Follow the blog on TWITTER
A while back, I wrote about an absolutely wacky, downright neoConfederate resolution adopted 43-1 by the Georgia Senate at the end of its most recent session.
Among other nutty things, the resolution resurrected the archaic 19th century claim that states have the power to “nullify” federal laws they don’t like. The resolution also advanced the novel argument that passage of certain kinds of laws — including, but not limited to, “prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition” — “shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America.”
In other words, if Congress passes a law reinstating the ban on assault weapons or tightening the law against ammunition capable of penetrating bullet-proof vests, it would be like hitting a national “self-destruct” button — the United States of America as we’ve known it ceases to exist, and we become 50 individual nations.
In that first column, I tried to give our state Senate the benefit of the doubt, noting that the measure had been hidden in a bunch of resolutions approved without being read by most senators. I also tried to ignore the findings of a subsequent poll of Georgians sponsored by the Daily Kos site. According to that poll, 43 percent of Georgia Republicans believe our state would be better off as an independent nation than as part of the United States; 32 percent of Georgia Republicans approve of the state seceding from the Union.
I averted my eyes from that poll because frankly, I did not believe those findings and did not want to believe it. But I’m now being forced to reassess that stance because of statements from Georgia Republican leaders, who presumably know their party members better than I do.
Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News has advanced the story by polling the six GOP candidates for governor. According to Peterson, four of the six support the resolution, one opposes it and the sixth refused to take a position on whether nullification and secession were are good ideas.
These are people running for the highest office in the state, including the three frontrunners for the GOP nomination. The winner of that nomination would in turn be favored to be our next governor.
More accurately, if events take a turn, I guess that person could become the first president of Georgia.
For example, state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah, who voted for the resolution, said he would do so again. “This is not a hollow threat,” he told Peterson. “We are simply reasserting our authority to protect the rights, freedoms and desires of the people we are elected to serve.”
A spokesman for Secretary of State Karen Handel said he assumes that she too would support the resolution.
And Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says that if he had been a state senator, “not only would I have voted for it, I would have been one of the original sponsors.” Oxendine is the candidate leading in early polls for the GOP nomination; polls also give him a lead over leading Democratic candidates.
And as Creative Loafing recently reported, Oxendine is also the man who sent out the following update on Twitter about how he and his wife, Ivy, had spent last Saturday:
Is this truly what Georgia has come to? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.