Bob Barr to Debate at Oxford University

From the Bob Barr 2008 Presidential Exploratory Committee:

Former Congressman Bob Barr has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union at the University of Oxford, the world’s most prestigious debating forum. Several U.S. Presidents have spoken at Oxford, including former Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon.

The topic of the debate will be “This House Believes that 1984 has Arrived.” Barr will discuss topics for which he is well-known in the United States, such as privacy, surveillance, and government power. Barr’s debate colleagues include Lord Tom McNally, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. Those opposed to Barr include Gerad Baker, Editor of the US Times, Steve Richards, Editor of Politics for the Independent, and Howard Stapleton, inventor of the [Mosquito Alarm].

The debate will be Thursday May 8th at 6:30 pm BST.

Barr, a former Member of Congress (1995-2003), also served previously as a US Attorney and with the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a lawyer and currently works with national organizations on issues related to privacy and national security.

58 Responses to “Bob Barr to Debate at Oxford University”

  1. Greg Says:

    I’d rather see him debate those seeking the Libertarian nomination.

  2. Eric Dondero Says:

    Now ask yourselves this question:

    Would Mary Ruwart, Phillies, or Kubby be invited to address such a distinguished group?

    NO.

    Bob Barr is a former 4-term United States Congressman which gives him enormous credibility in American politics.

  3. Brian Holtz's Liver Says:

    needmixer

  4. Neocon Slayer Says:

    Maybe this debate is why Bobarr hasn’t announced yet. They probably wouldn’t have a declared candidate in this debate, maybe? We will see if he announces some time next week.

  5. End the Empire Says:

    LOL-Flying off to England (is this expense paid by his libertarian donaters)!? What did Root say about Barr “AFRAID” to debate him ? Phillies, Root, Kubby and even Christine Smith will cut him up much more than “Lord” WHOEVER. Talking about DUCKING the issue at hand. The candidates who actually campaign for the AMERICAN LP nomination deserve the support of LP members, not a grown man who won’t makeup his mind…JMO

  6. G.E. Says:

    So which is Barr’s perspective?

    A) Yes, it’s 1984 and it’s a good thing! More power to the state!

    B) Yes, it’s 1984, and it’s a bad thing, but it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault

    C) No, silly. It’s 2008. Orwell? Is he on after Hannity? The 16th amendment gave the federal government the power to tax wages that it didn’t have before. I love Bob Marley!

    D) I’m still in the exploratory stages of determining whether or not it’s 198

  7. C. Al Currier Says:

    Now ask yourselves this question:
    Would Mary Ruwart, Phillies, or Kubby be invited to address such a distinguished group? ....Eric Dondero Says

    I can imagine Mary Ruwart or George Phillies being invited five years from now, but I just can’t imagine Kubby being invited (ever).

  8. Trent Hill Says:

    I think its interesting that Barr will debate these folks, but isnt willing to debate the other LP candidates.
    Im beginning to suspect he’ll only declare right before the Convention—to avoid debates.

  9. Fred Church Ortiz Says:

    Are there any candidate debates left before the convention?

  10. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    I don’t doubt that Barr’s resume as a former congresscritter gains him entre to events that other candidates might not be invited to.

    That doesn’t mean that he’s the only one who gets invited to prestigious events. So far as I know, Barr has never met with Mikhail Gorbachev and then addressed the World Forum audience at the Presidio, while Steve Kubby has. Last month it was Steve Kubby, not Bob Barr, who participated in a press conference with a California state senator and several city supervisors on the steps of San Francisco’s city hall. You do what you can, and Kubby has done plenty.

    Also, while it’s important to get speaking opportunities, what you say when you speak is also important. When Kubby opens his mouth, you can be 110% sure that what comes out of it will be libertarian. Prying a straight answer out of Barr at all seems to be a difficult proposition, and once you do that answer may be libertarian or it may not be. Anybody’s guess.

  11. Committee for Clarity Says:

    to be clear

    We heard a rumor that Root was standing in line at Virgin Airways trying to get a ticket for London. Boy is determined to find, fix, and debate bobarr.

    the committee.
    ...where was Ruwart?...had a photo shoot I guess…Phillies had a radio interveiw in which he said nothing to no one…Internet radio isn’t media?...not really…but we let George count it…he’s big on counting isn’t he…yep. How about taking stands on controversial issues? nope.

  12. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    If delegates are so intent on a candidate with the cred of a political resume, like Barr, well, former Senator Mike Gravel also has it.

    Gravel even has experience debating Clinton and Obama. (Much better than Root’s claim of being in Obama’s graduating class at Columbia, decades ago.)

    And Gravel’s peace record is better than Barr’s.

  13. Eric Dondero Says:

    When Kubby opens his mouth you can be assured that what comes out of it is 100% he hard leftwing libertarian viewpoint, not the broader mainstream libertarian view.

    Be more specific Tom. Kubby represents the far-left wing of the libertarian movement. He’s not a middle-of-the-roader LPer for sure.

  14. Evie Says:

    Who gives a sh*t… this is crap… or at least it’s not newsworthy here and now anyway.

    All that matters here and now is whether he will debate the other candidates who are seeking the LP nomination.

    He has already run out of time for a series of real debates anyway so the point is moot.

    So what is the point?

    The point is that he really is afraid to debate the other LP candidates… and he has been all along. He’s also afraid of running and not succeeding, which is a real possibility.

    This is not a person we need as our presidential nominee.

  15. Denver Delegate Says:

    I wonder what the We Should Not Be A Debating Society Libertarian Caucus thinks about this?

    Has Barr just lost their endorsement with this non-political act?

  16. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Eric,

    You’re correct. Kubby is not a “middle of the roader.” He represents the LIBERTARIAN wing of the Libertarian Party, not the “the GOP won’t return my phone calls any more, so I guess I’ll see if I can con those other guys into thinking I’m one of them” wing of the Libertarian Party.

  17. Kenny Says:

    Having spoken in an Oxford Union debate, I can assure posters that the Union will be paying Bob Barr’s expenses.

    As a Briton, I am not a LP member but I have followed the nomination race closely. The LP’s pathetic website with its no hopers on the front page demonstrates the parlous state of the party. The party cannot afford to nominate another amateurish nonentity for President. Leave the wannabes to Simon Cowell.

    The Presidential race is suited to experienced politicians. Even though my personal views are closer to Mary Ruwart’s, I would support Bob Barr if I had a vote at the convention. Bob, a declared admirer of Ayn Rand, is becoming more and more libertarian - probably due to leaving the statist environment of Congress.

    Bob will get more media exposure than the other candidates and that is what the LP needs. More importantly, he will attract the Ron Paul base and that will enable him to raise more cash for ads and other campaign expenses.

    Root is a GOP imposter and, possibly, a McCain campaign plant. What happens if he pulls out of the race and endorses McCain again? A vote for WAR is a vote for civil WAR in the LP.

    Vote Barr!!

  18. Robert Milnes Says:

    Kennybarrlackey, if a presidential nominee doesn’t work out there is a procedure such that the vp takes over. If BB is locked into the Ronulans then why has his moneymeter petered out at around 50k?

  19. Kenny Says:

    Mr Milnes calls me a Barr lackey. Are supporters of other candidates just lackeys? That is the pathetic and immature response that I would expect from a wannabe nonentity. You can use your insult as a suppository.

    He writes “If BB is locked into the Ronulans then why has his moneymeter petered out at around 50k?” Paul is still running and raising funds. Barr’s problem is that he is has not declared his candidacy officially. When Paul finally pulls out of the GOP race, Bob will get more attention and money.

  20. DJ28 Says:

    I can back kenny up a little here. I’m waiting for Bob to make it official before I give him any money. My budget is a little tight so I don’t want to send money to a “maybe”.

  21. The Democratic Republican Says:

    Debates are good. Having a political party that debates instead of electing candidates is bad.

  22. John Lowell Says:

    The Maybe Bob Barr for President Campaign, where we take the word tentative more than a little seriously.

  23. Steve Perkins Says:

    That’s the first time I’ve heard a “Root as a McCain plant” conspiracy theory, and it makes the 9/11 Troofers sound credible. If Root were to step aside at the last minute to allow Ruwart or Kubby the nomination, then he’d be a McCain double-agent. Wouldn’t the Republicans prefer that we nominate yet-another unknown hardliner rather than a Barr or someone else who might siphon a few percent in close states?

  24. Kenny Says:

    “Having a political party that debates instead of electing candidates is bad.”

    But a party needs debates between prospective candidates to ensure that it nominates the right person. Bad candidates don’t get elected or even considered as serious contenders.

    Barr has won several elections and will be, when or if he declares, a serious candidate. For the record, I have emailed his team asking for him to declare as soon as possible. “Maybe” is no longer good enough as the convention approaches.

  25. Kenny Says:

    Steve Perkins does not consider the possibility of Root pulling out of the election after winning the nomination, e.g. in the autumn.

  26. Justin Grover Says:

    “LIBERTARIAN wing of the Libertarian Party”

    People who repeat that term in earnest are out to exclude other libertarians.

    Regardless of who the speaker is advocating, or speaking against.

    Stop trying to exclude people from the “Freedom” party.

  27. The Democratic Republican Says:

    Debates between candidates are good. People being under the impression that LP meetings are get togethers of the local debate club is bad. People thinking that a political campaign is the time to discuss the most radical teachings of anarchism is worse.

  28. Michael Seebeck Says:

    I just want to know two things:

    A) Will this Oxford debate be taped so we can see it, and
    B) If so, Stephen, will you put it up here for us?

  29. Ross Says:

    Will Barr mention that he voted for the Patriot Act?

  30. Kenny Says:

    Barr has already explained why he voted for the Patriot Act. He now regrets doing so.

  31. wally parolee Says:

    People thinking that a political campaign is the time to discuss the most radical teachings of anarchism is worse.

    Quit being so hard on Wayne Root.

  32. wally parollee Says:

    People thinking that a political campaign is the time to discuss the most radical teachings of anarchism is worse.

    Stop being so hard on Wayne Root.

  33. wally parollee Says:

    As a parolee, I dont want any more time behind Barrs.

  34. Kenny Says:

    Wally, I don’t want Root beer.

  35. Wally Parollee Says:

    I don’t think it liked my how to make pruno link :-(

    You may have to google it

    Wally, I don’t want Root beer.

    Me neither. I like the real thing. Sometimes I still make pruno for old times sake.

  36. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Blessed are you, eternal our God, for you vanquish my enemies and curse those who persecute me. THIRD PARTIES ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE WITHOUT THE FRINGE ALLIANCE STRATEGY. ALL THAT MATTERS FOR THIS ELECTION CYCLE IS THAT BARR, KEYES AND BALDWIN GET ON THE BALLOTS SO THEY CAN STEAL AS MANY REPUBLICAN VOTES AS POSSIBLE, ASSUMING THE RODHAM/NADER/BUSH/MCCAIN CONSPIRACY DOES NOT DENY OBAMA THE NOMINATION, AND THEREBY HELPS OBAMA TO WIN THE NOMINATION AND GOD HAS INTENDED. I WILL NOW BEGIN TO POST VARIOUS PRAYERS HERE TO HELP ENCOURAGE THE OBAMA REVOLUTION AND THE FRINGE ALLIANCE STRATEGY, BECAUSE GOD HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THIRDPARTYWATCH IS THE NEW ISRAEL.

    Please pray for the pope and please pray for Barack Obama. And may the socialists defeat Bob Barr at the Oxford debate.

  37. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    CT, my rather rusty memories of St. Francis were along the lines of “be kind to the animals” Obama is leaning heavily in the direction of the Animal Rights argument, which is anything but “kind to the animals” For that reason alone I would never vote for him.

    Mike Gravel is right about Obama. I don’t agree with him on everything but he’s not a bad judge of character.

  38. American voter Says:

    hmmm…an economic crisis, war, we are at one of the biggest crossroads in American history…Hey Bob, why don’t you come to America and debate the issues among the candidates? That is, so long as you’re even running.

  39. Ross Says:

    I just can’t get behind someone who voted for the Patriot Act. It was in such convoluted, confusing language that literally no one could have understood it in the time from its introduction to voting on it. So that means that Bob Barr either voted for it because of blind faith in the people sponsoring it, or he compromised his principles in order to gain politically. And neither of those things are things that I want from a president.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Justin,

    You write:

    “LIBERTARIAN wing of the Libertarian Party”

    People who repeat that term in earnest are out to exclude other libertarians.

    Regardless of who the speaker is advocating, or speaking against.

    Stop trying to exclude people from the “Freedom” party.

    With all due respect … bullshit.

    By my definition—you’re free to your own definition, of course—“the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party” consists of those party members who treat the LP as what its bylaws propose it should be:

    a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements

    Not a conservative political entity, a libertarian political entity.

    Not an annex of the Republican Party, but a party itself.

    It’s entirely possible to be a libertarian who’s not a member of the LP’s “libertarian wing”—for example, if you think that the LP should play a conservative tune for tactical reasons.

    It’s even possible to be a non-libertarian who IS a member of the “libertarian wing” of the LP if for some reason you belong to the LP and think that it should promote itself as described above rather than as an annex/appurtenance/ideological chimera. I’m not sure who would fit that description, but if they do, well, fine.

    As far as “exclusivism” goes, I’m not trying to exclude anyone. The only requirement for joining the LP is signing the membership certification pledge, and I am on record as opposing even THAT requirement. There is no process or procedure for kicking people out of the party. Sign the oath and you’re in—nobody can take that away from you. If you feel unwelcome and get pissed off and leave on your own, you haven’t been “excluded” or “purged,” even if those feelings are justified. If I disagree with you within the party on an issue, candidate, etc., I’ll wrassle you for control of the party’s disposition on that issue, but whether or not you leave after I beat you is entirely your call.

    While I believe that Steve Kubby is personally thoroughgoingly libertarian, that’s not what makes him representative of “the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party.” What makes him representative of “the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party” is that his message is “let’s promote ourselves as a libertarian political party” rather than “let’s promote ourselves as this year’s political pet rock for Republicans who are pissed off that McCain got the nod.”

  41. Jay Matthews Says:

    “If BB is locked into the Ronulans then why has his moneymeter petered out at around 50k?”

    The Ronulans are on the edge of their seat waiting for you to announce you’re going to run indy Bob.

  42. Justin Grover Says:

    Thomas,

    I’d have to disagree with your definition- not that it is a bad one, but it is far from the common usage. More often (and this is the part I feel is exclusionary) it is used to define someone as ‘more libertarian’ than other people- hence the repetition of the term ‘libertarian.’ It has been used exclusively, in my experience, by people who are only interested in excluding and purging people.

    We should have something more descriptive for the type of person you are speaking of, a term that reflects the political aspect of what you are speaking of.

    My apologies for seeming to call into question your character.

  43. Ferenc Says:

    Catholic T.
    You right! All of this doing nothing, going nowhere so called third and independent parties distroing the Republican party, and give a easy victory for B. Hussein Obama. I pray to GOD to help our nation. But, I don’t think GOD can help this many stuped people that we have in this once a great nation.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  44. Harold S. Says:

    Barr needs to crawl back in his hole. Go away. Far away.

    The Democratic Republican Says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 3:58 pm
    Debates are good. Having a political party that debates instead of electing candidates is bad.

    This is a valid point. Lots of talk but the masses are not paying any attention.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Justin,

    Hell, don’t apologize for calling my character into question! A reputation for being a dirty fighter is a positive in some quarters, and since it’s one of my few assets, I prefer to burnish it. If nothing else, it keeps my opponents wondering if they’re about to get the LBJ treatment.

  46. Yank Says:

    I like Barr’s ass!

  47. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Ferenc, thanks for your comment. I HOPE GOD HELPS YOU REALIZE SOON THAT B. HUSSEIN OBAMA WILL BE THE GREATEST PRESIDENT THIS WORLD WILL EVER SEE AND HAS EVER SEEN!

    gLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND PEACE TO HIS PEOPLE ON EARTH. AND TROTSKY’S SPIRIT CAME TO ME AND SAID “HEAR O ISRAEL, I HAVE GIVEN YOU SIGNS AND SYMBOLS, YET YOU MOCKED ME, OH MY PEOPLE. AND THERE SHALL COME A TIME WHEN I WILL REVEAL MY CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE, AND THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT WILL SCATTER FROM THEIR REPUBLICAN HOMES, AND FINALLY ALLOW A TRUE CHRISTIAN WHO WILL COME INTO OFFICE, AND BRING CHRISTIANITY BACK TO ITS COMMUNIST ROOTS.

    Please pray for David Price. Has he endorsed Obama? Please pray that the HERETIC SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WHO DISENFRANCHISED THE NUNS IN INDIANA SHOULD BE CURSED BY GOD. please pray for the pope and please pray for Barack Obama. Amen.

  48. Yank Says:

    This is good ass. Not that stepped on shit.

  49. Peter Orvetti Says:

    Near as I can tell, in 1984 Bob Barr was an ex-CIA man and Republican.

  50. Stefan Says:

    Eric: you have to ask yourself whether Root would be invited to such a debate?

    Answer is no. Ron Paul, Bob Barr and possibly Mary Ruwart would be people invited and they would all be able to debate issues in detail, unlike Obama, Root
    and others.

  51. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    OBAMA CAN DEBATE ISSUES ON DETAIL, MUCH BETTER THAN ANY PERSON ALIVE OTHER THAN MIKE GRAVEL. hE IS THE MESSINGER OF GOD, THE ALPHA OMEGA, THE SON OF TIME AND THE BROTHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.

  52. Andy Says:

    “Trent Hill Says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 1:22 pm
    I think its interesting that Barr will debate these folks, but isnt willing to debate the other LP candidates.
    Im beginning to suspect he’ll only declare right before the Convention—to avoid debates.”

    If this turns out to be the case I’d call that chickenshit behavior.

  53. Stefan Says:

    Yank: an idea for you: go for Catholic Troskyist’ ass, do as all a favor and both of you can admire each other and leave us alone.

  54. Clark Says:

    KENNY APOLOGIZES: “Barr has already explained why he voted for the Patriot Act. He now regrets doing so.”

    ..thanks for that important information, kenny!..he sounds very sorry..indeed! ;o)

    ...you know, you somewhat loveable republicrat ooga-booga artists, it’s somewhat unbecoming to get so girly-manishly excited about your favorite idiot Barr ‘Debating at Oxford’ etc..

    ..in reality, you’ll get better ‘debate’ right here on TPW..

    ...in fact, right here at TPW, there’s this guy CLARK who, while debating about ‘the economy,’ etc. illion-’dollar’ issues ad nauseam, somewhat understands the origin, nature, etc. of said ‘dollar!’

    ...hint for Republicrat blow-holers, etc. goddamned fools galore, who “can’t figure out why the media (corp$.) don’t give us fair coverage,” etc. ad goddamned nau$eam:...

    ...NONE OF THE REPUBLICRAT OPEN HOLES AT OXFORD CAN/WILL EXPRESS ANY HONEST KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE ORIGIN, NATURE, ETC. OF EVEN ONE “DOLLAR,” ONE “POUND,” ETC., DESPITE THEIR FREQUENT VERBAL HALLUCINATIONS AS TO ILLION$..and your booga-ooga-barr too!) ;o)

  55. Clark Says:

    ....as one handsome sage put it: ‘only a goddamned fool would think “the media corp$” are going to allow a decent, intelligent person (and therefore undoubtedly a threat to the exi$ting stinking order) ‘the microphone’..

    (and spare me the ROT about ‘the free market,’ you goddamned fool republicans, etcetercrats,..it seems you dopes are worse than ignorant as to the mo$t ubiquitou$ “free market commodity”..virtually half of every tran$action…) ;o)

  56. Kenny Says:

    Clark, I did not apologize. I just stated a fact. A Google search should find Bob’s explanation.

    Bob Barr is not the perfect Libertarian candidate but the man is class. The LP played a major role in Bob losing his seat in the House. A sore loser would have sought revenge. By contrast, Bob campaigned on libertarian issues, changed his views on the Iraq and drug wars and joined the LP.

    Bob is would not be the first LP Presidential Candidate to change his mind on a major issue. Harry Browne was a vociferous opponent of party politics and voting. Ed Clark was not the hardcore idealogue that many LP activists wanted but he got a million votes.

    My current support for Bob is based on my perception that the LP is in big trouble - financially and electorally. The Paul campaign showed that there is a big audience who will support a libertarian platform with serious money. The LP has to ask itself why its candidates cannot attract similar support.

    Without money, any LP candidate will struggle to get his or her message across to the voters. The immediate task is to field a credible candidate who can reach out to the Paulites and other independent voters. Such a candidate has more chance, like Paul, of being invited to the media debates. Other than Barr, Jesse Ventura would be another possibility but I recognise that he has “baggage” too.

    In any event, I will support the successful LP candidate against McCain and Obama/Clinton.

  57. Trollin Inshit Says:

    Shit in gold at www.turdpottywatch.com.

  58. Shane Savoie Says:

    In 20 years of LP activism, I’ve never seen a candidate nominated without taking part in a debate. In ‘04, we nominated a candidate many of us were only vaguely familiar with based on his showing in the debate at our convention.

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