Archive for the ‘Libertarian Party’ Category

Coke, Pepsi and a Stiff Drink

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Waiter: What would like to drink?

Patron 1: I’ll have scotch on the rocks, and also please bring me some ice water.

Patron 2: Can I see the wine list?

Waiter: Sorry. We only serve Coke and Pepsi.

Welcome to American democracy.

Like most Presidential elections, this year we’re offered two candidates that are more the same than different. And like Coke and Pepsi, the packaging differs a little, so does the tone of their advertisements, and one candidate even seems a little hipper, but the substance is the same and virtually indistinguishable.

That’s why I’m so unenthusiastic about voting this year, particularly for the Presidential race. McCain with his finger on the button scares me. So does the idea of Obama with mandate for change.

I’ll probably ending ended up pulling the lever for Bob Barr, even though not voting on principle is also very appealing. Sure Barr’s campaign hasn’t been able to capitalize on the enthusiasm of the Paul campaign, and some of the campaign’s decisions have been quite questionable. (I’m thinking specifically of the decision to stiff Ron Paul while Campaign Manager Russ Verney was writing in praise of George Bush’s post-9/11 “leadership” - you know, the “leadership” that got us into Iraq, failed to make any reform in social security, authorized torture, spied on Americans, etc.)

Still, for most Americans who don’t even realize that Bob Barr is on the ballot, a vote for him is just a generic libertarian protest vote, which is exactly what I want it to stand for. (Plus Barr smokes cigars, which makes him far more appealing than Obama who lies about quitting cigarettes or McCain who quit his two pack a day habit in the 70’s, then spent the 90’s trying to tax and regulate the cigarette companies out of business.)

And at the end of the night, I’ll settle in for a stiff drink or three (paired with a cigar) and see who the country picks in the latest Pepsi challenge.

Unlike the election I’ll have meaningful choices: Bourbon, Scotch (Single Malt or Blended), Rye, Kentucky Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, Gin, various liqueurs, port, and even tequila should the mood strike. And you won’t find me mixing anything with Coke or Pepsi.

Cigar Voters for Bob Barr

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

An endorsement, of sorts, from me over at stogieguys.com:

As detailed in Monday’s article on Obama and McCain, neither candidate offers a particularly impressive agenda [for cigar smokers]. When push comes to shove, we suppose McCain is marginally better on cigar issues as a whole, but not in a particularly meaningful way.

Not to mention that his record suggests he is likely to flip-flop on tobacco issues (after all, he spent a decade trying to jack up taxes on cigarettes before only recently opposing such a hike). So while the pragmatist in us says a begrudging vote for McCain, the idealist says there must be a better choice. And there is.

Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr agrees with us on every important issue: taxesregulation,smoking banstrade, and Cuban sanctions. His position can be summed up with this quote: “Washington should leave smokers and other tobacco users alone.” Here, here!

And he’s a cigar smoker too, even talking about smoking cigars with Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report. All that makes it a real shame that he hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. Still, maybe a vote for Barr would help send a message that we smokers are tired of being mistreated by Washington.

Daniel McCarthy on Bob Barr, Ron Paul

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Over at the American Conservative’s blog, Daniel McCarthy observes some of the same things I did about the Barr campaign’s actions regarding Ron Paul’s September 10th presser before concluding that Barr has only himself to blame for losing Dr. Paul’s endorsement to Chuck Baldwin (along with Barr’s own campaign manager Russ Verney).

By the way, also checkout Daniel’s coverage of the Rally for the Republic and maybe even take advantage of the 3 month free trial of the American Conservative Magazine. (I did)

McCain, Barr and Guns

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Not long ago I randomly met a Libertarian Party staffer in a local drinking establishment who told me that the Barr campaign has high hopes for landing the endorsement of the NRA.

While I think he probably should get it (Barr gets an A+ rating from the group and is an NRA board member, while McCain receives a  C rating), I have doubts that the organization would take the plunge and endorse a third party candidate.  Instead I expect a none of the above endorsement, or a squishy McCain isn’t perfect but he’s better than Obama so we unenthusiastically endorse him.

Gun Owners of America is more likely endorse Barr, but Barr may have competition from Chuck Baldwin the Constitution Party candidate.  Interestingly, an article about McCain (who was most recently rated a F- by GOA) titled “John McCain is a Liberal Gun Grabber” is repreinted on GOA’s website.  The article is written by Chuck Baldwin.

Also of note is what impact the Palin pick will have on the gun rights vote.  Some are speculating that Palin was picked (at least in part) to stop or forestall an NRA endorsement of Barr over McCain. I for one hope that the NRA is not appeased so easily… after all, the VP has little impact on policy, and a political neophyte like Palin (personally I consider that an asset, not a put down) would likely have even less say than usual given McCain’s stubborn reputation.

Operation Barr Tab

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Here’s a leftist plot I can get behind:

This blogger, sickened by Rush Limbaugh’s noxious “Operation: Chaos,” which may or may not have influenced the Texas primary (and quite possibly Ohio and Indiana) in favor of Senator Clinton — and thus lengthening the Democratic primary process — is fed up. We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

So, in retaliation, I present you with OPERATION: BARR TAB, in which we help fund former Congressman and Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr. You see, the better Barr does — especially in Georgia and possibly Nevada — the worse Senator John McCain does. Thanks for the idea, Rush! Join us to, so to speak, in keep that Barr fully stocked. ..

Donate to the Bob Barr for President campaign here. Barr doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell… but he may get some sweet substantial turnout in the city of Helena.

Last call on the Barr Tab is November 4, 2008.

Who’s A Spoiler?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

This poll (pdf) echoes my thoughts on the “Barr as the Nader of 08″ meme.  According to the poll, Barr draws equally from Democrats and Republicans (4 percent), and gets an even larger chunk of independents.

The fact remains, Bob Barr’s candidacy and its potential for success, derives squarely from the fact that the two major parties (and particularly the Republican party, which at least has a limited government heritage) have abandoned the idea of a limited government with limited powers.  His success will mostly be a function of two parties that are more similar than different, and two parties that mock the idea of constitutionally-limited government on a daily basis.

Bob Barr on the Nanny State

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

A good appearance by Bob Barr on George Stephanopoulos’ show:

The Nader of 2008…

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Yesterday the AP wrote an article about the potential for Bob Barr to be “the Ralph Nader of 2008.”

Sure, the sum of John McCain and Bob Barr’s vote totals could end up being enough to win the presidency, despite McCain losing to Obama, but it is foolish to assume that absent Bob Barr, McCain would receive those votes.

The AP, and other commentators who spout this “Nader of 08″ garbage, fail to realize an important point: elections are not about voter preference, they are about who you are motivated enough to go to the polls and vote for.

Political parties don’t spend millions of dollars to ensure that their candidate is preferred, they spend millions to get out the vote (GOTV).  So long as we don’t have mandatory voting (and let’s hope we never do), elections are not a zero sum game… then the McCain + Barr = Obama calculus simply doesn’t add up.

Frustrated conservatives who might vote Barr are going to do so because they aren’t persuaded to give their vote to McCain (or Obama).  Voting for a candidate who you know won’t win - such as Bob Barr or Ralph Nader - isn’t something that people will do lightly, and the decision to do so says far more about McCain then it does about Barr.

If McCain loses, it will be because of his own failure to get out the conservative base.  Years of betraying conservative values and contempt for the Republican grassroots will be the reason otherwise likely Republican voters may take the step of going to the polls for Barr.

Don’t believe me, just look at the list:

  • McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions
  • Opposition to tax cuts and using class warfare rhetoric to oppose them
  • Joining with Ted Kennedy to push for amnesty for illegals
  • Joining with Joe Lieberman to impose regulations on carbon emissions that will devastate the economy

In other words if McCain does lose by a small margin, the real ”Nader of 2008″ will be McCain.