Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, faces retirement after a sex scandal. His career in Washington had already reached its peak. (CQ Roll Call)
Leadership be damned, Rep. Joe L. Barton thought. He knew he was right, and as soon as he was convinced of that, hardly anything in the world could move him.
Just a few months into his first term, the Texas Republican was angling for something between protest and revolution. House Democrats had voted to declare themselves the winner of a contested Indiana House race — in Republicans’ eyes, a theft. While his own party’s leadership urged restraint, Barton fumed.