National Review Christens “Weathervane Bob Barr”

The 11th District race for Congress includes four strong competitors in Bob Barr, Ed Lindsey, Barry Loudermilk, and Tricia Pridemore (and a fair number of folks who have emailed press releases calling themselves candidates but haven’t been heard from since.).  There are differences in geography, and some in philosophy, between them.  And then there is approach.  Some people like to try to be all things to all people at all times.  The problem with this lack of political or ideological compass is that, over time, it appears that you may be spinning around like a weathervane in March winds.  Especially when a publication like National Review decides to stroll through your philosophical memory lane:

The good news is that whatever you think about the major issues of the day, at some point in the past two decades, Bob Barr agreed with you. The bad news is he may set a record for the most pieces of legislation a congressman voted for and then later renounced.

A former U.S. Attorney, Barr in his early career was a staunch supporter of the War on Drugs. In 1998 Congressman Barr passed an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill that prohibited the District from conducting a ballot initiative on the legalization of marijuana or reducing the penalties for its use.

Then in 2002, Barr lost his seat in a hard-fought Republican primary after Democrat-managed redistricting. By 2007 he had changed his thinking on drugs so dramatically that he became a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, and one of his efforts was to repeal the amendment that was named after him.

Click the link and read the rest.  It’s the kind of thing that will (and should) dog Barr throughout this race.  His many views on gay marriage, The Patriot Act, The Iraq War, Immigration, heck – even his party affiliation gets a bit of scrutiny.  All they miss is his new hair color.  

Barr has quite notably used applause lines during this campaign from his early days in Congress, frequently bringing up the Clinton Impeachment, Janet Reno, and Waco.  If he’s going to bring up GOP applause lines in the past, then he should bring up the one most appropriate to himself: Flip-Flop.  It’s not just for John Kerry anymore.  It’s the best description of the weathervane that is Bob Barr.


  1. Jack Harrison says:

    As a resident of Cobb County, there’s something off about the people running in the 11th. This piece about Barr is just like the ones in the previous weeks and shows that he shouldn’t win and that he CAN’T win as long as there’s a semi-decent alternative. I have a friend who signed up for his “Small business committee” not knowing what he was signing up for and is resending his name.

    The candidate I was planning on supporting was Tricia Pridemore but that campaign is an even bigger let down. She was supposed to get the Governors endorsement and now that she clearly isnt getting it has taken to implying a false connection. There was a article in MDJ today where she did it again, talking about how great the governor was and then getting shut down by a Deal staffer. Plus every time she’s asked about the issues, she looks like a deer in the head lights.

  2. northside101 says:

    Blue-trending CD 11? You must be kidding….Romney got two-thirds of the vote in the district last year, and it voted heavily Republican (under current lines) in every statewide contest in 2010—73 percent Isakson, 65 percent Deal, 69 percent Cagle, 69 percent Olens, 69 percent Gary Black (you get the idea)…and the district was only 15 percent black in voter registration last year. Rare is the Democrat elected from any district these days in Georgia that has such a low black percentage….

  3. bulldawg11 says:

    The more I read about Bob Barr the less I like him. Has someone started the countdown till he calls this negative campaigning?

  4. bkeahl says:

    I agree Barr faces challenges as a result of his party and other affiliations after losing the 2002 Primary. But I will say he represents his constituents well. I remember back in the 90’s one of the old Rockefeller Republicans in the party sneering that Bob Barr was really very anti-gun and was only taking the pro-gun stance because it was what the people in the district wanted. I responded by saying I didn’t care if he cried himself to sleep over it, as long as his votes were “right”.

    So, should he win, expect he’ll honor his campaign positions to a far greater extent than most politicians and he’ll actively work to promote those positions. No doubt his move to and from the Libertarian Party and lobbying with the ACLU and drug legalization crowd makes for a steep climb though.

    • bulldawg11 says:

      See I think that’s what people mean when they say there’s something sad about Barrs campaign. He doesn’t care about what issues he represents as long as he’s in congress.

      I personally want a congressmen that believes what they say. It increases motivation to do something about it.

  5. Rick Day says:

    I didn’t hear all this nittering when The Guv™ flopped from D to R. Indeed the exodus of cowards who run to the party du jour on both sides of the aisle over the decades are the ultimate ‘flip flops’.

    Now see, R’s…this is your problem and this is why you are phasing out of being part of the process.

    You can’t stand change. You want things the same. You want candidates who are, right or wrong, steadfast in the rightness and wrongness.

    People change over the years. My political leanings have come more to center over the decades (although Reagan/Bush41-43 did little to assist in that shift). I appreciate it when a person changes their mind.

    You guys can’t stand it and think it is a display of weakness. I consider it a badge of courage. “I was wrong” is what we need MORE of, not “I’m riding this position straight to Hell”

    *shrugs* it’s your future. Fritter it away with rigid demagoguery, I’m good with it.

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