Reserve System.

    I like George — I think he’s a man of integrity and a welcome ally in the few issues on which we agree (i.e. that conservatism is a hateful philosophy and that Barr is a usurper) — but yeah, he’s a pretty “bad” libertarian, ideologically speaking, and certainly a helluvalot less libertarian than Ron Paul. That you question Paul’s libertarian bonafides and yet you support/supported George Phillies is downright laughable.

  6. 1. G.E. Smith was one a committed Green Party member (and candidate). Are you now a flip-flopper?

    2. Don’t libertarians believe that government has the right — indeed the obligation — to protect the private property of others from individuals who are engaging in various activities detrimental to that private property? No less an authority than Mary Ruwart (who I believe you were supporting) says that government has a role in remedying pollution through the courts.

    Global warming, which is a scientifically-proven phenomenon, is no different than that. Exhaust from other people’s cars and factories is resulting in my back yard getting flooded. Of COURSE there’s a role for government in that, since a crucial role for government is to prevent others from infringing on my property rights.

    3. George is a great libertarian and has been involved in the movement for a longer time than most of his critics. He angers some libertarians because he lives in the real world, rather than sci-fi fantasy, but his recognition of the serious problem of CO2 warming (as a physicist) and his real-world approach bring the Libertarian Party into something resembling a real-world phenomenon.

    Whereas those who deny the problem exists remind the average person of the Republican fundamentalist who insists the world is 5,000 years old and that dinosaur fossils were created by demons to test our faith.

    Libertarianism is *not* anarchism. Libertarian is a belief in the rights of the individual, and in government as an agent that protects the rights of the individual when another individual initiates force against that person.

    CO2 emissions leading to property destruction and loss of life is an initiation of force, period. Government has a role.

  7. 1. I evolved from a disinterested liberal capitalist, to a “progressive,” to a moderate libertarian, to a radical libertarian over the course of four years. I didn’t, as a party’s presidential nominee, say something was a “myth” one month and then a “reality” the next month with no explanation for my change of heart other than trying to be favorable to the audience I was speaking to.

    2. “Don’t libertarians believe that government has the right” — I can stop you right there and answer NO.

    Pollution is aggression. One can be opposed to aggressive pollution without believing in phony theories propagated by world-governmentalists. Individuals have the right to be free from aggression. The “role for government” Gore and Barr are talking about is regulatory and prohibitive, rather than compensatory for actual damages. The government has no “right” to allow any aggression and call it within a regulatory limit.

    Global warming absolutely is not a “proven fact.” It is laughable that you insist it is, but I really don’t care. Its reality has no impact on my world-view because its existence is irrelevant to libertarianism.

    3. My problems with George Phillies have nothing to do with his bad views on global warming. They have to do with his pre-capitalist economic views and his opposition to free immigration.

    “CO2 emissions leading to property destruction and loss of life is an initiation of force, period.”

    Bogus. Man-made C02 accounts for like 3% of all atmospheric CO2. Man’s impact is insignificant, and the global-warming alarmists are really just anti-capitalist Malthusians. I’m not surprised you’re among them.

  8. BTW: I was a member of the Green Party for six months and never very “committed.” I wouldn’t even put “Green Party” on my yardsigns because I was embarrassed of them.

  9. I love it when a lay-person decides he can disprove a theory broadly accepted and advanced by scientific research.

    I also enjoy it when another individual insists that his conversion on issues is genuine, but others’ conversion on them is “flip flopping.”

    I finally enjoy it most of all when someone deigns to describe, to longtime Libertarians, what libertarianism is or isn’t, and attempts to argue that libertarian is anarchism, which is not the case.

  10. I will love it when you stop being a self-righteous pompous ass and stop begging for state welfare.

  11. I especially love it when you attempt to argue that anyone who doesn’t live and breathe your dogma is a socialist.

    You’re not even the purest of the holier-than-thou contingent.

    Really, you’ve just become an amusing, parody troll.

  12. In no way have I implied that people who don’t believe in my “dogma” are “socialists,” nor have I made a case for anarchism as the only libertarian sub-creed. I guess it’s more fun for you to invent things than to deal with the actual facts at hand.

    Please leave me alone and continue your smear campaign against Ron Paul.

  13. I love it when a lay person insists that he knows more about a scientific theory than another lay person. Global warming has been criticised extensively in the scientific literature on climatology. Actual climate scientists do not universally agree with the theory and its implications. Among other important points, there is an 80 year cycle in global temperatures, and any number of longer term cycles. We are in an inter-glacial period, a period between ice ages. Given the vast devastation of ice ages to the places where most of the world’s food is currently grown, I think a bit of warm weather is rather nice.

    It is absurd to suppose that a detailed analysis of global warming as a phenomenon or as a scientific theory could be debated here. I agree in principle with GE, though. He’s correct in thinking that a bigger government program to interfere with private property and restrict people from exhaling carbon dioxide is unlikely to make the weather cooler, protect private property, or make any of us a bit more free.

  14. Brian and GE, you are both contributors here, so you need to act like it.

    I wouldn’t normally say anything, since we all get upset sometimes and say things we probably shouldn’t, but I have seen this kind of personal attack repeatedly from the two of you in the last couple of weeks.

    If you want to respectfully disagree, that’s up to you, but the name-calling and personal attacks need to stop. Now.

  15. I agree and I apologize, ENM.

  16. Global warming is happening, and so is solar warming, and interplanetary warming.

    if you think that this global warming stuff is caused by man, you’re an idiot.

    it’s as simple as that.

  17. […] Bob Barr disgraces the Libertarian Party […]

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