Last week’s election did more to reshape the political map of Georgia than any since 2002, when Sonny Perdue’s victory in the governor’s race triggered the shift to a Republican majority in the General Assembly. We can say that, even before the last details of the election have been ironed out.
On this bubblicious morning in Georgia, as we wait for the polls to open again, we might want to brush up on the famous “three governors controversy,“ which the New Georgia Encyclopedia has described as “one of the more bizarre political spectacles in the annals of American politics.” We could be on the verge of something similar.
What Ralph McGill so clearly described 60 years ago as “the crop of things sown” is coming in again right before a big election, so the human tendency is to focus on how the mayhem of the last week will affect the upcoming vote. That, sadly, is the least of it.
Candidates used to vote on Election Day in front of television camera crews. This year, both Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp voted early and posted about it on social media. For some first time voters, voting early may be the only way of voting they’ll ever know.
The analysis of how decorum has broken down in the U.S. Supreme Court nominating process usually begins with Robert Bork and moves through Clarence Thomas to the present, sorry state of events. A 1994 Alabama race run by Karl Rove deserves more attention, because the venom which has been injected into judicial politics starts at the state level.
“Secret TRUMP Deal: $40,983 for each taxpayer,” goes the email pitch for what turns out to be an investment newsletter. Although the president has nothing to do with them, pitches like these say a lot about his political situation.
How much you say doesn’t matter as much as what you say, but Brian Kemp’s reluctance to say much at all about healthcare so far, and Stacey Abrams volubility on the issue, reflect how the two candidates approach the issue.
Shortly after 9/11, the expression “new normal” came into vogue. It was supposed to describe the new regimen of measures everybody was going to have to get used to as the nation adjusted to the terrorist threat. But it has become a reminder of how unevenly the impact of that day’s attack has been distributed.
The Georgia and Florida governor’s races have so many parallels that we can expect them to be paired in a lot of stories analyzing politics over the next couple of months. Whether the two races have a parallel outcome is another question.
n South Korea this summer, mosquitoes are dying from the heat and BMWs have been banned because they keep catching fire. In North Korea, meanwhile, the crops are failing. These are splinters of what has been the biggest story in the world this year, just about everywhere but the United States.
Last week Secretary of State Brian Kemp refused to step down to avoid any conflict of interest in the upcoming election, and a federal court mulled a suit demanding the state go back to paper ballots, now. It’s a far cry from 16 years ago, when we were talking about a future in which voting would be as easy as going to the mall.
Amid all the other big news swirling around President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, the revelation that a Chattanooga developer offered him $10 million to secure government loans for his late-life project didn’t attract much national attention. But it’s a story for our times.
The political class is already stocking up popcorn for the study in contrasts that is this year’s Georgia governor’s race. Unfortunately, the race is also likely to mark a milestone in the politics of dark money electioneering, which for the average voter means endless waves of scary black-and-white attack ads paid for by organizations with fuzzy names.
Goodness knows we have enough political entertainment here in Georgia, with one of our legislators biting a fake penis and yanking down his britches on TV, and dueling endorsements from the president and the governor. But something important has been happening in Birmingham.
It’s a open seat, the race is neck to neck and lots of money is being spent by both campaigns. By all rights, we should be expecting a healthy turnout next week in the runoff election to pick the Republican candidate for governor. A sharp drop in turnout could be a warning sign voters are tiring of the race to be “craziest.”