On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop of Albany declared he wouldn’t endorse Nancy Pelosi’s continued leadership of Democrats in Congress.
So what says U.S. Rep. John Barrow, now the deep South’s only white Democrat in the House? From the Savannah Morning News:
On Thursday, a terse e-mail on behalf of the Savannah lawmaker followed two days of repeated queries by the Savannah Morning News.
“Congressman Barrow will not support Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader, nor will he vote for her for speaker,” wrote spokeswoman Jane Brodsky.
Barrow balked at answering the question in late September – before Republicans won control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections. The GOP is poised to elect John Boehner of Ohio to speaker in January.
Barrow is scheduled to be in Athens this morning for a political symposium looking at the Nov. 2 vote – so you might hear more on the topic today. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Decatur is the only Democrat in Georgia who has declared himself for Pelosi.
Though we know he also has ties to Mitt Romney, former state GOP chair Ralph Reed may have already decided which horse to back in 2012. From U.S. News and World Report:
Reed, who used to run Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, says a good leader is one who provides not just the “bread, but also the bread of life” for his constituents.
“Even if you bring the capital-gains tax down to zero,” create more jobs, and turn the economy around, he argues, Obama still needs to give an “eternal” set of values, such as opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. So who would be a Christ-like GOP challenger to Obama in 2012? Reed says his friend, Sarah Palin.
Yes, we saw all the Tweets and e-mails flying around about two more defections by state House Democrats to the GOP side of the aisle. But it was Veterans Day, the state Capitol was closed, and phone conversations with the mouthpieces for House Democrats and Republicans revealed that neither side had a good handle on what was actually happening. We’ll try again today.
Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Gov. Sonny Perdue’s claim that Georgia’s high school graduation rate now tops 80 percent.
Michael Thurmond, the state labor commissioner and former candidate for U.S. Senate, sat down with reporters on Thursday for the first time since his Nov. 2 defeat.
Thurmond denies he’s angling for the job, but has already been discussed as the next chairman of the state Democratic party. But from his description of his party’s troubles, it’s a wonder that he – or anyone else – would want it. From the Associated Press:
In a wide-ranging interview, he described Democrats in Georgia as being in a state of “political crisis” that is driving away white males in particular.
“We have not yet resolved the tension between blacks and whites,” Thurmond said. “That becomes very uncomfortable and disconcerting, especially to white elected officials. That makes it impossible for us to recruit or retain a critical number of whites to win statewide races. It jeopardizes the coalition.”
Still, Thurmond said Georgia’s increasing diversity can be an asset to Democrats as the Republican Party’s demographics become increasingly monolithic.
“You will need political leadership that is sensitive to and has and understanding of what Georgia is becoming,” he said, adding that the state’s diversity could begin to manifest itself at the polls as soon as 2014. “We’re going to have to have leadership that reflects the diversity of Georgia.”
Not that he is dismissing white voters — or any voters.
“We need more white folks,” he quipped. “You need everybody you can get. And anybody who makes the assertion that you don’t need white men is nuts.”
Thurmon said another reason for defeat among Georgia Democrats was their failure to unite and pool resources.
“When you’re a weakened party, it’s better to run as a ticket,” he said. “There’s strength in numbers. We didn’t do that. All of us were underfunded — everybody except Roy,” referring to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes.
In today’s New York Times, columnist William Cohan looks at the arguments of one Republican, former Reagan budget director David Stockman, against extension of the Bush tax cuts:
The deficit stems from our twin desires to live beyond our collective means and to act as policeman to the world, including by financing two hugely expensive wars of our own choosing. “This is not 1981,” Stockman said on “This Week.”
“We’ve had a debt spree for 30 years. The economy has been badly injured. It is sunk under the weight of $50 trillion of debt that we’ve created publicly and privately. The recovery is over. It was weak. It was tepid. What we have now is day-to-day, 1-percent to 2-percent growth, if we’re lucky. And so therefore government has to focus on paying its bills and not micro-managing or stimulating the economy.”
He concedes — as he and Reagan once argued — that raising taxes might curb some economic activity and result in lower tax revenues in the short term. “If you raise taxes on paper by $100 billion, maybe you’ll get $90 billion or $85 billion,” he said.
“But it’s just common-sense fact that when you raise the rates, you get more revenue. Normally, it’s a bad thing to do. But we are in such dire shape that we have no choice but to accept the negative trade-off of some harm to the economy to start paying our bills.”