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Bob Barr's Real Record (II): Barr the libertarian
Nolan Chart (Virginia) ^ | May 22, 2008 | George Dance

Posted on 05/23/2008 10:48:22 PM PDT by Kurt Evans

Fortunately, there is an objective way to measure how libertarian or "anti-libertarian" Barr's record in Congress actually was. The Republican Liberty Caucus has been publishing its annual Liberty Index since 1991. For Congress, the Liberty Index selects 40 key votes each year, half on economic freedoms and half on personal liberties, using those votes to rank Congressmen on a Nolan Chart (like the one at the top of this article). A rating of 100 would place a Congressman at the top of the chart -- a "pure" libertarian -- while a rating of 0 would place him or her at the very bottom: an unregenerate statist.

The Liberty Index gives Bob Barr a lifetime rating of 68 on personal liberties, and 85 on economic liberties, for a cumulative total of 76.4, placing him well within the Libertarian quadrant.

But the Index tells us more than that. It also tells us that in 1995 (Barr's first year in office) his personal liberties rating was only 56 (while his economic was 84), for a total of 70; close, but not yet a libertarian. By 2001 (his last full year in office) his personal liberties rating had climbed to 65, and his economic liberties rating to 90, for a total of 77.5.

That shows a very different picture from the one the Barr-bashers are currently painting. It shows, first, a Congressman whose voting record was, on the whole, libertarian; and, second, one whose voting record was becoming more libertarian the longer he served.

The clear indication is that Barr had already evolved into a libertarian while in Congress. Undoubtedly that helps explain his 2002 defeat. But it also provides an explanation for his subsequent actions, including his joining the Libertarian Party in 2006: One does not have to attribute those later acts to flip-flopping or deception (as some of the Barr-bashers are doing), but rather to a continuing evolution that had already begun even before his defeat.

In a 2002 article for Liberty magazine, J. Bradley Jansen (at the time 1st vice-chair of the Washington, DC, Libertarian Party) gives an example of that evolution:

When the Federal Reserve System tried to promulgate its infamous "Know Your Customer" regulations, Barr was initially sympathetic to the idea, based on the very limited information he had, which had come mostly from other former prosecutors. But Bob Barr did his homework, and came to realize that the measure destroyed personal privacy and forced banks to spy on their customers for the government. The public campaign against the regulation would not have succeeded without Barr. In this effort, Barr and Paul were joined by the Libertarian Party, whose DefendYourPrivacy. org website enabled people to sign an online petition that was responsible for more than half of the negative comments the Fed received. He even pushed for an amendment that would have also rolled back many existing reporting requirements that undermine individual financial privacy.

Jansen, who got to know Barr during the 4 years he worked for Congressman Ron Paul, wrote his Liberty article to protest the Libertarian Party's 'targeting' of Barr by running negative ads against him in the 2002 primary. (Those ads may have contributed to Barr's defeat, though (1) his willingness to oppose the Bush administration on civil liberties questions, and (2) the gerrymandering that forced him to run against another incumbent Republican, no doubt played more important roles.)

Jansen gives many other examples of Barr's libertarian record as a Congressman. I would like to reproduce those here, as they are the part of the Barr record that no one else is bothering to mention today:

* "In the 107th Congress when Ron Paul stood up for our sovereignty against the United Nations (Roll Call votes 245 and 246), it was Bob Barr who supported him ... just as Barr supported Paul in cutting corporate welfare by limiting funding for the Export-Import Bank."

* "Barr is a co-sponsor of H. Res. 197, 'Stop U.N. Gun Ban.'"

* "Barr supports H.R. 2615 'Stop National Medical ID and the Patient Privacy Protection Act.'"

* "Barr is a leading defender of civil liberties. He introduced legislation that forces the National Security Agency's Project ECHELON to provide a full accounting to the Congress of their covert monitoring of millions of phone calls, faxes, and emails."

* "He led the fight against National ID Card proposals and introduced legislation in 1998 to check the federal government's abuse of wire-tapping laws — including the use of roving wiretaps — and also opposed governmental interception of cellular phone calls."

* "He introduced legislation to mandate that the federal government issue 'Privacy Impact Statements' every time it issues a new rule or regulation."

* "He was a chief sponsor of a law to limit abuses of the civil asset forfeiture statutes."

* "He fought against OSHA regulations and to limit small business vulnerability to frivolous labor litigation."

* "He is a board member of the National Rifle Association, and a staunch defender of the right of Americans to own and use firearms. He has introduced and sponsored legislation to block litigation against gun manufacturers for the acts of their customers and to limit any background checks and mandate they be conducted 'instantly.'"

* "Barr has succinctly advocated the principle that while criminals must be punished to the full extent of the law, their civil liberties must be protected with even more vigor."

* "He is a staunch defender of American sovereignty and opposes the executive branch's overzealous use of our military abroad he even filed suit against President Clinton's war in Kosovo without congressional approval."

* "He is a fierce critic of the United Nations — and to a lesser degree NATO — and has consistently supported efforts to withdraw U.S. membership from the United Nations."

* "He co-sponsored a committee amendment to withdraw the U.S. from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank."

* "Since his first day in Congress back in 1995, Barr has tirelessly fought to eliminate the Internal Revenue Code, supported the "flat tax" proposal, and consistently supported passage of a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds supermajority of Congress to raise taxes."

* "He was an early supporter of lowering the capital gains tax and recently he introduced legislation to provide tax credits for educators: public, private, and homeschool!"

* "More than any other member of the Georgia delegation, Congressman Barr has parted with the Republican majority to vote against bloated 'pork barrel' spending."

* "He has continually fought the unconstitutional [McCain/Feingold] 'campaign finance reforms.' Defending our fundamental rights, he has filed a lawsuit to prevent implementation of the recently passed legislation."

And that's the rest of the story. It certainly paints a different picture from that of the racist, antilibertarian bigot that Barr's political opponents have been pushing. Rather, it shows a Congressman whose first-hand experience of government turned him into a libertarian -- not a radical or "pure" libertarian, to be sure, but certainly a constitutionalist in the model of Ron Paul.

It also shows the existence, as far back as 2002, of some people in the Libertarian Party who have been willing to overlook that record for the sake of "getting" Bob Barr, just as there are some willing to do so in that party today.

In conclusion, then: Is Barr a libertarian or an "antilibertarian"? I suspect that my own conclusion is obvious. However, I expect the Libertarian delegates in Denver to each decide for him or herself. All that I would ask is that they be aware of all of the facts before deciding.


TOPICS: Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; barr; billofrights; bobbarr; elections; libertarian; libertarianparty; lp; post1alexjones; post1blackhelis; thirdparty

Government agents are watching you.
Bob Barr is watching them.



BARR ’08

1 posted on 05/23/2008 10:48:23 PM PDT by Kurt Evans
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Here’s the link to part 1:
http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/2020598/posts

Learn more here:
http://bobbarr.org/


2 posted on 05/23/2008 10:57:36 PM PDT by Kurt Evans (This message not approved by any candidate or candidate's committee.)
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To: Kurt Evans

When we have to start posting truth files for or against Bob Barr, we are getting desperate...


3 posted on 05/23/2008 11:15:37 PM PDT by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: Kurt Evans
I am considering a vote for Barr.

First, however, I need more information.

“Open Borders” and “Amnesty” are absolute deal killers for me.

Barr scores 90% on Economic Liberty.

When Libertarians talk about “Economic Liberty,” they almost always include some form of Open Borders.

That is a HUGE red flag to me.

I have read this post and both the hyperlinks.

I'm still not clear what Barr's CURRENT position is on immigration.

4 posted on 05/23/2008 11:29:38 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: streetpreacher
"When we have to start posting truth files for or against Bob Barr, we are getting desperate..."

Ya think? :-)
5 posted on 05/23/2008 11:33:18 PM PDT by Kurt Evans (This message not approved by any candidate or candidate's committee.)
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Barr has been on the ACLU payroll for the past few years.

Why not vote for Obama as that is who you will get.

If you don’t like liberals, why do third paryt voters always make sure liberals win.


6 posted on 05/23/2008 11:37:23 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Don't Blame Me - I Supported Duncan Hunter)
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To: zeestephen

http://bobbarr.org/

Click “BARR ‘08”...
Click “Issues”...
Click “Secure our Borders”...


7 posted on 05/23/2008 11:43:44 PM PDT by Kurt Evans (This message not approved by any candidate or candidate's committee.)
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To: Kurt Evans
http://bobbarr.org/ Click “BARR ‘08”... Click “Issues”... Click “Secure our Borders”...

Why not just click here?

8 posted on 05/23/2008 11:54:43 PM PDT by itsamelman (Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh. - - Al Swearengen)
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To: SoCalPol

“Barr has been on the ACLU payroll for the past few years.”

Learn more here:
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2010888/posts

“Why not vote for Obama as that is who you will get.”

There are better options. (McCain isn’t one of them.)

“If you don’t like liberals ...”

I generally like liberals. I just think they’re evil.


9 posted on 05/24/2008 12:03:04 AM PDT by Kurt Evans (This message not approved by any candidate or candidate's committee.)
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To: itsamelman
"Why not just click here?"

There are better options. (McCain isn't one of them.)
10 posted on 05/24/2008 12:12:24 AM PDT by Kurt Evans (This message not approved by any candidate or candidate's committee.)
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To: Kurt Evans

Kurt Evans - thanks for the link.

Barr’s language makes me very uneasy.

There is no shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor, or willing workers in the USA.

When employers increase pay, sweeten benefits, and improve working conditions, Americans line up to apply for the job.

If employers can’t afford to pay more, then they need to automate, or improve management, or offer new products, or go out of business.

As a matter fact, that should be a Libertarian principle for business owners:

“If you can’t compete with your current business model, create a new business model.”


11 posted on 05/24/2008 12:24:37 AM PDT by zeestephen
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To: SoCalPol

Oh get off the ACLU charge against Barr. You’ve beaten that charge to death on FR. There are, rarely but occasionally, times when the principles the ACLU espouses are in line with what conservatives and libertarians espouse.


12 posted on 05/24/2008 12:31:20 AM PDT by mukraker
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To: itsamelman
itsamelman - thanks for the laugh.

I'm angry, not crazy, at least not yet.

Six months to get there, though.

Barr, McCain, Obama, Clinton, or.....Suicide?

13 posted on 05/24/2008 12:35:24 AM PDT by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen

Just wake me when the shooting starts....


14 posted on 05/24/2008 12:47:46 AM PDT by Uriah_lost (Do you have your "bug out" plan ready?)
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To: mukraker
rarely but occasionally, times when the principles the ACLU espouses are in line with what conservatives and libertarians espouse.

Haha. Out of the thousands and thousands cases pursued by the ACLU those which benefited conservatives can be counted on one hand. Incignificant. The ACLU is the enemy within. On another note if Barr is really interested in becoming President he should get a shave. Americans don't elect moustaches for office. The last time was Teddy Roosevelt...

15 posted on 05/24/2008 1:46:45 AM PDT by SolidWood (Refusal to vote for McCain is active support for Obama.)
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To: SolidWood

“Americans don’t elect moustaches for office. The last time was Teddy Roosevelt...”

Teddy had a manly mustache, Bobs’ looks kinda gay


16 posted on 05/24/2008 2:38:10 AM PDT by Figment ("A communist is someone who reads Marx.An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx" R Reagan)
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To: streetpreacher

Its like the Paulite strategy. Attention is the goal.

Personally, I would much rather know what Barr scores on the
hasbeen-odometer.


17 posted on 05/24/2008 4:00:59 AM PDT by rod1
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To: Kurt Evans

Bob Barr raised money for the ACLU. He is no friend of Conservatives.


18 posted on 05/24/2008 4:02:30 AM PDT by montag813
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To: SoCalPol

If you can’t detect the difference between Barr and Obama you have a political tin ear.


19 posted on 05/24/2008 4:47:28 AM PDT by saganite
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To: Kurt Evans

I know barr personally. I consider him a horse’s ash.


20 posted on 05/24/2008 4:47:49 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatives live in the truth. Liberals live in lies.)
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To: Kurt Evans

A vote for the pretender Barr is a copout.

There are two candidates.....Barr is not one of them.


21 posted on 05/24/2008 4:49:23 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . The Bitcons will elect a Democrat by default)
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To: Kurt Evans

If he really is a libertarian, then why on Earth would he associate with the ACLU? These are the same guys who want to force heterosexual Boy Scouts to sleep with gay scouts.


22 posted on 05/24/2008 6:01:39 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Kurt Evans
Three marriages, two divorces including a scandalous one that went to trial with charges of adultery.....this wannabe spoiler of the GOP standard bearer has been out of the national spotlight for a long time.

So it must be a relief for Barr to temporarily get away from some musty, fetid corner in the satanic offices of the ACLU and out into the limelight once again.

Leni

23 posted on 05/24/2008 6:21:55 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Foot Soldier in FR's Light Verse Brigade)
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To: MinuteGal
.....bump for the libertinarian crowd.

Leni

24 posted on 05/24/2008 7:42:26 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Foot Soldier in FR's Light Verse Brigade)
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To: Kurt Evans

While several of my relatives are fighting in Iraq and Afgan.
chicken shit Fascist like Bob Barr and his lemmings bring in Herr Obama and his world of Liberal Fascism.


25 posted on 05/24/2008 2:18:38 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Don't Blame Me - I Supported Duncan Hunter)
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To: saganite

Do the math,
Third party candidates gave us Carter and Clinton.
Also the problems we have today in Iran and general Middle East area.

1992

Bill Clinton 43%
GHW Bush 37%
Perot 19%

Thank you Perot for the nightmare of the 90s & 9/11


26 posted on 05/24/2008 2:25:56 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Don't Blame Me - I Supported Duncan Hunter)
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To: SoCalPol

How can you blame Perot? He had the right to run. Not everyone who voted for Perot would have voted for Bush (if Perot had not been on the ticket). I have relatives who are Democrats and they voted for Perot. Other might have stayed home. Bush would have needed maybe close to 70% of the Perot vote to win.


27 posted on 05/24/2008 2:39:31 PM PDT by apocalypto
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To: SoCalPol

Thanks. I appreciate that info. The Dems claim Nader gave us Bush too. I’ll be voting my conscience and McCain doesn’t fit into that scenario.


28 posted on 05/24/2008 2:40:34 PM PDT by saganite
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To: SoCalPol
Barr has been on the ACLU payroll for the past few years. Why not vote for Obama as that is who you will get.

Cough-disingenuous-party-hack-cough

Wish he'd lose the moustache.

29 posted on 05/24/2008 2:48:32 PM PDT by Puddleglum
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To: Kurt Evans
If it wasn't for his foreign policy, I'd vote for Barr. But unfortunately, his foreign policy is more misguided than even that of Ron Paul's.

We're on the verge of winning in Iraq. Now's not the time for us to adopt a head-in-the-sand foreign policy and let dictators run amok.

I just wish Barr and other libertarians and 3rd party candidates would stay on the sidelines and see how McCain fares against Obama head-up.

30 posted on 05/24/2008 3:55:11 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Bipartisanship: Two wolves and the American people deciding what's for dinner)
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To: zeestephen
I am considering a vote for Barr.

And right now the Libertarian is holding a convention considering him. You might not have to even bother considering voting for him if the party decides they don't want the interloper.

31 posted on 05/25/2008 10:03:23 AM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: bert

A vote for Barr right now would have to be a write-in since the Libertarian Party hasn’t picked their candidate yet........


32 posted on 05/25/2008 10:05:01 AM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: Kurt Evans

Who was that Eva Braun candidate type tearing into Barr? She’s pretty scary. It seems that quite a few Liberaltarians are like her...


33 posted on 05/25/2008 1:30:59 PM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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