Thursday, November 30, 2017

Barton Retires; take a bow Texas Grassroots....

"So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."
Romans 14:12

At this point, we're sure you've heard:
Rep. Joe Barton, whose private life came under national scrutiny after sexual images he shared in an extramarital relationship were made public, won’t seek re-election.

The Ennis Republican announced his retirement in an interview Thursday with The Dallas Morning News, three weeks after saying he would seek an 18th term.


Still, his decision to share lewd messages, even if in a consensual context, drew rebukes from Republicans in his own district — with many of them already offering up potential replacements while warning that, if he remained on the ballot, he would hurt other GOP candidates.

Pressure grew Wednesday when state Sen. Konni Burton of Tarrant County, a tea party conservative, joined other local leaders in saying he should drop his 2018 plans.
At this point, we wish the Congressman the best an hope he gets help for whatever weird sense of loneliness led him to engage in the original behavior.  Politically, it also sets up an open seat Congressional race where no one expected.  But there's another aspect that's worth considering.

Over the past couple months, we've watched the "pervnado" cascade with as much astonishment as anyone.  While certain figures in Hollywood and the national media have seen some accountability, so far that hasn't happened in politics.  In both parties, we've seen respective partisans rally around elected officials and candidates who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct for short term political reasons.

But that didn't happen with Joe Barton.

Reports of bad behavior from Barton first surfaced last Tuesday.  Then everyone took a couple days to catch their breath and digest the accusation.  On Friday, this website called for Barton's to go.  On Monday, that was followed by his county GOP chair and a prominent local activist.  Barton was already on the way out when the latest incident was disclosed yesterday.  Today, nine days later, he's gone.

[Note: It probably would have happened even quicker if Thanksgiving weekend hadn't occurred in the middle of all this.]

[Note II: While it's one project on this author's to do list that's no longer necessary, had Barton stubbornly doubled down, there could have been a statewide coalition letter by Saturday.]

The Texas Grassroots were the first major political block in the country who were confronted with a case of sexual misconduct in their own backyard who didn't close ranks.  The grassroots took the time necessary to fully and fairly assess the situation, but once it became clear we acted quickly.  And, because the grassroots in Texas acted with deliberate diligence, Joe Barton is leaving Congress.

Bottom Line: In a world where reflexive partisans are reflexively closing ranks behind their party's pervert politicians for short term political reasons, Texas' grassroots chose the honorable course regardless of political consequences.  That's a big deal that speaks well for our movement.  Congratulate yourselves.

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