Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two Gloats And One Observation

The first gloat concerns Dr. Paul Broun. It was fun attending his primary victory celebration at the Georgia Center last evening (we Republicans in Clarke County usually do not have much to celebrate). My wife and I had the opportunity to chat with Nikki at some length and with Paul briefly (as one would expect, he was in great demand).

Thankfully, the issue was not in doubt until the wee hours of the morning. Elect returns came in slowly at first, but then the dam broke and it was apparent early on that the good doctor was destined to win in a blowout. Barry Fleming called Broun to concede at about 8:30 (or so). Paul then delivered his victory speech to those assembled at about 9:15 (or so).

As I have said before, quite apart from my ideological affinity with Broun’s positions, he has impressed me by going to Washington and governing exactly as he campaigned (an example from which other GOP legislators at the state and federal levels could benefit).

The second gloat concerns Bill Cowsert, who won by a comfortable margin in the Senate District 46 primary. Living on the eastern side of Clarke County, we are in Ralph Hudgens’ District 47 (who had no primary opposition) and could not vote for Bill. Nonetheless, he is a great guy and represents Athens-Clarke County well in the General Assembly.

And now for the observation. Twice in as many years, the Republican establishment’s favored candidate in the 10th congressional district has run a horrible campaign (I use the term "establishment" in a generic sense to mean insiders as opposed to the formal party hierarchy - since I represent the district on the Georgia Republican Party’s State Committee, I am a part of that establishment to a certain extent, though I am hardly a mover or shaker).

Jim Whitehead made innumerable bone-headed comments, went to great lengths to alienate those who did not reside in his part of the district, and committed the unforgivable mistake of opting out of high-profile candidate functions in Athens. He thereby prompted a load of Democrats to vote for Broun in the runoff.

Barry Fleming ran a thoroughly negative campaign from start to finish. When the questionable strategy of painting Broun as a liberal (!) went nowhere, Fleming fell back on deliberately mischaracterizing Broun’s votes and positions and even dredged up personal matters from decades ago. I’ve met Fleming a couple of times; he struck me as an intelligent and likeable enough guy. So why take a "low road" approach guaranteed to turn off lots of the GOP rank and file?

If this is the best they can do, the establishment insiders should do us a favor and not run more candidates for congress, especially against an incumbent Republican who sticks to his princip

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Anonymous said...

Amen. The Old Guard in the GOP will soon be finished, and wiped up with an old dishrag. New blood is coming in, that actually BELIEVES all that "smaller government, stick-to-your-principles" stuff -- and they're going to take ove. :)

Anonymous said...

hear hear! well said!