Bob Barr

I first met Bob Barr a few weeks ago at a meeting held by the College Republicans at Georgia Tech. He seemed reasonable enough: very big on civil liberties and wary of the dangers of giving the government more power over our lives in the name of security. I'm not quite sure how that fits in with his unwavering support for the War on Drugs, or his opposition to gay marriage, but he is definitely preferable to many of the other Republican politicians.

Barr also writes a column for the lefty independent local paper, the Creative Loafing. In his most recent column, Barr gives perhaps the only favorable account of the Libertarian Party I've ever seen in a mainstream newspaper.

My experience last weekend indicates that Georgia Libertarians may be ready for prime time. First, the party invited a nonmember, someone with whom the party has had serious disagreements, to address its state convention: yours truly. (Nationally, many Libertarians worked actively to defeat me in the 2002 election.) Second, while some questions indicated pronounced disagreement on the drug issue, the majority of questions and concerns were decidedly mainstream concerns about the growing power of government and the threat to liberty it poses to all Georgians.

This is a good sign. Georgia needs a strong, mature and well-organized Libertarian Party. America does, too.

And now, via Dave Tepper, I discover that Barr opposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriages.

"Does it bother me that we have some states that recognize homosexual marriages? No. That's our federal system of government. If you don't like the policies of one state, you can move. That's freedom," said Barr, the author of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

This is the still same Barr who gave liberals fits during his four terms in Washington, the same Barr who led the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. But where U.S. Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) has embraced the establishment conservatism of Bush Republicans, Barr has headed off in his own direction. Some would call it libertarian. Barr would probably define himself as a purist.

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Aren?t you forgetting the

Aren?t you forgetting the Eleventh Commandment?

Thou shall not speak favorably of any Republican(s) under any circumstances.

Barr no longer holds

Barr no longer holds political office.

But one Republican in office I can speak favorably of is Ron Paul. One reason why I like him is because he is not a troll.

Ron Paul is a good guy. I've

Ron Paul is a good guy. I've dealt with his staff on a bill of his that my group supports, and his is the only congressional office that's been both supportive and articulate on our issue (scaling back the antitrust laws). But then again, Paul is really a libertarian-in-GOP clothing. Barr is a Republican despite his strong libertarian feelings.

Ron Paul is the only

Ron Paul is the only politician for whom I have a great deal of respect.

I got an email from Pat Dixon, the Texas LP's man in charge of ballot access across the state, the other day. Seems Rep. Paul and the LP need to raise money for their ballot access initiative. You can check out their page at http://www.lptexas.org/bacdonate.shtml.

If you can spread the word, please do. As a former Texas resident, I hope the LP can get even a handful of candidates on the ballots out there. That place needs an overhaul, and quick.