Friday, January 8, 2010

A Reinhold Niebuhr award for Bob Barr (ex-R-GA)

The President’s praiseworthy statement on strengthening intelligence was met by ridicule from the usual suspects: Cheney, Limbaugh, Beck, Bachmann. No news there. But some better news: most Republicans kept quiet, perhaps honoring President Bush’s statement in the early days of the new administration, “He deserves my silence.” And some, including Tom Ridge and John Negroponte, praised Obama.
But the best news comes from conservative ex-congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), who called the Republican sniping at  President Obama for his handling of the aftermath of the Christmas underpants bombing “asinine” and “irresponsible.” His indictment of the right is on the Atlanta Journal Constitution website at
The highest level of political ethics is to call out members of one’s own party. Bob Barr gets this month’s (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award for bringing good temper and integrity into the political fight.*
* Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.’ 


Judith Ellis said...

YES!!! Finally!!! A voice of truth!

Bob said...

Well, truth is always to be admired, but Barr's truth is of a higher order: it's truth against your tribe. Ultimately people change because of criticism from people like themselves. We can all stand the disapproval of adversaries, but disapproval of friends seems almost unbearable.

Judith Ellis said...

"We can all stand the disapproval of adversaries, but disapproval of friends seems almost unbearable."

This is so very true for many, Bob. I have never thought of degrees of truth, as truth is always beautiful. But there is most certainly lesser or greater consequences of such.