Monday, June 02, 2008

Split decision on Bob Barr

I'm still not sure what to think about the Libertarian Party's nomination of Bob Barr as president. I talked to a long-time (and I mean long-time) libertarian activist last week who on balance was rather dismayed. He doesn't think Barr is close to being a shure-nuff libertarian, though he might get there eventually, pointing out that while in an LP speech last week hge talked about rescinding the Patriot Act, in a media interview he talked about seeing which parts should be retained and which should be repealed, shading the issue. He also doesn't think he's fully persuaded about the immorality of the drug war, though he's come some distance on medical marijuana. He says the Ron Paul people don't much like Barr, so there's little chance of organizing/fundraising help from that corner. And he thinks Wayne Allyn Root, who tossed his support to Barr and got the vice presidential nomination, is an opportunist and the LP will be lucky if he isn't in jail before the end of the year (among other things he's an online gambling entrepreneur).

The factor that might militate most strongly against the LP getting an unusually good, even game-changing performance this year by nominating someone who already had a political "name" is that this is likely to be a close election. Even if they understand the Electoral College and the fact that in many states the race isn't all that close and a third-party vote won't defeat their second choice, voters tend to shun third parties when the election is close nationally. All too many people buy into the "your vote counts" mystique.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There have been rubmlings of some Ron Paul dealings between the two. Now he certainly won't endorse, but the Barr candidacy might just have some wings before all is said-and-done.

Have you seen John McCain's new drum?