Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Curious Case of Mike Hamby (II)

This is old news, but still hilarious. It appears that the folks at Georgia Liberal and Blake at the Banner-Herald got into a pissing contest over Mike Hamby. Get up to speed by seeing here, here, and here (to get a feel for the tenor of the dispute, read the comments).

Yawn. More than a year ago, I posted this about former Republican turned progressive Hamby. He ran against lefty icon Gwen O’Looney for mayor in 1994 and was affiliated with the local GOP for a couple of years thereafter. He saw the progressive light, though, and has been left-leaning ever since. My post did not concern Hamby so much as posit whether the local left would hold his conservative past against him. As I wrote I at the time:

For those who do not live in our fair city, the first things to happen when any given individual is rumored to be considering a run for local office is that the lefty types immediately comb through the voting history of that individual and the campaign finance disclosures of past candidates so as to detect any latent Republican sympathies, however trivial they may be . . . Since Dodson pulled out of the race, one can only wonder as to how that contest may have played itself out. I assume that the local left would have mentioned Hamby’s past dalliances with things Republican but . . . only for the purpose of distancing him from them. This is Athens-Clarke County; progressive ideology trumps all else.

To me, this nonsense is the Classic City’s own version of Coakley’s loss to Brown up in Massachusetts. The progressive’s staggering defeat could not possibly be the result of being too far left on policy grounds; it has to be that Coakley was not to the left enough and/or residual anger at George W. Bush. Yeah, right. I must confess a certain amusement at seeing progressive types turn on one another; with the Obama Administration coming apart at the seams and the far-left legislative agenda on the verge of collapse, the run-up to November’s elections should be fun to watch.

Be that as it may, my point remains that this dust-up says far more about the progressive left than it does about Mike Hamby. I was indeed prescient – it just took a while for others to catch up.

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Anonymous said...


I don't think Hamby's past would have been an issue in the campaign. Dodson had no plans to bring it up that I'm aware of, although if it had been a contested race I would have written an article about it. Several progressives were already lining up behind Hamby even before Dodson dropped out.


james said...

I think that you are probably correct. The positions of Hamby and Dodson on the issues were pretty much the same, which is why I think the the only reason Hamby's past may have been brought up would be to distance him from it.

Of course, if one is not a currently-practicing progressive, a different set of rules apply. :)

Anonymous said...

Hamby is more likely to challenge the status quo, and in ACC, that means coming from a conservative viewpoint. The party-line among Athens' liberals had more success when experienced leaders and their supporters were moving to the OC. In the interim, we've seen an influx of incompetent and ineffective leaders with a good dose of U.GA. bubble-heads who have not a clue about the economy nor how to respond to it. Did I mention the sheriff ... errr ... he can't receive e-mails on the Nuwabian space ship!!
The elected BOE in ACC doesn't work, either. And with such a public system hurting ACC's reputation in the state and probably the nation, don't look for the creative types to come hauling their kids to ACC. Except for university imports -- bought and paid for -- a lot of smart people have left for better opportunities.