Marion Barry, former mayor of DC and current Ward 8 Councilman, recently tested positive for cocaine use, thus violating probation for a 2002 drug posession conviction. This should be the final blow to Barry’s political career, thus allowing him to battle the drug demon without any outside interference.
Barry is still in the tailspin that brought him crashing to the ground in 1990, yet the residents of DC – especially Ward 8 – continue to support his politics because he knows how to say the right things, even if he doesn’t necessarily do the right things. The voters are being enablers, which is the last thing that Barry needs.
In a warped, small way, we are all responsible for Barry’s continuing addiction to risk. When we vote for this gaunt old man, when we write news stories about his escapades, when we share jokes about him, we are joining in the fantasy — the ludicrous notion that he is a superman who can make things happen in this dysfunctional city even while he destroys himself with drugs. We did it again last month, when he staged a little stunt to “save” the D.C. baseball stadium and we hailed the return of the Mayor for Life.
It’s over, Councilman Barry. Please find help, get yourself back into good physical and psychological health. You are addicted to both the spotlight and coca bi-products, and you need to learn to live without both.
Let go of the city a little bit, and both you and the District will be in far better shape.