No Tears for Bob Barr
I nominate pornographer Larry Flynt for the Congressional Medal of Honor
for having performed the distinguished service of forcing Rep. Bob Barr
off all the national news networks for at least one day. Barr, who seemingly
timeshares at MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, and Court TV so that he may trash President
Clinton hourly on morals charges, is less than pure himself. It turns out
the only thing pristine on Barr are the white sheets he needs when speaking
to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization.
Unlike the president's enemies, who use media, Flynt hires investigators
and then reports facts that are verifiable. Drudge and Co. smear first,
then ask corroborating questions later.
Flynt has a sworn affidavit from Barr's second wife (Barr is on number three
and counting), Gail Vogel Barr, that the conservative lawmaker repeatedly
pled the equivalent of the Fifth Amendment during the couple's divorce proceedings.
Barr refused to answer questions regarding his alleged adultery.
Why is this relevant? Because Barr has endorsed Ken Starr's position that
it is an impeachable offense for Clinton to have exercised executive privilege
so that his staff members would not have to testify about the presidential
sex life. If asking for privileges during legal proceedings in order to
get out of revealing embarrassing sexual escapades is impeachable for Clinton,
then it is similarly wrong for Barr and he should be removed from office
for the crime of obstructing justice in his wife's divorce.
If, however, it was fair for Barr to exert privileges to protect himself
from embarrassment in a legal case, then it is OK for the President to also
exert privileges. Barr is a hypocrite unworthy of judging the president
or anyone else. (Possible exception: serving as a jury member in Larry King's
divorce hearing from his ninth wife?)
Next, Flynt reveals that Barr paid and arranged for his wife to have an
abortion in 1983. This interests moralists because Barr has called for a
constitutional ban on abortions and has said that "abortion is the
murder of the unborn." Since Barr is also in favor of capital punishment
for criminals convicted of murder and other high crimes, it is only fair
to infer that Barr believes he himself should be executed as an accessory
Flynt's implicit questions: "Why should anyone listen to Barr's request
to remove Clinton from office over not wanting to talk about his sex life
when Barr has used similar tactics? Why, especially, should anyone listen
to Barr judge crimes arising from sex, given that he would imprison or execute
women who have sex and then seek abortions, when he has used the abortion
solution himself to cover up his unplanned sex?"
Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson has demanded of Clinton:
"End the tactics of sexual terrorism and put your buddy Larry Flynt
back in the plain paper wrapper where he belongs." It's a good thing
Nicholson wasn't under oath when he made this comment. The GOP leader knowingly
lied when he called Flynt a "buddy" of the president and this
is relevant or "material" to the issue at hand.
I welcome Nicholsons concern about the politics of personal destruction,
but where has he been for the last seven years? Not a peep was heard from
Nicholson when right-wing financier Richard Mellon Scaife started the $2.5
million Arkansas Project to look for dirt in Clinton's life so long ago.
Tears ran down Majority Whip Tom DeLay's face when crying about Rep. Bob
Livingston's loss of privacy, but DeLay's mug was dry when Jerry Falwell
promoted The Clinton Chronicles, a video claiming Clinton is a murderer,
drug dealer, and cocaine addict. Former important person Newt Gingrich screamed
"mindless cannibalism" when he became the entree of the day, but
he was more than happy to snack on Drudge Report tidbits of fictitious Clinton
Clinton's critics accuse him of being shameless; they know of what they
speak. For the last several weeks, the right-wing media establishment led
by Drudge have been pushing a seven-year-old discredited story that Clinton
fathered a child via a black prostitute. When DNA testing vindicated Clinton,
did the conservative establishment issue mea culpas to Clinton or the public?
Far from apologizing, Drudge issued a release congratulating himself: "The
Drudge Report was first to reveal the DNA chase that captured the attention
of official Washington in a series of exclusive reports." Huh? Drudge
wants a pat on the back for being first and loudest at telling discredited
lies about his political opponents.
Flynt or Drudge, who is the real pornographer?
TJ Walker is a nationally syndicated columnist and the president of Progressive
America, a progressive think tank. Walker appears regularly on the Fox News
Channel, Court TV, and MSNBC. His latest book is: The Impeachment Conspiracy!
Why Bill Clinton Should NOT Be Removed From Office. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.tjwalker.com.
News | Current Issue
| Back Issues | Essays
About the Progressive Populist | How
to Subscribe | How to Contact Us
Copyright © 1999 The Progressive Populist