Recently a Washington, D.C.-based magazine launched a misleading negative attack against our own Bob Barr; it was subsequently picked up by this newspaper.
I am reminded of what Winston Churchill said, when he observed that a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on. As someone who has known Bob for more than 30 years, I’m not going to sit back and let such attacks go unchallenged.
Bob Barr was part of the Newt Gingrich revolution that was swept into Congress in 1994; and it wasn’t long before he made his mark championing smaller government, fighting to balance the budget, reduce regulations, cut taxes and protect individual liberties.
Then, in just his second term, he was the first member of Congress to call for the impeachment of President Clinton. For these reasons, the Democrats and their allies in the national media eviscerated Bob; but he never let that dissuade him from his goal of increased individual liberty and decreased government power.
As a congressman, Bob enjoyed 100 percent or nearly 100 percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee, the National Federation of Independent Business, the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and Citizens Against Government Waste; he currently is serving his sixth term on the board of the National Rifle Association. These organizations supported Bob because he supported the Constitution.
Importantly, Bob has never been afraid to re-evaluate powers given to the government that are no longer necessary, or that have been abused by the government. That is not “flip-flopping” — it is the essence of good, conservative governance.
I’ve known Bob for more than 30 years, and the Constitution always has been his guiding star; as it should be for all our public servants. And I, for one, appreciate the fact that Bob remains true to the Constitution, even if it means re-evaluating a vote he has taken and concluding that the government no longer needs or is entitled to exercise certain powers — such as some of those in the USA Patriot Act that we now know the government has been abusing. Bob saw these problems before a lot of us did, and we conservatives ought to thank him for it rather than spreading misleading facts or calling him names.
Bob also understands that many of the decisions now exercised by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., are more properly vested in our states and local governments; and he has championed efforts to return those decision-making powers to local and state authorities. Here again, that is the essence of conservative governing.
The Washington establishment and their political allies in Georgia will attack Bob Barr by telling half-truths and distorting Bob’s positions; but those of us who know Bob Barr know that he is standing up for the Constitution and our rights to decide issues here in Georgia.
Chairman – Bob Barr
former Cobb County