When Republicans gather in Macon on Friday, and perhaps before all of them arrive, the first speaker will be U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Chambliss has had his share of good press lately, what with being the GOP voice on covert affairs and an organizing member of the Gang of Six attempt to tackle the federal deficit.
But Chambliss has never been beloved by the Georgia GOP’s hardcore. For some reason, he is singled out for vitriol more often than U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, though the two have near-identical voting records.
Four years ago, the pair was involved in an attempt at immigration reform with Democrats (and the Bush White House). It was Chambliss – he’d just lost his job as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee — who was showered with a chorus of boos for uttering the phrase “guest worker program.”
By the time the Macon Centreplex is filled on Saturday for the main event – the election of a state chairman — Chambliss will have already left the scene. But Erick Erickson of RedState.com wants to make sure people will still be talking about him.
Erickson is pitching an effort to sabotage the Republican senator’s 2014 re-election bid:
[I]t will be damn hard to beat Saxby in a primary, given lobbyist dollars. But Georgia has a hardly ever used law on the books that allows state parties to pick their nominees by convention. Just like Utah voters used to get rid of Bob Bennett….
As the Georgia GOP meets this weekend, the delegates should recognize that as long as they play by Saxby’s rules — a primary fueled by lobbyist dollars — he’s going to keep batting his eyelashes at them while stabbing them in the back in Washington both social issues and fiscal issues.
A convention would fire up the grassroots and give the Georgia GOP’s grassroots activists control of the nomination in a way they’ve never had before. It’s time to take back the party in Georgia.
If you’re Gov. Nathan Deal, you’re passing around Erickson’s idea as a lesson in what could happen when major decisions – perhaps even party chairmanships – are left to the grassroots.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider