Sunday, June 8, 2008

Letter to a nose-holding Republican

Since you're "holding your nose" on McCain, I thought I'd send you this info for you to consider as Barr is new to you. I'm a Barr proponent just in case you hadn't noticed. :-)

Even though Barr is not a conservative, neither is McCain.
[Note to reader - Barr is only a conservative if you define it as a label for someone who's serious about respecting the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, in which case it's equivalent to a classical liberal, or a libertarian. James Buchanan, in his book, Why I, Too, am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism describes masterfully the important difference, reiterating and amplifying Hayek's point.]
To conservatives in general, I'd argue that Barr is more conservative than McCain on many important issues, such as government spending. If you disagree, I'd be interested in hearing about your perspective. What defines your conservatism?

Here he was on Glen Beck on Friday -

- (Part 1)
- (Part 2)
- (Part 3)
- (Part 4)
- (Part 5)
- (Part 6)

Barr has also written a book The Meaning of Is (2004), which I've read. Barr describes his experience and disappointment with the Republican Party. For example, he recounts how Newt Gingrich caved on the Clinton budget in 1995, doing a mysterious, sudden 180 degree turn, telling Republicans that "he was going to keep a list of every member who did not vote to cave on the Clinton spending package and that the list would later be used to punish us." Barr continues,
One of the things that always set Newt apart from his Democrat predecessors was that he had—prior to that point—always urged us to vote our consciences and our districts. I knew something major had broken inside our party leadership during the shutdown, and I doubted things would ever be the same again. I was not wrong. For the first time in my congressional service, I found myself questioning my presence in Washington. If I was merely going to be asked to be a rubber stamp for this kind of nonsense, I was not sure I wanted any part of the system.... By the end of the Clinton administration, the Republican Party—with a handful of exceptions—was just as unprincipled as Bill Clinton. We had absorbed his political tactics so completely that we did not even seem to remember a time when we had acted any differently. (pp. 223, 228)
Barr writes,
As America burned, the Republican Party was fiddling away. (p. 114)
Again, I'd be interested in hearing what positions you view as conservative and important in this election, and how you view McCain and Barr on these issues if you have the time to share that with me. I myself fear we're going gangbusters down the road to serfdom with either major candidate, so I'm trying to better understand what attracts or repels people from different perspectives. If Barr is to win, he'll need support from both Republicans and Democrats. David Walker, the comptroller general, has made me feel that addressing these issues is urgent. Walker argues that we have about four or five years now to get serious. Here he is on Glenn Beck in January, 2008 -

Here he is on 60 Minutes -

Here's a video interview of David Walker on BBC in 2006 -

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