Monday, September 29, 2008

Libertarian populism (the column)

Monday's blog post becomes Tuesday's full-length column at The American Spectator:
Nobody seemed to notice when Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr adopted as his campaign slogan "Send Them a Message!" -- the same outsider theme that animated George C. Wallace's populist third-party run in 1968.
Leaving aside the vast political and historical distance between the late Alabama Democrat and the former Georgia Republican, Barr's slogan clearly seeks to tap into an enduring populist conception of the government in Washington as a corrupt insider racket controlled by special interests, in which both Democrats and Republicans are out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans.
The defeat of the Wall Street bailout deal in the House yesterday was an amazing convergence between libertarian ideals and a resurgent populist sentiment. . . .
Please read the whole thing.

UPDATE: The column is linked today by Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican, Tom Knapp (one of the "smelly libertarians" on the famous van ride to the LP convention in Denver) and the fabulously bewhiskered James Poulos.


  1. We the people...forget accidental Presidents. Woodrow Wilson due to T. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon due to George Wallace, Bill Clinton due to Ross Perot, perhaps even George W. due to Ralph Nader. With so many swing states this year, even Nader and Bob Barr could possibly play a role. A sad situation indeed.

  2. Except... Likely Voter opinion (those who vote and make calls to their representation) is moving toward support of a bailout according to yesterday's Rasmussen. IIRC, it was evenly split between support, opposition, and undecided.

    The defeat of the bill had a lot more to do with Pelosi playing politics and the GOP members watching her allow every vulnerable Dem member to vote "NO" than I think you give credit.

    Sure, there were some members who heard the public opposition, but I think the majority of the GOP no votes came from motivations other than constituent dissatisfaction.

    They weren't about to let Pelosi brand this bill as theirs.

  3. I think it's great if Bob Barr undercuts McCain in some swing states.

    So does Obama.