Barr on the ‘failure of conservative values’

At the Netroots Nation blogger conference in Austin, one blogger asked Bob Barr: “Have conservative values failed?”

Here is Barr’s response, beginning with:

I’m not sure. The term “conservative values” means so many different things to so many different people. To me, what has utterly failed in the traditional conservative movement is any understanding of or respect for true individual liberty and our constitutional system of government, which was designed expressly to provide protection for individual liberty.

We now have a government which calls itself conservative, yet believes it’s okay to spy on American citizens within their own country without a court order. We now have an administration which calls itself conservative and supports conservative values that believes it’s okay to detain a citizen or non-citizen in this country and never give them access to courts to determine under habeas corpus if they are being held properly.

So if in fact respect for individual liberty, respect for the Constitution are conservative values, we certainly don’t have that in Washington nowadays.

11 Responses to “Barr on the ‘failure of conservative values’”

  1. drifter Says:

    I think this is where his campaign is wrong. He spend so much time trying to give a PC answer here and kiss but of the conservatives, that he ignores the liberal side.

    He should be pulling votes from both parties, but he is so worried about the little foot hold he has with the right, he is afraid to capture the left.

    He will never give a straight answer on the long list of “crimes” and such that the right considers immoral, when it is really none of their business what we do.

  2. John Lowell Says:

    “Have conservative values failed?”

    Well, if Bob would just quit bobbing and weaving and answer the question regarding that check and his former wife’s abortion, we could find out, now couldn’t we? And here the test of Bob Barr. Have his “conservative values” failed? If they have, he really needs to sit out the next impulse to preach.

  3. drifter Says:

    man john - that was a predictable post - that is some good input

  4. John Lowell Says:

    Hi drifter,

    With most of the “progressives” enthusiatically stepping into the Democratic cowpie that is Obama and the rest far better represented as to their concerns by Nader, Bob just hasn’t got anything resembling a shot at the “liberals”. And Bob’s already stupidly commited hari-kari with pro-life folks with this abortion check kabuki dance of his. So it would seem that only the sociopath vote remains to him and that, judging from many of the posts here, is not 100 per cent behind him anyway. So the lesson: I guess that you really have to have principles if people are to believe you’re principled. And I suppose it might help also if you didn’t look and come over like the groom on a wedding cake.

  5. drifter Says:

    The problem is that you are assuming that everyone that is socially liberal is also economically liberal. So I would say there are lots of people that are socially liberal but economically conservative. I just talked to one such person yesterday when I was out meeting people.

    The problem is that a lot of these people vote for the dems are more inline with them on social issues and that is what is more important to them. It does not mean they agree on everything.

    So I think that the LP provides a good contrast to this and can pull some of these votes.

  6. Michael Says:

    No, they haven’t. It is just the failure of those in Washington to have to spine to carry them out.

  7. John Lowell Says:

    “So I would say there are lots of people that are socially liberal but economically conservative.”

    You’re right about that and many of these people are independent voters. But I’d doubt that the bulk of them or anything like the bulk of them are libertarians. McCain will get the great bulk of these folks, not Barr or even Obama. The “purist” economic conservatives, the ones that have expressed disgust with Bush, are the ones that might consider Barr, but these folks are more apt to be socially conservative than liberal. And Barr’s stonewalling on the abortion check is known to them and doesn’t help build credibility. They’ve had quite enough of phonies and aren’t likely to support someone that holds himself out one way publically but just might not be that way privately when push comes to shove. Barr has provoked real life credibilty problems for himself that transcend the pro-life voter. Not everyone thinks as wishfully about a question like this one as do the sociopaths here at this site. That Barr just might be a hypocrit troubles them and reasonably so. I think he’s going to tank ultimately, doing only slightly better than previous libertarian candidates. The disatisfied economic conservative is likely to stay home.

  8. joell Says:

    ‘failure of conservative values’”

    which also includes marriage. i believe Barr cosponsored the “defense of marriage act”

    and he’s in his THIRD marriage. sky rocketing divorce rates is an off limits topic for many, many real conservatives: newt, mccain, george will etc, the list is seemingly endless.

  9. Stefan Says:

    Where is Dr. Phillies that denounce “conservative values” in the strongest possible language? Is he also denouncing Bob Barr’s “conservatism”?

  10. Stefan Says:

    John Lowell: as far as I know your question was not put to Bob Barr, so why should he “answer” a question not addressed to him? Also, why don’t you go ask this burning question to Bob Barr himself in person, before repeating the whole thing every time here and on Barr’s site and making all sort of conclusions about Barr that are without base?

  11. John Lowell Says:


    “Also, why don’t you go ask this burning question to Bob Barr himself …”

    Oh, Stefan, I’ve been to Bob’s official blog and posted this question there on a number of occasions only too be greeted with the same self-serving denial you bring to it so often. And you know what all those Champions Of Liberty did to my posts over there? Why Liberty Bob’s webmaster deleted them, that’s what! Just like in Red China when someone asks uncomfortable questions on the web, they’re censored. Now how did that kind of totalitarian impulse manage to arise at Bob Barr in 2008? I mean there he is, right there right in front of you, holding up both hands, one holding Root’s, and the caption: Liberty For America. But are we to believe that Bob excepts blog commentators from his idea og liberty. It sure seems that he might have excepted his little child.

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