Steve G.

Bob Barr asks for a Bailout… for Bob Barr

In Libertarian on December 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Bizarrely, Barr’s latest post-campaign fundraising missive rails against the federal bailout(s) before ending with a… request for a bailout for his campaign! I think it’s irresponsible for a Libertarian candidate to end a campaign in debt, with a possible exception for a campaign that seems to be within a hairsbreadth of being won – and in such a case I have enough faith in the market to think that Libertarian ‘investors’ would be flocking to buy in at the end. I remember poor Gary Nolan was still asking for money for months – maybe as long as a year – after his failed nomination bid in ’04, but at least he was a frontrunner in that race and had some good rationale for overextending himself.

I’d like our presidential candidates to leave us at the end of the election looking forward, not backward. Barr should be pitching ballot access fundraising and outreach fundraising, and instead he’s still offering the same tired anti-Obama rants and begging us to ball him out.

To be fair, though – at least Barr is not asking for the money to be stolen on his behalf. I just thought it was an interesting piece of irony. I also find his (admittedly mild) crowing about the victory of Chambliss to be in poor taste. If this kind of language keeps up, people just might start thinking of the LP as a wing of the Republican Party. Crap, I’ve probably invoked Dondero with those words.

Here’s the letter in full:

Dear Susan,

With Senator Saxby Chambliss’ victory in the Georgia US Senate runoff election the Obama administration will not have a guaranteed 60 votes in the US Senate to prevent full consideration and debate of issues.

Of course, just lacking 60 Democratic votes in the Senate is no guarantee that the Republicans will stand up to the Obama administration on issues that are of importance to you and me.

For instance the Bush-Obama-McCain Bailouts (BOMB) are an example where a rush to spend our tax dollars was poorly thought out and even more poorly implemented. Where they will stop no one knows.

As the auto industry stands in line with their hands out for your hard earned tax dollars and the states and cities start lining up for federal help to continue their irresponsible spending, the end is nowhere in sight.

We have other issues that are also going to go unheard if we do not organize and become a vocal advocate, like privacy issues. Remember that then Senator Obama voted for the expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when it came up this past summer including retroactive immunity provisions.

The Bush administration used the mantra of Terrorism to undermine our Bill of Rights. Will the Obama administration use the mantra of Economic Emergency (“They’re too big to allow to fail!”) to continue eroding not only our civil rights but to confiscate our income?

Where is the money going to come from for all these ‘bailouts’ and ‘stimulus packages’?

Two months ago there was a suggestion circulating in Washington for the Federal Government to takeover all private 401k type retirement accounts and fold them into the failed Social Security system. That terrible idea died – at least for now – but might it be resurrected? Again, the question is, where is the money for all these bailouts, stimulus packages, and guarantees, going to come from?

On May 12th when I announced my candidacy for president our national debt was $9.366 trillion. Today, less than 7 months later, our national debt is $10.681 trillion. Can’t you just see Washington politicians salivating over getting control of your private retirement account?

There is a lot of work ahead of us to insure a voice of reason is heard during the policy debates that are looming. But before I can fully engage in these matters, I have to pay off the remaining expenses of the campaign.

Your gift of $25, $50, $100 or even more will bring us closer to winding down these matters and allow us to organize for future action.  Please click here to donate.

Thank you for your commitment to these important issues and your continued support.

Sincerely,

Bob Barr

  1. **steam rolls out of ears**

    He’d better not ask the Starr chamber for help. Especially since he did the “clothing allowance” gig just like Palin did.

  2. Issues of importance…?

    Issues like

    Repealing DOMA?
    Ending the War on Iraq?
    Ending corporate welfare programs like the ABM deployment?
    Legalizing stem cell research?
    repealing the partial birth abortion ban?
    Ending the corporate welfare gasahol program?
    Ending redistribution schemes that systematically pump money out of New England into the Republican south?
    Impeaching the Secretary of Defense for War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes against Peace?
    Repealing the Republican Medicare Part D?
    Funding special prosecutors to try and on conviction imprison all the bureaucrat traitors who spied without search warrants on the phone calls and emails of every American?

    Why do I expect that electing candidates of the Bush Republican War Party will not do this?

  3. At the start of the current FEC filing period Barr had $1000 in debts.

    Readers who find “help me pay off debts” sounding familiar should try reading the Chapters of Funding Liberty on how the Browne 2000 campaign ended.

    However, today is December 4. Very very soon FEC filings will reveal exactly how much Barr 2008 was in debt at the end of the campaign.

  4. It’s also worth noting that Buckley (the Libertarian candidate in the Georgia race) stated that Martin was preferable to Chambliss:

    “I believe Martin would be better with respect to civil liberties. It’s hard to believe he could be worse than Chambliss on fiscal matters, but he could be so.”

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/shared-blogs/ajc/politicalinsider/entries/2008/11/19/high_libertarian_praise_martin.html

  5. Clearly, the LP needs to get back to basics.
    It needs to be inspiring.
    It needs to fight for liberty.

    Once again, I ask….no, DEMAND: just what in the hell have these LNC folks done to bring about actual liberty or even defend it? None of this “I raised x amount of money” or “I garnered x amount of ballot access petition signatures”. None of that bureaucratic crap.

    When do they stand on the steps of their respective state capitols in an act of civil disobedience? When have they organized successful opposition to any number of ballot propositions or local taxes? Need I go on?

    Instead, we get lectures from people like Aaron Starr about how we should get haircuts and wear suits.

    We get lectured about how to fundraise.

    We get lectured about “proper behavior”.

    I insist one CAN be a radical for liberty and still be “respectable”, but these people are by no means “radicals for liberty”. All they care about is garnering a nice image and being big fish in a very small pond.

    Starchild is way more successful and libertarian than the lot of them ever will be.

    The Seebecks are way more successful and libertarian than the lot of them will ever be.

    I know people who don’t even identify as libertarian that are more libertarian.

    Shit or get off the pot, LNC!

  6. Thanks for the kind words, Gene. We have to powwow soon about a college prof in-county we didn’t know about until today.

  7. As of October 15

    Debts and Obligations Owed BY the Committee 1000.00

    From the Barr FEC filings.

  8. Gene is thinking in the right direction.

    It seems these days a radical is as welcome in the LP as an AIDS patient in a blood bank. Hardly unexpected after years of pandering to movement conservatives and running candidates that proclaim themselves to be “true conservatives.”

    The culture of the LP has become toxic to people who actually view freedom as something other than a theoretical possibility. The rigid conformity of the crowd with the neckties and haircuts has left them unable to tell the difference between principles and strategy. They have become like the zombie Republicrats that they seek to defeat by thinking the only way to win elections is to emulate the Republicrats. Even worse, they think the only purpose of the LP is to win elections.

    Radicals should abandon the system created by Republicrats. Let Barr and Root play in that sandbox. You won’t find any freedom there anyway. It’s time to get creative instead of being derivative.

  9. Tom, I may just wear a necktie as a headband in San Diego.🙂

  10. @seebeckm – tie dyed ?

  11. Rachel– Mike has nothing against tye-dye– some of his best T-shirts are or have been such– but he currently doesn’t have a tie like that. If you know of one, please feel free to bring it.

  12. Tom B: The culture of the LP has become toxic to people who actually view freedom as something other than a theoretical possibility.

    Me: “We’d all love to see the plan.” That is, if the absolute freedom construct is more a theory, what’s the practice, the application?

    Tom B: The rigid conformity of the crowd with the neckties and haircuts has left them unable to tell the difference between principles and strategy.

    Me: Please cite evidence.

  13. Barr campaign debt includes something legally the same as the clothing gig but closing in on 100000 dollars. His debt inlarge part is money to staff. There is no realcampaign.

  14. Mr. Capozzi, you ask me to cite evidence. Well, read between the lines of your question regarding freedom and then your request for evidence – you might find some evidence.

    It’s all rather self-evident. The conformity of dress is motivated by the same thing as conformity of thought – the craving for approval by others (to belong to the collective). The costume (suit and tie) is worn to gain approval from others. Advocating neutral (or moderate) ideas is done to gain approval from others. The strategy of gaining approval from others (winning elections or support) becomes the basis for forming principles to advance in order to win approval. Freedom of thought is discarded in favor of the conformity of ideas, then what is strategy and what is principle become confused as they become interrelated.

    The practice and application of freedom is to actually live and think free. If you are unable to think freely and are too frightened by social constraints or government enforcement to act freely, it is likely you have no concept of freedom.

    There’s an old saying coined by George Clinton:

    Free your mind and your ass will follow

    He also gave us this gem:

    Think. It ain’t illegal yet.

    Now, if I’m not mistaken, it is your turn to label me a radical absolutist advocating mayhem and individual ownership of nukes. Then, you make the “libertarian” case for a collective body with a monopoly on violence to limit freedom to a level that you and your peers feel comfortable with.

    Go ahead, you know you want to. Forgive me if I ignore it.

  15. Tom B: The conformity of dress is motivated by the same thing as conformity of thought – the craving for approval by others (to belong to the collective).

    Me: Do you have the ability to read minds, Tom? I don’t, so I s’pose I’m at a disadvantage. I personally VERY rarely wear a tie – I hate them – but when I do, I don’t conform my thoughts at all, actually. I’m just doing my best to behave in an appropriate manner that fits the situation. Do you oppose the notion of appropriate behavior?

    Tom B: Advocating neutral (or moderate) ideas is done to gain approval from others.

    Me: Assuming you can’t actually read minds, I’ll share with you my take. I sometimes advocate moderate ideas for strategic reasons. When in Rome and all that. My general political strategy is to roll back the State, not to smash it, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, smashing the State ain’t gonna happen, and if it did, the dislocations would in my judgment be unacceptable. Ultimately, I’m as “radical” as they come, but in my judgment and my observation of how the world works, I prefer to nudge the pendulum as it swings. Of course I would like others to agree with my ideas, to build consensus. What’s the alternative? Doesn’t change – in our case, in a libertarian direction – require buy in by a LOT of people?

    Tom B: Freedom of thought is discarded in favor of the conformity of ideas, then what is strategy and what is principle become confused as they become interrelated. The practice and application of freedom is to actually live and think free. If you are unable to think freely and are too frightened by social constraints or government enforcement to act freely, it is likely you have no concept of freedom.

    Me: Concur about free thought. One need not discard free thought, at least in the abstract, and still engage the center where it is — to speak in language they tend to understand. Shocking the center is IMO a waste of time, a childish prank that may feel good but is utterly ineffective.

    Taking the red pill need not mean being outrageous. If outrageousness worked, I’d be for it as a tactic. I see no evidence that it does work, however.

  16. Tom B: Think. It ain’t illegal yet.

    Me: One more point…one gets the sense that you believe that you “think” and I “don’t think.” At the risk of sounding defensive, I’ve identified my background and philosophy as “theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist; Randian/Rothbardian in recovery; “plumbline” skeptic; Hayekian; Taoist; red-pill-taking Matrix aficionado; and Rodney King admirer.”

    What part of that doesn’t sound like a thinking, non-conformist? Something to alienate just about everyone😉 At the same time, something to appeal to just about everyone!

    Do you think it’s possible that someone can be L and not be a “de-monopolize ‘violence’ as soon as practicable; Rothbardian; Hoppean?”

    Gee, I hope so. Rodney, call your office!

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