by Bob Barr
For the eight years I represented Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House, I was a member of the Financial Services Committee; a committee on which California Rep. Maxine Waters also served. It did not take long for me to learn that she is as mean-spirited as they come, a characteristic she wears proudly to this day.
Over the course of the past year, however, as violence, looting, and attacks on law enforcement officers spread across our country, Waters’ mean streak has become far more than a reason to avoid crossing her path in person. Her calls for demonstrators in Minneapolis and elsewhere to become ever “more confrontational” reveal Maxine Waters to be more than a deeply unpleasant individual, but rather a public menace, inciting mobs to violence as a new mini warlord for the Left.
While Waters might prefer for people to think that her bluster is the result of heat-of-the-moment passion, the reality is that it is all carefully planned political grandstanding, something she has perfected over decades of haranguing. Three decades ago, for example, as a freshman member of the House, Waters cheered on as mobs rampaged through south Los Angeles in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King verdict. More than five dozen people died in those riots.
True to form, in 2020 as mobs ransacked businesses, police headquarters, and other government buildings in cities from Portland, Oregon to New York and Washington, DC, Waters has been in the forefront of urging continued confrontation against law enforcement and all manner of other targets of demonstrators’ ire. Last year’s rioting added up to $2 billion in damage to property and cost more than two dozen lives, making them the costliest riots in American history.
Not content with simply encouraging movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM) to “confront” police “in the streets,” Waters injected herself directly into the Minneapolis trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin as the case was being sent to the jury. Her cries urging “confrontation” if the verdict was not “guilty, guilty, guilty” earned an unusually explicit rebuke from the judge presiding over the trial.
Waters remains unfazed by such pushback, insofar as she is safely ensconced in a heavily Democrat district in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Moreover, with Democrat leaders in both the House and the Senate trembling at the possibility of upsetting the leftwing extremists in their midst who wield a voice far larger than their numbers, Waters remains immune from being disciplined by Speaker Pelosi, her nominal boss. Actually, in the aftermath of Waters’ most recent exhortations, Pelosi publicly defended her.
The fact that Waters receives no punishment for exhorting people to confront police and “take to the streets,” highlights the grotesque double standard practiced by Democrats at the national level. Earlier this year, for example, House Democrats, lording their majority power over their GOP colleagues, stripped Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green of all her committee assignments as a form of punishment for sending some old social media posts to which Pelosi and other Democrats objected; this, even though Taylor Green publicly apologized for the objectionable posts, which were not by any reasoned analysis confrontational.
The hypocrisy so blatantly on display in the Maxine Waters imbroglio, and the notion that a high-ranking member of Congress can directly incite to violence and inject herself into the very workings of an ongoing criminal case and escape accountability for such dangerous actions, may account in part for why the Congress itself is not trusted by a strong majority of Americans (61% according to a recent Gallup survey).
Unfortunately, so long as Maxine Waters’ district remains prohibitively Democrat (she won with more than 71% of the vote in 2020), and so long as Democrat leaders in the Congress remain scared to death of open rebellion against them by the likes of Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, conservative-leaning citizens, along with small businesses and law enforcement officers across the country, will pay the price for the disgraceful behavior of this mini warlord of the Left.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.