Bob Barr Quits Republican Party, Joins Libertarians
Conservative firebrand Bob Barr has quit the Republican Party and become a Libertarian.
A former Georgia congressman who helped spark President Clinton’s impeachment has quit the Republican Party to become a Libertarian, saying he is disillusioned with the GOP on issues such as spending and privacy.
Bob Barr, who served eight years as a Republican congressman before losing his seat in 2002, announced Friday that he is now a “proud, card-carrying Libertarian.” And he encouraged others to join him.
“It’s something that’s been bothering me for quite some time, the direction in which the party has been going more and more toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties,” said Barr, 58, a lawyer and consultant living in Atlanta. “In terms of where the country needs to be going to get back to our constitutional roots … I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to do that is to work with a party that practices what it preaches, and that is the Libertarian Party.”
It would be unkind to note that Barr has nothing to lose by this move, since he’s unelectable anyway. So I won’t note that.
I’m sure that there are plenty of us in the Barry Goldwater-Phil Gramm wing of the party who are tired of the profligate spending and catering to the more fanatical elements of the religious right that has marked the GOP of late. I still believe that it makes more sense to try to fix the problems from within than the splinter off into another party.
While there may in fact be more Americans that are, broadly speaking, libertarian than that are ideologically liberal or conservative, there is not a governing coalition to be had. A platform that would satisfy Bob Barr would not satisfy the libertarian left. Indeed, the divide between the laissez faire economic (low taxes, limited regulation of the economy) wing and social anarchy (drug legalization, gay marriage, cops are evil) wing of the libertarian movement is far greater than that between the social and economic conservatives within the GOP.