Hustles Tale of GOP Hypocrisy
Publisher's revelations bring into question whether Rep. Barr
can claim the moral high ground.
Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, January 19, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times
just a minute! Suddenly, the media elite is not interested in
the sexual lives of politicians. After hounding the president
for six years, they've decided that it's not fair to do the same
to his enemies.
news organizations, from the New York Times to the Associated
Press, insist Larry Flynt has gone too far, and they refuse to
report his revelations concerning the hypocrisy of Rep. Bob Barr,
the lead congressional actor in making the personal life of Bill
Clinton the nation's business. It was the Georgia Republican who
first called for Clinton's impeachment two years ago and who's
now the pit bull among House prosecutors.
passion to get the president stems from many sources, including
racial politics. Like Senate GOP leader Trent Lott of Mississippi,
Barr has been associated with the white supremacist Council of
Conservative Citizens, which considers race mixing a grave threat
to the nation. Both have lied about their involvement with the
racist group, an involvement that betrays their oaths to uphold
the equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
race has been kept in the background while the Republican right
wing finds it more advantageous to stress "family values"
issues relating to abortion and gay rights. Thus, Flynt's information
on the thrice-married Barr's betrayal of those values, laid out
in a sworn affidavit by his ex-wife Gail, is highly relevant.
has attacked Flynt while avoiding the specifics of his ex-wife's
charges. But Gail Barr is a credible source; she worked as a CIA
analyst, was granted custody of the Barr children and works today
for the federal government. According to her affidavit: "When
I became pregnant the third time, I was 38 years old, concerned
with health complications the pregnancy might present, and Bob's
[legal] practice was slow, and he was not home much. We did not
have any health insurance. I asked Bob what we should do, whether
I should have an abortion. He said it was entirely my decision
and that I should do whatever I wanted to do."
the point of the pro-choice argument: It's only the woman, faced,
as was Barr's wife, with the complexity of a pregnancy, who should
make the decision. Yet Barr has led the battle in Congress against
choice, no matter the circumstance, including rape, incest and
when the mother's life is at stake.
was also principal author of the Defense of Marriage Act denying
the states the right to recognize homosexual marriage. He argued
that if homosexual unions were accepted, "The very foundations
of our society are in danger of being burned. The flames of hedonism,
the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality
are licking at the very foundations of our society: the family
assumption is that gays, unlike heterosexuals, are incapable of
living by a morality that is not self-centered. Yet Gail Barr's
affidavit states her husband put his political ambitions before
her needs when she was diagnosed with breast cancer: "I asked
him to stop campaigning after my cancer surgery and while going
through chemotherapy, but he refused. . . He never went to the
chemotherapy treatments with me. He was not there for me when
I needed him."
Bob Barr's "narcissism" with the loving example set
by tens of thousands of homosexuals who have nursed their partners
through the ravages of AIDS. But in the eyes of the right wing,
gays are damned not by what they do but by who they are. Otherwise
Trent Lott would not be blocking the nomination of much respected
San Francisco philanthropist James Hormel as ambassador to tiny
a word on the "hedonism" ascribed by family values conservatives
like Barr to homosexuals and anyone else critical of right wing
divide-and-conquer politics. According to Gail Barr's affidavit,
Bob Barr had an extramarital affair with a woman who was to become
his third wife. Yet, when he and the woman were deposed in the
divorce proceeding, both refused to answer, on grounds of possible
self-incrimination, questions about their alleged adultery. If
that principle of privacy had been extended to Clinton, think
of the grief the country would have been spared.
Larry Flynt for giving the nation a reality check. Of course,
we wouldn't need him if the religious right congressmen had just
remembered that wisdom in the Bible about not casting the first