Flip the calendar back to 2008. Aside from the stimulus package, if there was a single measure that split Georgia Republicans last year it was the vote over the $307 billion farm bill.
The bill was vetoed by President George W. Bush. Congress overrode it. Voting in favor of it were Saxby Chambliss — up for re-election — and Johnny Isakson in the Senate, and Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston in the House.
Opposing it were U.S. Reps. Tom Price, Lynn Westmoreland, Paul Broun and Nathan Deal.
At the time, the split was described as case of division by ambition. On one side were Republicans who had to run statewide, or had dreams of doing so.
On the other were those those could vote from secure GOP bases.
Within his party, Chambliss was derided for voting for the farm bill, its subsidies and its nutrition-for-the-poor programs. But many of the rank-and-file gave Chambliss a pass because of the bill’s general election implications, and because of the votes and money behind the ag