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.