The Race for President: Bob Barr Analyzed

A few months ago, the Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr as their candidate for president. So here is my analysis:

About the candidate: Bob Barr started his career with the CIA in 1971. He left the CIA in 1978 and began practicing law and eventually became a federal prosecutor. Barr was a member of the US House of Representatives where he represented Georgia’s 7th district as a Republican from 1995 to 2003. Barr attained national prominence as one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In 2006, he joined the Libertarian Party.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family “School reform starts by shifting control over education from government to parents. We must abolish the Department of Education, eliminate federal grants and regulations, and begin moving power back to the states and local communities. States should consider tax credits or deductions for parents who home school or send their children to private schools. Public schools should be managed locally, increasing accountability and parental involvement.” BobBarr2008.com -“He authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, a law enacted in 1996 which states that only marriages that are between a man and a woman can be federally recognized, and individual states may choose not to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. At the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, he apologized for the part of the Defense of Marriage Act. He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, contending it is a violation of states’ rights.” From Wikipedia
-“In Congress, Barr’s strong stance against medical marijuana put him at odds with marijuana policy reformers such as the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Despite this historic antagonism, in March 2007, Barr reversed his stance on medical marijuana and began lobbying on behalf of MPP.” From Wikipedia
Barr “voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000). He voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999).
He voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer. (Jan 2001)” From OnTheIssues.org

B
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion “The Constitution does not empower the federal government to regulate this issue, whether to ban or legalize abortion… Court decisions, beginning with Roe v. Wade, that restrict the right of states to decide the issue of abortion should be overturned.” BobBarr2008.com
A
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
“Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions ought to be made by each state rather than imposed as a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government. Any federal laws that prevent states from determining their own standards for marriage should be repealed; the federal government should not define marriage, whether by statute or constitutional amendment.” BobBarr2008.com C
2. Defending Our Country “It is time to reemphasize the word “defense” in national defense. By maintaining a military presence in more than 130 nations around the world in more than 700 installations, with hundreds of thousands of troops deployed overseas, the U.S. spends more to protect the soil of other nations than our own.” BobBarr2008.com “In 2002 Barr voted for the Iraq Resolution. He has since called for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, leaving no permanent military bases. A press release from Barr’s presidential campaign stated: ‘The next president should commit to a speedy and complete withdrawal from Iraq, and tell the Iraqi people that the U.S. troops will be going home.'” From Wikipedia
-“He voted for the Patriot Act, but only after his amendments adding “sunset clauses” were added to the final bill…He now publicly regrets his Patriot Act vote.” From Wikipedia
“Barr sat on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association from 2001 to 2007.” From Wikipedia
“Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
Sponsored bill declaring English the US’ official language. (Jan 1999)”
From OnTheIssues.org
B
2A. Defeating Terrorists “The invasion and occupation of Iraq were two separate mistakes, which collectively have cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Every day that the occupation in Iraq continues without a withdrawal plan is a day that more American blood and treasure (some $400 million a day) is needlessly wasted.” BobBarr2008.com C
2B. Protecting Our Borders “The government must balance security and sovereignty concerns, which necessitate controlling the border, with the economic benefits of immigration. The best policy would be to stop illegal immigrant flows while accepting more of the world’s economically productive who want to come to America.” BobBarr2008.com A
3. Free Market Economic Policy -“The free market, driven by consumer choice and reflecting the real cost of resources, should be the foundation of America’s energy policy. The federal government should eliminate restrictions that inhibit energy production, as well as all special privileges for the production of politically-favored fuels, such as ethanol.”
-“Federal health care programs, most notably Medicare and Medicaid, have become financially unsustainable. These programs need to be transformed to emphasize patient choice, focus on the truly needy, and add cost-saving incentives. Here, too, market principles should be applied to bring better quality health care at less cost.”
BobBarr2008.com
“Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)
Voted NO on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the “marriage penalty”. (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
Allow $3 on 1040 form to pay off National Debt. (Sep 2000)
Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto. (Sep 1994)
From OnTheIssues.org
A
3A. Lower Taxes -“Government should eliminate regulatory barriers that inhibit private philanthropy, and expand tax deductions to encourage charitable giving.”
-“Tax reform is desperately needed in the United States; but before we can reform the tax code, we must sharply reduce the tax burden on Americans made necessary. Second, we need a tax code that makes taxation fairer and simpler for all citizens. Meaningful tax reform begins with reining in government spending. “
BobBarr2008.com
A
3B. Smaller Government “The government cannot continue spending at this rate if America is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The new administration’s number one job will be to drastically reduce spending by limiting federal outlays to only the government’s legitimate functions, as provided in the United States Constitution.” BobBarr2008.com
A

On social issues, Barr gets mixed review. He seems to want to strengthen families, and when he was a congressman did a lot of good, but in recent years has repented of the good things he has done, all in the name of states rights. On national security issues, Barr again gets a mixed review. He voted for the Iraq War, but now calls it a mistake. Barr is pretty good on Second Amendment issues and has a record of being tough on crime. In word and deed, Barr is for the free-market and smaller government and has consistently voted to lower taxes.

All in all, Barr scores a very respectable 3.33 on my grade point scale. In fact, that puts him and the Libertarian party in the lead based on my system. My former leader, the Constitution Party’s nominee, Chuck Baldwin, got a grade point average of 3.22. The Republican’s nominee, John McCain got a score of 2.56. And of course the Democratic Party’s nominee, Barack Obama, scored a dismal 0.56.

1 reply
  1. Zak Carter
    Zak Carter says:

    A Declaration of Withdrawal from the Republican Party

    My reasons for leaving the Party that I’ve felt at home in since I became politically aware are numerous. I will start with quoting countless conservatives who feel as I do – I didn’t so much leave the Republican Party, it was the Party that left me. The elected Republican officials failed to implement a conservative agenda, despite having the Presidency and both houses of congress. No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drug Entitlements; they even tried to force Amnesty for illegal aliens upon us. They have given us a government that would make even LBJ blush. Our businesses and land have more regulatory red tape to deal with than ever.

    Where is the Republican Party that stood for limited government, personal responsibility, a strong national defense, and against being the world’s policeman? As recently as the 90’s Republicans railed against a foreign policy of “making the world safe for democracy”, (which is historically the Democrats foreign policy, ala Woodrow Wilson) when Bill Clinton was President and he took us to war in Bosnia and Kosovo, without U.N. approval I might add. Which reminds me, the United Nations is something the GOP used to believe we needed to get out of, not an institution to be defended when a rogue nation violates U.N. resolutions.

    I am also reminded of former Senator Robert Taft, who was known in his day as Mr. Republican, when he said “I do not believe any policy which has behind it the threat of military force is justified as part of the basic foreign policy of the United States except to defend the liberty of our own people” and my favorite President – Thomas Jefferson, who said “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, and entangling alliances with none.”

    From its inception, the Republican Party advocated a humble foreign policy in line with our founding fathers recommendations, now, with John McCain as the leader and voice of the GOP, we are told to get behind his idea for a “League of Democracies” which sounds terrifyingly similar to Wilson and his Progressive Democrats “League of Nations” almost 100 years ago.

    We are also being told by McCain that we will have to Cap and Trade our liberty and our pursuit of happiness in the fight against global warming, essentially that if we don’t give government more money and power, utopia will never be reached.

    Some have told me that I should support him because he will appoint conservative judges, but I ask these questions – 1. Who’s definition of conservative are we talking about? And 2. Why would I trust the man on this issue when he is one of the “Gang of 14” who was blocking President Bush’s conservative lower federal court and Circuit Courts of Appeal judicial nominees? His long-standing, but little-noticed association with left-wing donors such as George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry is receiving new attention among his Republican critics and definitely troubles me. I would also remind you of his historical propensity to appease those even more liberal than himself. His version of “reaching across the aisle” looks more like a group hug when he crafts legislation like the McCain / Kennedy and McCain / Feingold bills. McCain / Feingold happens to be the reason McCain should not get the NRA’s endorsement, the NRA spent years fighting this trampling of our 1st amendment rights. McCain has not been the solid 2nd amendment supporter he would like you to believe he is – he cosponsored legislation which could require registration of attendees at gun shows and even ban such shows. Add to this the barely passing “C” grade from the NRA in his last senate run in 04‘, the “F” grade the Gun Owners of America gives him today and reflect on the work he did in 2000 with Americans for Gun Safety, an anti-gun group with a deceiving name, and you get a very different picture than the one he wants us to see.

    The differences between McCain and Obama are minimal, when you consider that both believe big government can save you from yourself, and that we can save other nations from themselves as well. Given McCain’s track record of conciliatory dealings with Democrats, I fear what this man would do with a Democratic House and Senate. I will not play along with the game of lesser of two evils, as I believe that is part of what has plunged this nation into the mess we find ourselves today.

    Once upon a time the Republican Party stood against special interests, corruption and abuse of power. Today their candidates campaign is “ of the lobbyist, by the lobbyist, for the lobbyist.” A man who admits Washington’s corruption has tainted him. Google Keating 5 and read all about it.

    The Republican Party today would be unrecognizable to my favorite Republicans of yesterday, such as Barry Goldwater, who said “ A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away.” President Eisenhower, who warned us of the Military Industrial Complex, and one whose party membership is a surprise to many today but shouldn’t be, Martin Luther King Jr. “ Violence is a poor chisel for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” The party is just as unrecognizable to myself and others of my generation.

    I had to draw a line in the sand, and the Republican Party wasted no time in crossing it, when they and the President pushed for “economic stimulus checks.” The only problem is this, the money isn’t money that we have, its money we are borrowing, and our excessive borrowing becomes a tax on future generations, as we wont be paying it off any time soon. Want to try to sell this as economically conservative? Excessive borrowing and spending has the added affect of devaluing our currency, so it acts as a hidden tax on us today. As I heard one of the presidential candidates say in regards to these stimulus checks, “ Whose economy are we stimulating here? Ours or Chinas? We are borrowing more money from China so everyone can go buy more stuff made in China.” I get it, others in the GOP get it, so why doesn’t the party leadership?

    I can’t take anymore disrespect for conservative values, and unless the Republican Party wakes up and gets it’s head on straight real soon, I will be taking my vote, my time, energy, money, and passion from the GOP and taking it to the Libertarian Party to send a message to the Republican leadership that I will not be taken for granted. I believe that it is solid conservatism that wins the day and elections – limited government, individual responsibility, and a strong national DEFENSE (secure the borders!), and certainly not conciliation and surrender to Democrats to the point that our differences become blurry.

    The Libertarian Party seems to be a perfect temporary home, the GOP has its work cut out if its sincere about winning me back, even President Reagan said “Libertarianism is the very heart and soul of conservatism.” I will be doing everything I can to sway like minded conservatives to join me in this exodus and vote for Bob Barr for President and Wayne Root for Vice President on the Libertarian ticket. Both of them were recently Republicans, and are among those countless conservatives I‘ve heard myself say “ It wasn’t that I left the Republican Party, it was the Party that left me.”

    Thanks and God Bless, from Zak Carter

    Reply

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