Bob Barr and the LP: Sellouts

So the LP decided to nominate a conservative with no libertarian past and very few libertarian leanings.  Fine.

Now the sell-out has gone to a new stage.  They have turned their back on the First Amendment.  I got this email Friday (I’m still on the LP mailing lists):

Yesterday, I reported to former Congressman Barr that we’ve exhausted every avenue. I told him, “We’ve had calls placed to Pastor Warren from very powerful leaders from the left and the right, we sent in our personal request, and placed numerous phone calls that have not been returned. You are not going to be included.

“Our only option left is to threaten to file an temporary injunction as our attorneys believe they are in violation of the law.”

Bob responded by saying, “No, don’t threaten to do that . . . Just do it.”

As you read this, our attorneys are filing an injunction against Saddleback Church to include Bob Barr in their forum this Saturday.

You are the first to hear about this.

The complaint is based upon a violation of McCain/Feingold campaign finance legislation. While we’re no fans of that legislation, we don’t write the rules, we’re just forced to play by them. In this case, we’re using McCain/Feingold to our advantage.

You are goons.  The “Party of Principle” has decided to throw the First Amendment to the wind and try to force someone to, out of their own pocket, host someone else’s ideas.  “We’re just fighting fire with fire”, they say.  Well, that’s not what you are doing — you are attempting to use the color of law to violate the constitutionally guaranteed rights of another, and that makes you a goon.

So they lost.  This is the latest email:

That is because late Friday evening, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter denied our request to be included in the event.

His reasoning?  I’ll let Judge Carter explain in his own words:

“Plaintiffs will lose out on a fair amount of exposure and the opportunity to express their views in a popular forum. On the other hand, halting this event would deny the other candidates the opportunity to be heard and would deprive the public of an opportunity to see the candidates and hear their views.

“Forcing Saddleback to include another candidate at the last moment could cause serious logistical problems and take away from the presentations of other candidate. This might well disrupt the planned presentation.”
Judge Carter closed by saying:

Barr and Root “will have many other opportunities in the coming months to express their views and make their candidacy known.”
When I first read that report, I’ll admit I was a bit hot under the collar.  In response to the Judge Carter’s final comment, I angrily said to myself, “Name one!”

Listen, goon, if it was anyone else, libertarians all over would be cheering the decision.  But since it was your (conservative rather than libertarian anyways) ox being gored, now the first amendment can be damned.  The LP seems to have gone from being seen as clowns to actively beclowning themselves.  You can’t take what you claim is an unconstitutional law and then avail yourself of it to violate the rights of another and still call yourself the “Party of Principle”.  Just call yourselves Perot 2.0 and be done with it.


  1. I have to disagree. When a bad law is passed and you let its supporters use it against you but never use it back, that isn’t being principled; that’s being stupid. I believe it’s wrong to use violence against others, but if someone comes up in begins punching me in the face, I’m not obligated to hold my hands behind my back in the name of principle. Maybe if McCain gets burnt a few times by his beloved BCRA, he’ll start to rethink his position.

  2. Phelps says:

    And if there was a law that said that you could rob your neighbor as long as you paid the $5 Burglary Tax would that make it OK to start a burgling spree? This isn’t defending yourself from the law — this is actively (and improperly, as evidenced by them losing the suit) using the color of law to try to violate the rights of another.

  3. Stormy Dragon says:

    If my neighbor robbed me first, I think it would okay to go over and rob all my stuff back.

    The law has already been used to suppress the LP’s voice. They have the right to respond with force back at the parties who initiated the violence.

  4. Gary McGath says:

    Stormy Dragon: The Saddleback Church has not used force against anyone. It’s using its own property for peaceful purposes. Claiming it’s somehow engaging in “violence” against Barr by not letting him use its facilities is complete nonsense.

    It’s hardly news that Barr is a phony libertarian, but he’s proved it beyond doubt now.

  5. mexigogue says:

    I believe it’s wrong to use violence against others, but if someone comes up in begins punching me in the face, I’m not obligated to hold my hands behind my back in the name of principle.

    Apples and oranges. The right to defend yourself is a human right and THAT is why fighting back against physical violence is not wrong. The tit-for-tat reciprocity you’re talking about is not the same thing. If somebody rapes your child does that make it ok for you to go and rape their child? Only in a world that does not recognize human rights. It would appear that the Libertarian party is abandoning the core of their ethics and is instead taking a ride down the slippery slope.