John Barrow and the lonely middle

John Barrow has represented the 12th district in Congress since 2005. He’s clearly done right by his constituents because they’ve sent him back five times already. They appreciate the efforts of bringing $6.7 million in FEMA aid after the winter storms. They appreciate his willingness to cross over party lines to vote his conscience and the will of the district. Even many Republicans are supporting him.

Which is why all the NRCC ad buys to unseat Barrow aren’t about Barrow at all – they are all about Barack Obama. Part of this is that the NRCC makes essentially the same ad for the entire country and then slaps their candidate’s name on the end. Here it is Rick Allen (who sadly, is NOT a member of Def Leppard), but it might as well be any guy who is against stimulus finds and demonstrated that by selling himself out to get them.

Because to the NRCC the reality of Barrow is not important. All they have is [insert D incumbent name here]=Obama and they are determined to make Barrow fit into that box. But he won’t, because reality. In the 113th Congress, John Barrow voted with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy 60% of the time, with Speaker John Boehner 52% of the time, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise 55% of the time,  and with  2012 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan 57% of the time. After that NRCC/Allen ad came out saying Barrow “votes with Obama on every issue”, Congressional Quarterly noted that Barrow supported Obama’s position on legislation around 30% of the time in the last Congress. That’s less than the support Barrow gave Bush in 2005 and 2006. [USA Today, 8/19/14]

So after that ad, the NRCC/Allen dropped another ad today. It is called “Lied”. I only have the script, but I am going to guess at the visuals. A leering, black and white photo of Obama. Ominous string music. “Obama said you could keep your health insurance and it was a lie. And John Barrow voted to keep it.” Or thereabouts. It doesn’t matter that Barrow actually voted against Obamacare when it counted, back in 2009. What the NRCC is talking about is the silly posturing of repeal votes that meant nothing.

This is a guy that doesn’t accept Congressional Healthcare, doesn’t accept pay during the shutdown, donates his frequent flyer miles to veterans, and voted against his party nearly 200 times. He’s the guy who lead the House to condemn the Obama administration for its release of Guantanamo prisoners just this week.

But to the NRCC, he’s just [insert D incumbent name].

The National Journal ranked Barrow the most bipartisan member of the House up for reelect. There was once a time when Congress wasn’t dysfunctional, amazingly. When good ideas rose to the top. When bipartisanship wasn’t rare. We say that’s what we want. It is certainly what we need. And in a country divided, 12th District voters have again and again have voted to send a Democrat back to Washington even though they are Republicans. It may be the last bipartisan place on Earth. Maybe we should relocate the Capitol there.



  1. objective says:

    why so lonely in the middle, despite so many ppl wanting a pragmatic center?
    b/c while both parties cry foul over redistricting, it is the centrists who consistently get outflanked by redistricting.

    • Will Durant says:

      It would take me about 2 or 3 hours to write a program using an algorithm that would start districts at the population centers and work their way out. Factoring in political boundaries like city and county borders then geographical boundaries if needed beyond those. The program would be totally blind to political party, race, age… Only the population grouped to the communities people have chosen to live together or near would matter. Unfortunately this would not meet the approval of the 2 prevailing parties or the justice department because it makes too much common sense. Yes, it is lonely in the middle.

  2. Al Gray says:

    Rick Allen is a good man, but he failed to recognize the blind panic that struck his business associates, many of whom we share (shared is past tense in my case) in the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. As I have intimated to Rick , he cannot see the many ways in which he is a victim of rushes to regain lost wealth and, unfortunately, he is running for Congress.

  3. IndyPendant says:

    John Barrow, son of the late Honorable James & Phyllis Barrow, former Athens-Clarke County councilman. Gerrymandered out of representing Athens so Paul Broun could do nothing except make a fool out of himself for almost a decade. Now we get to watch Jody Hice repeat Brouns clown routine.

  4. gcp says:

    “the lonely middle” ? The middle of what…middle of the dems? The middle of the repubs or the middle of the Ga voters?

    It’s no longer important where one stands on the political spectrum because the entire spectrum (dems and repubs) keeps moving to the collectivist side. The goal posts were not moved; the repubs and dems moved the entire field.

  5. seth30277 says:

    The fact is the GAGOP establishment doesn’t understand the 12th district and its demographics. They are using the exact same tactics they have used in the last two cycles and they have come up short every time.

    • Al Gray says:

      “The fact is the GAGOP establishment doesn’t understand”


      The debacle that befell Jack Kingston might send the whole she-bang down in flames.

    • Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

      He’s only 58, so he’s not going to retire based on age.. I think “retirements” are done by the voters, n’est-ce pas ?

  6. NoTeabagging says:

    I find the statistics on Mr. Barrow encouraging. If Stefan’s praise is true, We need more like him everywhere.

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