Blogs > Liberty and Power > BOB BARR SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LOVE HIM

Dec 27, 2003 6:43 am


BOB BARR SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LOVE HIM



Whenever ex-Congressman Bob Barr’s name is mentioned at a drug reform movement event people will invariably start to hiss. He earned his well-deserved infamy in these circles with one of the most blatant attacks on the democratic process in my lifetime. He attached an amendment to the federal bill funding the District of Columbia prohibiting that local government from spending the miniscule amount of money necessary to count the votes already cast in a medical marijuana referendum. Estimates that a 70% favorable vote would be the result, later turned out to be largely true. What was especially egregious about Barr’s legislation was that it only blocked counting the vote concerning proposals to lessen marijuana penalties not those that would increase them.

When Barr experienced a surprisingly sound defeat in a primary election that featured ads sponsored by the Libertarian Party, which highlighted his stance on the medical marijuana issue, I will admit to being pleased.

However, there are most definitely two sides to Bob Barr. While still in Congress he along with Henry Hyde sponsored some worthwhile reform of asset forfeiture laws. When he left the House he worked with the ACLU to combat some of the more pernicious effects of the Patriot Act.

And, in Saturday’s Washington Times the good Bob Barr out did himself. He wrote an absolutely excellent column on the Supreme Court’s recent decision to eviscerate the First Amendment in the name of campaign finance reform. It is well worth reading. In it he relates how many Republican Congressmen voted for a law they knew to be unconstitutional because of their strong belief that the Supreme Court would never let it stand. Surprise! This terrific essay almost makes me wish Mr. Barr were back in the House of Representatives, but not quite.


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