Bob Barr comments on…octuplets?

I found this article to be strangely out-of-sync for Bob Barr’s usual commentary. In his latest writing, Bob Barr excoriates the mother who recently gave birth to octuplets. While this is not purely political, it is reminiscient of the “culture war” commentary of the 90s. Plus, the comments are being made by the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential candidate.

The strange case of Nadya Suleman is but the latest example of a society in which the unusual is glorified; the most extreme behavior rewarded; and the most intimate details of human activities plastered all over the Internet, television and tabloids.

Suleman is custom-made to have become the latest pseudo celebrity on the interview-for-pay circuit. She doesn’t work. She lives with her parents even though she is 33 years old. She is unmarried. She already had six —- that’s right, six —- other young children in addition to the latest litter of eight. And the eight new mouths to feed were the result not of natural conception, but a carefully planned project whereby an apparently willing doctor implanted eight embryos in the woman so she could thereby become a celebrity.

The rest here.

73 thoughts on “Bob Barr comments on…octuplets?

  1. HS

    The New Libertarian Party sounds a lot like the Republican Party.

    Is Barr considered an LP leader by the average, rank-and-file LP members? Or is he more of like a one-night stand that seemed like a good idea at the time but now most would rather forget and move on from?

  2. Michael Seebeck

    This coming from a guy who ate breast milk cheese once, which you can see all over YouTube…

    Besides, as a libertarian, why would he be lamenting that exercise in (tasteless) free speech?

    Oh, wait, I assumed he was a libertarian. My bad! 😀

  3. Andy

    What does this article from Bob Barr have to do with anything important in regard to Libertarian issues?

  4. libertariangirl

    because people that read it , then associate his name with being the representative of the LP will then make the jump intellectually that we too support his ideas.

  5. George Phillies

    Be sure to thank the guiding geniuses of our party leadership who recruited this guy as our Presidential candidate and did whatever it took to get him the nomination.

    But you might consider carefully whether sending them your money, to spend as wisely as they spent their time recruiting this fellow, is wise, prudent, or even marginally sane.

  6. paulie cannoli

    What does this article from Bob Barr have to do with anything important in regard to Libertarian issues?

    He was the most recent presidential candidate of the LP, so it’s in bounds for IPR. I’m also counting announced 2012 candidates and 2008 pre-nomination candidates as well. Basically, so long as we can point to any connection to alternative parties or candidates.

    As for the article:

    Unlike some, I didn’t find it very surprising. Looks like some unfortunate “backsliding,” as the church folks say.

    I didn’t see anything in the article where he calls for government to do something about what he thinks are moral problems here, so strictly speaking it’s not necessarily incompatible with libertarianism…but it’s certainly incompatible with my own personal values to, for example, refer to these children as a “litter”.

    I think that as a philosophy of acceptable means, we should accept that libertarians can (hopefully respectfully) disagree about what the problems in society are – just as long as we agree to look for better solutions to them than government or other initiation of coercion.

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    Andy,

    I wrote my reasoning for posting it. Pretty much anything the guy writes is fodder for this blog. Also, it even cites him as the former Presidential candidate of the LP.

  8. HS

    because people that read it , then associate his name with being the representative of the LP will then make the jump intellectually that we too support his ideas.

    libertariangirl,

    Your statement really is true. I started getting involved in third-party politics in 2008 when Barr became the LP nominee. He always turned me off as a right-wing nut back in his Congress days, so I did associate him with the LP. I have since learned about the differences (in my opinion) between the LP and the actual libertarian ideology.

    But, wow! Someone let Barr back in the GOP, and quick!

  9. Susan Hogarth

    If a self-promoting weirdo like Suleman can find a doctor willing to implant eight embryos in her womb just so she can become a television freak show…

    That’s pretty bad stuff. What I have heard of the story leads me to pity Suleman (and, of course her children, and the doctor who was probably duped into ‘helping’ her). This woman probably has some serious emotional/mental issues – to maintain that she calculatingly had 14 children – 8 at once – while living in poverty to ‘become a television freak show’ is nothing but pure embittered meanspiritedness.

    And Barr sound just plain old-fart with this nonsense: Are we not subject to television advertisements hawking, in not-so-subtle detail and often during the dinner hour, products that will address various heretofore private bodily functions as urination, defecation, incontinence, erectile dysfunction and hemorrhoids?

    Someone buy that man a Tivo, or better yet, tell him to stop wasting his time obsessing about other people’s hemorrhoids.

  10. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Feb 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Andy,

    I wrote my reasoning for posting it. Pretty much anything the guy writes is fodder for this blog. Also, it even cites him as the former Presidential candidate of the LP.”

    I wasn’t questioning you for posting it, I was questioning Bob Barr for going to the trouble to write it.

  11. Trent Hill Post author

    I dont think that Barr’s statements are unlibertarian. They are certainly unlibertine, but those two are not the same. Barr never suggests any government action, or anything.

  12. volvoice

    As long as tax dollars are not required to support her ass then I say have at it. 8 kids…that’s punishment enough.

  13. Trent Hill Post author

    “But, wow! Someone let Barr back in the GOP, and quick!”

    Lest ye jest, there is a rumor that Barr may run for Congress or Senate.

  14. Trent Hill Post author

    And Barr’s attack on Jon and Kate is pretty stupid. It’s a REALLY popular TV show, Jon and Kate are Christians, they’re both beloved by millions, and they take no tax money.

  15. Andy

    “I didn’t see anything in the article where he calls for government to do something about what he thinks are moral problems here, so strictly speaking it’s not necessarily incompatible with libertarianism…but it’s certainly incompatible with my own personal values to, for example, refer to these children as a ‘litter’.”

    It seems to me that with all of the important political issues of the day that a former Libertarian Presidential candidate should have more important things about which to write. This makes him sound like an old fuddy-duddy who has nothing better to do than sit around and critisize what other people do in their personal lives.

  16. paulie cannoli

    he doesnt call for government intervention but man does he sound meanspirited

    I agree.

    Basically, the way I see it: someone who sees the situation as Barr does can be libertarian – as long as he does not want the government to stop her from having kids, having a TV show, etc.
    But I would personally condemn some of the tone in that article, since I have my own personal values as well.

    Someone who calls for either the government to prevent her from having octuplets or a TV show on one hand, or to pay her child support on the other, is not libertarian – at least on that issue.

    My own position is good luck to whatever she wants to do, but I don’t want to pay for any of it, and won’t be watching the TV show if she gets one.

  17. Steven R Linnabary

    It seems to me that with all of the important political issues of the day that a former Libertarian Presidential candidate should have more important things about which to write.

    Aren’t we all being a bit hard on Barr?

    Just because he was our figurehead in the last election does not mean he gives up any right to comment on topical issues.

    I expect any LP candidate to have opinions on other issues besides what is happening in Washington or our state capitals. I’m certain that Kubby, Knapp or Phillies can carry on a conversation about other issues of the day. I’m sure that any one of us might be offended by some of their opinions.

    And let’s face it, it can sometimes be hard to come up with a topic when a deadline is approaching. He was merely commenting on the topic du jour.

    That said, referring to the children as a “litter” is a bit inflammatory. But then I’ve had fun with my cousin by calling her 2 sets of twins as “litters”.

    PEACE

  18. paulie cannoli

    Aren’t we all being a bit hard on Barr?

    Just because he was our figurehead in the last election does not mean he gives up any right to comment on topical issues.

    I expect any LP candidate to have opinions on other issues besides what is happening in Washington or our state capitals.

    Good point.

    By the way, clicking on your name now goes to a list of all the 2008 candidates and you have apparently been removed. What’s up with that?

  19. paulie cannoli

    did you hear that Barr might run for Congress as a Republican or a Libertarian?

    I’ve been hearing Republican.

    For one thing, he wants a shot at winning.

    For another, he needs a campaign that raises enough to pay off his 2008 debts.

  20. Bill Lussenheide

    I think Barr makes a decent case that society has slipped into a strange morass of voyeurism and sensationalism.

    High ideals, and the praise of the heroic, responsible and self sacrificing are seldom ballyhooed. We are a society that lacks true heroes.

    You do become what you dream about and focus on. One has to wonder what kind of society will evolve from one that has such low standards to gather attention and “stardom”.

  21. Steven R Linnabary

    By the way, clicking on your name now goes to a list of all the 2008 candidates and you have apparently been removed. What’s up with that?

    I noticed that yesterday. ALL the Ohio candidates have been removed. Dunno why.

    PEACE

  22. Trent Hill Post author

    “And let’s face it, it can sometimes be hard to come up with a topic when a deadline is approaching. He was merely commenting on the topic du jour.”

    More importantly–his editor may have asked for a story specifically on this.

  23. Susan Hogarth

    You do become what you dream about and focus on.

    Well, then I have to wonder why Barr seems determined to focus on the pathetic problems of an unfortunate woman and … commercials for erectile dysfunction.

  24. paulie cannoli

    Well, then I have to wonder why Barr seems determined to focus on the pathetic problems of an unfortunate woman and … commercials for erectile dysfunction.

    Can making a Viagra commercial with Britney Spears, a la Bob Dole, be in his future?

  25. Michael Seebeck

    It’s true that he didn’t call for any government intervention on anything.

    All I’m saying it that he’s lamenting free speech and expression, which is his right to be wrong, and that he has exercised that same right in a similar manner, which makes him a hypocrite.

    Besides, the affairs of other individuals are really not ours to comment on, unless our tax dollars are involved.

    Had he commented about Medi-Cal picking up the bills for the octuplets, then he’d have a much more legitimate complaint, and a much stronger position.

    Instead he complains about “the unusual” and “extreme behavior” as if he himself alone understands and can define what conformist reality it.

    In other words, don’t complain about private behavior per se, but complain away about government mandating it (or restricting it) or taxpayers footing the bill.

  26. Michael Seebeck

    “Can making a Viagra commercial with Britney Spears, a la Bob Dole, be in his future?”

    Would the blue pill make his glasses jump upwards off his face? Or a Barr stunt double doing a back flip on a Georgia beach? LOL!

  27. Michael Seebeck

    Besides, Britney causes shrinkage, not erections–as do the rest of the Toxic Twits.

  28. Trent Hill

    Seebeck speaks the truth concerning Spears.

    I live about 45 minutes from her hometown. And for awhile Coke put up billboards that had her on them and it said “Pride of Louisiana!”

    They should’ve consulted Louisiana first.

  29. George Phillies

    There are development issues associated with multiplets. They can be quite serious. It would be interesting to hear discussion from any readers familiar with this question — I seem to recall we once ran an obstetrician for President — on the topic. I would question the professional ethics of preparing children to be an exhibit tool of this sort. Legally allowed does not mean morally right. Some might argue that what we see here is child abuse at the moment of implantation. Some would differ.

  30. Trent Hill

    “I thought she advertised Pepsi?”

    Possibly. But that would just prove that Pepsi had NO IDEA what they were doing. This is Cokeland.

  31. robert capozzi

    I get a bit concerned when politicians try to play sociologist. still, it’s a topical subject that has political and economical implications. his piece seemed a bit judgey to me, although I’d agree we live in some sick times, with behavior that seems on its face dysfunctional (pun intended).

    Barr’s an interesting, courageous guy, I’ll give him that.

  32. derkel

    Yeah we wouldn’t want our politicians preaching personal responsibility. He in no way advocated government intervention, simply common sense.

    This 33 year old woman, who is probably already on welfare, decided to go and have 8 more because she thought it would make her Jon and Kate like celebrity.

    Having the complete freedom to do what you want doesn’t mean we shouldn’t preach personal responsibility.

  33. Gene Berkman

    I personally agree with Bob Barr that this woman is irresponsible, and why is everyone criticizing him for saying so?

    The mother is unmarried, lives with her mother, had six children already, and stuck Kaiser with the cost of keeping her eight artificial kids alive. I rely on Kaiser for medical care, and the cost will undoubtedly be passed on to me and other Kaiser clients.

    Really, the posters on this board do not seem to have considered the implications of this woman’s irresponsible behavior.

  34. paulie cannoli

    I personally agree with Bob Barr that this woman is irresponsible, and why is everyone criticizing him for saying so?

    Actually, I do agree with him about that, just not with the tone of some of the rhetoric.

  35. paulie cannoli

    I thought the rhetoric was fine.

    We have a difference of opinion. I think that dehumanizing the kids by calling them a “litter” is wrong, and as Susan and I think others have pointed out, the thing about the hemorrhoid cream commercials and whatnot is just silly.

    But he has the right to his personal opinion, and just because he ran for office doesn’t mean he loses his right to write about whatever he wants and say what he wants to say.

  36. derkel

    “We have a difference of opinion”

    Fair enough. I’m just sick of people coddling these idiots. They are idiots and should be treated as such. She is already sucking at the government teet, and decided to have 8 kids so she could be a celebrity. She should probably be put in jail for child abuse, because that is basically what she did.

    Plus I needed a good excuse to use my vagina clown car poster. This thread finally provided me that excuse.

  37. Mik Robertson

    I’m assuming Barr’s television has an off button like most others. If he is offended, he CAN turn the TV off. He doesn’t have to rant like Andy Rooney. Sometimes I turn my TV on, but usually just to watch the Steelers.

  38. John C Jackson

    Those Jon and Kate Plus 8 folks went from unemployed to living in a mansion and going on all kinds of trips and getting cool shit from pimping out their kids. It might be a wise career move. If you are unemployed and have 6 kids, add 8 more and TLC will probably pay for a new life, just like the dwarf family, jon and kate, the duggar family,etc.

  39. The Pattern

    I think the rhetoric suggests that Barr would like to censor television and limit choices for parents. I agree that calling the children a “litter” was demeaning to the mother and the children. A bitch has a litter of puppies. Is that where Barr is going, calling the mother a dog? How rude.

    Really, this sort of rhetoric is fine for a war mongering conservative Republican. It is idiotic for a Libertarian presidential nominee. Barr is credibly a conservative Republican family values sort who wants to censor everything in sight and monitor personal reproduction choices with an iron fist.

    To convince libertarians that Barr isn’t one, all he has to do is keep writing and talking.

  40. Coming on the back of the LP

    You guys should give Grampa Bob a break. His TV set is probably black and white, and he’d have to go across the room to get up and change the channel. Which, at his age, is not easy to do, you know.

  41. Gene Trosper

    I also agree with Bob Barr and frankly, “octomom” need to be shown just irresponsible and plain messed up mentally she really is. I think Bob let her off lightly.

    It’s now coming out that octomom has lived for the past ten years on worker’s compensation. yes: TEN YEARS. Not only did she receive workers compensation after her “injury”, but she qualified for more workers compensation after she was supposedly injured while on her way to a workers com hearing!

    This woman is irresponsible and mentally ill and we get to pay for her irresponsibility.

    What doctor in their right mind is going to implant EIGHT embryos in a woman? The doctors at Kaiser told her she should “cull” some of the fetuses early in her pregnancy, but she refused.

    Everyone is sooo worried about appearing harsh on the poor dear, well, if libertarians are supposedly so demanding of personal responsibility, we should be on the barricades and stigmatize this sort of irrational behavior at every opportunity. Once upon a time, there was the “social sanction”. It’s about time we start using that again. Now we have corporations wanting to sponsor octomom and celebrities like Oprah wanting to interview and “celebrate” this so-called “miracle”.

    It’s not a miracle: it’s a mentally imbalanced woman who has ever since her teenage years dreamt of NOTHING but having many kids and we get to pay for it.

  42. Gene Trosper

    @45

    Dehumanizing kids?

    Not that long ago, kids born out of wedlock were called “bastards”. I was born out of wedlock in 1965 and I am a bastard. Just because some people are emotionally ill-equipped to being called a name (welcome to real life people, get used to it) doesn’t mean we should coddle everyone.

    There was a reason people called the kids of unwed mothers “bastards”: the social sanction against unwed motherhood helped keep unwed births in check and therefore kept welfare down to a minimum.

    Sure, it doesn’t seem fair to the kids, but if people expect that their irresponsible behavior is going to bring upon them castigation, maybe they will think twice before being irresponsible and making all of us responsible for their actions.

  43. Trent Hill

    “I think the rhetoric suggests that Barr would like to censor television and limit choices for parents.”

    This does not follow. Criticizing something does not suggest you want to use government to fix it–only a liberal would think so.

  44. paulie cannoli

    “I think the rhetoric suggests that Barr would like to censor television and limit choices for parents.”

    This does not follow. Criticizing something does not suggest you want to use government to fix it–only a liberal would think so.

    Or a conservative, in the case of social issues or foreign policy.

  45. paulie cannoli

    You guys should give Grampa Bob a break. His TV set is probably black and white, and he’d have to go across the room to get up and change the channel. Which, at his age, is not easy to do, you know.

    That’s so ageist of you.

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