Too Much to Ask

April 6, 2010 0:26 am

by Tyler · 51 comments

As a Georgia voter I’m disappointed. Our budget is imploding, our state is scrapped for cash, and we’ve been bickering over things like whether or not the Korean language should be allowed for the driver’s license test, despite their country’s hefty investment down near West Point. We get it, you’re trying to remain elected. You’re scared that voters might actually think for a second and realize that the coffers are not full of cash and that we have no plan to fix things.

I’m a Republican, but the politics being played this year are enough to make any die-hard Republican sick. I want EFFICIENT government. I want a budget that is actually balanced and a government that doesn’t waste money. I also want ETHICAL government. Ever since the Richardson scandal broke it seems like Pandora’s box is now open and every scandal is coming to light. GOOD. It’s about time that we saw the skeletons in the closet. The question now becomes what to do about it. The ethics measures that have been proposed aren’t good enough and we at Peach Pundit will touch on this in the future. But something must be done.

I reiterate: We have an imploding budget, no money, and unethical behavior that has hit our state government like a sledgehammer. And what have we gotten? What has been proposed? Absolutely nothing that will fix the problem. The Georgia General Assembly and our Governor would rather focus on impeaching Attorney General Thurbert Baker than on real issues. The GGA wants to hide behind the shadow of hatred for Obamacare rather than focus on issues. Is it too much to ask for responsible government? Is it too much to ask for a government that runs efficiently, spends taxpayer money wisely, and is free of unethical behavior?

Impeach Baker? The way this will look in November is that Republicans, awash in ethical mire and muck, unable to set a budget, fix transportation, furloughing teachers, etc; decided to take the time that should have been used to fix problems for a self-serving partisan witchhunt.

Fred Smulavich April 6, 2010 at 1:10 am

I completely agree. The problem, of course, is that everyone is so utterly focused on the team game that they forget to actually turn the mirror in on themselves. We’ve entered this advertising conundrum of “shaping mirror” where the players -consultants, candidates, establishment activists- capitalize on the lack of attention and emotional volatility in the average citizen and control the outcome with increasingly base rhetoric and spin.

I mean, you have these people “fighting for the cause” like Tim Echols with his TeenPact who are behind Oxendine because they think he can win, and the Deal people refuse to see his ethical lapse, and the Johnson people refuse to see that he’s in bed with the Reynolds’… People just need to be HONEST with each other and stop saying “yeah, well McCain can WIN!” or “so he’s given out some political favors / sold out to some special interests… look what he’s done for the cause!” and start fighting for what the Republican party and being conservative is supposed to represent.

Who cares if Austin Scott or Jeff Chapman don’t have the hundreds of thousands or the name recognition needed to win. Instead do your research and tell everyone about the ethical, principled candidates and DONATE. Do everything you can to elect the people that you know (as well as is possible) that you can trust, and the people that you know will serve your interests. Democracy is broken when you let the establishment and the existing “big donors” determine the winner 95% of the time.

polisavvy April 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Please excuse the delay; but, an excellent post. It’s what I have been trying to express for months now. You did an wonderful job articulating exactly what should be on the voters’ minds — ethics. Thank you.

ByteMe April 6, 2010 at 6:06 am

Nice rant, Tyler. Probably won’t matter much and I’ve ranted here before as well, but it’s good to see that at least a few people are willing to step out of the “team sport” mode and actually want to address the issues.

I think you missed your target, though. The GGA’s biggest issue is the budget, but that’s not really the people’s biggest issue. We’re concerned with the economy, jobs, education, transportation and water (jumble the order a bit, but those are the hot spots).

The GGA’s efforts on any of these topics? Not effective at all. In fact, every level of government is looking to cut school budgets (more people out of work), there’s a jobs bill that can’t kick in until we’re already growing again anyway, water is being left to the courts, and transportation is going nowhere (ironic, huh?).

And we get the same retreads talking about abortion and gay marriage and fighting universal health care access (which, by the way, the South leads the nation in lack of access to health care because of money, more irony) and changing the national taxing system to one based on a popular novella.

reaganrev4 April 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

“there’s a jobs bill that can’t kick in until we’re already growing again anyway”. Did i just read someone on PP say something not nice about Graves JOBS bill? Can we kick Byte off?

Chris April 6, 2010 at 7:20 am

*chris hands Tyler a pike to sharpen.

Rambler1414 April 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

Amen.

This is why more often than not, when asked about my political leanings… I will say that I’m a Conservative.

Jeff April 6, 2010 at 7:50 am
B Balz April 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

@Jeff (All L or l’s out there)

As I understand it, the Libertarian Party is about 40 years in the making, and has not yet achieved the requisite 5% mark for general balloting purposes. Not a slam, it took almost 100 years for the GOP brand to become viable.

I see this election cycle having the potential for a big (L or l) win. I suggest the Party of (L) get some credible folks out in front, early, to take advantage of populist sentiment.

@Tyler The game is rigged and once we ALL realize that, it can change. No, not rigged at the ballot, although without a voting machine paper trail, “Who would know?” Rigged in the sense that:

1.) People shut down about politics because of their feeling of powerlessness (unfounded), or distaste with the petty, vulgar, brutal nature of it (true).

2.) Too busy to care. Spoke with a dinner guest this last weekend. A Vet, married to a West Pointer, both attorneys about the state of our nation. His feeling about current events, “What can I do?” Get involved. Response, “What good will that do, I am just one.” You are a start!

3.) Congress picks the voter by delineating the District.

4.) Congress is always running for office.

Gladly, sharp, young, vibrant folks, get involved.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

B Balz,

You are way off on your time table on the how long it took for the GOP to become an effective party. Formed 1854. Ran candidate for president 1856. Won the presidency, 1860. I’d say that’s fairly fast.

Unless people are ready to meet on their own after work at the corner market to decide how much to chip in to get their road paved, I’m predicting 5%. That’s enough to cost the voters of Georgia a run off election.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor April 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

I think it’s safe to say that he meant from the end of Reconstruction to the early 1990′s.

ByteMe April 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

And also at the congressional level, since there have been more Republicans in the Presidency than Democrats since 1860.

Jason Pye April 7, 2010 at 6:40 am

Of course the Republican Party came on the heels of the Whig Party, which descended from the Federalists, and already had an established base.

Jason Pye April 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

As I understand it, the Libertarian Party is about 40 years in the making, and has not yet achieved the requisite 5% mark for general balloting purposes. Not a slam, it took almost 100 years for the GOP brand to become viable.

We have to win 20% in a gubernatorial race or on the national level average for president to attain full ballot access.

Five percent is the signature requirement to run in a given district.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor April 6, 2010 at 9:07 am

We have a short memory. A front page post like this pops up every legislative session.

Now, onto the next Casey Cagle infidelity front page post….sigh….

Ronald Daniels April 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

Is it too much to ask for? Of course! This is the government we are talking about.

benevolus April 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm

^^^ And THAT is the problem. ^^^^

Too many people make a living by trying to train people that government is ineffective, useless, corrupt, and dangerous. And then we wonder why people don’t get involved? We wonder why good candidates don’t want to run? Nobody votes?

ByteMe April 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

This is another point that I wanted to rant about but passed on the opportunity earlier when Tyler wrote:

I want the Party establishment to quit taking up mantras that won’t work and look for real solutions.

One of the dumber Republican mantras is that “government is not the solution, it’s the problem”. Why on earth would I want to vote for someone who thinks that their new job is to be part of the problem? How effective is someone who hates government going to be once they are a part of the very beast they hate?

Either it’s a lie designed to attract the dumber voters or it’s a way to potentially screw up the things we need like good education, good infrastructure, clean air, clean water, and so on. Either way, it’s just one more reason not to vote for Republicans.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

Could the legislature being better? Of course. Is it doing better than when it was under Dem control? I think so, if you consider that the Dems would have probably just raised taxes to balance the budget. I am glad that 90% of the talk about how to balance the budget did not revolve around tax increases.

The whole Baker thing is another matter. Would it cost the GOP candidates votes by going after him? Maybe. probably. Will his inaction cost Georgia ONE BILLION dollars? That’s our state governments immediate portion of the HC bill. It will cost business owners more, and in the long run provide slower, substandard care. I agree with the appointment of an attorney to represent us, but I’m not sold on impeachment. IMO, he’s not doing his job and that will show up at the polls if he gets the nomination for Gov. This inaction helps him in the primary but hurts him in the general.

Tyler April 6, 2010 at 11:49 am

Doug, I know the red kool-aid tastes good, and a sip here and there won’t kill you, but I think you’ve had enough for now. The fact is, Republicans hold the majority in the Georgia General Assembly, not the Democrats. Saying things would be worse if Democrats were in control is useless because they aren’t. Instead, the GAGOP should stick to their fiscal guns and make sure the state government is operating efficiently and constitutionally (I take a drink), you know, like they say they are going to when they are running for office.

As for the cost of Obamacare, I’d say that several states have cashed in on the fight against it. If we want to fight it so be it, but it’s rather hard to put in the time and effort to fight the Feds when our own budget is busted and our unemployment rate continues to grow. I’m sorry but I’m not buying it in November and I don’t think the voters will either. The few Republicans that remain committed to actual limited government in the General Assembly, like Austin Scott, Melvin Everson, and Martin Scott (to name a few) are the ones who need to lead. I want the Party establishment to quit taking up mantras that won’t work and look for real solutions.

No need for Kool-aid (Red or Blue). Stick to water. It’s transparent, has no calories (wasted spending), and helps your body run better.

Ryan April 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I think as a national party the era of true conservative republicans is gone. Regan preached conservatism except with military spending. H.W. Bush somewhat continued this, but it was in the early 90s that the new era of republicans began to creep in. W was the epitomy of the new republican party….”conservative” in areas the Dems are liberal in, but extremely liberal in the areas Dems tend to be conservative in.

The 08 election was an anti Bush response, by the dems, and many who felt that the Republican party who had the power to accomplish so much…did so little. In 02 the party allowed a minority of Dems stop them from accomplishing anything! I still have hope for the party, but with “leaders” like McCain on the national stage, and Governors like Sonny on the more local stage, the party will never again be a true fiscally conservative one. How can a “conservatice” justify spending millions of dollars on a horse park in Perry when the state is laying off teachers and other vitally important public services? Truth is, they can’t because a conservative in name only is as bad as a liberal.

The party as a whole needs to have the courage to standup against these members and demand that no longer will the true conservatives allow such behavior. But alas, that will only happen when people actually desire to educate themselves about the candidates instead of voting for name recognition…and unfortunately I doubt this will every really happen.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Ryan,

I hope you are wrong about the era of the GOP being a conservative party is over. You have some valid points that congress and the President strayed from it’s platform and that the state Government has made some mistakes. Our candidates can do better. We, as voters, need to let them know when they are doing something right and when they are doing something wrong. I am not talking about just with our votes. Pick up the phone or shoot them an e-mail.

If you aren’t getting the best representation in Atlanta you can get, qualifying is later this month. Either run for office or talk someone else into doing it. If you are happy with your senator or representative, let them know it by stroking a check or going door to door.

We don’t have a perfect system but it’s better than anywhere else IMO. Some may not think that’s much of an endorsement, but I work to make it better when I can where I can. The same holds true for our state party. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s pretty good.

Dave Bearse April 7, 2010 at 9:05 am

The Thashers aren’t the best team that can be got, but I’m not trying out.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Tyler,

My first statement was that they could be doing better. I’d still like to see Zero based budgeting passed, among other things. Stating that firing Republicans and replacing them with Democrats is NOT useless and WORTH saying. Just because the ship of state is not perfectly right in the right direction or going as fast as we want does not mean that we should slam it into full reverse and start going in the exact opposite direction.

Party establishment has one roll: Elect Republicans. If we aren’t doing that, we aren’t much of a party. (see Libertarians) There are some great people and ideas in Atlanta. I’m fairly happy with most of them from north Georgia. I won’t agree with any of them 100% of the time, but if you feel the ones from my area aren’t holding close to the party platform, shoot me an e-mail and we’ll talk about it.

I support the GOP but that doesn’t mean I’m drowning in Kool-aid. I think I give realistic objective assessments in my opinions.

Tyler April 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I never said anything about slamming the ship in full reverse or replacing everyone in the Party. Are you taking me for a McBerry supporter? I’m stating that many within the Party are not fixing issues, but playing politics. I’m tired of it and you should be too. The Party’s job is to elect Republicans, but you shouldn’t have to stand by and watch someone get ran over when you have the means to help them. Grassroots is all about getting involved. I actually want my elected officials to do a good job, so sue me.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

LOL, just wanted the average person to realize it’s not OK to vote for King Roy. Find the one you like in the primary and do your best to get them elected.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I’ll be going door to door for the Gov. candidate of my choice, but I won’t be announcing who that will be.

chefdavid April 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I am very happy with the votes of my Rep. on HB 307 and 1055. I am dissappointed with my Senators vote on 307. Even more so when he got on the radio today and bragged about how they cut the insurance premium taxes and did not mention the whole purpose of the bill was to impose a bed tax.
Martin keep up the good work & to Chris’s favorite Jeff vote against tax increases. But we can have guns in Church. Ye Haw.

Progressive Dem April 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

“Is it doing better than when it was under Dem control?”

The reason the GOP has a majority is because of party switchers. These are the same people as before. They just changed hats.

TPNoGa April 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Exactly!

These guys are Republicans because they feel it’s the best way to get elected.

benevolus April 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Southern Democrats have historically been very conservative. They just haven’t been able to be in the Party of Lincoln until very recently.
I suppose that’s progress, in the big scheme of things.

TalmadgeGhost April 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm

GOPGeorgia:
Oh I just love this one – “Could the legislature being better? Of course. Is it doing better than when it was under Dem control? I think so, if you consider that the Dems would have probably just raised taxes to balance the budget. I am glad that 90% of the talk about how to balance the budget did not revolve around tax increases.”
Sir, with all due respect I would love for you to point out for the good readers of Peach Pundit any of the following:
Under which House Leadership are people of the Great State of Georgia:
1. Paying a higher price at the pump than the national average?
2. Paying more taxes
3. Paying more for natural gas to heat their homes
4. Enjoying record high unemployment, again outstripping the national average
5. Watching their beloved State fall into two distinct camps: Pro-Atlanta and Anti-everything and anything Atlanta
6. Allowing our water supplies to get taken away

Now, I understand that there are problems and issues that we face as a State today that weren’t prevalent in the 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s – but I long for the days of the cool efficiency the Murphy cabal brought to everything. See it’s the same way with China, dictatorial rule has its advantages during times of crisis. If you think the latest “brain trust” of the GOP could hold a candle to those ol’ boys, you are sadly mistaken and the State is much worse off because of it.

Hail King Roy. Hail him.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

1.) http://www.georgiagasprices.com/Prices_nationally.aspx
We are toward the bottom of the nation in average gas prices.

2.) http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/22.html
Tax freedom day puts us in the middle of the nation.

3 -6.) I’m not going to put up links for every question you asked, because you asked me to answer any of them. I have answered two. I have a better idea. Why don’t you tell us what we should be doing to fix said problems? On issues 3 and 4 you may have a point, but what is your solution? Issue five is your perception and even if it were true, what your solution? Issue six is a little bit of a spin. Up until know, we haven’t done as much as we should to protect our water rights. See border of TN and non-action by Baker.

If you want a dictator, feel free to vote for King Roy. Just keep telling the average voter that he is from the same party of President Obama. I’m not hailing him. I hope to wave “bye-bye” to him.

TalmadgeGhost April 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Whoa – shouldn’t you change your moniker, or are you a “thinking GOPer”, one of who’s likes we haven’t seen in quite some time.

On point 1 – I’m harkening back to the good ol’ days when you made SURE you got your fill up before you left state lines because GA was at the VERY BOTTOM for gas prices. It’s nowhere near, comparatively, where it used to be. Nowhere.

On point 2 – I’m talking about where we were to where we are now. Used to be it was okay for our state income tax because sales tax rates in non-income tax neighboring states were so much higher. Go look now.

3. It didn’t work. Re-regulate.

4. Why were the recessions in the 80′s, early 90′s and the dot com bust just blips in Georgia? Leadership. Stability. Fiscal responsibility and stewardship. We have none of that under GOP leadership – none of it. Therefore, investment isn’t as forthcoming. Transportation has just killed us – and why? I’ll tell you – because Georgia elected an “all hayseed” line-up in 2002 (first time I can ever remember none of the big three Gov., Lt. Gov, and SOS from the Metro area). So anything to do with Atlanta was anathema – and that theme was just continued for the 2006 administration (all GOP and they know that their constituencies really despise Atlanta). That answers #5 as to why – fixing it. NO HAYSEEDS run by either party.

On the water issue – look through the prism of why we are in this predicament, not “what’s been done in the last 3 years”. Unfettered growth – no planning – nothing. Hmmm Gwinnett County = Republican also.

King Roy was trying to implement a unified regional transportation governing body – Sonny neutered it.

Now – if you guys can somehow get Johnny a transplant and get him to run he’ll have my vote and I’ll even vote on behalf of my deceased grandmother for him.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I may not agree with your thinking but at least you are thinking. I don’t know that it’s productive or politically smart to call everyone outside of Atlanta a hayseed. I don’t think that does much to fix a perceived rift by you, if there is one.

As far as going back to the way things used to be, my Dad tells me he used to go to the movies, see 2 shows, a cartoon, get popcorn and coke all for less than a quarter.

If you think the price of gas is higher in Georgia than what it used to be because of the party in control in Atlanta, we are going to have to agree to disagree. The same holds true for many of you other statements, including the last recession.

TalmadgeGhost April 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Hey – quit being thoughtful and deliberative with your statements or else I’ll have nothing to rant about!!!

Point well taken on the hayseed comments – but the culmination of none of the big three being from the metro area really hurt and perpetuated the current divide.

I really didn’t mean to compare the prices in “real dollar terms” – or even inflation adjusted, as commodities can fluctuate much more than normal inflationary pressures may cause. I meant in the relative terms to other states – I remember vividly as I travelled all over the country in the 90′s how astounded I was at how much higher California’s gas and New York’s gas were than Georgia’s. Last time I was in Cali (November), it was cheaper than here.

GOPGeorgia April 7, 2010 at 10:49 am

If you look at my link, you will see that just about every other state currently has higher gas prices than we do.

TalmadgeGhost April 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Currently… currently.. I’m talking about what has happened over the past eight years comparative to the 20 or so years before. Click on the link and see where “Atlanta” ranks in metro areas.

How long have you lived here? Are you from a higher cost state originally – I ask because my friends that live here from California or New Jersey think this is paradise.

GOPGeorgia April 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

You can’t talk fairly about what the price of gas is in Georgia without comparing it to what the price of gas in other states. Do you think the Georgia General Assembly can control what happens to the price of gas nationwide? Be real! Compared to other states, in our current market conditions, Georgia is doing very well. As far as metro Areas go, it’s cheaper in Atlanta than Chattanooga and a lot of other cities the same size as Atlanta.

I don’t live in Atlanta. I’ve lived in Georgia since I was 12 with the exceptions of when I went to UTC, just over the state line and 6 months in Alabama for business. I also like long walks on the beach at sunset and hiking in the mountains. Anything else you would like to know?

B Balz April 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

“I also like long walks on the beach at sunset and hiking in the mountains. ”

Humor suits you, you should do stand up!

GOPGeorgia April 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I do that when I’m not sitting or laying down.

Gary Cooper April 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

You do know #3 (deregulation of the natural gas industry) was done when Zell Miller was Governor right? I also remember Tom Murphy, Pierre Howard, and the Democrats overwhelmingly controlling the state legislature back then.

TalmadgeGhost April 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Not only do I know that what you say is true, but do you know who were the two big proponents of that legislation?
Sonny and Roy.

I’m not coming down on folks for trying something – that goes with the territory, I’m mad they didn’t change it back when it’s obvious to everyone it’s not working.

B Balz April 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Didn’t Gov. Perdue get gas dereg done?

B Balz April 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

B4 he was the Guv, I mean.

Ronald Daniels April 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I don’t settle for mediocrity. Doing better than the Democrats is how this country is in it’s present predicament.

As a Georgian, I feel the people of this State do not need nor want sub-par representation. They deserve the best there is to offer. They are not presently getting that.

Ornery April 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

I live in Tom Graves’s district. He hasn’t done anything right except shoot his mouth off. How he gets re-elected I have no idea. He just clamors to the far right like a preacher that’s hungry on Sunday.. The bottom line is there’s a heck of a lot of issues that must be addressed, that aren’t addressed and we have buffonery to it’s core. Sonny was the wrong choice for GOP governor, as we’ve not accomplished anything except “Go Fishing” and Troopers with motorcycles.
The fact is we’re living a nightmare of epic proportions, and the current leadership has no real semblance on how to solve. Considering most politicos realize that when the Chamber of Commerce calls, you listen. It seems like a automatic deaf tune. Our laundry list of issues is so wide and big that for Sonny not to extend the session is well in my mind grounds for HIS impeachment. I read a great article that was passed around by the Cherokee School superintendent in Georgia Trends about the “Wing Nuts”. and how certain state politicians carry a holier than thou approach in governing when they can’t keep their zippers up, or stop quail hunting or going golfing long enough to resolve the issues. In my mind Glenn Richardson was the least of Georgia’s problems. He was just stupid enough to get caught and take the fall.

Dave Bearse April 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

The Chamber of Commerce called on Cagle concerning transportation two years ago, and while he soon after spoke as if he listened, actions speak louder than words.

Joshua Morris April 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm

The problem here is that many principled people won’t run. Either they can’t afford to do it, or they don’t want to deal with the craziness.

As a general rule, those representing us in Atlanta are not the best of us. There are exceptions in a small percentage of districts where conservatives are really working to get good things done, but they have to fight the machine of egos who are there to build their name IDs and get quoted in the news.

Additionally, there is a general lack of understanding of principles under the Dome, but this is nothing new. How about this: why don’t we ask our potential representatives basic questions like, “what are the primary purposes of government?” or “how do you propose to improve state funded systems with less money?” We spend too much time during campaign events asking what candidates will do about the local water treatment plant that we don’t have money for or the parks and bike trails we want or trash pickup service.

We would be better served to turn the finger inward and blame ourselves for not truly knowing how conservative principles work or how to discover a candidate’s understanding of those principles before electing him or her.

Harry April 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Some of you think of me as a big advocate of GOP morality issues, and I am that. However, depending on how the primaries go, I may find myself come November putting out anti-incumbent letters on certain GOP candidates, and voting for some Democrats. That’s what it may take to clear the decks of the lobbyist-infested RINOs, who sign anti-tax increase pledges and then renege on your promises. We know who you are.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I’ll say it’s not a bad idea to get rid of them, but just be careful of what you replace them with.

Game Fan April 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Tyler,
Great article, however:

“Our budget is imploding, our state is scrapped for cash,” Should read
“strapped” not “scrapped” unless of course you’ve seen the light and realize that our politicians are part of the problem wrt “scrapping” what’s known as “the states” in leu of federal money, corporate lobbyists (sometimes from multinational corporations, ultimately) pork barrel spending, federal programs, ect…

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