Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fellow Libertarians, I Damned Well Told You So

As early as 2006 I caught grief from some self-described libertarians because I refused to be impressed by former congressman Bob Barr, even after the Libertarian Party was damnfool enough to give him a leadership position. At the time I called Barr a:
drug warrior extraordinaire who pays lip service to the cause of liberty yet believes Granny should go to jail if she smokes a joint to make her chemotherapy-induced nausea go away. There are two reasons a libertarian should oppose the war on drugs: it's a perfidious assault on personal freedom and an enormous waste of money. Barr fails on both counts.

Fun fact about human biology: often, when a person is dying but not yet dead, the muscles of the anus and rectum will go completely slack and any fecal matter inside the intestines of the soon-to-be-corpse makes its way out to freedom.

I suspect Barr’s appointment is merely the pants-shitting phase of the Libertarian Party’s death throes. But "appoint Bob Barr" would be a marvelous euphemism for the process of expelling solid waste from the body, don't you think? "I just ate three pounds of fermented cabbage and refried beans. Please give me a match so I can light it after I appoint Bob Barr."
And now, four years later, I might be the only American libertarian who's not particularly surprised to hear Barr has taken a job -- presumably a well-paying one -- as adviser to former Haitian dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

Dear Reader, I do not mean to insult your intelligence, but bear with me while I point out the obvious: when Barr was a congressman with actual authority to write and vote on bills, he consistently voted the anti-liberty position, and only started paying lip service to ideals of freedom after he lost his job and couldn't actually DO anything about said ideals.

If you want to judge a man's character -- or even a politician's character -- "what he does when he wields actual power" is a far better yardstick than "what he says after he loses it."


Blogger Eric Dondero said...

Help me out here, but I fail to see how any left-libertarian non-interventionist type has any ground to stand on here.

Aren't left-libertarians supposed to be okay with dictatorship? I mean all the Ron Paulist non-interventionists cried for years, "Saddam wasn't a threat, blah, blah, blah..." They similarly say now that there's no threat to America from Islamo-Fascism, and that we need an immediate pull-out of Afghanistan.

Have some consistency left-libertarians. Why do you all hate Baby Doc but adored Saddam Hussein?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Windypundit said...

Donderoooo! Ignoring for the moment that Saddam Hussein was not the subject of this post in any way...There's a vast gulf between thinking it's a bad idea to expend American lives and wealth to dethrone a sitting dictator or to destroy every last terrorist in the Middle East, and deciding personally that you want to become towel boy for a former Central American strongman who's been gone for decades. It's possible to have a consistent love of freedom and still think the first is unwise and the second is unseemly.

I never trusted Bob Barr either--he never did anything to apologize for his though you were going to say he was back on the anti-drug crusade, not cozying up to Baby Doc. I didn't see that coming. What a tool.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enter the Strawman!

A: "Aren't left-libertarians supposed to be okay with dictatorship?"
B: "Have some consistency left-libertarians. Why do you all hate Baby Doc but adored Saddam Hussein?"

A: No, they're not.
B: Name one lefty, libertarian or not, that has expressed an iota of love for Saddam Husein. Please provide citations. Note that being opposed to a costly war on the other side of the planet, against someone with no ability to harm the US, does not equal loving support of the policies of the victim of that war.

Step up your game on the trolling Dundero. That was a pretty lame attempt.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Dave-o-ramA said...


It's cute!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Dondero, I'll give you credit where due: Google-searching for blog posts with the word "libertarian" in the title so you can troll the comments is probably less useless than your old habit of posting on Hit and Run to brag about how many hookers you boned while in the Navy.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Thoreau said...


10:17 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...


(Sniff, sniff) God, what is that odor? Did someone just appoint Bob Barr around here? Someone hasn't been eating right or something. Jennifer, honey, I know you've said you done lost most of your sense of smell in a childhood accident - but good lord, child, this is enough to just make a body's eyes water! To paraphrase Tom Sawyer in Adventures of Hucklebery Finn: "That Jennifer Abel's blog - Well hmph! 'pears to me she's got some mighty low-down characters posting on it."

10:58 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

'Twasn't me, Smartass -- 'tis Dondero pulling runny Bob Barr out of his ass and smearing it all over my comment thread here.

(sings to the tune of "Bonanza) Dun-da-da-dun-dun, dun-da-da-dun DONDERRROOO, Dun-da-da-dun-dun, dun-da-da-dun ....

/Overheard by a friend at the LP convention in St. Louis. True story, bro.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

'Twasn't me, Smartass

No, and I surely didn't mean to imply any such....unlady-like behavior. Pardon mois. ;-)

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Lawful Evil Cleric said...


8:49 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

BTW, Libertarians aren't the only people with egg on their faces over this. The ACLU* also played footsie with Barr. They should have paid attention to what Jennifer said: What you do while in power is far more revealing than what you say while out of power.

*Some would say that they are libertarian, but plenty more would say they aren't, so whatever.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...


Hey Dondi,
Will you be pushing Rudy Ghouliani again as a libertarian choice for president again?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

The previous message was brought to you by the U. S. Department of Redundancy Dept.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

(To the theme of "Mission Impossible")

Don, don

Don, don

Don, don

Don, don









10:49 PM  
Blogger The Atomic Fruitbat said...

Not to retread such well-traveled ground, but...


8:54 AM  
Blogger Gwenny said...

No, Jennifer, I was not surprised when Barr turned out to be fail. I mean, this was the guy who tried to throw pagans out of the military a decade ago. I no longer consider myself a libertarian. I'm still registered as one but will probably change my affiliation to Independent when I renew my license next month.

3:53 PM  
Blogger James Hanley said...

I'm a small-l libertarian, and refuse to register as a big-L Libertarian. Their nomination of Barr was the strongest reconfirmation of that stance that I've ever experienced. I despise that son-of-a-bitch, and am pleased to say that I adamantly and publicly refused to vote for him.

But still I'm surprised that the son-of-a-bitch stooped this low.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Charles Pergiel said...

Amazing. Astounding. Baby Doc made off with $800 million 30 years ago, and now he's trying to pick up a lousy 5.7 million? Un-frakking believable.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The Libertarian Party does as much for libertarian ideals as the Democratic Party does for democracy and the Republicans for small-r republicanism. Which is to say nothing at best, and active damage at worst.

11:19 PM  
Blogger BakedPenguin said...

I was one of the libertarians who went along with Barr, at least as far as voting for him was concerned. While I certainly wasn't wild about the choice (I'd volunteered to work for Kubby), I thought the work Barr had done for the MPP showed a sincere change of heart.

While your point about what people do while in power is well taken, if someone states that they have changed, at what point do we grant them the benefit of the doubt? Only if they regain power and subsequently keep their word? Is there no redemption aside frm that? People can, and do, change. Since he had to know his chances of getting elected were hardly north of zero, I thought that he actually had.

As for Barr's current job, I'll repeat what I said on H&R when it came out: fuck him with a blender.


9:13 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

People can change, BP, but Barr's didn't strike me as sincere. It's not enough to say "I've changed" -- give an explanation. What made him realize outlawing military religions he disliked was wrong? What made him realize DOMA and his drug warriorship was a bad idea? Simply muttering "Sorry my bad won't do that again" doesn't count.

9:22 AM  
Blogger BakedPenguin said...

Fair enough. For me, the work he'd done with MPP made me think he had become a different person.

I was wrong.

8:23 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from