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Barrow explains vote against health care overhaul

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He knows his no vote on health care reform disappointed a lot of people, folks who thought he was on their team, U.S. Rep. John Barrow said Friday at a quietly held meeting at Democratic Party headquarters in downtown Augusta.

But a big problem with America, he said, is that complicated issues get whittled down to matters of us against them, such as the "you're either for us or against us" stance of President George W. Bush.

"There is no subject we're going to deal with that's more complicated than this one," Barrow said, "and if we can't understand differences of opinion and respect a certain amount of dissent when it's the most complicated, how can we do it on stuff that's simple?"

Explaining himself to the 25 people in attendance, the 12th District congressman made both liberal and conservative arguments against the bill. He supports health care reform, he said, but the legislation passed last month isn't economically sustainable, and it will hurt Medicaid recipients because states' funding shares will be uneven.

"Feeding more people into the system without fixing it is going to break the system," Barrow said. "This is going to be short-term gains in the things we as Democrats care about -- helping people who need help."

Local party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum told him that by opposing a reform so vital to President Obama's political career, he might have endangered his own. Former Augusta mayoral candidate William "Gil" Gilyard asked Barrow why, if Obama can accept compromises, he couldn't.

"You're off with the other guys," Gilyard said, "and we need to send you off with them."

Barrow is up for re-election this year -- in the primary facing Regina Thomas of Savannah, whom he handily defeated in 2008, and the winner of the Republican primary in the general election. Sixty percent of the primary voters are expected to be black, and Barrow has likely angered a lot of them, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock said.

His health care position, however, was likely a matter of political shrewdness, he said. It's difficult to beat an incumbent in the primaries, and so far no candidate has emerged who could rally the black vote against him.

Once Barrow gets past that stage, Bullock said, there will be no galvanized Republican movement to unseat him.

Several Democrats have been using a two-week recess to tour their districts and explain their health care votes. Friday's meeting, Barrow's fourth stop after Crawfordville, Sparta and Milledgeville, wasn't publicly announced. Greenbaum said he didn't want the general public invited because Tea Party activists might show up.

Barrow's office also didn't send out a notice, even though his staff typically e-mails a steady stream of news releases about his district appearances and positions on issues.

Afterward, Barrow spoke casually with attendees, but when a reporter approached him, he rushed to his car. Refusing an interview, he said he's taken plenty of questions and talked to the press enough.

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jack2006
87
Points
jack2006 04/03/10 - 12:22 am
0
0

Face the music. I guess that

Face the music. I guess that he thinks his seat is safe. I hope that he rethink that scenario. I guess that he thinks that the Democrats will still vote for him because he is a Democrat. Too many variables that are in play here and I think he played the wrong card. They can say NO just like he did in return.

keysandlocks
0
Points
keysandlocks 04/03/10 - 03:39 am
0
0

I am going to quote one

I am going to quote one sentence of a letter I received from John Barrow on August 25, 2009. This was a reply to my letter to him in which I made my opposition known to the Democrat's health care plan. In general terms, he agreed with my position. Here is the quote. "Ultimately, my loyalty to the interests of the people of the 12th District of Georgia comes before any party or coalition." As far as I, a registered Republican, am concerned, his "NO" vote confirms the principle of the above quote. All concerned should study this quote carefully before deciding to vote against John Barrow in November.

marvincates
0
Points
marvincates 04/03/10 - 04:11 am
0
0

I hope it does hurt the ones

I hope it does hurt the ones on MEDICAID. They are the ones who voted for Obama thinking they could spend several more generations in the system while no one noticed or cared.

Guess what? There are people who do care. And it's about time. The generational hog trough is now closed.

justus4
93
Points
justus4 04/03/10 - 04:25 am
0
0

Well, well. Now this article

Unpublished

Well, well. Now this article clearly demonstrates how a so-called "Great Democracy" works, along with the role of a so-called "free press" and how racial politics are woven into political figures and their votes. First, how was this guy able to sneak into his district without a bunch of previously printed info about his whereabouts? Well, the local printing operations didn't get the word out very well, judging from the participation of the 25 folks, so the plan is working. However, he knows that minority taxpayers, who make up a significant part of that district, were against his "NO" vote, but he obviously did not care. The reason: U guessed it. And in doing so, by voting "NO" he clearly demonstrated what he thinks of those constituents. A complete disregard for people of color leaving them WITHOUT representation! And so, the tricks continue and U know who gets the short end, but there maybe a surprise in order. Rep. Barrow failed to accurately represent citizens who pay his wages and for that, democracy demands that he be held to account. Great country, eh?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 04/03/10 - 06:45 am
0
0

Don't worry John, my family

Don't worry John, my family and I all know a rat when we see one. P.S. we are Dems but we fully intend to let our neighbors know where you stand. I hope you have enjoyed the ride so far, it is about to end.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
571
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 04/03/10 - 07:00 am
0
0

I voted for John Barrow in

I voted for John Barrow in general elections three times. I have let Barrow know I am unhappy with his repeated votes to continue funding U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I threatened to withhold my vote in the last general election, but in Nov 2008 when I was in the voting booth faced with voting for Barrow, voting for John Stone, or not voting for either candidate, I reluctantly voted for Barrow because I did not want to be responsible for a Republican victory. As it turned out the election wasn't close.

I spoke with John Barrow in an town meeting in February. He is fully informed but will continue to vote to fund the wars because "we have to fight them" even though there are less than 200 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. "200 people can do a lot of damage" stated Barrow. Pathetic!

Barrow is not worried about his Democrat challenger Regina Thomas. IMO, blacks and white liberals should vote en masse for Regina Thomas. Barrow does not have their best interests or my best interests in mind when he votes to continue funding war against impoverished Afghans but won't vote to fund health care for impoverished Americans.

Here is a link to GPB's coverage of this issue. I found Mary Ellen Cheatham's audio interview with Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, particularly informative.

http://www.gpb.org/news/2010/03/22/challenger-criticizes-barrows-vote

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/03/10 - 07:06 am
0
0

Barrow has done a good job

Barrow has done a good job representing his constituents. His district covers a lot of conservatives and liberals, but mostly independents. The questions asked of Barrows sounded like CNN soundbites, "how could you threaten the obamassiah's career?" and "a lot of your constituents are black...". His response that the bill was the problem, not it's stated intent, fell on deaf ears. Well, the far left don't like Barrow any more than the far right. So far, his voters fall somewhere in between.

freeradical
824
Points
freeradical 04/03/10 - 07:16 am
0
0

My hard earned taxes pay this

My hard earned taxes pay this United States Rep. freight and yet

commissar Greenbaum decides he does not want the "general public"

to attend because he is afraid.

Commissar Greenbaum you need to become more sophisticated in your

methods.

Don't be afraid of the taxpaying "general public" being there.

Just employ your paramount leader's technique of surpressing any

disonance by physically surpressing the rabble , and restoring

the harmony.

southernguy08
415
Points
southernguy08 04/03/10 - 07:29 am
0
0

Yes JUSTUS, it is a great

Unpublished

Yes JUSTUS, it is a great country, despite what Obama and the libs are trying to do to it. John Barrow is something of a rarity, a Democrat who actually gets it. He knew this monster bill was too expensive and will break us, so he voted against it. How you manage to turn everything into something about race only confirms your racist mindset. I never liked John Barrow, but I have a lot of respect for him now. HE DID THE RIGHT THING! Thank you Congressman Barrow. Whether he loses or not in November, he can look himself in the mirror and know he did the right thing.

carcraft
20662
Points
carcraft 04/03/10 - 07:33 am
0
0

2nd Paragraph says it all..it

2nd Paragraph says it all..it is Bush's faulty..doesn't matter how you voted on this, the fact, according to Barrow, is that Bush fixed politics so that what ever you do your wrong because of Bush...Well Bush has been out of office for almost two years and this usnstainable monstrocity that cuts medicare (John Barrow's words) was pushed down America's throat by his "beloved leader"..Greenbaum and the Democrates will have to face that fact....Even NPR is catching onto the fact that America's economy is in the toilet and this "health care reform" is more pressure on the handle..

sgachief
0
Points
sgachief 04/03/10 - 07:45 am
0
0

the bottom line on this

the bottom line on this healthcare? legislation is that if the tide were turned and the exact same bill was proposed by a white republican pres. and voted in by a republican congress every democrat in the nation would be against it. it is a bad bill and all of us will ultimately suffer from it's consequences!

wizzardx1
0
Points
wizzardx1 04/03/10 - 08:05 am
0
0

justus,WHY all the racial

justus,WHY all the racial HATRED?I have been reading these posts for over a year,and EVERY one of your posts contain racial hatred from you.WHY?

BCG
0
Points
BCG 04/03/10 - 08:47 am
0
0

Some of you guys tell me when

Some of you guys tell me when voting for or against a bill is only to be about Obama or any other politicians career. I don't agree with Barrow most of the time but this time he made the most responible choice. As a member of the political groups privy to the actual legislation he looked at the information and made a decision with regards to the people he represents. Thank God someone who is thinking of doing the right thing no matter what others profess. He is saying that he sees that the health care bill will hurt the ones who can withstand the hurt. Get over yourselves people as my elders told me if your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it as well... I would hope that I was smart enough not to and Barrow just proved he was smart enough. Give the man a break... Greenbaum he is smarter in his thought process than you and those like you are being.

jack2006
87
Points
jack2006 04/03/10 - 09:40 am
0
0

It isn’t just about his vote

It isn’t just about his vote on the healthcare reform. It’s about the history of how his voting for the issues of the people that voted for him. He was so passive on the financial committee as if he wasn’t there. Far as I am concern, he help gave America away to the big corporations and too big to fail banks. Instead of worrying where your tax dollars are going, you should have been worried about where the average dollar out of your pocket was going because of his votes on the financial committee. Yes, I got a canned letter of BS why he voted the way he did. It took a few years later before the market crash but it was going to happen but just didn’t know when at that time. This attitude of his goes further back than just now. I guess this is the final wakeup call for what he is and what he will do. That is “Nothing”.

It comes a time when being a conservative isn’t the only answer. If you are in a flood, when the boat comes to rescue you, will you be concern about the cost of rescuing? Are you going to leave three people behind when it’s room for them? Are you going to say “NO” to make your narrow mind point? Are you going to tell the people that their lives aren’t worth saving? Are you going to choose whom you are going to rescue why others watch you overlook them? Sorry, we have already done this with Katrina. Only in America! Really, it isn’t the government. It’s the people that are trying to keep a seat warm is the problem with government. Career politician will be a thing of the past. Make your vote count because change is happening for the better.

55 F-100
1
Points
55 F-100 04/03/10 - 09:52 am
0
0

John Barrow's "NO" vote to

John Barrow's "NO" vote to the Health Deform Obamacare will get him re-elected due to the wisdom that he displayed in refusing to accept this trainwreck of a package, and Barrow refuses to allow this country be "ruled" by the Marxist, Prezbhojangles. Hang tough, John Barrow, you will be re-elected by voters who are intelligent enough to see all of the myriad flaws in the Health Deform package......which will be repealed in the not too distant future.

Only_The_Truth
0
Points
Only_The_Truth 04/03/10 - 10:04 am
0
0

It is amazing that justus4

It is amazing that justus4 says that if you don't agree with the minorities position that you cannot be a good representative. I thought the civil rights movement was about INCLUSION.

jack2006
87
Points
jack2006 04/03/10 - 10:38 am
0
0

It’s kind of funny how people

It’s kind of funny how people spend their lives trying to block issues that would better people here in America, here in Richmond County, here in Columbia County, and here in surrounding counties. It’s much funnier when the things that they have blocked, become the one thing that they need for their own survival. It’s sad when the people that you had denied for so long come to your rescue without the baggage of hate that you dished to them. Sweet Justice is what it is. You may be on top of the world today but the world could be on top of you tomorrow. So, if you wish to continue to block the blessings of life, you will have to dance to that music one day.

Nat the Cat
1
Points
Nat the Cat 04/03/10 - 11:42 am
0
0

Republicans will re-elect

Republicans will re-elect Barrow. It's a crying shame!

jack2006
87
Points
jack2006 04/03/10 - 11:58 am
0
0

They will vote for him in the

They will vote for him in the primaries to knock off his opponent but they won't vote for him in November. They will use the oldest trick in the rule book of the GOP. His seat isn’t safe at all. Maybe we do need this to happen to wake up the passive leaders. There isn’t a free ride to tenure in the government. Long term politicians will have to earn it the old fashioned way if they want to stay.

We are building a new foundation for America and the dead weight has to go. We work with the dead weight for over 40 years and it almost brought this country to its knees. If you can’t acknowledge that fact, the shame is on you because exclusive is no longer the rule of law.

Little Lamb
40104
Points
Little Lamb 04/03/10 - 12:11 pm
0
0

So Greenbaum said he “didn't

So Greenbaum said he “didn't want the general public invited because Tea Party activists might show up.”

Why? Is he afraid of them?

416
Points
Lakeside95 04/03/10 - 12:15 pm
0
0

Whether or not you like or

Whether or not you like or would vote for Barrow, the underlying theme to this article is scary. Greenbaum invited him to speak at a secret meeting to only 25 chosen attendees. Barrow fled without speaking to the press.

Why does Barrow feel that he only represents 25 chosen few from Augusta? Why does he run from questions? If Barrow is so proud of his vote why does he feel the need to hide?

416
Points
Lakeside95 04/03/10 - 12:18 pm
0
0

I doubt the Tea Party

I doubt the Tea Party Activists were the issue, he was running from those in his own party that are fed up with him running as a Democrat and voting as a pandering idiot open to the highest bidder.

Brad Owens
3645
Points
Brad Owens 04/03/10 - 12:27 pm
0
0

25 showed up who were

25 showed up who were 'against' this because Lowell "didn't want the general public invited because Tea Party activists might show up."

I hope that the supporters of his no vote will plan a regular open meeting to let the unwashed masses come in and show their congressman how they feel. I bet he would come if asked.

Brad

willie7
824
Points
willie7 04/03/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0

Barrow must go!!!Send Regina

Unpublished

Barrow must go!!!Send Regina Thoams a check. She needs money to run a competive race. We could beat Barrow in the primary because so few voters go out.

416
Points
Lakeside95 04/03/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0

Brad I respectfully disagree.

Brad I respectfully disagree. I have several democrat friends (charity is alive and well) that have tried to meet with him or have invited him to have town-hall type meetings here in Augusta. He has either refused or failed to respond. When I was in DC during the healthcare vote, his office was closed and locked. Each person that knocked was not there to complain or yell, several were there to thank him for his 'no' vote. And yes, most were from the 12th district. This type of behavior is inexcusable.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 04/03/10 - 12:51 pm
0
0

Barrow had every right to

Barrow had every right to speak at a private meeting of the Richmond County Democratic Party and the party had every right to invite who they wanted.

I voted for Barrow three times in the general election. He will NOT get my vote or money again.

416
Points
Lakeside95 04/03/10 - 01:17 pm
0
0

Of course he has the right to

Of course he has the right to speak at a private meeting. But as a representative of the 12th district...he has a responsibility to speak to all the constituents not just those that will agree with him.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 04/03/10 - 01:30 pm
0
0

"Greenbaum said he didn't

"Greenbaum said he didn't want the general public invited because Tea Party activists might show up." - very telling about the mentality of Greenbaum and Democrats in general. They have no respect for free speech or the general public at large.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 04/03/10 - 01:37 pm
0
0

I can guarantee you that most

I can guarantee you that most of those 25 people at the Democratic Party HQ that Barrow spoke to do NOT agree with him.

416
Points
Lakeside95 04/03/10 - 01:40 pm
0
0

sjgraci: Fine. So those

sjgraci: Fine. So those special 25 people got to speak to their Congressman. What about the rest of the constituents?

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