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Cockburn: ‘if you want to stay true to reason and conscience, the man to vote for is Bob Barr’

Alexander Cockburn, editor of CounterPunch, has written a “CounterPunch Diary” critique of Senator Joe Biden that scathes the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee for his connections to the banking industry, his apparent vanity, and his foreign policy. In further discussing foreign policy, the piece contains a surprising comment on the third party field (from a writer that supported Ralph Nader‘s 2000 and 2004 campaigns:

Meanwhile, Ralph Nader seems to be dropping his bid to the level of knock-about. Following on his prediction that Obama would pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate Nader released a press release Friday arguing that his candidacy helps Obama. “Many Hillary supporters (half according to the most recent NBC/WSJ poll) do not want to vote for Obama. With Nader on the ballot, they have another choice to lodge their vote with other than McCain.” Nader thinks HRC’s crowd will vote for him?

Face it, if you want to stay true to reason and conscience, the man to vote for is Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. Check out from Friday’s CounterPunch site his stance on Georgia, an issue on which I haven’t yet seen anything from Ralph . “Bad and over blown historical analogies won’t help resolve the conflict,” Barr writes, If this war was like Adolf Hitler’s attack on Poland, as some have suggested, Georgia would be occupied, its government would be ousted, and its residents would be on their way to concentration camps. No one would be traveling to Tbilisi and we wouldn’t be talking to Moscow… The most important American interest is defending America; and intervening on behalf of Georgia against Russia has nothing to do with defending America.”

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Fred Church Ortiz


  1. pdsa pdsa August 27, 2008

    Fred: offhand, that headline would cause me to believe that Barr was hanging out with his friends again, who like to pass around antique sidearms with chambered rounds.

  2. Fred Church Ortiz Fred Church Ortiz Post author | August 27, 2008

    pdsa: It’s hard for me too. Given the timing that the CounterPunch piece was referred to us, this article came dangerously close to being entitled “Bob Barr’s late-night Cockburn surprise.”

  3. pdsa pdsa August 27, 2008

    It is wrong to categorise politics along a linear scale of left/right. This distorted condensation serves nothing but the existing two-party system. A dialectical tool for propagandising use. Even the two axis planar scalars used to represent political views (ie the Nolan Chart, for one) are still too distorted for any real use in honest analysis.

    Cockburn has always been a “leftist”, but at the same time has never shown himself to be a supporter of rampant authoritarianism. Counterpunch has praised Bob Barr in the past, and they have criticised him also. This Google Search may offer illumination.

    Lastly, a note to Fred Church Ortiz: Fred, I’m an old-school troll, please refrain from offering up blatant targets of opportunity: “Cockburn has a pair”. I’m just a human, and can resist temptation only so far. I once attempted to reference a Cockburn article posting a response at Media Matters For America, and it kept getting refused by their ridiculous censoring software. It took me almost 1/2 hr to realise the offending term was the author’s name…

  4. Dylan Waco Dylan Waco August 27, 2008

    Counterpunch is one of the best sites on the net regardless of your political persuasion.

  5. Nexus Nexus August 27, 2008

    Deran…you could always write in Milnes…

  6. Gene Trosper Gene Trosper August 26, 2008

    Actually, it’s quite the opposite of hilarious, G.E.

  7. G.E. G.E. August 26, 2008

    Hilarious that Deran thinks that laissez-faire and neoliberalism are synonymous.

  8. Deran Deran August 26, 2008

    And lastly (for this thread!), I’d like to humbly suggest that in the blogroll, you add CounterPunch, it’s not exactly a blog; but CP isn’t exactly a blog, but it’s as close as the indie Left in the US gets, and while your at it:

    I like DV because they allow comments, which CP does not.

    and here is this actual existing socialist in the US blog

    Any or all of these (CP and DV seem the more serious, more thurough choices) would go well toward filling out IPR’s blog roll! Just a suggstion.

  9. Deran Deran August 26, 2008

    And I’d also like to suggest that if you’re going to read CounterPunch for the Barr articles, CP is also great for critiques of “laisse faire”/Neo-Liberal economics!

  10. Deran Deran August 26, 2008

    Leftists for Barr. It’s not out of the question. If Nader and McKinney hadn’t made the WA State ballot, I was thinking either Barr or Gracie Allen. But then, I’d vote a yellow dog, before I’d vote for a Democrat or Republican!

    The thing abt this Nader campaign, like I’ve said before; had he had his shit together to do this in ’96, we’d be in a whole different world. Now, it all seems a bit late in the game.

    And, had McKinney not done a Perot, and dropped out last September, and then come back in, she would have a hell of a lot more momentum then she does now.

    And the Barr campaign, not really doing as was hoped.

    I think Barr and McKinney (and Nader in ’00) are good examples of the perils of people sympathetic to, but not active in, a political party being then nominated by a party that hopes to make use of their cleberity to build the party; hasn’t worked out so well. Better had these folks built a new party, or run as a coalition (no not the much vaunted, and much dreaded, “Progressive Alliance”.) candidate.

    Again, this also seems to me a good reason to get people elected from with in the party to local and then congressial seats. Of course, that’s who Matt Gonzalez was supposed to be for the Greens?

  11. Fred Church Ortiz Fred Church Ortiz Post author | August 26, 2008

    Re: my earlier comment:

    Why did Obama chose Biden? One important constituency pressing for Biden was no doubt the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party. Obama, no matter how fervent his proclamations of support for Israel, has always been viewed with some suspicion by the lobby. For half the lifespan of the state of Israel, Biden has proved himself its unswerving acolyte in the senate.

    Cockburn has a pair.

  12. Spence Spence August 26, 2008

    Completely ignores the whole point- that was WHY Biden was selected.

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