Friday, October 03, 2014

Barrow Is The Loneliest Number


This morning The Economist published a Broderesque story about Georgia reactionary John Barrow, The Loneliest Man In Congress. “Will 2014,” they ask, “spell doom for the last white House Democrat in the Deep South?” I guess it depends how you define Deep South. Apparently North Carolina, Florida and Texas aren’t deep enough, at least not viewed from a British perspective. Anyway, we should only be so lucky to see Barrow, the worst and most useless Democrat in the House finally go down to defeat. His voting record is absolutely abysmal and he votes with Boehner on crucial roll calls more frequently than some Republicans! The DCCC is spending millions of dollars desperately trying to reelect Barrow, who voted more frequently against progressive legislation this session than New York Republican Chris Gibson, who the DCCC is trying to defeat for a bad voting record.

Barrow’s startlingly bad voting record for the 2013-14 session— a ProgressivePunch crucial vote score of 26.87— is further right than Justin Amash’s (R-MI), Gibson’s or Walter Jones’ (R-NC). Jones’ score is 41.28, a helluva lot better than Barrow’s.

In case you’re wondering where The Economist is coming from on Barrow’s race, please watch the 30 second video at the bottom of the page and then think about this first two sentences of their article: “The best political ad of the 2012 election involved Congressman John Barrow and his favourite guns. A Democrat who represents a conservative part of Georgia, Mr Barrow used his 30-second spot to woo two very different groups of voters, both numerous in his district: government-loathing rural whites, and blacks seeking protection against injustice.” Barrow has been successful in rolling his African-American constituents for a long, long time. They see he’s a Democrat and don’t realize how abysmal the specifics of his voting record have been for their families. Or they just figure he’s the lesser of two evils. “Thanks to tireless constituent services and a centrist record (recently he has voted about half the time with House Republican leaders), Mr Barrow has been elected five times. He is a stalwart of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats,” offers The Economist. In fact he’s the co-chairman, as well as a member of the Wall Street-funded New Dems. The Economist article keeps referring to him as a “moderate” rather than a conservative, which is what he is.
[S]ome call Mr Barrow “deceitful,” accusing him of being both for and against such laws as Obamacare. But more call him “a good guy” whose defeat— if it comes— will be a verdict on national politics. Bill Werkheiser, a Republican running for a state legislator’s seat near Reidsville, expresses heartfelt regret that, if Mr Barrow only voted “five times in 20” with the Democrats, that is enough to damn him in today’s hyper-partisan climate. He ventures that Mr Barrow “is so well-liked” that if he followed other Georgia Democrats and switched party, he would sweep all rivals aside. Asked why he does not become a Republican, Mr Barrow offers well-polished swipes at both parties, adding that a change of partisan label “wouldn’t change the way I vote.”
Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is Georgia’s foremost political journalist. In a column about Sam Nunn’s latest whining about his daughter’s Senate run, Galloway mentions that Barrow was the first choice of Beltway Democrats, not his daughter.
Michelle Nunn’s father also said his daughter, the Democratic nominee for Senate, has little obligation to support Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., should Democrats maintain the chamber in November— given that Reid, in the spring of 2013, asked her not to run for Sam Nunn’s old seat.

“They said they had their eye on another candidate,” Sam Nunn said. Presumably, that other candidate would have been U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, whom many Democrats were attempting to lure into the contest at the time.

Michelle Nunn, her father said, rejected the advice to withdraw. Barrow declined to enter the race.
I have no way of knowing if that is true or not— if the Democrats in DC were clueless enough to imagine that a worm like Barrow could win statewide— but it does sound like a familiar story that is true. In South Dakota, DSCC Executive Director, Guy Cecil, and his boss, Reid, promised the Democratic Party Senate nomination to Barrow colleague and fellow Blue Dog Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who was driven from office in 2010 because the Democratic base refused to turn out for her conservative ass. Knowing she had no chance of winning a primary, she told Cecil she would only run if he could guarantee her there would be no primary. Cecil and Reid immediately forced retiring Senator Tim Johnson’s son out of the race. Grassroots Democrats in South Dakota— an independent bunch— were furious. They didn’t want Reid interfering in who their nominee would be and they sure didn’t want Herseth Sandlin as their candidate. So state Democrats gout behind Rick Weiland, Herseth Sandlin demurred, Weiland got the nomination and Cecil and Reid set about bad-mouthing and sabotaging his campaign. Apparently Reid is now so feeble-minded that he would rather the Democrats lose the Senate than accept a defeat for his bossism. I don’t believe for a second that a dipshit like Michelle Nunn would be independent of Reid in the Senate— but there’s no doubt that Rick Weiland would be.

Nunn would be tantamount to having Barrow in the Senate— gutless, without core values, always second-guessing if she needs to vote more conservatively so she could keep the seat 6 years hence. Years of garbage politics, like Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu. Weiland… just look what he’s campaigning on— a New Deal Democrat all the way, outspoken on a fair deal for working families and ending the dominance of the 1% over our increasingly facile democracy. There’s a reason Michelle Nunn is not on this page and Rick Weiland is.

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