Georgia voters sent two politically-opposite but stylistically-similar Congressional extremists packing Tuesday.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney, centerfold for the loony left, lost her seat to a political novice. Rep. Bob Barr, poster boy for the rigid right, lost out to fellow incumbent John Linder after redistricting put the two together and Barr rejected state party requests to run in another district.
McKinney, whose vocal chords lost communications with her brain years ago, got into hot water with her constituents when she bad mouthed the US efforts against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks and even suggested President George W. Bush ignored warnings so he could declare war on terrorists to help his business buddies.
Barr’s rabid take-no-prisoners rhetoric didn’t sit well with voters in a new district that had been represented mostly by the more low-key Linder who, like Barr, is a conservative but preferred to work behind the scenes rather than seek headlines.
Neither, however, was ousted completely by members of their own party. Georgia allows cross-over voting in primaries and exit interviews at the polls show a lot of Republicans voted against McKinney while many Democrats voted against Barr.
Yet voters in both districts sent a clear message to incumbents running for re-election around the country – we’re tired of rhetoric and posturing. Let’s see some results.
Both McKinney and Barr are legislative lightweights, the kind of loose lip politicians that Washington reporters love because they provide great quotes but little substance.
Of the two, McKinney was more useless, a typical liberal who championed flamboyant causes and suffered from diarrhea of the mouth. She openly advocated pro-Arab causes, accepted campaign contributions from organizations who may have sympathized with the Sept. 11 attacks and proved her ignorance on issues every time she opened her mouth.
Her opponent, former state judge Denise Majette, got a lot of help from pro-Jewish organizations and hammered away at McKinney’s politically-unpopular and ill-conceived criticisms of a popular president waging a popular war.
At times, it seemed like every out-of-work Hollywood liberal available showed up in Georgia to campaign for McKinney, an influx of outside influences that also angered voters.
Barr led the failed Republican attempts to impeach Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky debacle. He also apparently never heard of the term “conflict of interest” since he sits on the National Rifle Association board of directors and openly championed NRA causes on the Hill. As a gun owner, I support many of Barr’s positions on gun ownership but I prefer Congressmen who at least make an attempt to separate themselves from powerful special interest groups.
Barr and McKinney aren’t the first incumbents to lose so far this year.
And they won’t be the last.