Just when you think expectations can go no lower in politics, our gubernatorial candidates continue to prove us wrong. Here we sit, about to put our collective future into the hands of a new chief executive of the eighth largest state in the nation and what do we have from which to select? A guy that would kiss a goat if he thought it would get him elected; a gun-totin’ good ol’ boy who wants to make sure nobody don’t mess with his dadgum family and an ultra-liberal black woman who wants to sandblast Stone Mountain. Good grief.
The recent revelation by Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle that he pushed for passage of a bill he considered bad public policy in order to keep the Walton Foundation from pouring millions of dollars into the campaign of rival candidate, Hunter Hill, pretty much got a shrug from voters if my reader mail is any indication.
Not that you approved of what he confessed to in a secretly recorded conversation with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Clay Tippins but, rather, it was just another example of a politician being a politician. Like, what’s new?
Casey Cagle is Georgia’s Teflon man. He compromised his integrity, screwed public schools and our hard-working and unappreciated schoolteachers, said a bunch of stuff he would have been better served to have winked or nodded and offered no apologies. And he seems to have gotten away with it.
The Atlanta newspapers are reporting now that Cagle regularly uses state planes to ferry him between his home in Gainesville and the state capitol 55 miles away. Neat. We taxpayers fund his airplane trips (over a quarter of a million dollars during the past eight years) while we buy our own gas for our own cars to ferry our own selves from one place to another including on occasion, Gainesville.
And then there is his opponent in the Republican primary runoff, Secretary of State Brian “Hee-Haw” Kemp. He wants to be sure we know he has a gun and he is willing to use it, fer dern sure. If some young whippersnapper makes eyes at his daughters, he’ll fill ’em full of lead, by cracky.
I’m sure that cornpone stuff delights his supporters no end, but a lot of people who are slightly nauseous of Casey Cagle’s political behavior have asked my opinion about Kemp’s stand on the issues. They know he likes guns, but how would he govern? Shoot anybody who disagrees with him? What are his views on the substantive matters that impact our daily lives? Is he as anti-public education and pro-voucher as are most of his colleagues? I’m not about to ask him. Never rile a good ol’ boy with a shotgun in his lap. He’s just liable to use the goldarn thing.
No matter how things play out between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp, it is a foregone conclusion that whoever wins the Republican runoff on July 24 is destined to be our next governor. That is because the Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, while the darling of the national media, is too far left for the majority of Georgians and shows scant interest for those in the middle. Plus, there is the small matter of back taxes. If she can’t manage her own finances, how can we expect her to manage the state’s $25 billion budget?
Abrams makes a big point of saying she wants to sandblast the Confederate Memorial off Stone Mountain. Oh, please. She might want to check the state statute that prohibits such an action and would take an act of the Legislature to change it. On the extreme outside chance she was elected governor, the Republican-dominated Legislature wouldn’t give her the time of day, let alone change the law.
You might want to be seated for this one. I believe if Jason Carter had chosen to run this time around, he would have had a good chance of being elected. Yes, Jason Carter, grandson of the man about whom my feelings are well-known. The former Democratic state senator lost to Gov. Nathan Deal in 2014 but ran a good race. I’m surprised he didn’t have another go at it this time around. Instead, he has chosen to run the Carter Center. He’s a good man.
So, who are we left with to choose for our next governor? A goat-kisser, Yosemite Sam and a potential successor to our Ambassador to Outer Space, Cynthia McKinney. Who said politicians couldn’t lower our expectations? Not me.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.