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Bob Barr should debate Nader, Baldwin, and McKinney or he should be ignored

The Libertarians have complained and complained that their candidate hasn’t been allowed into the debates with Senators McCain and Obama. But apparently, Bob Barr agrees that he should have been excluded. After all, according to the New York Times, Barr is refusing to join the scheduled “third party” debate unless it is limited to himself and Mr. Nader.

Why should John McCain or Barack Obama (each polling around 45% of the vote) bother to debate Bob Barr (polling around 1% of the vote) if he himself is refusing to debate “lesser” candidates like Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin? On election night, the gap between Barr and Baldwin or Barr and McKinney will be far smaller than the gap between the majors and Barr or Nader.

Mr. Barr — you can’t seriously demand that a major party candidate should debate someone polling within the margin of error, while you refuse to participate in debates with candidates who poll slightly lower than yourself.

In my opinion, if Barr doesn’t show up then he no longer deserves to be taken seriously as a candidate.

End of story.

About Post Author

Austin Cassidy

85 Comments

  1. chuckmoulton chuckmoulton October 16, 2008

    I find it deeply troubling and embarrassing that Congressman Barr isn’t participating in debates.

    Libertarian candidates should essentially have two goals:
    1) To win the election and enact libertarian public policy
    2) To educate the voters on libertarianism

    #1 is only really possible right now in congressional races and below and probably only advisable in local races (below state representative) without a very strong candidate and a boatload of money.

    With the presidential race, that leaves #2: educating the voters.

    If the Barr campaign thinks it is going to win the election, it is delusional. I hope some miracle happens and Barr wins, but the campaign shouldn’t put all its eggs in the miracles basket.

    Third party televised debates are the best outreach opportunities of the campaign for educating the voters. Some other television shows may reach more voters, but they provide very little time to say more than a few words about positions. Deliberately skipping the opportunity to outreach in a televised debate is nothing short of insane.

    I find it unbelievable how much aspects of this campaign have been mismanaged. I like Barr on a personal level and I’ve been generally satisfied with his performance at the Barr events I’ve attended (apart from his Ron Paul comments). I’d like to attribute his campaign’s mistakes to incredibly stupid campaign advisers rather than Barr himself… but the fact of the matter is the candidate is responsible for the campaign advisers he hires, listens to, and does not fire. Barr needs to take some personal responsibility for his campaign’s horrible decisions.

    It’s hard to imagine how to run a worse Libertarian campaign. Hollywood couldn’t’ve come up with a script like this.

    Step 1: Alienate all the Ron Paul supporters (who are very pro-liberty and demonstrably dedicate a lot of time and money to pro-liberty candidates) by lambasting Ron Paul at every event, refusing to attend his press conference, and inviting him to be VP against his wishes.

    Step 2: Alienate all the radical libertarians by regularly issuing press releases with unlibertarian rhetoric.

    Step 3: Do not attend any debates or other events with third party candidates.

    Badnarik may not have had as much mainstream credibility as Barr, but at least he didn’t embarrass the LP and at least he took advantage of every opportunity presented to him in the campaign. I’m proud I voted to nominate Badnarik on all ballots in 2004. My vote for Barr on the last ballot in 2008 was a mistake.

  2. SEXYJC SEXYJC October 16, 2008

    I agree and I have been a strong Bob barr supporter. If Barr doesn’t show especially after the Ron Paul fiasco, he will be in fact be destryoing his campaign. I have already told the campaign, that I would be voting for Ralph Nader if Barr doesn’t show and I may do that anyway even if he does show at this point.
    http://www.nolanchart.com/article5127.html

  3. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    No McBama! Says: @ TPW

    “I hope they remember provide a podium for Invisible Bob Barr v2.1. They can call on him once in a while and cut to a shot of the empty podium for a few seconds.

    It could make for a dandy campaign commercial, too: “I’m Invisible Bob Barr and I endorsed this furniture”.

  4. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    BTW, does this mean the rest of us can do editorials now too, or only Austin?

  5. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    My vote for Barr on the last ballot in 2008 was a mistake.

    Chuck is exactly correct. I agree with everything he says here, except that I initially supported Aaron Russo in 2004 (I think I ended up voting for Badnarik at the last ballot, unenthusiastically, or possibly skipped it after Russo was out) and Kubby and then Ruwart in 2008. I think I was right and I stand by those votes.

    I also agree with Austin’s editorial.

  6. George Phillies George Phillies October 16, 2008

    Our national party spent $33,000 to put Barr on the ballot in Massachusetts. My state party and its members spent another $8000 or more to the same end. We had to litigate; someone is going to have to pay the filing fees, etc.

    And for this what did we get out of Barr/ Root for a campaign here? As was reported elsewhere, the Barr campaign is not even emphasizing New Hampshire, where he could have taken advantage of the Free Staters there.

  7. Jason_Gatties Jason_Gatties October 16, 2008

    I’m with Austin 100% here.

    Yet another reason I will not vote for Barr come election day. I’m going to vote for every libertarian on my ballot except for one.

  8. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    Why does Barr expect McCain and Obama to debate someone who polls 1/31th as well as they poll when he himself refuses to debate people to who poll about half as well as he does?

  9. bsharitt bsharitt October 16, 2008

    Does Barr really think that if he keeps acting like the major party candidate by ignoring other third party candidates, that it will actually make hime one?

    At first I was a rather enthusiastic Barr supporter, but after all his stunts and attempts to be conservative instead of libertarian, he’s lost my enthusiastic support, and just barely hanging on to me as a voter, mostly because he is unfortnatly the best option left.

  10. Sean Scallon Sean Scallon October 16, 2008

    Barr’s prissiness has done much to undermind his campaign. I think he’s finding out, regardless of where you stand on the issue or who you might have been, it really doesn’t matter. If you don’t have an R or D next to your name, they’ll shut you out.

  11. svf svf October 16, 2008

    Does Barr really think that if he keeps acting like the major party candidate by ignoring other third party candidates, that it will actually make hime one?

    I assume (and hope) most of the blame for this lack-of-a-strategy lies with Verney, who will surely never be running another campaign again after the Barr2008 clusterf***.

    Sure, it’s great to talk big about $40 Million and “3 way race” and 15%+ in polls to be included in the debates and so forth. But when it becomes clear that it’s not gonna happen, you need to have your “backup plans” ready to execute.

    Surely they must have known the odds of getting into any of the “real” debates were slim-to-none. They should have had online “virtual debates” tested, promoted, and ready-to-go for ALL THREE debates well in advance. As it is, we got haphazard, unprofessional, and unpromoted attempts thrown together on short notice for only two of them. If not for the good graces of REASON, it would have been only one.

    Barr and co. are in no position to “pick and choose” their opportunities for media exposure at this point, registering 1% in the polls. Talking to groups of 30 students at small colleges and attending meet-n-greet fundraisers that pull in a couple thousand $$ is all fine and good, but skipping out on a national forum such as this debate — even if it is only C-SPAN and Pacifica — is like turning away free advertising.

    I can forgive the campaign for the snubgate “blunder” and actually believe it was well-intentioned despite being poorly executed.

    But this one makes no sense. I am holding out hope they will do the right thing here, for some reason. We’ll see.

  12. inDglass inDglass October 16, 2008

    I am starting to think that Barr is just a CIA plant. Obama has looked like the CIA candidate from the beginning. Brzezinski is backing him, Zogby roots for him, and his campaign strategy especially in the primaries reflected the color revolutions the CIA carried out in the former Soviet republics.

    Barr neglected to meet ballot access deadlines in a couple states, and basically ran what could have been a good campaign into the ground. He has solely targeted Republican voters throughout the campaign. Right now, he is focusing his campaign on Ohio and Virginia (and again Republican voters), which could swing the election to Obama.

  13. yankeefox yankeefox October 16, 2008

    As a Barr supporter, I agree that this is really stupid. I find it hard to imagine Bob has better press opportunities lined up on VA.

    As disgusted as I am, I’m not sure why Barr “should be ignored.” Even if this move does lose him a lot of votes, I think it’s unlikely that Baldwin or McKinney will do better than him.

  14. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Why does Barr expect McCain and Obama to debate someone who polls 1/31th as well as they poll when he himself refuses to debate people to who poll about half as well as he does?

    Good question.

  15. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Time for the chicken and duck suits.

  16. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    I assume (and hope) most of the blame for this lack-of-a-strategy lies with Verney, who will surely never be running another campaign again after the Barr2008 clusterf***.

    Why did Barr hire him after what he did to the Reform Party?

  17. iamanamerican iamanamerican October 16, 2008

    Maybe Barr will have his own counter-debate goin on at the same time?

    Let Bob choose the date/time for a second debate, maybe he’ll show up.

  18. Brian G Brian G October 16, 2008

    I’m waiting for Barr’s last action of the election season…….When he announces he’s suspending his campaign and urging everyone to vote for McCain.

  19. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Update:

    Free and Equal is now no longer listed as a sponsor at ThirdPartyTicket.com, but they still have a therfmometer, pledge box, countdown clock, etc.

    Odd…

  20. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Even Jonathan Cymberknopf is switching to Nader.

  21. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Free and Equal is headed by Nader staffers.

  22. chuckmoulton chuckmoulton October 16, 2008

    Does Barr really think that if he keeps acting like the major party candidate by ignoring other third party candidates, that it will actually make hime one?

    Cargo cult.

  23. darolew darolew October 16, 2008

    If Barr doesn’t participate in the debate, he either:

    a) Really doesn’t want to succeed.
    b) Is delusional.

    Or, quite possibly, both.

  24. AnthonyD AnthonyD October 16, 2008

    So that this just isn’t a pile-on-Barr thread, I am going to present the other side here.

    Everyone in this thread has to accept the fact that almost NO ONE is going to watch this debate, and those that do will be supporters of one of the third party candidates involved, which everyone here would also agree are the LEAST likely to switch candidates. Its not even worth it to appear at this debate on the off chance that an asteroid might come out of the sky and ram into the car Barr is riding in to get to the debate.

    One must look at this not from the point of view of a supporter of one of the third party candidates, but as a member of the electorate at large, the 100 million votes that vote for one of the major party candidates. From that point of view, there can be a lot of value in staying steadfast in demanding to be a part of the main debates, regardless of the chances of getting into those debates. This is especially true when you have a populace that is getting more and more fed up with the choices that are being offered.

    You don’t get some consolation prize for being the winner of a 3rd party debate, or for getting the most votes as a 3rd party candidate. If the LP gains more publicity by refusing to take part in this debate and continuing to demand to be a part of the major party debates, then that is exactly what the LP should do.

    In my opinion, in the final analysis, in any election season, if I am advising the LP nominee, then I am advising him to refuse any debate that does not involve the major party candidates, and I am instead pointing out to the American public the sham that the current CPD debates are. If that organization continues to refuse, then so be it. But you give them victory by slinking off into some consolation prize debate that no one is going to watch.

  25. svf svf October 16, 2008

    AnthonyD… those arguments all make lots of sense.

    But Barr truly has nothing to lose here. He can use this debate as a vehicle to advance his own agenda. He can phrase his responses to highlight his (and the LP’s) different approaches to problems than Obama & McCain and pretty much ignore the other third-party “opponents” on stage.

    Meanwhile, C-SPAN is taping and hopefully broadcasting it nationally, as well as perhaps Pacifica. True, only those already supporting one of these candidates will bother to watch. But now there’s professionally recorded video of Barr making his case that can be circulated online and used in TV and radio ads (if they still intend to bother). Meanwhile, if they’re lucky, there will be at least a little “free media” reporting on the event — and if both Barr and Nader are there, there ought to be at least a little. Hell, the NYTimes of all people already reported on the event — and not just online but in print and with photos (including Barr’s).

    Campaigns need to be flexible, follow opportunities as they arise, turn on a dime, do the cost/benefit analysis, and make effective decisions. Stuff happens at the last minute. Deal with it. If Verney doesn’t realize this, he isn’t worth whatever they’re paying him.

  26. yankeefox yankeefox October 16, 2008

    Anthony – Barr held out for the real debates, but they’re over now. So I think the point has been made.

    The third party debate will be watched, since it will be on cspan. Anyone in the press who wants to cover third party candidates may well look to this debate. Barr’s absense will be noted as a curiosity (“Well, what do you expect from those wacky third party guys?”).

  27. wesbenedict wesbenedict October 16, 2008

    Cargo cult! I learned a new term!

    So perfectly describes the situation.

  28. chuckmoulton chuckmoulton October 16, 2008

    Everyone in this thread has to accept the fact that almost NO ONE is going to watch this debate, and those that do will be supporters of one of the third party candidates involved, which everyone here would also agree are the LEAST likely to switch candidates.

    First, your initial premise in false: that the viewers will be supporters of one of the third party candidates involved. Over the years I have ran into many, many people who saw the LP candidate in a third party presidential debate, yet were not affiliated with any third party. Speaking about prior Libertarian candidates they remember is a common reaction to me when I identify myself as a libertarian.

    Second, even if your premise that only existing third party members will watch the debate is true, your second premise that they are the least likely to switch affiliations is false. Those who already have a willingness to vote third party are easier converts than those who believe they would be throwing their votes away by not voting Democrat or Republican.

    Third, even if both premises are true, it is still a good idea to participate in the debate for two reasons:

    1) It energizes libertarians who watch the debate, leading them to more activism and donations and providing a conversation point to bring up to friends spreading the libertarian message.

    2) The people who watch debates are more likely to be activists than the general public and it is easier to convert an activist into a libertarian than to convert a libertarian into an activist.

    Of course the Barr campaign has already demonstrated that it has no comprehension whatsoever of reason 2 because it has actively given the finger to the Ron Paul R3VOLution, which is full of Ron Paul activists that could have been converted into Libertarian activists.

  29. johncjackson johncjackson October 16, 2008

    As I said Drudge and NYT are reporting. So someone IS paying attention. And the story is: Bob Barr does not want to present his Libertarian agenda. Just as the entire Ron Paul press conference story was Bob Barr didn’t show up.

    It may only matter to 3rd party voters, but there are many 3rd Party voters who dont really know the difference between an “independent” or a “libertarian” “constitutionalist” and so on. The vote swing may be very small but Bar has an opportunity to either firm up his support, lose support, and/or potential get some Nader/McKinney protest voters who might be receptive to a less statist approach.

    Oh well.

  30. johncjackson johncjackson October 16, 2008

    I am a lifetime Libertarian who would rather not vote at all than vote for barr and at this point would be more likely to vote for another 3rd party candidate. I am sure I am not the only one. Barr still has a chance to earn my vote. He apparently does not want it.

  31. millerpolitics millerpolitics October 16, 2008

    This article has it right. For whatever reason Mr. Barr has put himself on a higher pedestal than the other candidates. He has the same attitude as the major party candidates do towards third party candidates.

  32. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 16, 2008

    CSpan might not get the viewers of CNN or FOX, but it’s still a nationally broadcast station that is well-respected and watched by many, many people. Not to mention, since Amy Goodman is moderating the debate (woo!) it will probably get some attention on another nationally broadcast – on radio and TV – program, Democracy Now. And it will get attention in at least dozens of national and local press outlets. This is bigger than the Vanderbilt debate.

  33. Deran Deran October 16, 2008

    I really agree with the people up this thread who suggested these sorts of counter-debates should have been tried and dtestested, and announced months ago. Inviting everyone who is on ballots enough to win the EC. All the campaigns should have had an equal say in them, and all promoted them. Plus working to get non-partisan groups, like the League of Women Voters, etc, to take an interest and or endorse. Then run them the day after the R and D debates. CSPAN, some of the alt tv media, and the online media would have picked it up and supported it.

    Alas.

    And, even though I am a leftist, I am dissapointed Barr didn’t run a more aggressive campaign. I am all for more voice and more choices, and Ralph likes to say. Even though I think certain aspects oflibertarian capitalism; privatization, deregulation, etc, are all directly responsible for the economic catastrophe we are now in (going back to Carter and the Dems repealing federal usury laws in 1980), I STILL would love to see more ideas debated in public. Even the bolshies. I mean, how cool would that be; bolsheviks, libertarian capitalists, Greens, Naderites, democratic socialists, etc, all having a series of serious public debates. Very cool, is how cool that would be.

  34. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Chuck is correct again. I watched third party presidential debates back when I was a Democrat.

    But you give them victory by slinking off into some consolation prize debate that no one is going to watch.

    As opposed to what, sucking your thumb and taking your toys home?

  35. chuckmoulton chuckmoulton October 16, 2008

    Barr campaign explains debate absence

    http://blog.bobbarr2008.com/2008/10/16/that-other-debate/

    It would be a plausible explanation if Barr hadn’t rearranged campaign appearances in the past to seize better media opportunities. He rearranged his Pennsylvania tour one day before he was schedule to arrive for example.

    Here is a message sent to Pennsylvania Libertarians on October 7:

    Barr cancels Harrisburg events Oct 8

    Unfortunately the Barr campaign had to cancel the planned appearance and events in Harrisburg on Wednesday, October 8. There will be no event at the Penn State Harrisburg campus nor will Bob appear on PCN. The Meet and Greet event at the Harrisburg Hilton is also cancelled.

    We regret that Bob Barr will not be in Harrisburg, however Libertarian Auditor General Candidate Betsy Summers will still be appearing on PCN at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 8, so be sure to tune in then.

    It appears the visit to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area on Friday October 10 has been changed to a visit to Pittsburgh, with an event at Carnegie Mellon University. We will pass along more information as it becomes available.

    We regret any inconvenience caused by the last-minute changes, and hope we can get the visit re-scheduled in the near future.

    Just because explanations are plausible doesn’t mean they are accurate. They could just be a pretext — as is the case with Barr’s absence from the third party debates in my opinion.

    For you lawyers out there, it’s like the difference between rational basis and strict scrutiny… do we accept any conceivable explanation from the Barr campaign or judge him on his actual intents and motives?

    Let’s be honest: if McCain and Obama invited Barr to their debates, would Barr say he’s all booked up?

    I live in Virginia now. Having Barr visit Virginia more is great, but I’d be willing to wager that most Virginia Libertarians would rather Barr did a nationally televised debate than make local appearances here.

    If he can’t afford a round trip plane ticket between NYC and Virginia, let him take up a collection. I would donate money to get him to the debate.

  36. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    Even more striking is that this (Virginia?) event that is so important that it can not be cancelled in favor of the debate …is still not in the published in Barr’s official event schedule on his website.

  37. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 16, 2008

    So, anyone with concrete info about the falling out between Free and Equal and ThirdPartyTicket

  38. songster7 songster7 October 16, 2008

    Barr continues to impress us all … has consistency at least (though as Emerson said, “A FOOLISH consistency is the hobgobllin of little minds.”)

    Still glad I saw this coming, and refused to be a Barrdroid. (Actually there was little chance of that but I might have been an elector.) Instead I can cast an honest ballot for the Boston Tea Party and its purely libertarian ticket

  39. G.E. G.E. October 16, 2008

    since Amy Goodman is moderating the debate (woo!)

    This is the best reason I’ve heard so far why Barr SHOULDN’T participate.

  40. svf svf October 16, 2008

    oops — stop the bitch-fest, it looks like this so-called debate is on life support already…

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/729321.html

    Third-party debate’s only confirmed participant: the moderator

    By MARIA RECIO
    McClatchy Newspapers
    WASHINGTON — Just a few days after seeming to agree to appear at a third-party presidential debate, none of the candidates is actually committed to attending the event Sunday at Columbia University in New York.

    Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney is a definite “no,” saying she’ll participate that night in an online debate, appearing remotely via Web cam. The Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin didn’t get the invitation until Thursday afternoon, and his campaign manager isn’t promising anything. Libertarian Bob Barr was a no-show from the start, saying he had a scheduling conflict, and independent Ralph Nader, the biggest draw, is hedging his bets.

    “I’m sure McCain and Obama don’t have these problems,” said Baldwin campaign manager Gary Odom.

    Third parties, full of independent thinkers and out-of-the-box ideas, typically show disarray. And the last-minute Columbia University debate is no exception.

    The “live” debate format, formally announced Wednesday, grew out of an online debate promoted by Trevor Lyman, an Internet entrepreneur who pioneered one-day online fundraisers, known as “money bombs,” for former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Third-party advocate Christina Tobin, who coordinates ballot access for Nader but who also has ties to the Libertarian Party, jump-started the idea and in the past week got the Columbia Political Union, a nonpartisan student organization at Columbia University, to sponsor the debate.

    Nader, who’s been indignant during his three presidential runs about being excluded from the major presidential debates, initially was eager for an alternative debate.

    “There’s a political bigotry that excludes independents and third-party candidates,” he said.

    On Tuesday, Nader said he was “optimistic” about being in Sunday’s third-party debate, but by Thursday afternoon national campaign coordinator Jason Kafoury was noncommittal. “I’m hearing all kinds of conflicting things,” he said.

    The biggest surprise was McKinney, who told radio host and would-be debate moderator Amy Goodman on Thursday morning during Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” program that she’d participate in the online debate instead.

    Baldwin spokesman Odom wondered, “Is there going to be an event at all?”

    Christopher Thrasher, spokesman for the Free and Equal Elections Coalition, Tobin’s group and the debate’s promoter, is undeterred.

    “Amy Goodman is confirmed as moderator and we are expecting confirmation from the Nader and Baldwin campaigns,” he said. As for Barr and McKinney, Thrasher hopes they will realize “the historic nature” of the debate and participate.

  41. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 16, 2008

    Well, let’s start bitching at McKinney now, and let’s start formally bitching at all of these candidates so they actually go to the event.

    And Thrasher was on the Gravel campaign. Good guy.

  42. G.E. G.E. October 16, 2008

    This non-debate is probably the best endorsement of not voting for any of these bums for president.

    Bob Barr: No comment needed.

    McKinney: Intentionally ducks coverage.

    Baldwin: Takes anything he can get but is totally inept.

    Nader: Has a history of snubbing events like this and is about as much of a regimist as Barr.

  43. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    Sad that out of the whole country, only six states have an actual libertarian choice on their ballot. (Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee)

  44. der der October 16, 2008

    Sad that out of the whole country, only six states have an actual libertarian choice on their ballot. (Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee)

    I’m pretty sure there are 45 states who have a Libertarian on the ballot.

    Sorry he isn’t purist enough, but he understands political reality.

  45. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    “Political reality” means snubbing his main potential base of support and going out of his way to piss off his own party? Also, I was referring to the ideology of libertarianism, which Barr clearly doesn’t represent. The only states that have a small-l libertarian on their ballot are Montana and Louisiana (Ron Paul), Colorana and Florida and Tennessee (Charles Jay), and Nevada (NOTA). All other states have imposter “Libertarians”

  46. svf svf October 16, 2008

    I’m glad to see we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming so soon…

  47. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 16, 2008

    What will CSpan due if only Amy Goodman shows up?

  48. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp October 16, 2008

    Quoth der:

    “[Barr] understands political reality.”

    Thanks for making me snort whiskey and cola all over my monitor.

    Barr’s campaign has been a nearly unmitigated clusterfuck. He’ll probably get his 750k-850k votes, but that’s what he had in the bag when he started, based on his name recognition. If he’d spent his time and money on things besides snubbing the Paulists and hiring limousines to try and make himself look like a power pol since then, he might have really accomplished something.

    That is political reality, and if you say he understands it, then what you’re essentially saying is that he’s screwing the LP over intentionally rather than unintentionally. And you know, you may be right.

  49. AnthonyD AnthonyD October 16, 2008

    millerpolitics says,
    “This article has it right. For whatever reason Mr. Barr has put himself on a higher pedestal than the other candidates.”

    paulie says,
    “As opposed to what, sucking your thumb and taking your toys home?”

    First of all, I sure as hell hope my party selects a candidate who puts himself on a higher pedestal than the other candidates. Is everyone here aware of the sort of ego it takes to run for president? To be able to say that the presidency is a job you want and can do? Who should the LP nominate, some insecure dimwit? Woody Allen?

    Secondly, the choices are not appearing in the 3rd party debate or sucking your thumb and going home. There is also the idea that you stand on principle, say you are on enough ballots to theoretically win, and you are not participating in any consolation prize debate. Furthermore, if the CPD goes ahead and refuses to allow you to participate, you can then hammer away on the idea that the debates are a sham and the voters of America are not hearing all their choices.

  50. MrMatthew MrMatthew October 16, 2008

    Maybe Bob Barr is just afraid of black people. First, he wouldn’t go on a stage with McKinney, and now this!

  51. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    “First of all, I sure as hell hope my party selects a candidate who puts himself on a higher pedestal than the other candidates. Is everyone here aware of the sort of ego it takes to run for president? To be able to say that the presidency is a job you want and can do? Who should the LP nominate, some insecure dimwit? Woody Allen?”

    Shouldn’t the purpose of having a Libertarian nominee for president be to spread the message of liberty to as many people as possible, ego be damned? Also, what does it say about Barr when he complains that McCain and Obama aren’t inviting a candidate into the debates thats trailing them by 38 points, when he himself wont debate candidates that are trailing him by 1 point?

  52. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    “Secondly, the choices are not appearing in the 3rd party debate or sucking your thumb and going home. There is also the idea that you stand on principle, say you are on enough ballots to theoretically win, and you are not participating in any consolation prize debate. Furthermore, if the CPD goes ahead and refuses to allow you to participate, you can then hammer away on the idea that the debates are a sham and the voters of America are not hearing all their choices.”

    So, if the larger audience excludes you, then your solution is to exclude the smaller audience?

  53. AnthonyD AnthonyD October 16, 2008

    Hugh,

    My concern is not with the smaller audience. I could give two sh*ts about the smaller audience. I care about the larger audience, the 60-70 million that watch the major party debates, and the 100 million who vote.

    Now, if that smaller audience solicits my advice, I would advise them to also refuse any consolation prize debate for their 3rd party candidate. However, if they want to waste their time, then that’s their call.

    But you are absolutely correct about one thing, the purpose of having a Libertarian nominee for president is to “spread the message of liberty to as many people as possible.” You don’t do that on a C-SPAN debate that if anything, to the average voter who may happen by it while using the remote, only reinforces the notion that those candidates don’t count. You do it by insisting on accepting nothing less than what we believe is due to us: a chance to present our case to the American public on the same stage as the OTHER major parties.

    And in conclusion, I will quote from Jesus’ parable of The Unjust Judge, Luke 18: 2-5 (King James version, of course):

    2 There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

    3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

    4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

    5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

    Note verse 5. The message is clear. We demand to be in the major party debate, and we keep demanding it until they let us in. And if they don’t we die trying.

  54. Trent Hill Trent Hill October 16, 2008

    Here is the problem AnthonyD, Barr ISNT reaching that larger audience.

    In fact, he is attending a small-scale event INSTEAD of reaching the larger audience (CSPAN and Pacifica)

  55. Hugh Jass Hugh Jass October 16, 2008

    Again, the major-party debates have already passed. As expected, neither Barr nor any other third-party candidate were allowed to participate. Does that give Barr license to be an asshole to the other third-party candidates as well?

  56. der der October 17, 2008

    “Political reality” means snubbing his main potential base of support and going out of his way to piss off his own party?

    Hugh,

    How did that Paul endorsement work out for Baldwin. Bottom line, nobody really cared. Just another instance where Barr was correct. He proved the party doesn’t need to kiss ass to get votes. Especially with two socialists on stage.

    The “main base” as you put it was only about 50k people at the most. These people were never interested in growing the party or making it a real political threat. They wanted to keep it a pure debating society. So they left and joined the BTP. Which is fine by me. The party has grown far larger to make up for those people lost.

    That is political reality, and if you say he understands it, then what you’re essentially saying is that he’s screwing the LP over intentionally rather than unintentionally. And you know, you may be right.”

    Thomas, I’ll also ask you how that Paul endorsement worked out for Baldwin.

    Success of the campaign isn’t measured in votes. Who really cares if we get 1% or 2%? Nobody will remember. Success is measured by amount of media attention and how many people were turned on to the party. By that standard, Barr has been anything but a disaster. Numerous media appearances spreading the message of small government and Liberty.

    And he clearly understands political reality. He didn’t show up to Paul’s little show. Media forgot after a week. He was right. Barr didn’t want to show up to these debates. Turns out neither is any other major 3rd party candidate. Barr was right again.

  57. G.E. G.E. October 17, 2008

    CIA abortionist Bob Barr throws a hissy fit because Paul won’t endorse him, and then tries to act like Paul’s endorsement wouldn’t matter.

    Barr has no problem standing on stage with the evil Al Gore or praising the fascist Jessie Helms… But he can’t stand to be paired with the heroic Cynthia McKinney, or any “people like her.”

  58. G.E. G.E. October 17, 2008

    der = yet another example of what the Barr campaign did with its measley fundraising… Pay idiot shills to convince no one. “Barr is right again” — hahahaha! Barr hasn’t been right about one thing during this campaign, nor has he ever taken even one morally courageous stance in his entire career as a POS parasite.

  59. Trent Hill Trent Hill October 17, 2008

    By the way: I just watched the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner comedy sketches by McCain and Obama—they have HILARIOUS writers.

  60. christinamtobin christinamtobin October 17, 2008

    Thank you for all of your support.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HGWlt_kcc

    Free and Equal Elections has been approached by a significant number of national media outlets. CBS has confirmed LIVE STREAM (at the very least).

    C-SPAN is awaiting your call.

  61. der der October 17, 2008

    GE,

    Little of what you say actually matters to me. It has been proven time and again that very little of what you spout off about is rational or based in reality.

    The only thing you actually contribute is calling people shills for everyone. Be proud of that at least.

  62. Thomas M. Sipos Thomas M. Sipos October 17, 2008

    Does Barr really think that if he keeps acting like the major party candidate by ignoring other third party candidates, that it will actually make hime one?

    This is actually typical “success guru”/Hollywood thinking. It’s pure Tony Robbins, et al.

    Think successful, act successful, dress successful, buy the Rolex and rent a Mercedes — and people will treat you like a success.

    This goes on all the time in Hollywood, where people act like stars, or successful producers, or rich investors, hoping that others will believe the act, treat them that way, and make their act a reality.

    I’m sure Wayne Allyn Root thinks like this. He said at the Denver convention that one reason to nominate him was that he’d be “the first Jewish presidential candidate from a major political party.”

    No one seemed to catch this. Not only was Andre Marrou Jewish (more proof that Root is wholly ignorant of the LP), but Root called the LP “a major political party.” And no one called him on it.

    Root seems to ooze in that phony, Hollywood/Vegas thinking. Write a book called Republican Millionaire and people will think you’re a millionaire.

    Is he? Or is he mortgaged to the hilt? I don’t know. But again, has anyone called him on his claims?

    As for Barr, his “act like a success” strategy seemed to work at the convention. He ignored the debates with the “minor” LP candidates, and won the nomination.

    I guess Barr thought he could pull the same prima dona act with the Big Boys.

    Both Barr and Root exhibit this thinking. Now comes their reality check.

  63. Melanie Campbell Melanie Campbell October 17, 2008

    I believe the American people deserve to hear ALL candidates in formal medium like the debates. Even if the “third party” candidates do not have the funding behind them to ultimately win they could help to stimulate the fore runners and push them out of script.
    ” Thank you for your Resume, we have a preferred candidate at this time”

    If the media spent more time reporting facts rather than campaigning for either Sen. McCain, or Mr Obama we may be able to see what the truth is.

    Mr. Barr, should welcome any assistance to bring his platform to the table. I really do not think there is anything else that matters. When you believe in what you have to say… then you need to try and be heard over the natteringd of the McCain/ Obama soap opera ermm campaigns.

  64. Melanie Campbell Melanie Campbell October 17, 2008

    Maybe Joe Plummer would like to debate with Mr. Barr?

  65. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 17, 2008

    Update @ BAN

    October 17th, 2008

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/17/columbia-university-minor-party-debate-in-trouble/

    The proposed Baldwin-McKinney-Nader debate that had been planned for Sunday evening, October 19, is very unlikely to happen. It seems that none of the candidates who were originally invited (including Bob Barr, and on a theoretical basis, the major party nominees) had really committed and really wanted to participate. McKinney and Baldwin have both expressed displeasure that communications between their campaigns and the debate organizers were not clear. Nader seems to have concluded that he will only debate with Barr (except, obviously, he would also debate with the two major party candidates).

    It is still conceivable that a Barr-Nader debate will be organized.

  66. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 17, 2008

    Root is Jewish? Oy vey!

    Does anyone want to start planning local third party-inclusive (and major candidate-inclusive) debates with me for 2010 right now? Email me at inkabinkaboo182@aol.com and let’s see if we can work something out, or just start laying the groundwork for it.

  67. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 17, 2008

    Root is Jewish? Oy vey!

    Mazel Tov.


    Does anyone want to start planning local third party-inclusive (and major candidate-inclusive) debates with me for 2010 right now?

    Do you mean 2012?

  68. George Phillies George Phillies October 17, 2008

    From the Libertarian Party of Mississippi interview and forum

    http://mslp.org/forum/index.php?topic=38.0

    Wayne says to (20:11):
    As I said on a TV interview in New Hampshire this morning…I’m VERY good for LP because I destroy the image of LP as being anti-religion. I’m a very spiritual person who has written books about my belief in the power of God and prayer. I am a “completed Jew” which means I took Jesus as my savior about 17 years ago. I believe the job of government is NOT to support any religion…or stuff it down anyone’s throat. I will protect the rights and freedom of speech of all religions

  69. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 17, 2008

    How is that different from Christian?

  70. Trent Hill Trent Hill October 17, 2008

    Might be a Messianic Jew.

  71. VTV VTV October 18, 2008

    “paulie cannoli // Oct 16, 2008 at 10:21 am

    BTW, does this mean the rest of us can do editorials now too, or only Austin?”

    I was kind of wondering about this as well.

    Not to mention why Trent isn’t flipping out about it. Since he couldn’t shut up about it when I did it.

    If we are allowed to though, I have even more data for Chuck Baldwin I would love to share.

  72. G.E. G.E. October 18, 2008

    When I was editor, it was understood that there were different rules for Austin. He’s a legend. And he’s not a third-party member or advocate, so his editorials carry more weight.

    But I’m out of the game now, so it’s up to you guys and Austin. However, if what I think matters at all, I’d strongly, strongly advise against editorials from anyone other than Austin.

  73. Spence Spence October 18, 2008

    Is this site a source of news or for cooler talk garbage? Not that I disagree, just think there are better places for this.

  74. VTV VTV October 18, 2008

    What Bob Barr needs to do, is drown himself in a toilet after having a last meal of it’s contents.

  75. Trent Hill Trent Hill October 18, 2008

    “Not to mention why Trent isn’t flipping out about it. Since he couldn’t shut up about it when I did it. ”

    Austin’s is the editor AND publisher, and therefore essentially the owner. Similarly, if GE had posted an editorial 3 weeks ago,I wouldnt have lambasted him about it—but if I differed with it greatly, I would have said so and left IPR. I will do the same to Austin if I think he crosses the line or if I dont think his statements represent me well–in this case they do. But to ask the owner, editor, and publisher of the site to NOT post editorials in pretty ridiculous,don’t you think? He sets policy, and I follow it. However, if Austin brought in some new guy without consulting the rest of us, and then that guy proceded to breaks 4 rules in 2 posts–I’d certainly make a big deal about it. As I should,and as I did with you.

  76. VTV VTV October 18, 2008

    I still think the only reason you cared is you didn’t like the material.

  77. VTV VTV October 18, 2008

    Oh, and by the way, what four rules?

  78. Ross Levin Ross Levin October 18, 2008

    You guys should talk about this in private.

  79. Trent Hill Trent Hill October 18, 2008

    “I still think the only reason you cared is you didn’t like the material.”

    That’s an ego-driven arguement. GE and others had done SCANDALOUS articles on Baldwin. I, myself, posted articles on Baldwin and criticized him (or the CP) or multiple issues (him on the tarrifs, the CP on lots of things). Your article WAS factually innacurate, but I dont really care about that. I cared about the fact that you came in, and in one day broke rules that I had been following since this website’s founding.

    (for the record, I dont know why I said 4. Only two come to mind)

  80. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli October 18, 2008

    But to ask the owner, editor, and publisher of the site to NOT post editorials in pretty ridiculous,don’t you think?

    I didn’t ask him to do that. I asked him to clarify whether there was a change of policy. If the policy is that Austin, and only Austin, can do editorials, that has never been spelled out before, but I have no objection to it.

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