We all have our particular theories on why Ron Barber lost. Here’s mine:
In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Ron came out with a tepid statement, including the obligatory cowardly nod to the Second Amendment.
We here at Blog For Arizona tried to help him. We started a petition drive titled Congressman Ron Barber: Take the lead in Congress to address the epidemic of mass shootings. We felt that in light of his experience it was his natural place in history to stand side-by-side with Congresswoman McCarthy of New York in leading the charge for sane gun laws. Representative McCarthy, for those who don’t know, lost her husband in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in 1993. She never missed a chance to speak out.
For awhile, with Sandy Hook still in focus, it seemed like Ron took our message to heart. He did several national television interviews, although I had the sense he was holding something back. Maybe not. Maybe I just assumed there had to be more inside him.
But Ron’s post-Sandy Hook persona faded at the first opportunity, seemingly because it threatened the Republican-lite persona he and his mentors at the DCCC wanted him to portray.
How crazy. When history calls, you can’t ignore the call. Ron’s former boss, Gabby Giffords, tragically wounded in Tucson, has worked tirelessly on this very issue. Not Ron. He appeared more concerned about his Blue Dog cred.
Would the right have attacked him? Maybe, although attacking a victim in a mass shooting would be a dicey proposition, even for the NRA. And getting attacked by the gun crowd would have enhanced his image.
Oh, I know, Ron’s position on guns was okay if you bothered to hunt it down. But that should be THE thing people know about Ron. And they shouldn’t know it from a website or position statement. They should know it from all the impassioned speeches and press interviews he should have given making the case for sane gun laws. All those impassioned speeches he never gave.
This was his issue. He could have moved people. He could have made a difference. He could have stood for something. He chose not to.
Should Democrats really be wringing their hands over this one?