Barr Leaves GOP for Libertarian Party

With the end of an illusion of achieving a permanent majority, it is no surprise that the coalition between libertarians and social conservatives in the GOP might begin to fall apart. One sign of this is seen today with Bob Barr jumping ship to the Libertarian Party:

A former Georgia congressman who helped spark President Clinton’s impeachment has quit the Republican Party to become a Libertarian, saying he is disillusioned with the GOP on issues such as spending and privacy.

Bob Barr, who served eight years as a Republican congressman before losing his seat in 2002, announced Friday that he is now a “proud, card-carrying Libertarian.” And he encouraged others to join him.

“It’s something that’s been bothering me for quite some time, the direction in which the party has been going more and more toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties,” said Barr, 58, a lawyer and consultant living in Atlanta. “In terms of where the country needs to be going to get back to our constitutional roots … I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to do that is to work with a party that practices what it preaches, and that is the Libertarian Party.”

Barr said he has no plans to run for office. In his new role as the Libertarian Party’s regional representative for the South, he will help promote the party’s message and recruit candidates, he said.

By itself this is of limited significance. Those who desire to both run for office and win are less likely to join a third party. Good Will Hinton questions how well Barr will fit in as a Libertarian, noting, “The LP is well known for requiring that its leaders tow the party line, yet Mr. Barr generally votes for restricting abortion and has been an advocate of the war on drugs.” Still, this might highlight the differences in the Republican Party and get more to consider either working to change the party or looking elsewhere.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    kj says:

    Bob Barr left the Republican party? lolololol

    Mr. Barr received quite a few phone calls and emails from me during the Impeachment Folly. In fact, I think he tied with Henry Hyde when it came to the number of missives. Many, many missives… and now he’s a Libertarian. For a reason I can’t quite fathom, this news makes me happy. You go, Mr. Barr.

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