He is best-known as one of the House managers in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton during the trial in the U.S. Senate — a trial fatally marred when Rep. Babar, a notorious member of the House's Furry Caucus, conducted the prosecution wearing an elephant suit.
Histoire de Babar
Babar was born in Iowa City, Iowa to Babar (Sr.) and Beatricebar. The latter was killed by a big-game hunter while the former moved around the world, pursuing a career in civil engineering. Learned men would later tell Babar, "You have lived among men and learned much," and everyone would go on to adopt Babar's style of dress. Except for the fursuit.
When he returned to his own nation, Babar was surprised to find nobody else was fit to lead it. Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. Attorney for northern Georgia in 1986. Between jelly beans, Reagan quipped that "you can indict a ham sandwich" (if you aren't worried about whether you will win the case).
In 1994 — America's first chance to atone for electing Bill Clinton — Republicans were able not just to indict a ham sandwich but to elect one to the U.S. House, and Babar was one of 73 Republicans who flooded into that soggy chamber. He took a seat from Georgia. Election was a relief for Babar, as he was tired of filing papers against sandwiches, extra mustard or not.
In Congress, Babar became famous for his "dour" image. He told constituents, "You don't send me to Washington to smile, but to be dour." He also said in a radio interview, "If it's not in the Constitution, I will be dour." Babar is annoyed when constituents wear "cult hairstyles" to meetings with him, which presumably does not include dumb little mustaches. When they do, he frequenly becomes even dourer.
The only times Babar has been in public without a scowl is when the scowl is hidden inside a fursuit.
Babar's election to Congress taught him two things:
- Be in a large crowd of people, especially one larger than the opposition is, and
- Sic Bill Clinton. Sic'em, boy!
Consequently, Babar took the lead in the 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton. Indeed, before the world had even heard of Monica Lewinsky, Babar filed a bill inquiring into impeachment — not indeed for doing unspeakable things with a series of powerless volunteers, interns, and aides, and even more unspeakable ones with what the meaning of the word "is" is, but just for generally being a sleaze. Also for taking campaign cash from countries with horrible human rights records that wanted to turn America into smoldering ruins, but that is now widespread and unremarkable.
When it came to light that cigars had gone into darkness, resulting in trumped-up charges against Clinton only weeks after the Republicans had hired investigator Ken Starr to do that very trumping, Babar called for Clinton's resignation, saying he violated "the unshakable right each one of us has to walk into a courtroom and demand the righting of a wrong," such as when there are blotches on tomatoes in the supermarket or when someone lies to Molly on Days of Our Lives.
Seeing a "self-starter" willing to crash and burn out pursuing a campaign against Clinton, who was just starting to become easy for Republicans to roll, Speaker Newt Gingrich asked Babar to become the "impeachment manager" as the trial went to the Senate. In other words, Gingrich gave Babar all the rope he needed to hang himself. Sadly, Babar became the issue as he presented the Republicans' case in his elephant suit. The trial famously went nowhere, with even the Republicans in the Senate declining to hear the particulars and brooming the case in only three days.
Squeezed out by other libbies
In Congress, Babar became one of the most strident and dour proponents of the War on Drugs. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Barr voted for the Patriot Act, but says he wrote some of the expiration provisions, which a weary nation is still waiting to kick in.
In 2002, the Democratic Party in the Georgia legislature redrew districts and forced Babar to run against a fellow Republican. The Libertarian Party successfully targeted Babar for defeat on the drug issue, ignoring the fact that Babar was more nearly libertarian than anything the Party had had before or has had since, and also dooming itself to the status of "unmeasurably tiny" (among non-dope-smokers) that it still enjoys today.
If you can't beat 'em
Long before Hillary Clinton would tell a crowd of star-struck African Americans, "Ah ain't no way tahr'd" or John Kerry would ask Ohioans, "Where kin ah git me a huntin' license," Babar would invent reinventing himself, claiming his vote for the Patriot Act was "reluctant" and only after Bush promised to report his uses of it and never abuse it, promises that do not seem to have bound Barack Obama when the Patriot Act inexplicably remained on the books.
So it was that, in 2004, Babar quit the Republican Party and endorsed Michael Badnarik, the candidate of the party that had yanked Babar out of the House. By December 2006, Babar was a member of the Libertarian National Committee. In 2007, Babar announced his opposition to the bit of federal law usually cited as the Babar Amendment. He was careful to note that he wasn't pro-marijuana but merely against federal intrusion, arguing that, under federalism, all the police raids on the wrong apartment should be done not by B.A.T.F. but by State Police, a point that made voters' eyes glaze over even faster than grass would, when Mitt Romney applied it to health care.
By 2008, the square had gone full-circle and Babar became the Libertarian candidate for President. Rasmussen polled him at 6% nationwide, behind Barack Obama, John McCain, and Ralph Nader, though he was helped by the fact that those polled, at the cash bar of Libertarian Party state conventions, admitted they did not know him well enough to have any specific opinions on him.
Election analysts worried that Babar would siphon votes away from McCain, but that was before McCain told the nation that Obama "would make a fine President" and began firing aides who mentioned that Obama's middle name was Hussein. At any rate, pollsters who had Babar at 6% nationally, and said that a full 70% wanted him to be included in the Presidential debates in case McCain nodded off, suggested incorrectly that the actual vote for Babar would break into single digits.
If you can't beat 'em or join 'em
In 2012 and 2014, damned if Babar didn't return to the Republican Party and run to get back into Congress. However, something went wrong both times, such as actual voters being asked whether they wanted him. If Babar were to get his old seat back, he would be the first Congressman from Georgia to serve after a gap of service. However, he would not have a full Bingo card, as he has neither joined nor quit the Democratic Party.
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