Our colleagues at the Savannah Morning News want Rep. John Barrow to stay true to his "Blue Dog" image and vote against the Democratic health-care plan.
We would simply add that, either way, the Georgia congressman will show his true colors.
The Democrat, whose 12th District includes part of the Augusta area, has been holding his cards close to the vest on this issue. Perhaps he's undecided. Perhaps he's looking for leverage, a la Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana or Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Maybe he's hoping his vote won't matter in the end.
In any case, Barrow's vote has become the subject of some national political intrigue this week, as the issue has come to a head in the U.S. House.
We hope the congressman hasn't simply been waiting out the prevailing winds. This is one of the biggest issues to come before this or any other Congress. This is an issue of great importance to the fiscal viability of the country and the individual liberty of its citizens. We hope his and others' votes come down to principle -- and that his principles properly reflect his largely conservative district's, regardless of any pressure Democratic leaders may be applying.
We know John Barrow. We don't agree with him politically on a number of issues. But we know he has his head screwed on straight -- and that he knows he works for the people of the 12th District, not for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or even President Barack Obama. He's told us as much.
Even so, he may have to say it into the mirror: Barrow is among a handful of House Democrats that ultra-liberal MoveOn.org is threatening if they take down health care. The group claims to have raised over $1 million in funds it plans to use to find more liberal Democrats to run against Barrow and the others.
Georgians know how silly that is, and Barrow should too: Even if a far-left candidate took him on, it's unlikely 12th District voters would flock to him or her -- and even if Barrow lost, his Democratic challenger would find the left lane ending at the November election, throwing the district into Republican hands.