There is a current debate going on in DeKalb County, Georgia regarding the structure of the county government and whether we would be better off by incorporating as a city. The City of DeKalb would become the second largest city in Georgia, so we are talking about something with a large impact. There are of course good arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. Joe Knippenburg of Oglethorpe University presents one of the more compelling ones this morning. However, this story has quickly gone from a substantive discussion into something more personal.
Vernon Jones is the current CEO of DeKalb County and has come out strongly in favor of turning the county into a city. One would hope that Jones would take every opportunity possible to thoughtfully advocate his position. Well, for those who are familiar with Jones, the reality can’t come as a surprise.
It seems as if Jones has decided instead to insult one of the opponents of plans to incorporate the county. Yesterday, Vernon Jones referred to State Representative Mike Jacobs as having “the IQ of an empty Corona light beer bottle.”
Let us ignore for the moment that Jacobs is a highly successful attorney, is a fellow Democrat, was elected to the state legislature at a fairly young age, and is the consummate public servant.
Jones has a long history of bullying his political opponents. And this strategy has worked to a point. But with the recent defeat of Cynthia McKinney, the voters of DeKalb County have shown that they will not perpetually put up with politicians who cling to power with demogoguery and bullying tactics.
There is much talk of there being an anti-incumbant sentiment in the air this fall. Well, I hope that it is joined by an anti-demogogue sentiment as well.