Former congressman says Trump should support, not attack other Republicans

Published 10:23 am Monday, January 31, 2022

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I can think of no stronger and more reputable conservative voice than that of former U.S. Cong. Bob Barr, who represented Georgia’s 7th congressional district from 1995 to 2003. Barr was one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and authored the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (The act was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.) He is also one of the nation’s strongest advocates for the right of citizens to bear arms under the provisions of the 2nd Amendment.

I don’t always agree with him but I respect the man, his intellect and his conservative credentials. That is why I suggest Georgia Republicans pay close attention to his recent observations on the editorial pages of the Marietta Daily Journal.

Barr says polls show that the American public is frustrated with and disappointed in the Biden presidency and that the GOP should be highlighting the accomplishments of Republican governors across the country who are providing an antidote to what he describes as the socialist agenda being pushed by Democrats in Washington. So, what is the problem? Donald Trump.

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Unlike former presidents before him, Barr says Trump doesn’t seem interested in helping to develop viable Republican candidates for the party’s future. Rather, he sees them as competition, i.e., Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis who is widely believed to be eyeing a run for the presidency in 2024.

Barr says Trump also seems to have “anchored himself to a circular 2020 election loop; occasionally stopping only long enough to attack other Republicans he feels ‘betrayed him.’” That would be Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

In my not-so-humble opinion, Donald Trump doesn’t give a rat’s rump about Georgia, only about settling scores. He thinks the state’s election results were fraudulent and blames Kemp, among others. Trump is on the record as saying he thinks Democrat Stacey Abrams would make a better governor than Brian Kemp, which Barr calls “an absurd and destructive notion.”

While Trump’s acolytes cry “foul” over the election results, can anybody explain to me why Georgia’s incumbent Republican U.S. senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, lost to two Democrats with zero political experience?

Speaking of Perdue, he has entered the Republican primary in Georgia as Trump’s surrogate, hoping to bring down Kemp, likely splitting the GOP vote and fulfilling Trump’s wish of Stacey Abrams being governor.

My one encounter with David Perdue was during his reelection campaign when a staffer called to set up an interview with the senator. I assumed that as with a lot of other politicians, he wanted to get his message out to my readers across Georgia. It turned out his office didn’t even know I wrote a column. He just wanted a political contribution. Johnny Isakson, he is not.

In the meantime, Gov. Brian Kemp presides over a state with a budget surplus of $2.2 billion and an unemployment rate of 2.6%, a record low.

Georgia has been named the “Top State for Doing Business” for the seventh straight year by Area Development magazine’s annual poll of leading site consulting firms across the U.S.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive has announced plans to build a $5 billion battery and assembly plant in east Georgia, expected to employ 7,500 workers. The plant could grow to as many as 10,000 workers, making it among the largest auto assembly facilities in the United States.

In Jackson County, SK Innovation is constructing a $1.67 billion manufacturing facility to produce lithium-ion batteries and has announced an additional $940 million expansion.

Things are going very well in Georgia. Trump and his supporters need to get over election results that are not going to change. Otherwise, their penchant to punish could get us four years of Biden Lite in the form of Stacey Abrams. Is that what Republicans really want?

Bob Barr says, “The GOP must decide to openly support its governors and congressional leaders against baseless and errant attacks, regardless of who is making them, whether a Democrat or a former Republican president. Failing to thus stand up for itself and for its own elected officials – the ones who now are actually implementing policies which the Grand Old Party historically has championed – is a weakness that will, in the end, hurt Republicans more than anything the Democrats might throw at it.”

I hope Donald Trump is listening to this sage advice. But I doubt it. This isn’t about the Republican Party’s future. It’s all about revenge.