What (Scott) Brown can do for Georgia

As I wrote earlier, Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts means there are no more gimmes in politics for the foreseeable future. There’s just one thing: For the gimmes to end, a lot of people have to run races they otherwise might not have run.

The early signs are that this isn’t happening in Georgia. Our state might seem less prone to the national flavor of anti-incumbency, given that it is controlled by Republicans rather than the Democrats who dominate Washington. But the GOP has ruled Georgia for the better part of a decade now, and fed up is fed up — on all levels, and with all people in power.

Buzz Brockway, the former Gwinnett County GOP chairman, has compiled fund-raising data for candidates in contested state-level races. He’s posted them on the political blog Peach Pundit.

Here are the sad facts according to that data:

In the Georgia Senate, exactly one Republican (Judson Hill) and one Democrat (Vincent Fort) face primary opposition as of today. Just three more incumbents have a challenger from another party. That’s five out of the 50 senators seeking re-election.

Things are almost as bad in the House, where six Republicans and six Democrats must fight primaries. Nine will have opposition in the general election. So, 21 of the 169 representatives running for re-election face some kind of opposition. In just four of the state’s 180 districts will there be a primary battle in at least one party and a contested general election.

Now, most statewide offices are open this fall, and there will be good primary battles among D’s and R’s for most of them. Those races may have sucked some of the life out of the down-ballot races.

But the story of Scott Brown, Republican, and now junior senator from Massachusetts, tells us there are upsets for the taking. Are there any takers?

55 comments Add your comment

The American People

January 20th, 2010
7:27 pm

Thank you Kyle for actually writing something that you thought of unlike your “colleague” Cynthia Tucker who is the cut and paste Queen.

Joan

January 20th, 2010
9:12 pm

One wonders why anyone with character and intelligence would be a politician. You can make a lot more money working in a legitimate job where you don’t have to sell your soul to get ahead, and stay out of politics. In sum, you can make more money honestly than by being a politician. Now, maybe we used to have good politicians on the order of statesmen because people simply wanted to “do the right thing”. Now, not so much. People want to make money, and people of character want to do it in business, not politics. So, who is left to run? Idiots and criminals.

@@

January 20th, 2010
9:23 pm

There are no more gimmes, Kyle?

We can give ‘em hell!

YES WE CAN!

WE ARE THE PEOPLE AND WE DEMAND TO BE HEARD!

gordon gecko

January 20th, 2010
9:52 pm

I agree with Joan, greed is good, the love of money is what separates us from the weak, it builds character and provides for all the niceties we deserve and enjoy in the good ole usa, god bless america and screw the rest….

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 21st, 2010
7:06 am

Who is running aganist Johnny in the republican senate primary? I would like to vote for a conservative instead.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 21st, 2010
7:10 am

Apologies, Mr. Wingfield, I also intended to compliment the essay, as it provokes thought.

Jeb Bush

January 21st, 2010
8:17 am

No last minute purges of the eligible voter roles, no “spontaneous” driver license checks, the people of Mass. need to be congratulated for running a clean election.

B. Barr

January 21st, 2010
8:31 am

“For four years from 2002 to 2006, the FBI violated its own law related to phone tapping as it illegally collected over 2,000 US telephone call records by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist, a media report said on Tuesday.”

Kyle,
Can you imagine the screaming from Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, and Liz Cheney if this had happened during President Obama’s watch?

P. Robertson

January 21st, 2010
8:34 am

You people in California are getting hit by all that rain is because you made a pact with the devil and voted for that foreign born governor.

Road Scholar

January 21st, 2010
8:59 am

P. Robertson: So are the teachers in Georgia. Their devil is named Sonny!

Kyle, what part of of the definition of “incumbent” do you not understand. Our Republicans have done what for GA? Oh yeah tax breaks for the wealthy. Tax breaks for businesses…that has really gone well for our economy. The obsession for Pro-life… while transportation, education, water… gets worse.

While you rejoice over the democrats loss and apparent gain by the GOP, when will the legislators do something for all the people of Georgia? Maybe if they stay home and don’t collect their paychecks?

We need healthcare reform. Premiums continue to jump w/o increases in coverage. The two present bills need to be purged of any special deals, discussed and then passed. get on to the people’s business.

Kyle Wingfield

January 21st, 2010
9:12 am

Road Scholar: What part of “the GOP has ruled Georgia for the better part of a decade now, and fed up is fed up — on all levels, and with all people in power” don’t you understand? Of course I’m talking about all incumbents. The data I cite aren’t limited to Democrats — in fact, given Republicans’ majorities, we’re talking more about R’s than D’s. Did you read anything besides the headline?

Kyle Wingfield

January 21st, 2010
9:14 am

To the person writing under the names of Jeb Bush, B. Barr and P. Robertson: Pick one handle — and it really shouldn’t be the name of living persons, especially Barr since he is a blogger on ajc.com — and stick with it.

2010 Landslide

January 21st, 2010
10:26 am

Somebody MUST go after Rep. David Scott (D.) 13th District.

This windbag calls himself a blue dog but he supports OboCare, The bailouts, cap n tax and the list goes on and on.

Congressman Scott has a bad attitude, refuses to hold town hall meetings, hides from his constituents and is simply an all-round jerk.

Boot David Scott in November.

Dr. Feelgood

January 21st, 2010
10:31 am

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

——————————————–

That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK,
we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering,
blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 21st, 2010
10:41 am

Free speech ruling: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf

Once again Justice Thomas reveals why he is the best of the justices (he was the dissent in a small part of the ruling.)

Poliical Haymaker

January 21st, 2010
10:47 am

Kyle
Thanks for the good insight. And if this Brown election is not a
wake up call to politicians of both parties that we are in a different
day I don’t know what it will take.

And thanks for taking folks like Road Scholar to task for being a
reactionary and instead of a reader and a thinker.

Road Scholar

January 21st, 2010
11:07 am

“The early signs are that this isn’t happening in Georgia. Our state might seem less prone to the national flavor of anti-incumbency, given that it is controlled by Republicans rather than the Democrats ..”

I guess I took this out of context…

While you may have refuted it later, this still stands for itself.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
11:12 am

@ Ragnar: Clarence Thomas…a good justice?? PUULLL..EEZE!! Thomas is only Scalia’s mouthpiece. This may be the FIRST dissent he’s ever written….and the man kowtows to Scalia and Roberts!! If you want to see a GOOD justice….look at Kennedy!!!

Kyle Wingfield

January 21st, 2010
11:13 am

“This” was a reference to the previous sentence about needing people to run races they wouldn’t otherwise have run. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Archon

January 21st, 2010
11:40 am

Kyle,
While I agree that vigorous elections are a good thing lets not get carried away. Contrary to popular opinion there are many good men and women who serve to make Georgia a better state. They forgo time with family and from business to serve their community. True there is discontent amongst the bushes and in the tall grass around the state but before we throw the baby out with the bath water it would seem that we should look at who the true conservatives are in our legislature. Many tests will present themselves this year to separate the true principled conservatives and those who just rode the wave. Watch as they vote. One good test will be to see who votes for the rumored “fee” proposal on VOIP and wireless services that will create a slush fund for private rural phone and cable carriers. Many so called conservatives have expressed support for this tax which is what this fee would be at the end of the day.

So before we condemn them all lets watch and see who has the courage of their convictions and support them vigorously and those who chose to create slush funds and raise taxes and fess should be called out and exposed for what they truly are.

Jefferson

January 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Think for yourself, pick the person not the party. Nothing will change in GA. The “D”s are now “R”s and they do nothing. Lucky the feds bail us out, with Red China’s jack.

BS Aplenty

January 21st, 2010
12:06 pm

Kyle, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. Conservatives are generally well pleased about the outcome of the Massachusetts senate race. The American People, again (I say “again” because they said the same thing to to Mssrs. Bill & Hillary Clinton), said “hell, no” to another liberal’s socialized medical scheme. It was so loud that even a Washington liberal would have to take note.

But, and here’s the nexus of the matter, the Republicans must find their voice now. It’s OK to run a campaign against something like socialized healthcare. It’s well and good to be against intrusive, creativity-crushing, statist liberal government. But after you gain power, you must have a solution to the matter. The question is, ‘do Republicans have a solution to the legitimate healthcare concerns of Americans?’.

Winning in MA isn’t the goal. Defeating Obama’s socialist agenda is not the goal. Implementing genuine, market-based solutions to healthcare, welfare, crime, & terrorism require Republicans to generate solutions. There is much creative thinking that must take place within the Party to find solutions consistent with the desires of the American People and the values of this nation.

It’s time for conservative Republicans to find their voice, their creativity and, most importantly, be proactive to find solutions to these issues.

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

“But the story of Scott Brown, Republican, and now junior senator from Massachusetts, tells us there are upsets for the taking. Are there any takers?”

I cannot portend the future, nor will I offer to. But the folks on other National sites inform me that Barbara Boxer is in more trouble than many Democrats want to admit. And her challengers have been emboldened by Scott Brown.

An upset? By George yes. And a good one, too.

kitty

January 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

BS Aplenty, isn’t it sad that the GOP for all their “fiscal responsibility” rhetoric is just more of the same as was proven through the Bush years. In other words the GOP speaks with “forked tongue”. Spend away and spend more than the other party did is the mantra of BOTH parties. The Brown election was more of a referendum on both sides of the aisle. If we change from D to R or from R to D we just get more of the same. We need a NEW PARTY with real ideas.

BS Aplenty

January 21st, 2010
12:40 pm

kitty, these two Parties or any other two Parties would also end up devolving around the same set of issues and the same values. I actually think two Parties is just about right with the appropriate level of Independent voters to keep both sides honest. Massachusetts is a case in point – the system is regulating itself.

No, kitty, I’m OK with the structure, but, for me, the conservatives need to find their own voice, generate their own solutions to the legitimate problems of this country or they face a similar fate as the Democrats did in Massachusetts. Sometimes that solution is simply letting The American People (not necessarily the poster above) decide for themselves.

A congressman simply staying the hell out of the way is ofttimes the best solution.

connie

January 21st, 2010
12:44 pm

Joan-dearie. Have you ever met a poor politia?. They go to DC with high hopes of making a difference and end up being one who would sell their first born son for a damn vote or favor. What just happened in DC by buying HeathCare Votes should be against the law. I cannot wait for the citizens of this country to rise up and take back the country I used to know.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
12:49 pm

Re: BS-Aplenty:

“Implementing genuine, market-based solutions to healthcare, welfare, crime, & terrorism require Republicans to generate solutions. There is much creative thinking that must take place within the Party to find solutions consistent with the desires of the American People and the values of this nation.”

Question: how can Republicans do this by leaving OUT of the party those that will be affected by their policies, i.e., ethnic minorities?? The GOP doesn’t feel that they exist…and PLEASE don’t state that Michael Steele’s being the leader of the GOP is evidence of a changing dynamic!! At the grass roots level, the GOP is still run by Southern Dixiecrats that didn’t want Civil Rights legislation to pass in 1964! As LBJ said when the Civil Rights Act was passed: “We’ve (Democrats) have lost the South for a generation!”

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
12:53 pm

“A congressman simply staying the hell out of the way is ofttimes the best solution.”

Agreed. But both parties have managed to convince themselves that they and only they have all the answers. The micro-management of society seems to be the ultimate politcal goal, and we, the voters, have allowed this to happen.

Most ot the “legitmate” problems you speak of would be better solved if the 10th Amendment were honored; states rights should reign supreme. This does not solve everything, but it forces politicians on a national level to “stay the hell” out of issues which, by and large, can and should be solved on a state/local level. This is the core of Jeffersonian government.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

HRH: If states rights were completely honored, segregation would still be the law of the land, same-sex marriage would be deemed a criminal act, women would not be able to enter into contracts. There MUST be a point that the federal solution takes priority!!!

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
1:17 pm

HDB: Recall I said “most” of the legitimate problems could be solved. There is a bona fide need for a federal government; but not a federally operated day care system for adults.

We live in a representative republic, which means that we (supposedly) elect people smart enough to solve the problems that need solving. If 51% of the electorate wanted to reinstate slavery, our elected officials should, in concept, step in and prevent this from happening. If not, a lot more Scott Browns will get work.

It’s 2010; women (and men) can and should enter into contracts with state support, so long as caveat emptor is applied. That includes marriage.

Your thoughts.

2010 Landslide

January 21st, 2010
1:20 pm

Hard Right Hook
January 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

You are right about Barbara Boxer and even all of California.

They are about to have a real “gunfight” revolution there.

Part of it is Calif’s Proposition system.

Prop this, Prop that…. It doesn’t work in a Republic. Mob Rule sux.

The other half are taxes and immigration. Anybody who has spent any significant time in Cali will tell you the situation is completely out of control and all the politicos want to do is hike taxes and offer more entitlements.

Tea Party Revolutionaries will crush the Dems in November in California.

Don D

January 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Dr. Feelgood @ 10:31 a.m. Good point. Must be an Ayn Rand fan.
HDB your arguments are hyperbole, not facts. Even thought there is a nugget of truth in there.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
1:24 pm

HRH: IMHO, the 9th and 14th Amendments cover the realm of same-sex marriage: a contract legally entered into in one state MUST be recognized by ALL states….and equal protection under the law. Those states that have passed marriage laws are superceding the Constitutional attributes of contract law!!

It took a federal solution so that minorities had the same rights of the majority; it took a federal solution to create a safety net for the people; it took a federal solution to create a health care system for the elderly.

I agree that whatever contract is entered into, both parties should apply caveat emptor…..but the conservative solution is not always the answer….just as the liberal answer is not always the answer……

HDB

January 21st, 2010
1:29 pm

Re; Don D: No, it’s not hyperbolic……”States Rights” was the mantra of Southern segregationists….and that is a part of the GOP’s identity since 1964….even Ronald Reagan used the phrase when he announced his campaign in Philadelphia, MS……where three civil rights workers were slain.

It took a Supreme Court decision from a GEORGIA case (I think…Hardwick vs Bowers) to outlaw the sodomy laws……that was the precursor to allowing same-sex marriaage…..

Women did not get the right to enter into contracts until 1970!! Women had to argue under the 14th Amendment for equal protection……

There ARE times that the federal solution must take priority!!!

Horrible Horrace

January 21st, 2010
1:37 pm

kitty

January 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

New party new ideas!! HEAR HEAR *APPLAUSE*

Love BongWater Slurpee!

BS Aplenty

January 21st, 2010
1:40 pm

HDB, I’ve often heard that refrain and, these days, I generally find the comments to be disingenuous. The issue of civil rights extending to all persons is settled law. Now, you and I might well argue the pros and cons of the CRA of 1964 to the black, brown and white communities. If you look at the effects on the black family, you could argue the Civil Rights Act was the worst legislation in history. But at the end of the day, it’s settled law for all the country. Period. All comments to the contrary are self-serving and disingenuous.

Now, Republicans, as a Party, subscribe to typical American values such as: personal freedom and responsibility (notice they go together), economic capitalism, family, faith and morality, a strong military, responsible, generally limited, governance and volunteerism among many others. None of these values preclude anyone from joining the conservative parade. However, you can’t be scared to own up to those values either and all conservatives sometimes find it difficult to own them.

Politics is sometimes the art of compromise and nobody is exempt. Notice, I said sometimes. Many times, politics is simply standing on principal.

fsg

January 21st, 2010
1:48 pm

Kyle – two key words missing from your article – ballot access. No primary opponents is just one problem; the other is that it is nigh impossible to run as an independent (or third party, with the notable exception of the Libertarians) in Georgia. Unfortunately, there is no way that the duopolistic GOP and Dems in the state house will make this easier voluntarily; it’s going to take an independent minded governor to shove it through, probably as a constitutional amendment referendum on the flag model.

But we need more candidates on the general ballot, not just the primary. Here’s my case: I live in the corner of northern DeKalb in Tom Price’s district. If I vote on the Republican ballot in the primary, I’m likely to see a whole string of county offices in the fall, with only one candidate for them, who I have never gotten a chance to vote for. In which case, it’s actually helpful if Price has no primary opponent, so I have no reason not to pick up the Democratic ballot…

In any case, if everyone in this state had a real opportunity to throw out the incumbents, either by making it easier for more minor party candidates to get on the ballot, or by making available a Nevada-style “None of the Above”, in the current political environment, all incumbents, regardless of party, would be shaking in their boots.

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
1:51 pm

I agree that whatever contract is entered into, both parties should apply caveat emptor…..but the conservative solution is not always the answer….just as the liberal answer is not always the answer……

I did not mean to infer that there is only one correct answer; but DC has become so polarized, and WE the electorate have allowed this to happen as we watched. We simply cannot sit back and assume that an “R” or a “D” will come up with an equitable solution. They solve probelms in their interest first.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

BSA—-granted, it’s settled law….but LOOK AT WHAT IT TOOK for Americans to recognize an injustice!! What the CRA did was to grant people of color full constitutional proctection! THAT should’ve been evident by many…but wasn’t.

The preponderance of Americans feel as you do about personal responsibility/freedom….so why are Republicans – for most cases against same sex marriage??

Americans feels strong about capitalism….but the Republicans don’t want laws that expand the access of those who were previously denied…and that denial is under the guise of capitalism.

Americans have strong feelings about faith and family….but Republicans are somewhat hypocritical about this when they are adversely affected by their “improprieties”….note Mark Sanford.

In many ways, all Americans are conservative….but all Americans are liberal. You want freedom…but you don’t want a couple who love each other to marry. You ask for responsibility, but wish to deny access to contraception. The dichotomy speaks volumes.

Don’t get me wrong….Democrats need some cleaning up also….but the “holier than thou” crowd is sprouting elephant ears!!

If standing on principle means denying someone’s right, I’d say the principle is wrong!!

Kyle Wingfield

January 21st, 2010
1:57 pm

Archon: I wouldn’t want every single incumbent to leave office at once, but I would like to see all of them face some real opposition every time they’re on the ballot. It’d be good for them and for us. This touches on your point as well, fsg.

HDB

January 21st, 2010
2:01 pm

HRH: I think there are many factors to the polarization:

1) The economy – when times get hard, people get on each other
2) The media – those who believe FOX feel they are losing their country; those watching MSNBC feel the country got screwed!!
3) The pundits – Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Larry Elder say more things to infuriate people
4) Political reality: The young voter only sees what’s in front of him; the older voter see where he’s come from…..and votes that particular reality.

There needs to be a way for the TRUTH to come out and reduce the polarization……my truth will be different from yours. There has to be a median…..

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
2:02 pm

“Americans have strong feelings about faith and family….but Republicans are somewhat hypocritical about this when they are adversely affected by their “improprieties”….note Mark Sanford.”

Is this also true of the John Edwards crowd?

HDB

January 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

HRH…note….I SAID Democrats also have some cleaning up to do……that includes John Edwards also……

BS Aplenty

January 21st, 2010
2:07 pm

HDB, with all due respect to the gay community, even Obama and many, many Democrats oppose same-sex marriage. The reasons for that opposition are biological, moral, social and perhaps even psychological in nature. Normal means of procreation are to be preferred by the state.

Hard Right Hook

January 21st, 2010
2:07 pm

“There needs to be a way for the TRUTH to come out and reduce the polarization……my truth will be different from yours. There has to be a median…..”

If we all agreed on a median, it’d be pretty boring. And not much would get done because we all agree!

Opposing opinions, in a civil tone, are a cause for discussion and compromise. We, as a country, have lost this ability. Sean Hannity is screaming at me from one side, and MoveOn.org from the other. What to do?

HDB

January 21st, 2010
2:26 pm

BSA..question: WHO/WHAT determines morality? Some people would feel that interracial marriage is immoral, unsocial…..and it took a federal solution to solve that moral dilemma. Some perple’s morallity is another’s dilemma….like polygamy vs. monogamy!! “Normal” means of procreation has created a moral and ethical crisis that has yet to be fully addressed: too many children, not enough parents!! Whatever contract two parties enter into….if sanctioned by the state…..must be recognized!! Along with that….the rights of inheritance, decisions, et. al. As the joke says: Why not let gays get married; let them be as miserable as we straights are!!

HRH: I have NO problem with CIVIL discussions….or CIVIL disagreements; the median is the compromise between the two that generate a win-win situation!!! In our present line of discourse, people only see lose-lose!! Hannity Limbaugh, Boortz, Beck scream at me from one side….Olbermann, Garafalo scream from the other!! Discerning the TRUTH from the politically-TBS (typical BS) is harder, for each side has its agenda…and they’re believing that they represent the American people! What I do is try to discern the truth and TRY LIKE HELL to eliminate the noise!!

I think that there’re possibilities to make things better….and I think IF certain naysayers come up with ideas…rather than saying that this will be Obama’s Waterloo……and the other side says that we’ll listen to all possible options…..MAYBE…a good health care bill will come out!! I desire EFFECTIVE legislation; one that will HELP those in need….while not adversely affecting those that are doing well….

dewstarpath

January 21st, 2010
2:26 pm

Kyle – Jan. 21 – 9:14 am – You Tell em’ !

Those bloggers don’t have any knowledge or personality for
themselves, so they imitate being someone else (ironicallly,
they all picked Republicans – but a few have used Democratic
names).

Barnes is Noble

January 21st, 2010
2:28 pm

I’m just glad we’ve got enough self enriching and nut case R’s running for Governor that are greasing the skids for King Roy in a mighty way. All he has to do is be quiet and no hunting with teens and no state contracts to inspect cars and he can coast to the finish line.

Chris Broe

January 21st, 2010
2:37 pm

What Kyle is trying to say is that Scott Brown can do for Georgia what Scott Tissue has done for it’s sitting incumbents. Starting out rather tongue-in-cheek, (”no more gimmees” yeah, we believe that, wink wink.), Kyle soon put his money where his mouth is. There’s no denying that conservative writers are flushed with success, and circling the carcass of the dropped bill like it was a Whitewater land deal. It’s gone, and with it goes the last vestige of democratic pipe-dreams which had kept bobbing back up to the surface.

The only thing uncertain is whether democratics will roll-over while the GOP leaves them in a regular pinch.

dewstarpath

January 21st, 2010
5:13 pm

CORRECTION: – “ironically”.