I never want to be in a fight with someone where the fight itself is all the opponent has. Generally, I will avoid a fight if possible, preferring alternative resolution. However, in order to protect life, family, or property, a fight is sometimes unavoidable. But if the person you are fighting has none of those, then the fight is very different. They are only fighting for honor, because they have nothing else of value to take away. A person fighting to protect what he has will fight until his possessions are protected and retreat. A person fighting for honor must fight until victory is his.
For some unknown and bizarre reason (and off topic, I might add), I was asked in another thread if I thought The Speaker was in trouble. My opinion is yes, but I’m not sure how much.
In one of my first front page posts, I strongly urged a quite, behind the scenes unification of the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker. I believe there have even been a few signs that this may be happening. With the announcement of Rep. Ralston’s challenge, however, The Speaker’s issues become more pressing. The smart money right now says that the Speaker is re-elected, but the race is still early. There are reports that a lot of house members aren’t happy with the challenge BEFORE the election cycle has played out, because now the Reps running for re-election may have to answer to their constituents how they plan to vote.
Rep Raltson has himself indicated that there will be a “grass roots” campaign to elect him Speaker. I believe he is on the correct track, if there is one. As such, here’s what we should watch:
Dissension cannot be expected from anyone holding a committee chair or leadership position at first. These are the folks with something to lose. Betting on an upstart challenger isn’t the way to go if you enjoy the trappings of power. I would also not look to legislators from rural parts of the state who are only recently converted to the Republican brand. The folks back home in these areas are still addicted to the state paying for “much needed local projects”, or as the rest of us know it, pork.
So, the pressure then builds on legislators who don’t yet hold leadership positions, and are in areas that have been Republican for 10 years or more. For the most part, this would represent the suburbs and exurbs of Metro Atlanta. These are the areas that sent Republicans to battle against Tom Murphy and a host of Democrat Governors, expecting little state funds to return as a result. Thus, these are the areas where an electorate may not only tolerate, but congratulate a Rep for standing up for principle knowing that fewer local pork projects wills result.
So if there is a real grass roots movement to oust the Speaker, it will start here. And if the 5-6 Reps become 15-16, some of those who have lower level committee assignments may begin to get some pressure as well. If the public number approaches 20, then those near the top of the food chain will begin to wonder if they are better off defending the status quo, or assisting in the coup and moving up a spot.
The tea leaves of this race can be found in the lower seniority, Metro Atlanta Republican Reps. These are the ones who have nothing to lose from Leadership, but will have to answer to an electorate. They should expect to be asked a lot of questions, publicly and privately, about their support of the Speaker. If a dozen or so of them that have opposition begin to shy away from The Speaker, all bets are off.