July 16, 2008

Bob Barr Already Giving Up on Pretending He's a Libertarian

Carroll Andrew Morse

This is from a Bob Barr-for-President media advisory I received via e-mail…

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr to attend former VP Al Gore's *We* Campaign event…

Bob Barr and former VP Gore have met privately to discuss the issue of global warming, and Barr was invited by Mr. Gore to attend the *We* Campaign event. Barr believes warming is a reality and is aware that scientists differ on its causes, impact and remedies.

…which is a very different sentiment than candidate Barr expressed during a June 6 Glenn Beck interview on CNN…
Bob Barr: 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.

…or on Beck's radio show on May 22…
GLENN BECK: Do you believe in manmade global warming and to what extent will you try to correct it, if you do believe in manmade global warming?

BOB BARR: Mankind has done a lot of good in the world. They have done a lot of bad as well, but change in the climate is not one of them. I've seen no legitimate scientific evidence that indicates that the cyclical -- and they are very much cyclical -- you know, increases and drops in global temperatures over the decades and over the centuries is the result of, you know, mankind.

Is a politician who flip-flops his positions in order to gain access to one of the biggest-government guys around really the guy Libertarians want to put forth as the best they have to offer?


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed running today, Barr certainly sounds like he's more comfortable with the thought of Barack Obama choosing judges than he is with John McCain…

Mr. McCain is a convenient convert to the cause of sound judicial appointments. He has never paid much attention to judicial philosophy, backing both Clinton Supreme Court nominees – Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He also participated in the so-called "Gang of 14," which favored centrist over conservative nominees as part of a compromise between President George W. Bush and Senate Democrats…

Nor is it obvious that Barack Obama would attempt to pack the court with left-wing ideologues.

So if you like Al Gore on global warming and Barack Obama on judges, then Bob Barr is your kind of Libertarian!

If the Libertarian Party was anywhere before, it's going to take them a decade to recover from the damage they've done to themselves by nominating Bob Barr as their Presidential candidate.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.


Technically, Barr has not contradicted himself in the quotes presented here. Global warming is a reality ... was a reality up until 2000. (Side note: And even global warmingers admit that the global temperature will not rise for at least the next ten years.)

The critical question has been, what role if any did man play in that warming? Barr made it clear on the Beck program that he does not believe man played any role. In accepting the invitation to the Gore event, he still does not ascribe blame to man, though admittedly his statement is tactfully toned down and vague on the point.

The problem is, lots of people are not going to be aware of these details. His attendance at the Gore event will be perceived on face value as an endorsement or subscription by Barr of the Gore-Hansen theory. And he should darn well know it.

More to Andrew's point, it is difficult to believe that any true Libertarian would even attend the Gore event, precisely because his or her presence would be an endorsement, not just of AGW, but of the oversized government which Gore, a Democrat, represents and which is supposedly anathema to said Libertarian.

P.S. Is this a *We* event or a *Wii* event?

Posted by: Monique at July 17, 2008 12:09 AM

Given that it's a group of people shamelessly and enthusiastically swallowing the party line, I think it's a *Qui* event.

Posted by: Mario at July 17, 2008 7:19 AM

Go read Barr's position on his website to see where he stands. I'm not sure what he's up to with Gore, but I've heard nothing but good things from Barr on this issue. By that I mean *not* imposing economy damaging new legislation to fight so-called "climate change".

As for the LP, this is the best thing they've ever done. I'm a libertarian but never can vote for the drug obsessed freak shows they normally nominate. Go Barr!

Posted by: Chuck at July 17, 2008 9:36 AM


I checked his website before writing the post. He doesn't have a page for "environment" or "global warming" on the issues section of his website.

But if it gets him access to Al Gore, suddenly it's a major issue for him!


It's difficult to reconcile his June 6 "global warming is a myth statement" with what his campaign is saying now.

Honestly, I think that beyond some real overlap Barr has with libertarians on few issues related to national security, he's just trying to take positions he sorta-kinda thinks are libertarian and randomly inserting the words "privatization" and "market-based solutions" into his rhetoric as much as possible, without really understanding what they mean.

For example, his "evolution" on global warming can be summed up as "Even though I didn't even think the problem existed a month ago, now I see that global warming is a problem. But the difference between me and the establishment candidates, is that I'm for market-based solutions. I don't really know what that means, but if acknowledging the problem gets me on stage with Al Gore, while saying 'market-based solutions' gives me cover with the Libertarians, then I'm for them!"

Posted by: Andrew at July 17, 2008 9:45 AM

Wow, an ego-driven politician who thinks only of himself and will say anything to promote himself.

What are the odds of seeing THAT?!?

Posted by: Anthony at July 17, 2008 12:32 PM


Posted by: Andrew at July 17, 2008 2:39 PM

Admittedly, I have a bias towards Bob Barr, whereas I am supporting him in the general election. His agreeing to appear at Gore's event doesn't tell me anything--I choose to see what his words and actions will be in relation to global warming, before casting any judgement. So far, he has been the voice of reason in regards to this issue, and I expect he will continue to do so. From time to time, true leaders will go to controversial audiences to tell them the uncomfortable truths they do not want, but need to hear. On top of that, if Mr. Barr is to be confined to libertarian-only audiences, then he will continue in our long line of less-than-stunning electoral performances. Bob has chosen to run to win, and personally, I'm more than cool with that!

Posted by: Doug Burlison at July 17, 2008 7:58 PM

Bob Barr, according to your own article, believes "warming is a reality". Somehow you construe that to mean he believes in MANMADE global warming and go on to say he is a flip-flopper. He believes in WARMING but not in MANMADE WARMING. Not hard to differentiate. Sadly, you apparently do not know the difference in facts between the Manmade global warming myth and the infinitely changing NATURAL cycles of the planet and our sun which cause warming and cooling. Get a clue before attacking someone.

Posted by: Mike Murray at July 17, 2008 10:24 PM

Mike M, if Barr does not believe in AGW (I don't think he does, actually), why is he going within a thousand miles of Al Gore?

Posted by: Monique at July 17, 2008 11:15 PM

There are two better reasons than global warming to move away from oil. First is supply and demand. World oil supplies peeked in 2005, yet demand is escalating quickly as a result of 2.5 billion people joining the global economy in China, India, and Southeast Asia. This means higher prices. Second is national security. We import over 70% of oil and in many cases from some very unsavory characters. Fortunately, the market is responding as evidenced by Silicon Valley investments in solar energy, auto company investments in hybrids, fuel-cells, and plug-in electrics (have you see the Tesla plug-in electric roadster?) and the recent announcement that T Boone Pickens is building the largest wind farm in the world. Unfortunately, coal companies and others are concluding with state legislatures (mostly Republicans ones) to muddy the waters because they fear that wind and solar will put them out of business. A lot of political pressure needs to be put on the politicians who are protecting the status quo rather than allowing the market to work.

Posted by: Eric Blankenburg at July 18, 2008 8:44 AM

Mike Murray,

Bob Barr said "Global warming is a myth" last month. He said nothing about "manmade" global warming being a myth and calling something a "myth" is a long way from saying "scientists differ on its causes", and if one discussion with Al Gore is enough to cause him to change his position, libertarians had better hope that Gore doesn't sit Barr down for a talk on the beauty of a regulated economy.

Don't blame me because the LP nominated a candidate who shoots from the hip with a wobbly aim when it comes to taking policy positions.

Posted by: Andrew at July 18, 2008 9:42 AM

This dustup doesn't quite rival the Libertarians nominating Howard Stern in the New York gubernatorial race in the '90s, only to have Stern drop out when he realized he would have to reveal his finance records (required by state law for NY candidates).
The thought of the author of the Defense of Marriage Act and Stern on the same team...that's a pretty big tent.

Posted by: rhody at July 18, 2008 3:06 PM


I don't object to any candidate trying to broaden his appeal, but in this case, the problem is what it revealed about him. Barr was either just makin'-it-up-as-he-went-along with his pre-Gore global warming position, or is just-makin'-up-as-he-goes along now, or proabably both. I suspect his positions on a range of other issues, outside of the area of privacy/national security concerns, are just as much not-thought-through.


I agree wholeheartedly with your comment on the merits, but I don't think Bob Barr is someone who is going to have much of an impact on the problems you discuss.

Posted by: Andrew at July 18, 2008 3:18 PM

I've emailed the campaign for clarification. It looks -- to me -- like either sloppy wording, sloppy quoting, or a real problem. It seems odd that the "press release" from which it appeared foxbusiness was quoting does not appear to exist on barr's site, although he has a long list of press releases there.

More will be revealed.

Posted by: Rich Paul at July 18, 2008 7:37 PM

I've also requested clarification from the editor of the foxbusiness article.

Posted by: Rich Paul at July 18, 2008 7:41 PM

I can't believe I spelled Oui with a Q.

Posted by: Mario at July 19, 2008 11:20 AM

Thank you for explaining, Mario. I was trying to figure out whether "Qui" was a Mayan ritual or the latest computer game.

Posted by: Monique at July 20, 2008 10:41 AM
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