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Lifeout here by Bret Kofford: Raising the Barr

July 25, 2001

It often seems those who preach to us the most about our morals are among the most morally corrupt among us, both in our communities and our Congress.

Take Congressman Bob Barr, R(eprobate)-Ga.

We're talking about Bob Barr, sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, who has been married three times himself; Bob Barr, who led the outraged moral charge in Congress against President Clinton but who has not exactly been a nice little boy as a husband … in any of his marriages; Bob Barr, who now wants Gary Condit to resign from Congress for misleading police into the disappearance of his lover, Chandra Levy, but who, according to reports, was not at all forthcoming in court proceedings in his second divorce regarding questions of whether he was having an affair with the woman who would become his third wife.

And we won't even get into the stories about Barr being the guest speaker for racial hate organizations or questions of whether Barr properly paid alimony or child support. Here we will narrow the focus and examine whether Barr is a hypocrite in pursuing Condit's removal from office.


I called Barr's Washington office this week and asked his director of communications, Brian Walsh, whether it is just one more example of the hypocrisy of our politicians when Barr demands that Condit resign from Congress or be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for not being forthcoming with police about questions regarding his lover, Chandra Levy, when Barr himself reportedly refused to answer questions in court proceedings regarding his own extramarital affair.

Walsh said he didn't see "the perceived level of hypocrisy" as anywhere near comparable, because Condit's case involved a missing woman whereas Barr's case was a domestic matter.

Walsh also said the allegations Barr had not been forthcoming in divorce court proceedings about his affair are "something reported for years" and originally aired in a publication of ill repute. He said there is no proof Barr actually avoided the truth because the court records in the divorce case have been sealed. Regarding Barr's alleged refusal to comment on an affair during his own court proceedings, Walsh said, "Whether he did it or not, I do not know."

You can take that for what it's worth.

Walsh said that Barr's action against Condit "isn't anything related to an adulterous relationship." He said Barr is pursuing the matter because of "obstruction of justice and false statements made to law enforcement" by Condit.

I told Walsh that I wasn't defending Condit, who is at best a cad and a liar, but for Barr, another apparent cad and truth-dodger if not liar regarding his own personal affairs, to be leading the crusade seems more than a bit hypocritical, almost comical. What you appear to have is one guy who would not comment on his affair in court proceedings condemning another one who wouldn't comment on his affair to police. What it looks like it comes down to is two men just taking the Swordsmen's Sacred Sworn Silence, the same one all skirt-chasers take, the one in which they vow to "deny, deny, deny."

I told Walsh such hypocrisy is why people are fed up with politicians. I asked him if he understood my point. He said he didn't. He asked me if I understood his point, that these are dissimilar matters. I said I didn't. We parted company.

In an editorial Barr wrote for publication and titled "Gary Condit Must Go," Barr writes, "Certainly there are moral questions raised by an adulterous relationship, however, I believe that is an issue that should be addressed by the citizens of California's 18th congressional district."

I guess that means those same questions should be raised about Bob Barr by the citizens of Georgia's 7th congressional district.

In Congress we have a phalanx of philanderers who were longtime moralizers against Clinton and others but were exposed for their hideous hypocrisy. That big contingent includes Henry Hyde, Helen Chenowith, Dan "Two Families" Burton, and yes, Gary Condit, who broke ranks with his party to condemn Clinton for something Condit was doing all along … fooling around with women other than his wife and lying about it.

Barr writes in his op-ed piece that congressmen must follow an ethics manual in which the first standard is to "conduct themselves at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives."

If those are the standards laid out, it is time for Gary Condit to resign from Congress … and for Bob Barr and all his hypocritical buddies to go with him.

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