Bob Barr captured the nomination of the Libertarian Party this weekend in Denver. Most people remember Barr as the very non-libertarian conservative who served Georgia’s 7th District starting in 1994, but the story of how he was defeated and how that led to him becoming a Libertarian is not as well known. Gary Storck writes about how Barr was ousted from Congress in part by the Libertarian Party running ads against him after he was forced by the Georgia legislature (which was controlled by Democrats) to face another incumbent Republican in a re-districting.
Barr’s conversion to his current political outlook is pretty drastic. He has gone from being a staunch supporter of both the Patriot Act and the drug war to working with both the ACLU and the Marijuana Policy Project in opposition. He has renounced his former support for the Defense of Marriage Act and wants us out of Iraq. It’s hard to tell what kind of support he will actually be able to get this year, but if there’s anyone who understands how the Libertarian Party can exercise some influence, it’s Bob Barr.