After Andy Barr claimed that a national news organization was printing “investigations” written directly by Barack Obama under the bylines of their supposed reporters, it seemed like a fun idea to go back through Andy’s record over the years to see how often he resorts wot wild, baseless conspiracy and other absurd excuses to explain away his own questionable behavior. After Andy blocked B&P on twitter for no apparent reason, it became clear that this should be a game.
One note before we begin: this is not how Andy reacts to criticism, this is how he reacts when factually things aren’t looking so good for him.
In short: He attacks and then distorts. Although sometimes, he distorts and then attacks. Let’s take a look shall we:
2010: ANDY BARR IS CONFRONTED WITH THE FACT THAT HE BELONGS TO A RACIST ORGANIZATION
Andy and his family are members of the Idle Hour Country Club. Until 2010, Idle Hour refused to admit any member who was not white. That’s racist, obviously.
So what did Andy Barr say about belonging to country club that remained entirely “Whites Only” a decade into the 21st Centurey — 145 years after the end of the Civil War?
“My family has been a member for a long time,” Barr said. “It’s not an issue. It should not be an issue. I’m a member of a lot of organizations in Central Kentucky. I was born and raised in Central Kentucky. And I love my community.”
Andy’s defense of his racist association is that he and his family have been members of the racist association for a very long time and, oh yeah, he loves his community.
Andy went on:
“Those kinds of tactics that focus in on the petty issues, those non-issues, I think that voters are going to punish that.”
Let’s welcome Garland to the 21st Century where racism actually is an issue. The fact that Andy Barr belonged to a racist organization is not a non-issue and it is not a petty issue, either.
Let’s be clear: Andy Barr was a member of, and was raised in, a Whites Only club that specifically forbid the membership of anyone who was not white. It may be the case that Andy doesn’t think that’s an issue, but that’s probably because Andy Barr doesn’t want to see it as one.
And at Idle Hour, he didn’t have to.
When faced with the fact that Andy Barr belonged to a racist organization, Andy calls that a “tactic” and claims that voters will “punish” those who mention it.
2013: Andy Barr votes with shutdown republicans to not end the Government shutdown
Last fall, the extremist members of the House Republicans caucus voted to shut down the government over the objections of their establishment members and the objections of the majority of Americans and the major players in the Republican Party’s own base of business supporters. When the House moved finally to end that Shutdown, Andy Barr voted with the Shutdown Republicans to keep the shutdown going.
Here’s Andy’s response when faced with the fact that his decision was wildly unpopular with Americans across the ideological spectrum:
“Andy Barr is focused on doing his job representing the people of the Sixth District, not partisan political attacks,” spokeswoman Catherine Gatewood said. “It doesn’t take a poll to know Kentuckians are tired of politics as usual. That’s why Andy Barr is fighting to hold Washington accountable and working to get the government up and running.”
Lesson #1. It is a “partisan political attack” to question Andy Barr about his vote to continue the government shutdown.
Lesson #2: Voters are “tired of politics as usual” — which is why Andy Barr voted to shutdown the government… because “politics as usual” doesn’t mean that people are tired of overpaid brats going to Washington DC and not getting anything done, they’re apparently tired of the government functioning at all.
Lesson #3: Faced with criticism, Andy resorts to double-speak, nonsense and circular reasoning. According to Andy Barr, voting with House Republicans’ most extreme members to shutdown the government is a way to “get the government up and running” — an argument that is as absurd as it is insulting to Kentucky voters.
Lesson #4: Voting to continue the government shutdown is just Andy Barr “doing his job” — which is true if Andy’s job is to do nothing, which at times seems to be the case. (Unfortunately, grinding government to a halt and shutting down its services to its people is not in the Constitution’s job description for a Congressman.)
2013: Andy Barr Says Responds to Criticism for his vote to continue the government shutdown
After Andy Barr’s vote to keep the government shut down, Andy penned a letter to the paper in an attempt to deflect the massive amounts of criticism he was receiving not just from Democrats but from moderates, independents and serious Republicans.
We must take responsibility and stop business as usual in Washington.
Very similar to Lesson #2 above cross-germinated with Lesson #3, in this instance, Garland H. Barr IV explains that his vote in favor of the government shutdown was his sworn duty to “stop business as usual” in Washington.
The government shutdown cost the US government $2 Billion, delayed $4 Billion in tax returns, depleted the job market of 120,000 private sector jobs, and led the FDA, the NTSB and other government agencies whose job it is to ensure the safety of the American public to cease important safety-providing work.
So yes, Andy Barr did “stop business as usual” in Washington… if you accept Andy’s premise that “business as usual” means literally the functions of governing.
2014: Andy Barr raises $42,000 in Texas with lawmaker under investigation for tax evasion and campaign fundraising irregularities.
Andy Barr and five other members of the House Financial Services Committee got taken down to Texas by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling where they collected $42,000 each from shady lenders and other millionaires in the financial services industry Barr and his fellow Congressmen are supposed to regulate. Among Barr’s co-conspirators in the Committee to Protect Prosperity and Free Enterprise is Rep. Michael Grimm. When Grimm fell under investigation for tax issues and campaign fundraising irregularities, Barr was confronted with these facts, and here‘s Andy Barr’s response:
In a prepared statement, Barr campaign spokesman Blake Brickman said Wednesday that Grimm is “a passing acquaintance” of Barr’s.
“This is a desperate attempt by President Obama’s Washington allies who hope to distract hard-working Kentuckians from the issues they care about, like increasing jobs and better access to quality health care,” Brickman said. “These baseless, negative attacks are part of the reason that Kentuckians are tired of politics as usual.“
This collection of irrefutable facts is “a desperate attempt by President Obama’s Washington allies.” Rather than respond to the substance of his trip, the source of the money that funds his campaign or the conflict of interest he has in taking so much money from the very people he is paid to investigate, Andy Barr first attacks the questioner then attempts to blame the whole thing on a conspiracy led by Barack Obama.
Barr raising vast amounts of campaign cash in another state from the very people he’s paid by Kentucky taxpayers to provide oversight of is not an “issue Kentucky voters care about.” Andy Barr suggests that Kentucky voters don’t care about the appearance of a conflict of interest, that Kentucky voters are not concerned with the threat of government corruption, and that Kentucky voters do not care about the shady people Andy Barr spends his time with while in office representing them.
According to Andy Barr, the facts are baseless and the facts are negative. And, again, Kentuckians are “tired of politics as usual.”
Are you seeing a pattern?
2014: Andy Barr lashes out at the Herald Leader, concocting a massive conspiracy in which journalists collude with the White House to smear him with irrefutable facts
The Herald Leader conducts a thorough investigation of Andy Barr’s use of taxpayer money to fund campaign-style mailers sent from his official Congressional office. The Herald-Leader’s reporters discover that Andy Barr spent nearly $200,000 of the people’s money in just 15 months on glossy mailers and self-congratulatory “telephone town halls” to tout his selective record of success and gloss over his extensive record of failure.
The findings of these journalists were clear. Andy Barr’s abuse of taxpayer money was egregious. Barr outspent 411 other members of Congress, using 10 times as much taxpayer money to run for office as any other Kentucky representative.
Andy Barr’s response to this report is a bizarre conspiracy laden string of the same old talking points from Andy:
The Herald-Leader’s distortion of my office spending is just the type of negative, political, business-as-usual attack by Washington Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama I am fighting to change.
The Herald-Leader’s journalists:
a) Distorted Andy’s record by reporting facts about his abuse of taxpayer money.
b) Colluded with his political enemies in Washington.
If you “attack” Andy Barr by reporting facts about him, you must be working for Barack Obama.
The Herald Leader’s journalism is a “negative, political attack” that represents, again, the “business as usual” approach that Andy Barr is supposedly working so hard to “change.”
And yet, in each response to each “attack,” the only thing Andy Barr seems to be changing is the order of his tired conspiracies, excuses and talking points.
Almost as if he’s just playing some ridiculous game of mad-libs. Or…
ANDY BARR’S OVERLY DEFENSIVE BINGO!
As you see in just these few examples above, when Andy Barr’s record is questioned, when facts are raised that he finds inconvenient or when it is revealed that Andy Barr is just another power-hungry “Do Nothing” Congressman, Andy Barr each time responds not to the substance of the issue, but rather by dismissing the issue outright, attacking the messenger, and constructing elaborate conspiracies to explain why indisputable facts are really just a fabrication concocted by his apparently limitless set of political enemies.
Since we’re likely to see more of these absurd statements from Andy Barr and his staff over the next two and a half months, B&P has put together a helpful game card so that you can play along at home:
Andy Barr’s Overly Defensive BINGO!
Keep in mind, ANDY BARR’S OVERLY DEFENSIVE BINGO isn’t just for tired voters who have had enough of Andy Barr’s business-as-usual dodging and conspiratorial weaving, it’s also for the journalists who are engaged in petty, partisan baseless attacks upon the Barr campaign in collusion with Washington Democrats.
But that’s not all!
This ANDY BARR’S OVERLY DEFENSIVE BINGO card can also be used by Andy Barr and his staff! That’s right. The next time Andy Barr is faced with a tough question about his actually questionable record as a Congressman, Andy doesn’t have to stumble around on his words, he and his staff can just quickly refer to this BINGO card, string together a few boxes at random, and then push that mangled combination of conspiracy and condescending dismissiveness right back at their evil accusers who number many and are working together with Andy’s political enemies in the every corner of the media who all take orders directly from the White House. And Nancy Pelosi.
This time-saving tool will allow Andy Barr’s staff to focus their energy on wasting tax payer money, collecting checks from shady people, and blocking people on Twitter, rather than wasting our valuable time coming up with more canned, ridiculous excuses for all that misbehavior.