Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bob Barr tells his story on Bloomberg

Bob Barr tells his story. What happened to the Republican Party after the Republican Revolution of 1994? Barr argues in this interview on Bloomberg that it died 4 years later in a meeting with Newt Gingrich right before the 1998 election. However, in his book The Meaning of Is (2004) I learned that things changed much earlier than that. It happened with Newt's cave (p. 223) on the Clinton 1995 budget, where Barr reports that Gingrich meant to discipline Republicans who did not do a 180 with him, with Gingrich that is.

Barr continues, explaining that he stayed in the Republican Party after 1998 because he saw hope yet for reform from within the party. This hope disappeared for him when (1) he heard Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez say that habeas corpus was no longer important and (2) President Bush repeatedly say that he would spy on American citizens within this country without court orders because he was commander-in-chief, even though there's a law that says he can't.

I must say that personally these were exactly the two things I saw in the Bush administration that deeply alarmed me. I remember turning to a friend of mine, while watching Kafka's play Amerika at the Jeune Lune Theatre and saying that Bush needed to be impeached if he didn't back off. That was early 2006. Since then I have changed my mind. Now I support impeaching Cheney instead, after learning more, particularly from Frontline. I continue to be deeply alarmed, and the Democrats are no succor.

Responding to the dull argument in the third video, I say it's not campaign finance that's at the root of the two-party state, it's the form of election. We Americans can address the problem without curtailing political speech, by moving to a form of election that's truly general.

1 comment:

Gary Baumgarten said...

Bob Barr will be my guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com Friday at 5 PM ET.

You can join in the conversation by following the link from my blog: