An Independent’s Thoughts as Georgia Republicans Descend into Madness

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Georgia Republicans have officially gone around the bend or, as my granny used to say, “stark raving mad.” A month ago, Emperor Trump was running buck naked down Pennsylvania Avenue while his sycophants raved about his “amazing” winning threads on Fox News. Now, rather than do the decent thing and throw a blanket over the fool, Georgia Republicans are staging their own metaphorical strip show.

As I write this, the great state of Georgia is down to its last four mostly sane senior Republican elected officials — Governor Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Duncan, Secretary of State Raffensberger, and Attorney General Carr. Six months ago, Kemp and sanity did not belong in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. How times have changed! That said, I am taking bets on who dives off the sanity life raft first. My two cents are on Kemp.

Twice now, members of the Georgia legislature staged a “hearing” where they let Rudy Giuliani et al. spew repeatedly disproven conspiracy theories while referencing laws and election procedures from other states. For the last thirty years, I thought it went without saying that Georgia is not Wisconsin. However, not one Republican in either hearing stepped in and explained this minor geographic quirk. Perhaps our legislature should open every session with a rousing rendition of “Fifty Nifty” as a brief reminder. Afterward, representatives and senators may enjoy an enlightening lecture on the US Constitution, Georgia Constitution, and the Georgia legislature’s role in our government. I recommend starting with:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. — Amendment X, United States Constitution

Will this nip insanity in the bud? Most assuredly not. Our state includes 229,827 people who looked at Marjorie Greene and thought, “she’ll make a good representative.” Sanity is also not a qualification for holding office in Georgia. I checked. However, these measures may encourage elected members of the Georgia legislature to think twice before doing something stupid like signing onto a Texas lawsuit that blatantly attacks Georgia’s sovereignty.

Shockingly, the Texas lawsuit and the never-ending fake fraud hearings are not the most egregious examples of partisan stupidity. That dubious distinction belongs to the Forsyth County Republicans, who are on track to win the first-ever Political Darwin Award.

Let’s try a little logic exercise.

In 2020, Donald Trump won 85,122 votes (65.83%) in Forsyth County. His totals by vote category were:

Donald Trump’s total votes by vote category in Forsyth County Georgia November 3, 2020
Author created image. Source: November 3, 2020, General Election Official and Complete Results for Forsyth County accessed December 11, 2020.

Suppose your chosen god gained 71.4% of his winning total during early voting, and you’re heading into a high stakes Senate runoff. Should you advocate a) expanding early voting or b) limiting it?

For Forsyth Republicans, this was a trick question. They opposed expanding early voting and then celebrated on Facebook when the Forsyth County Board of Elections sided with them. (If you don’t have a Facebook account, Sara Ghazal posted a screenshot of their post on Twitter.)

Keep in mind that this lunacy doesn’t affect absentee ballots. As we saw in November, Democrats have the notable advantage that their presidential candidate never stood before a crowd and screamed that absentee ballots are a fraud. It should go without saying that you want your voters to have easy and safe access to the polls. Trump lost Georgia in part because this minor detail sailed over his head.

So if Biden received 54.8% of his 42,203 votes during early voting and Trump got 71.3% of his 85,122 during it, whose voters did Forsyth Republicans suppress? Hint, it’s not Biden voters who cast 37.2% of their votes by mail.

Here in Georgia, we have a long, sordid, and highly racist history of voter suppression. Democrats did it during the 20th century. Over the last few decades, Republicans have picked up the torch. Suppressing the other team’s voters is standard practice. We expect shenanigans like closing polling stations in high population areas, forgetting power cords, and only deploying two voting machines during early voting in a precinct with 6,394 assigned voters.

Suppressing your vote leaps across the sanity line with both feet. It’s like my momma always told me.

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

She often followed this with other southern-isms, including “don’t slit your own throat,” “don’t shoot yourself in the foot,” and “if so-and-so jumped over a cliff, would you do it.” Unable to choose between these traditional options, Forsyth County Republicans have opted to dive headfirst over the cliff with their nose in one hand and a bloody knife in the other.

If you lean Democrat, you’re probably perched on top of that cliff laughing your butt off about now. If you lean Republican, you’re either dismayed or wondering if Forsyth Republicans know something you don’t. Independents, including yours truly, are not laughing. We’re also not joining Republicans in their descent into madness.

Dismayed, horrified, sick, apprehensive — I cannot adequately express how witnessing these attacks on the very foundation of our republic has made me feel. I’m certainly reconsidering my independent status.

In Georgia, independents are the ones who swing elections. As a group, we didn’t repudiate Georgia Republicans in 2020. We directed our ire at a single individual on top of your ticket who earlier this year seriously suggested scientists investigate injecting disinfectant as a possible COVID cure and then tried to convince us he was “being sarcastic.” We have eyes and ears. We know sarcasm when we hear it. That was not sarcasm.

Over the last month, senior Republicans across the country have shown a blatant disregard for the message we sent. It was relatively simple. We prefer governing to tweeting. Rather than accept our will, you want to throw our votes out. Well, this independent Georgian has a message for you.

I have two preexisting conditions that put me at high risk of COVID complications or even death. I voted absentee because you idiots couldn’t be bothered to clean out your ears, sit down, shut up, listen to the world-renowned epidemiologists, and follow simple instructions to get this thing under control. Instead, you spent the last six months whining about how masks cover up your pretty face! When the lieutenant governor of Texas suggested that people like me should die to save the economy earlier this year, I thought one of you would say something. Instead, crickets. I got the message loud and clear.

You don’t value my life.

Twice this year, I voted absentee because, unlike you, I do value my life and the lives of my family. Now, you’re screaming from the rooftops that people like me committed voter fraud by exercising our right to vote without endangering ourselves or others. Why? Because things didn’t go your way. Well, boohoo. This entire year hasn’t gone my way. Pull on your big kid pants and get over it.

In January, I will again vote absentee because of that COVID thing you like to pretend doesn’t exist. I will not help you return Perdue and Loeffler to the US Senate. I do not care that Perdue is a local boy or that my grandmother was the head librarian at his high school. Community ties mean nothing at this point.

If you want my vote in 2022, hide your crazy and start acting like working adults who contribute to the US economy are as valuable as unborn babies.

Freelancer. Data geek. Gardener. Baker. Spaniel lover. Georgian. MA International Commerce and Policy.

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