Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Horror of horrors, I may have been wrong. I blamed President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the massive election defeat their party suffered last week. They swear it wasn’t them. It was, said Pelosi in a USA Today op-ed, “the genuine frustration of the American people, who are justifiably angered by the continued high unemployment rate.” Frustration, not their policies. Got it. Proceed, now, to the 2012 campaign on that long black train.
● The Pelosi-Obama-induced implosion of the Democratic Party in the South continues with the decision by three veteran legislators to switch parties. State Rep. Alan Powell’s switch means that outside metro Atlanta only two House districts north of I-20 are represented by Democrats: Rick Crawford of Cedartown and Barbara Massey Reece of Menlo, one just south and one just north of Rome. The other two party switchers are from Sanford Bishop’s congressional district in the southwest part of the state. Whites so thoroughly abandoned Bishop this year that but for a part of Columbus, where black voter registration is 70 percent and he won by 19,277-4,887, he’d be toast.
● U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson’s quick endorsement of Pelosi for minority leader is a reminder that, with defeats and defections, the Georgia party moves further left — no place to be. It’s OK, though, for black incumbents. The Voting Rights Act protects them — and will save Bishop from redistricting that could defeat him in 2012.
● State House Democrats here, trying to make virtue of the reality that whites outside Atlanta-Decatur are increasingly opting out, plan to reinvent their party as the party of “women.” With some amusement, though, it is noted here that the election victory that party activist Amy Morton touts is the defeat of state Rep. Jill Chambers of DeKalb County, a strong advocate of ethics and MARTA accountability whose public service should be an example to women everywhere. Ah, but she’s a Republican and she was defeated by a Democratic woman.
● The state House Democratic caucus, like the Republican caucus before it, made one smart move. Republicans made the visionary state Rep. Larry O’Neal of Warner Robins their majority leader. Democrats gave that honor to state Rep. Stacey Abrams of Atlanta, a 36-year-old tax attorney who is one of the emerging stars of Democratic politics in Georgia — and somebody who’s smart enough to help guide this party back into the competition.
● Cobb County would do well to get out of the amphitheater and golf course business, something it’s considering. Taxpayers have lost $4 million on the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre and $2 million on the golf course in Acworth.
● If I get a chance to review Aimee Michael’s 50-year sentence for causing wrecks that killed five, I’m reducing it. If my family had been victimized, I’d want a pound of flesh, too. But 50-year sentences ought to be for truly bad people.
● The signs of cultural collapse that most depress this week are contained in three stories, all of which point to the disintegration of the two-parent family. The first was the story of the “Nine Trey Blood” Atlanta gang whose members killed casually and for frivolous reasons. The second was the stomping and beating death of 124-pound Bobby Tillman in Douglas County. The third story was the latest finding that 72 percent of black children, 53 percent of Hispanics and 29 percent of whites are born to unwed mothers. You can’t rescue the children, fix schools and the criminal justice system, or reweave the social service safety net until you fix the family. Boys aren’t born to be gang members and predators.