Still embarrassed 16 years later

Lots of cities have events that they can never, rightly or wrongly, completely live down. Cleveland’s river caught on fire, JFK was assassinated in Dallas, and Philadelphia had the MOVE bombing and they booed Santa Claus. The District’s great shame happened sixteen years ago tonight:

Mayor Marion Barry’s arrest for smoking crack (The Post) and subsequent prison sentence reflect the lowest point in the modern history of the city. Despite that, Barry has been elected to public office three times since then. He is currently the Ward 8 councilman, but continues to have personal problems.

When will Barry or his constituents say enough is enough?

13 Comments so far

  1. Beth (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    I always felt the district’s “great shame” was electing Barry mayor AFTER his convinction.

  2. Dave (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

    This guy was a clown then and he still is now.

  3. Matt Cox (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 5:09 pm

    but the damn bitch set him up…

  4. bkrog (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

    Leads to the story about “what does Marion Barry say to a female bartender when he’s out on the town?”
    A: “Bitch, set me up.”

  5. Alex (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

    I lived in the DC area when this all happened. Marion Barry is the F**cking king! If any polititians can learn a thing, its to be more like the honorable Mr. Barry.

  6. shZa (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

    Serious, i gotta second what Alex said. Marion Barry rox the hizzouse. It’s not as if yr non-drugging politicos have served us very well. Why demonize drugs? Almost everyone has tried and enjoyed illegal drugs at one point or another. Drug use has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. It’s the people that DON’T condone drug use that we need to worry about. They’re afraid of life and they want others to live with them in fear.

  7. phoenix (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    Ah…I lived in DC when this happened too, and Marion Barry is the worst thing to happen to Washington DC: then they elected him AGAIN after conviction, then they elected him AGAIN (just last year) to City Council, and it just came out AGAIN that he’s STILL on crack! (after being drug tested as part of his Tax Evasion plea deal!)

    The man just can’t stop smoking crack! And DC wonders why they don’t have voting rights in Congress. :(

    This and other hilarious Barry quotes at:

  8. JEFF (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

    wonder how many of you are native washingtonians and/or have lived here longer than three years…

    barry is more than a caricature.

  9. GREG (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 12:38 am

    Washingtonians deserved exactly what they elected.

  10. Jake D (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 6:16 am


  11. Don (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    I’d like to see the Skirmish on Some Drugs come to an end as well, but until that time there’s still legal penalties and repercussions to drug use. That makes Barry and any other politico vulnerable to blackmail and pressure from unsavory elements, and since he has power over my life that makes me unhappy. I view it as little different than wanting my airline pilot to be sober when he’s behind the yoke.

  12. androwski (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

    at least it wasnt heroin

  13. LuLu (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

    Can Barry hurry up and croak allready? He’s past any sort of usefulness, has been an arrogant embarassment to DC for decades, always playing the race card. Blacks vote for him again & again as their way to stick it to the white man. Barry, go & kick the bucket – at 69, there’s nothing you can do to help anybody anymore…

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