Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Elephant in the Statehouse

Before the Georgia legislature reconvenes in their quarter of a million dollar special session, they better send a cleaning crew over to the capitol. The elephant has pooped squarely in the middle of the floor, and without Democrats to blame, whatever the Georgia GOP does to try to clean up the mess, the stench is likely to follow them into the the 2008 elections and beyond. Engulfed by an air of incompetence, Georgia Republicans look quite vulnerable.

Speaker Richardson is claiming that the Governor bared his rear and made this mess, while Perdue suspects that a junior high prank is responsible for the odor. Casey Cagle is suspiciously quiet, allowing his likely opponent to act afool while aligning himself with a Governor who got about 60% of the vote. Cagle is a lot of things, but 'dumb' is not on the list.

As the legislative session devolved into pre-primary preening and posturing on the part of two likely gubernatorial candidates, Cagle and Richardson, the wheels came off, little was accomplished, and Governor Perdue vetoed the 2007 supplemental budget. He thought the compromise of sending money back to taxpayers was good politics, but not good public policy. Imagine that, Gov. Gift Card is now interested in good public policy. Richardson, who helped design House rules that kept members under the Governor's iron thumb, is incensed. Well, sometimes snake handlers do get bitten.

So, on the heels the most unproductive legislative session in recent memory, voters now must finance a special session so that the General Assembly can fulfill its singular constitutional duty. And this is the party that is supposed to support fiscal conservatism.

As public opinion of and identification with the GOP declines, and as they desperately scramble to field a Presidential candidate who causes the "values voters" to just hold their noses rather than walk away entirely, Georgia Democrats should make gains over the next four years provided we watch where we step. We should've learned by now, it's tough to get that stuff off your shoes.

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