Barr: The liberal case for Bob Barr

Clark Kent

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10-29-2008 07:46 PM
Over at the Huffington Post, Bob Barr makes the liberal case for his candidacy:

Sen. Obama&#8217;s rhetoric is uplifting and positive, but the Senator who showed genuine foresight and courage in opposing the Iraq war spent most of the primary season edging away from his initial tough stand. Will he order the troops to exit Iraq? Will he bring them all home, or simply shift them from Iraq to another foreign country?

Similarly, it would be hard for Sen. Obama not to be an improvement over the Bush administration on civil liberties. However, here, too, Sen. Obama has demonstrated his willingness to trim under pressure.

President George W. Bush violated the law when he ignored both the Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Congress should have held him and his appointees accountable for their law-breaking. Moreover, telephone companies that aided and abetted executive branch law-breaking should have been left liable in the courts.

Yet, Sen. Obama folded, backing a &#8220;compromise&#8221; that gave the administration most everything that it wanted. No individualized warrants or evidence of law-breaking is required to authorize government spying on U.S. citizens&#8217; phone calls and emails. No administration officials paid the slightest cost for engaging in illegal conduct. No private firm suffered the slightest inconvenience for helping the government violate their customers&#8217; constitutional rights. This was the moment for Sen. Obama to prove that he possessed a true dedication to civil liberties, and he failed.

Of course, we all hope that, as president, he will feel freer to stand up for American liberties. But there also will be voices advising him to use the executive powers so freely expanded by his predecessor. Will he be strong enough to resist this Siren&#8217;s Song? No one knows, but one thing is known: If freed from the limiting forces of public awareness and involvement, President Obama would follow a long line of presidents who talk of enhanced individual liberty, but practice a policy of increased government power.

In other words, the best way to encourage Sen. Obama, if he is elected president, to follow the straight and narrow is to actively and clearly demonstrate that we, the American people, are concerned both about our civil liberties and his commitment to protect them. The way to do that is to vote for Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party.

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