Why Republicans must not help Hank Johnson

I dislike Cynthia McKinney’s politics as much as the next guy, but pray tell why should Republicans help Democrats remove their biggest headache?

Facts:

 1.  Hank Johnson will vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker just as fast as Cynthia.

2.  Hank Johnson will vote for left-wing legislation just as fast as Cynthia.

 3.  Mark Taylor and the Democrat Party want nothing more than to be rid of Cynthia.  Just yesterday Sonny’s folks noted that Cynthia was gone from Taylor’s website after he touted her endorsement for months and Cynthia’s folks are openly hacked off that Taylor did not return the endorsement favor.  There’s nothing like an enemy divided.

If you’re Republican, play chess – not checkers.  Stay in the GOP Primary, keep your Republican money out of Hank Johnson’s account, and let the Democrats deal with Cynthia.

68 comments

  1. Dignan says:

    Clint: you could not be more wrong on this issue. While McKinney may be the Democrat’s biggest headache, I guarantee that she is a bigger headache to her constituents in the 4th District, many of whom are Republicans. It is cynicism at its worst to take the attitude that Republicans should want to keep McKinney around as an albatross. The people of the 4th District deserve representation.

  2. Mike Hassinger says:

    Clint-
    You may think you “dislike Cynthia McKinney’s politics as much as the next guy,” but if that next guy is me, you don’t. I live in the 4th, and I’m sick and tired of letting racially motivated, conspiracy theorist, anti-Semites get free pass and license to exploit African-American voters at the expense of my representation in Congress.

    I don’t think Hank Johnson and I will ever agree on anything philosophically or politically. He’s a liberal, I’m a conservative. But he’s smart and thoughtful and will force us conservatives to keep our arguments sharp. Surely you’re not scared of an honest debate?

    Frankly, I find your instruction to “play chess, not checkers” offensive. I’m a Republican, but I’m an American first. McKinney hurts the integrity of the political process and the nation as a whole with her divisive poison. So take your cynical view of my Congressional district and your chess board, and stick them in your ear.

  3. Broty says:

    What a terrible argument. Keeping McKinney around does not help or make the Republican Party better – it just degrades the quality of our nation’s leadership. She needs to go.

    I hope every able voter, Republican or Democrat, in the 4th turns out and votes for Mr. Johnson. We all know he’s not a conservative, but he’s a much better alternative to McKinney.

  4. debbie0040 says:

    A lot of Republicans in Cynthia’s district already voted in the Democratic Primary. They can not cross back over and vote in the GOP Runoff. I think we need to assist them in getting rid of McKinney.

    It will help the GOP in November if Cynthia’s political machine is not working to get out the Dem vote. She is a disgrace to Georgia and needs to go.

  5. John Galt says:

    I think Clint has a point. If Hank Johnson wins, Catherine Davis has no shot of winning in November. I know Davis is a long shot in the 4th – any Republican would be. But with McKinney as the opponent Davis can tap into national money because she will have a “national” opponent. Just imagine, police officers from all over the country rallying to the aid of Catherine Davis, not to mention the national media coverage – tv, print, radio, blogs. Cynthia McKinney is the Democrats’ biggest embarassment, and the GOP can exploit that in November. This isn’t just a 4th district issue, or a GA issue. It’s a national issue. I hope McKinney wins.

  6. Broty says:

    John,

    That’s a fantasy that will never happen. If McKinney wins the nomination, she’ll go back to Congress without much of a fight in the general. They’ll be no national media attention or police rallies.

    Ms. Davis was the Republican nominee two years ago and was beaten by McKinney. What’s going to change this year?

    The 4th congressional district was designed for a democrat. At the very least, the district should have level-headed representation that will respect the entire population.

  7. Mike Hassinger says:

    Galt-
    When the RNCC gives money to Davis, I’ll take my ice skates and head to hell.

  8. Broty says:

    Besides, there are plenty of embarassments in the Democratic party. Let’s not let one of them be from Georgia.

  9. Dignan says:

    John: Catherine Davis is not a legitimate candidate. She is a very nice woman but is about as un-inspiring as they come. She will not garner national support and will lucky to get more than the paltry amount of votes she received last time.

  10. John Galt says:

    Broty and Loren,
    You are both correct. The 4th will probably always have Demo representation. My point is the national picture. The more Cynthia McKinney runs her mouth – and hopefully Billy too – the dumber the Democrats look. For example, this week Congressional Dems are trying to paint themselves as Israel’s best friend. We all know nothing could be farther from the truth. Wouldn’t it be great if the RNC made a television ad of Billy McKinney spouting off against the J-E-W-S? The 4th will have a Democrat in Congress – why not let it be someone who is a national embarassment to her party?

  11. Broty says:

    John,

    The 4th will have a Democrat in Congress – why not let it be someone who is a national embarassment to her party?

    Because she actually represents people! She has a vote in the US capital! There are a lot of constituents in the 4th who want to be heard by their representative. There are a lot of people in the 4th who don’t want to be embarassed by their elected leader. There are a lot of people in the 4th fed up with her garbage.

    Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want Cynthia McKinney speaking for you?

  12. GAWire says:

    There’s some stuff that just isn’t smart, and unfortunately, this idea is one of them. Politics is not chess … sure, there’s a lot of strategy, but when people start talking about “strategies” like this, I typically have to tell them to leave the CR meeting and go back to freshman polisci.

    As a Party, strategically thinking, we do not want to keep any bad candidates/Members in office, if we have a chance to get them out. This isn’t “let’s give the Dems a headache and efficiency and quality leadership in Congress be damned.”

    Johnson might be a Dem, but we all know getting McKinney out of office is good for the 4th District, the Congress, Georgia, and the country in general.

    If McKinney is vulnerable, then the Dems in general are vulnerable. Sitting by and letting someone like McKinney win will not be any kind of win for the GOP. Sure, she gives Pelosi a headache, but bottom line, she is another Dem number for them, and they don’t care if she or Hank wins when it comes right down to it, b/c either way, that District will be D.

    For us, it’s the lesser of two evils … and the clear fact that McKinney should not be in Congress. Rolling over on this race will allow Dems to win in many ways.

  13. Broty says:

    John,

    Maybe his votes will be identical. But will he refer to the consituents who disagree with him as “white noise”? Will he divide the district by making baseless racial remarks? Will he have Cindy Sheehan at his victory rally? Will he illegally show up at polling places to intimidate voters? Will he poke his finger in the eye of the Bush administration, lie to his constituents about its policies, and make false claims about what it knew about 911? Wil he then show up 5 hours before the State of Union so he can be seen shaking the hand of that same president?

  14. John Galt says:

    GAWire,
    You are arguing from with a Konop-ish attitude: “I typically have to tell them to leave the CR meeting and go back to freshman polisci.”

    Whether you realize it or not, Republicans can make Cynthia McKinney the new lightning rod and rallying point, a la Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton. She is a national opponent, and the GOP can make her and her anti-semitism the face of the Democratic party.

  15. Tommy_a2b says:

    How many of you who agree with Clint actually live or did live in the 4th. If you had you would no longer agree. It is selfish of you to ask the citizens of that district to live with your wants of keeping that crazy woman in office. You should be ashamed.

  16. Broty says:

    Sorry John, McKinney can never be made into the face of the Democrat party because the whole party will never embrace her.

    She is not a standard bearer. Need proof? Look at Mark Taylor.

  17. John Galt says:

    Broty –
    When a Democrat refers to her opponents as “white noise” – and she receives ZERO reprimand from her party’s leadership – I consider that a good thing. When her father goes on television to complain about the J-E-W-S, and her party’s leadership says nothing, THEY look stupid. I am sorry if you happen to live in the 4th. That’s your choice.

  18. JP says:

    There’s that brilliant Hannity reason for voting Republican again–“You don’t want Speaker Pelosi, do you?”

    And they say Democrats campaign on Bush hatred…imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, now isn’t it?

  19. Broty says:

    John,

    I don’t live in the 4th. I did for 5 years and left 2 years ago. I crossed over to vote for Majette in 2002 and would have no problem voting for Mr. Johnson this year if I could.

    I just think your argument is a cynical, crummy reason to vote for a representative.

    You don’t keep an incompetent fool in office because it makes the opposition look bad or helps your party raise money. A representative should reflect its constituents. McKinney does not represent the 4th well – she’s ineffective.

    The 4th and Georgia deserve better.

  20. John Konop says:

    John Galt,

    Your post demonstrates why people do not trust the system. We should be Americans first. If all you care about is winning the election and not our country than what is the point?

  21. GAWire says:

    As much as you think keeping McKinney in office will hurt the Dems, you’re wrong. Sorry. That’s not how it works.

    If she wins and then goes back to DC as a Congresswoman, she will be out of the news. Sure, she will make headlines when she does her next stupid thing, but she isn’t ever going to really hurt the Dems and it isn’t going to pan out like you think.

    We aren’t going to win that seat, so should we (the GOP) put any resources towards it? No, it’s Dem and it will stay that way. But, keeping McKinney in office is good for NO ONE!!!!! It won’t work the way you think.

  22. GAWire says:

    Galt, I forgot to ask you something: Can I visit your dream world of naive and clueless politics? Sorry if you think my attitude is bad, but I haven’t had my coffee yet, and call me crazy if I think sending someone as bad as McKinney to CONGRESS is not a good thing for anyone, regardless of your wet dream political “strategy.”

  23. Jeff Emanuel says:

    We’re coining terms left and right here at PP! First it’s GAWire with “sub-racism,” and now Galt with “Konop-ish.”

    I have to throw my hat in here with the “beat Cynthia” folks. I guess I’m just still sufficiently idealist to want to best people representing the citizens, and not to want people like her in office.

  24. BB says:

    If Republicans were serious about wanting to put McKinney in her place, the first bill introduced (and passed) during the ’05 state legislative session would have removed her name from the road formerly known as Memorial Highway. But they were afraid to be called racists.

    As a voter in the 6th District, I am just glad to not have our own GOP version of McKinney going to Congress…you guys in the 4th need to deal with her.

    “This may not work out in politics” — Konop take your own advice.

  25. BB says:

    Meanwhile in DC, some Republicans are working on legislation to raise the minimum wage — “Whether people like it or not, we need to go ahead with it,” said Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., who supports the idea. “There’s a general agreement among Republicans (opposing the raise) that “maybe we don’t like it much, but we need to move forward with it just for political reasons.”

    That’s the ticket, let’s work on attracting minimum wage workers to vote Republican.

  26. John Galt says:

    GaWire,
    I guess reasonable people can disagree, unless they have not yet had their coffee. I believe it is neither naive or clueless to hope that in a district that is guaranteed to vote Democrat, the Democrats elect the most liberal whack-job they can find (Cynthia). That doesn’t make Georgia look bad – it makes the the Dems look bad. Nearly every candidate campaigns against national lightning rods – have you EVER read a fundraising letter? We need to replace Ted Kennedy as that lightning rod, and I can think of no better person than a racist anti-semite who assaults cops.

  27. Broty says:

    I guess that’s the difference. I don’t think racist, anti-semitic people who assault cops deserve to be in Congress – regardless of the party they represent.

  28. Bill Simon says:

    With Cynthia in office or not, the national Dems hurt themselves by a constant whining about everything rather than putting forth decent proposals to differentiate themselves from the GOP. Getting Cynthia out will help the entire nation by proving idiots cannot rise to the top forever.

  29. RuralDem says:

    That is one of the major problems we have today. It’s always “party this, party that”. Sometimes you have to overlook the two parties and do something that’s simply the right thing to do. The people of the 4th are getting terrible representation. Frankly, who cares which party it benefits? The citizens of the 4th are the ones you need to think about. Unfortunantly, this rarely happens.

  30. Demonbeck says:

    Hey, we are all represented by the AJC, throughout the world. I don’t see anyone complaining about…oh wait, nevermind.

  31. John Konop says:

    BB,

    You and Cynthia were both arrested and cut a deal. I think you have much more in common. By the way, both of you blame the police.

    People like this have no room in any party.

  32. Clint Austin says:

    I think the “chess” part of my post got a little too much attention (and is unfairly abused considering the fact any Republican who crosses over in the Democrat primary is playing a little political chess themselves using the open primary law to monkey in the other party’s primary)

    That being said please consider the first two parts of my post, and let me restate it:

    A vote for Johnson is a vote for higher taxes, withdrawal from Iraq, and liberal social policies.

    Why him over Cynthia?

  33. JasonW says:

    Actually, is a vote for Johnson a vote for higher taxes…..it was afterall, on PP, that we learned that Mr. Johnson is a fairtaxer…that to me equals lower taxes 🙂

  34. Broty says:

    Clint,

    With all due respect, did you not read any of the other posts in this discussion? There were many reasons to vote Johnson over McKinney:

    1. He’s respectfull of all the constituents of the 4th, even if they disagree politically
    2. He understands that the 4th has gotten rotten, ineffective leadership in D.C.
    3. He hasn’t hit a police office that goes to work everyday to protect him
    4. While he is a democrat, he hasn’t aligned himself with the wacky way-out-there left (Sheehan)
    5. He has yet to utter and unimformed statement that will embarass the voters in the 4th
    6. He doesn’t see everything through racial eyeglasses

    The list could go on…

    My, and I imagine many who want to see McKinney gone, are going to have philisophical/political differences with her replacement. That’s politics. But what McKinney has engaged in over that past decade goes outside of this spectrum. She’s beyond the traditional Republica/Democrat battle.

    This isn’t about replacing one Democrat with another. It’s about replacing a person who has no business voting in the United States Congress.

  35. John Konop says:

    Clint,

    You are right.But the issue to me is can we afford to have person of no class to represent us in congress. I see nothing good in having Cynthia in Washington. What message does it send to our kids?

  36. buzzbrockway says:

    We need to return to the days of the “loyal opposition” where the Party out of power may disagree, but they attempt to offer viable alternatives as opposed to McKinney’s brand of race baiting and demagoguery. If Johnson will provide a more reasonable discussion of the issues then vote for him. If that doesn’t work, support Catherine Davis, but McKinney must be removed.

  37. Danny says:

    It’s easy to say “keep McKinney” unless you live in the district. My in-laws live in the 4th & are embarrassed. At the same time, they’re free to move too. Then again, they did move the district, so where does that leave a lot of voters who were in Rockdale for example prior to redistricting? To me, if McKinney’s your rep in DC, you’re getting very little representation & she needs to leave.

    I do think that Johnson would bring some respect to the district. I can appreciate having differing views on issues as long as they’re honest convictions. For example, he disagrees with going into Iraq. But, he does say that it’s wrong to pack up & leave the place in distress because of a drop dead date for departure.

    What I can’t stand is McKinney & her conspiracy theories. She’s not at all credible & her lack of party support is telling. When I hear her debate or talk about issues it seems to be more rhetoric and less facts, kind of like liberal students at Georgia Socialist University. Just a bunch of blame whitey, blame rich people, blame anyone but yourself. I hope that Johnson will (if elected) be much more. I couldn’t imagine Davis being much of a factor in November. With the district changes what could she expect as an absolute best case scenario, 45%?

  38. GAWire says:

    >>”””That doesn’t make Georgia look bad – it makes the the Dems look bad.”””

    Galt, I just got back from Starbucks, so now I respectfully disagree with your statement, and don’t think it’s true. She does indeed make Georgia look bad. I know many Georgians don’t care about national media, but it does affect the way the rest of the US perceives us, which many times is as back-country, deep South, rednecks (I know that’s not all bad), and the media’s coverage of Cynthia makes Georgia and Dems look bad. Sure, it’s bad for Dems, but to be honest, I care more about Georgia than just making Dems look bad.

    Also, as to this quote: “””Nearly every candidate campaigns against national lightning rods – have you EVER read a fundraising letter?””” I’ve been WRITING those letters for years now, so yes, I have read them; moreover, I know the reasoning behind them.

  39. John Galt says:

    I’ll shed no tears for Cynthia McKinney if she loses. I just don’t see it as the end of the world if she beats Johnson. Further, instead of being upset by her victory (if it occurs) and embarassed, conservatives should use the opportunity to make her the face of the Democratic party and try to find a Republican or at the least a sane, moderate Democrat to beat her next time.

  40. Clint Austin says:

    All,

    I am aware of the problems about Cynthia. My earlier question “why Hank over Cynthia?” was a leading/rhetorical one.

    I think it is fair to summarize the responses as this: Cynthia’s manners and decorum stink.

    That is the political understatement of our generation.

    However, implicit is the admission there is no difference in the policies one would get between Hank and Cynthia. There many be minor distinctions, but they are just that – minor.

    That means that if we as Republicans go into the Democrat primary, we would only accomplish removing a liberal with bad manners and giving ourselves a liberal with good manners. Democrats will get the same ol’ liberal, just without all the headaches that Cynthia brings. Why would we want to do that if Hank means nothing to our policies?

    I actually lived in Dunwoody for a few years (I think a couple streets outside her district but pretty darn close), so I was certainly close enough to know what it’s like to get the Cynthia blowback.

    Frankly, I think Republican who live there shouldn’t take her presence to heart. She may represent your area in Congress, but she is not a mark on you or your family. Deal with her and know that you are doing justice a cause by not supporting a liberal whose election (Hank’s) accomplishes nothing more than helping Democrats get rid of their ongoing PR nightmare.

    Also – by saying Cynthia has “bad manners” I am only using a figure of speech – her behavior goes beyond manners. And I do understand the strong passions she evokes because, as I said, I lived in Dunwoody. But I still think Republicans should be clear-headed about this election in spite of the passions she evokes.

  41. JasonW says:

    While, I’d normally agree Clint, I should say it’s because Republicans are practical. They realize that if every Republican in the 4th District votes for Catherine Davis in November, it wouldn’t be good enough. Let the Republicans vote for Johnson in the Runoff and vote for Ms. Davis in November.

  42. RuralDem says:

    Clint,

    I will be honest and say I am not too familar with Johnson’s entire platform. However, after reading that Johnson supports the “Fair Tax” among other things, I have to ask:

    If you were living in the 4th District would you want a far left liberal such as McKinney or a liberal who might have a few conservative views mixed in such as Johnson?

    I am in no way trying to make Johnson out to be a moderate, but I do not think he is as far on the left as McKinney. Also, consider the fact that a Republican has a very slim chance at winning the District, so in the end it is going to be either Johnson or McKinney.

  43. GAWire says:

    Clint, asking a rhetorical question in a place like Peach Pundit is bound to get a lot of response, especially when the question involves pointing out Cynthia McKinney’s many faults 🙂 !

    Galt, I will give you this … if Cynthia wins, and I think there is a good chance of that, I agree that we should do everything we can to associate her with the Dems, more than putting her out front as a “leader” (even if by default) in Georgia. I think we should do everything we possibly can to make her the face of the Democratic Party. However, this is only if she wins. The first and most ideal goal would be to get her out completely!

  44. Clint Austin says:

    GAWire – I was asking the rhetorical question for effect – and it worked! 🙂

    As for Hank and the FairTax, if he really supports that then there is a substantial policy difference that undercuts my argument.

  45. John Galt says:

    GaWire,
    I’m kidding. I think the debate in this thread was very healthy and worth having.

  46. Dignan says:

    Clint: I am baffled at your post. I was very impressed by your post about Ralph Reed a few weeks ago. You seemed to be arguing that principle should outweight politics.

    But now you seem to be arguing just the opposite. Your position on this is the ultimate in cynicism.

    We all know that Catherine Davis has no chance. Someone suggested 45%. That is laughable. She will be lucky to get 30-35%. So the race in the 4th District this year is between Johnson and McKinney.

    Have you spoken with Hank Johnson? Met the guy? I have. Do I agree with everything that Hank believes in? Nope. But Hank is a good man who wants to represent the ENTIRE district. What a novel concept. For years, McKinney hasn’t even paid lip service to helping the northern half of the district.

    I am also baffled by your reflexive loyalty to the Republican party. Are you Republican first or conservative? If you are conservative, what in the world has the Republican party done for you over the past six years. By my count, very little. So why the blind loyalty?

  47. John Konop says:

    Dignan,

    I agree with your post. But I think Clint did a good job of putting the topic on the blog. Look at all the postings.I think your point is the real issue.

    I am also baffled by your reflexive loyalty to the Republican party. Are you Republican first or conservative? If you are conservative, what in the world has the Republican party done for you over the past six years. By my count, very little. So why the blind loyalty

  48. Danny says:

    Dignan, while agree with your statements, I must clarify about your saying Davis getting 45% is “laughable.” You’re right, it is laughable if you’re being serious. It was a tongue in cheek statement meaning that McKinney could run over a cop with her car & would still get 55% of the vote. Sarcasm’s tough to get across on the internet.

  49. Clint Austin says:

    Dignan,

    I can see what you are saying when you indicate I might be contradicting myself on “principle against Reed” vs. “practicality in not helping Hank Johnson.”

    However, go back to what I said a couple posts ago – the whole basis of this discussion is Republicans “violating” their party principles to go vote in the Democrat Primary for a candidate who reportedly shares none of our basic conservative principles (if he is a FairTaxer that would make me wrong).

    On principle, Republicans should vote in Republican primaries and for conservative candidates. Voting for Hank Johnson does not appear to meet any of those principles AND it helps the Dems get rid of their PR nightmare.

    Perhaps that makes it more clear, if not agreeable.

    Clint

  50. John Konop says:

    Clint,

    Do you think all Republicans are conservative ? If not, is it stll principle to vote for him or her? I think that was the point Digan was pointing out, with this part of his post.

    I am also baffled by your reflexive loyalty to the Republican party. Are you Republican first or conservative? If you are conservative, what in the world has the Republican party done for you over the past six years. By my count, very little. So why the blind loyalty?

    The next question is principle bigger than party loyalty ?

  51. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I’m not Clint, but I’ll field that question as though my opinion was asked. 😉

    Personally, I’m Conservative first, Republican second; principle comes before party loyalty to me. However, principle dictates (subject in certain instances to case-by-case dissention) that a do-nothing Republican is generally better than any Democrat, based on the principles for which each stands.

  52. John Konop says:

    Jeff,

    I agree with you. If you have a Republican vote for big government programs yet talks like a conservative is that worse ? A liberal in sheeps clothing

  53. Clint Austin says:

    John,

    We’ve gotten off onto another topic (the alleged wanderings of the GOP party) which is not precisely relevant to the Cynthia issue. However, I won’t dispute anything you say on this topic.

    To get back to the main question: If Hank Johnson cannot be proven to be philosophically different than Cynthia in a meaningful way, then why should Republicans give him their vote and money and help remove the Dems PR headache with Cynthia? What is principled about that from a conservative perspective?

    Not badgering you – only getting back to the issue I raised.

  54. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Clint, I think you have a very fair point. I say this, of course, as a resident of a district OTHER than the 4th.

    Working on the Fair Tax issue, will post as soon as I have confirmation one way or the other.

  55. John Konop says:

    Clint,

    I can only speak for myself. The point is loyality to the party means less to me than my country. And if I lived in the 4rth district I would vote for Johnson out of respect fot the system. I agree with you from reading his platform(website) , we agree on little if anything.

    Yet he seems like a person that would debate from a rational manner. People like Cynthia tear our country apart. We can disagree without the hate.

    Since I feel my own party has not been serving my conservative views this is an easy choice for me.My point is had the party been more like the NEWT days I may not have had the same view.

  56. Art Vandelay says:

    I see Clint’s point, really. And I dont live in the 4th so I dont know what I would do. But I will say that Cynthia is an absolute looney…got her bats in her belfry!

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