Barry's Latest Bizarre Insult Is Really the Last Straw

The Washington, D.C. councilman's bizarre behavior is making headlines again.

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Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry attends a news conference on the steps of Washington's city hall Monday, July 6, 2009. At the news conference Barry's attorney Frederick Cooke said Barry vehemently denies the allegation by Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, and that he's confident the stalking charge will be dropped. Barry, 73, stood behind Cooke but said nothing.

I've done it before and I'm doing it again: I'm calling for D.C. City Councilman Marion Barry to resign. Over the years, there were charges of tax evasion, traffic violations, government contracts for girlfriends, and cocaine use. A year ago, he insulted Asian-American shopowners, then in his apology to them, insulted Polish-Americans as well.

Two months ago, he told U.S. NewsSteven Nelson that "the FBI tried to kill me" when he was arrested for using crack cocaine in that FBI sting in 1990. He also alleged that the substance agents used in the operation was poison disguised as crack.

This week, he insulted National Park Service employees by calling them an unprintable expletive on his Twitter feed because he's opposed to their plan to thin out the herd of deer overrunning Rock Creek Park in Washington. The Washington Post reported the details and his apology yesterday, but like his other apologies, it was too little, too late.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

Marion Barry is now 77 years old, and he needs to retire. Don't get me wrong—I'm all in favor of giving people second chances in life. But enough is enough. His behavior is becoming increasingly absurd.

Every time he does something like this—there have been plenty of incidents, and they seem to be happening more frequently—it gives the media the opportunity to write stories like the one running on the front page of Politico today: "Ten Memorable Marion Barry Moments."

I'm a native Washingtonian, and I've never seen the reputation of the city in worse shape. The corruption and incompetence in the city government have gone from bad to worse, and Marion Barry is adding to that image. We need new leadership and a new tone in D.C. It's time for Marion Barry to go.

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