Re: My Recent Fishing Trip

Truth be told, I don’t care much for fishing anymore.  I don’t have the patience for it.  The last time I went fishing with a rod and reel, I think the entire experience was over in about twenty minutes.  As a young adult, I had already adopted many of the worst traits a “Type-A” personality could bring.  Sitting still, staring out at a bobbing cork hoping something might eventually happen didn’t fit the pace of the “make something happen now” lifestyle I’ve maintained for well over 20 years that has since passed.  

When I was much younger, I loved fishing.  It was most often in the company of an older and wiser adult, usually my father, and was much more about the experience than the possibility of fresh catch for supper.   Most of those who took me fishing were products of the depression era or its immediate aftermath, and as such, understood real values and had unequivocal views of right and wrong.  In an activity that demands silence, words were high currency, and listening to pearls that were dropped on these outings was often worth more than what I would later be taught by a semester’s tuition payment.  

My best fishing memory was when my dad had to pick me up from school about 10am one morning because I wasn’t feeling well.  He had to drive to Fayetteville from his downtown Atlanta office to retrieve me, and wasn’t really feeling like going back downtown for the rest of the day.  Instead, we had a late breakfast where he gauged that I wasn’t really feeling too bad, and then asked if I would rather spend the day home in bed or at the lake fishing.  It wasn’t a hard choice, and we had a great day. 

One of the lessons from that day, soon to be temporarily forgotten, was appreciating the value of silence.   Dad explained after a long afternoon with few bites why it had, in fact, been a successful trip.  “You get out here, and you have nothing to do but look at that water.   And after you settle in, and understand that, you realize that there’s nothing around you but nature, and you’ve got all day to sort through whatever’s on your mind, and you can come home with it all sorted out.”

I’d love to say the last 48 or so days have allowed me to sort it all out.   I think that’s a higher bar than Dad was trying to set that spring afternoon.    I will have to admit, however, that this is the first time since commenting on Peach Pundit almost 4 years ago I’ve really put serious and dedicated thought into what we have here, what I have here, and how best to move forward.   And truthfully, I probably have more questions now than answers, but sometimes, just understanding the question is progress.

As I discussed when I first revealed my real name about 18 months ago, Icarus was the moniker chosen to reflect parallels between my own failures due to arrogance and those the  Republican party were making on the national scene just over 4 years ago.   I’m glad to say that our national party has seemed to respond to their mistakes of the past, and I look forward to a new crop of Republicans like Austin  Scott and Mike Keown joining Johnny Isakson and Lynn Westmoreland in the US Congress.

At the state level, however, there has been a wholesale refusal to admit that we have real problems on ethics, and frankly, governance.   Our legislature responded to a scandal throughout its leadership ranks over trading sex for legislation by passing new ethics rules that don’t speak to legislators’ relationships with lobbyists.   Our first Republican Governor since Reconstruction began his term by proposing a large tax hike on the third day, and is ending his term by extending tolls on GA 400, dismissing the thought of a government actually keeping its promises as “political populist.”  Our legislature spent much of this time trying to figure out how to get someone else to raise money for long ignored transportation needs, and spent quite a while on a “Great Plan” to centralize tax collections in Atlanta, with revenue then later doled out to counties.   And when counties objected over the long held conservative view of local control, the legislative leadership said “trust us”.   Luckily, that albatross never passed, as Appropriations Chair Ben Harbin told the AJC last year, when counties were not receiving funds collected on their behalf by the state, causing them to lose federal matching funds:

“I know people are upset about it, but it’s not worth raising taxes over,” he said. “Even in good years, just because that’s the amount that fees raise, you still have to look at what is the amount of money they need to operate those programs. If you give them too much, they will find a way to spend it.”

The coup de grace, however, is what we now are proposing as Georgia Republican Rule 2.0, and it is straight from the Island of Misfit Pols.   We have a Governor who’s only successful private business dealings are the ones which have been arranged by insider deals and/or paid for by campaign funds.   We have a Lt. Governor from his same hometown who has assisted in protecting these deals, and occasionally likes to remove names off lists of Gubernatorial appointments to settle petty political scores.   We have a candidate for labor commissioner that openly dates lobbyists and threatens state agencies who fire his girlfriends.   And with Georgia crying for improvements in public education, we have a candidate for School Superintendent who the sitting Governor of the same party thought so much of that he instigated a ballot petition drive to have an independent run against him.

And yet, every one of those mentioned above is likely to win election by a healthy margin.  It’s easy to see why those in charge are blinded by arrogance.   At the moment, there is absolutely no reason to change behavior that is what we claim to be against, when it so clearly works to enrich and entertain those who are elected or are in their inner circle.

Shortly after the runoff election, I was lamenting the results with a trusted friend.  He reminded me that I had told him a year ago that this election would define the Republican party in Georgia.  He then wryly added “Unfortunately, we just defined us as the Illinois of the South.”

I would love to disagree, and on some levels do.   Then, I see the urging, and in many cases, demanding, that those of us that have fought for real change in the  way we govern Georgia since well before Republicans were in a majority suck it up and support this slate because  “we don’t want Roy Barnes back.”  

Granted, as a lifelong Republican – one who as a 30 year old spent over $20,000 of his own money to primary a Senator for voting with Roy Barnes too much – I don’t want Roy Barnes back.  

As someone who values honest, open, and ethical government, someone who wants humility rather than hubris from his leaders, and someone who wants leaders who don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk, I have yet to be given a reason to accept, much less support, Nathan Deal.

At this point, I can find one stark, tangible difference between the two men:  Arrogance.  Roy Barnes is openly apologizing for the mistakes he made because of his arrogance.  Something I can relate to, and understand that it is hard to do.   Nathan Deal and especially those who surround him seem to be reveling in it.

My old fishing partners would have advised me that it is not wise to step in front of a moving freight train and tell it to stop.   I understand that my powers to do so are indeed quite limited.  Those great folks from my past also taught me that doing what is right is often not the same as doing what is popular.   Frankly, I expect this post to cause me quite a few problems with some of my political acquaintances.   My friends will understand it.  But after having to re-invent myself once already, the key point is one I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on:

I can live with it.

65 comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Welcome back, Charlie. Great post.

    If you’re out to redefine yourself again, and you can’t stand Deal or Barnes, there IS another option. 😀

    • B Balz says:

      Unless there is some technical glitch, I am noticing one of the cool tricks on this blog is that the feature that allows contributor comments to appear as ‘new’ is able to be switched off.

      Unless there is a glitch, I guess the truthiness of my comments earned me this rather sneaky form of censorship, as my comments do not appear as ‘new’, and cannot be viewed.

      My low tech solution to this form of silliness will be to post my comment on the first ‘reply’ of any post I choose. If I go silent after this, you will know my input is overtly banned.

      Have a day.

  2. Ramblinwreck says:

    Great post. I know how you feel about some of the candidates this year and the political environment. Many of us are very disappointed in the way things have turned out. I resigned from the GOP state committee because I could not support a couple of the candidates and because I intend to openly help non Republicans. Some of my GOP friends have already taken me to task (one “unfriended” me on FaceBook) for not putting party ahead of principle by supporting obviously very bad candidates who have already demonstrated severe character flaws and in some cases outright deception if not illegal activity. What will they be like if they get elected?

    Although I’m not prepared to take the advice of P.J. O’Rourke’s latest book “Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards”, I am going with plan B as Jeff suggests.

    • Chris says:

      The Principle of the GOP, as our own Erick Erickson has stated, is to elect a turnip into office so as to prevent a Democrat from occupying it. If they can manage to elect a squash, or even a tomato, even better. I’ve given up on them actually nominating statesmen, statesmen don’t hate gays enough.

  3. Tricia Pridemore says:

    Charlie, I’m glad you’re back. I’ve missed seeing/reading you.

    It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Nathan Deal and believe he will make a terrific governor for our state. One of the primary things that drew me to him and his candidacy is his humility and the humility of the team he assembled to work on his campaign. When you read beyond the headlines, Nathan Deal has worked hard for the people in the 9th CD and for Georgia. He’s lived a life of public service, when a law practice would have made him substantially more personally financially successful.

    I understand many on this site fail to recognize this fact because they have their own Libertarian candidate to support in this election, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that although mistakes have been made, they pale in comparison to a Democrat candidate for governor who has spent many years suing his way to profits and prominence.

    Charlie, you don’t have to agree with me, but I hope you at least understand that no politician is perfect. No person is perfect, but elections are about choices. It’s up to the voters to choose the person with the policies and personal character to lead with a heart for service. I still firmly believe that person is Nathan Deal.

    • rightofcenter says:

      This is a great comment! Nathan Deal may be many things, but arrogant is certainly not one of them. He has never demonstrated arrogance in his public service, and indeed humility is one of his hallmarks. It quite frankly makes it difficult to take anything “Charlie” says with any seriousness if he lets his personal biases so color his judgment. Particularly if he really thinks Roy Barnes is sincere in his apologies. That is laughably delusional. Afraid he needs to spend some more time fishing.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Tricia Pridemore,

      You are right, it is up to the voters to choose the person they think will be the best governor, but they cannot let the party they support demand blind obedience to a candidate they cannot support. That is wrong on so many levels.

  4. I believe you are earnest in your thoughts and have expressed well the internal turmoil you’ve been going through while reexamining your own political philosophy and the state of politics, as you perceive them, in Georgia.

    My first thought is that you are expecting too much from “men,” that is human beings, to always do the right thing. While we have all known good examples of virtuous men and women in our lives, they probably also possessed some flaws. The kind of flaws that would become apparent or be brought out if they ever ran for public office. I’m sure I would make great front page news fodder if I had ever been nominated or elected. I’d bet you would as well.

    However, I also think you are “thinking too much” and wearing your heart too prominently on your shoulder. There are some good men, as you mentioned in Georgia politics. There will be many more to come.

    Stroll down the recent paths of Georgia Democratic politicians, or better yet the roads and buildings they named for themselves and you will find many examples of scoundrels and shady characters. Starting with former House Speaker Tom Murphy that openly bought legislative votes with promises of this community center or this library, or frog marched young legislators, often from the opposing young Republican Party, and threatened them in front of his cigar chomping cronies who were sitting in his office knee slapping in laughter.

    Our party is by no means perfect, and our nominees for state wide office are not perfect. I still believe that you, Tyler and many others around the state are not treating Nathan Deal objectively. You would rather use the talking points of our opponents or the accusations of a George Soros funded, non-binding, outside “ethics” committee to demonize a man beyond a rational level. (Notice this same group is accusing Tom Price of ethical lapses and you never mentioned it). If you would spend half the time looking into Roy Barnes’ income streams, including Croy Engineering’s million dollar state contracts, law cases that fell into his lap, ownership of flea bag extended stay motels, etc. as you do whining over accusations against Deal, you could be taken seriously. However, like many so called Republicans here and around the country, you would rather bash your own party than throw a pebble at our enemies.

    Sometimes in life, you may not always get what you want, but that is life. You keep working to make things better. I’m sure that Karen Handel would have made a great candidate for governor, but the DGA, Roy’s campaign, and the media would have found a few interesting stories about her past to embarrass her over (look at Palin, O’Donnell, Haley, etc.).

    It doesn’t matter, however, she lost. Like an above poster said, there
    is another choice. If you want to become the thirteenth member of the Libertarian Party in Georgia, go ahead. There will be less mortals sitting in that phone booth to let you down.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      You constantly referred to Karen as “Sonny in a skirt” yet you seem to have no problem that Sonny supports deal? Why is it okay that Sonny supports deal but not Karen, who Sonny never supported? Maybe your bias has to do with the “female” but not the “male.”

  5. Georgia Judge says:

    Charlie,
    You are too smart of a guy to try and pitch Barnes as the best choice for Gov of Ga.Arrogance is a cornerstone to Roy’s genetic make-up and there’s not enough time for him to apologize for the way he conducted himself while in office.Nathan is one of the least arrogant pol’s you will meet,period.Rather than slinging mud which candidate is pushing issues and solutions?Which candidate has an economic growth plan graded by a independent party that says it will work?The answer is not Barnes,all he has done is partake in unwarranted character assasination,you keep Barnes I will take Deal.

  6. Herb says:

    I agree with Icarus on Deal and Roy, and I’d like to add my opinion on what a Governor Roy in 2011 will be like in comparison to his last term. Roy will be a humble statesman and more Conservative than Sonny. He will cut our taxes like he did in his last term, implement sweeping ethics reform, make Government transparent and smaller, legalize pot, gambling, and gay marriage, bring home the bacon, and bring fairness to our redistricting process. This is what all Democratic Governors ought to strive to be like! Roy 2010!!!

  7. “Herb” wants Roy to “legalize pot.” Interesting.

    I’m hoping this is a satirical post. You want him to make government smaller and bring home the bacon? You think “multimember districts Roy” who had his last map “bit_h slapped” by the courts will “bring fairness to the redistricting process”?

    • ACCmoderate says:

      When the maps are being drawn by the GOP I think he will bring fairness.

      They always say the government that governs least, governs best. There won’t be a whole lot going on under the dome with a Democratic governor and a Republican house… only the stuff that NEEDS to get done to save our state. Seeing the way the Republicans have governed this state the past 8 years… that may be a good thing.

  8. TPNoGa says:

    Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result?

    Isn’t that the basis people are voting for Barnes, electing him again, but expecting a different result?

  9. Debra says:

    I agree 100%. I am a lifelong Republican and so disgusted and ashamed of the Republican Party that it makes me want to cry. I will go to the polls and vote for Mike Keown and Sam Olsen, but will not vote for one other Republican in the State or Federal Level.

  10. Doug Grammer says:

    Charlie,

    I thought you were going to spend a few weeks fishing. My understanding of “Charlie-Speak” told me that meant months. You have a gift when it comes to writing. You can set a stage and a tone, and then slowly weave whatever points you are trying to make into the post in such a way that the reader feels completely at ease. I admire that ability you have and usually enjoy reading your posts. That doesn’t mean I agree with what you have to say.

    I’m a bull in a china shop. Get in, say what I have to say, and get out.

    If the FPP really cared about issues and not just bashing the candidate that beat their candidate, they would start threads something like: “Deal v. Barnes, jobs, discuss.” You don’t. If you did, it would have been done by now. Many people on here use this place as whiners central. You have invited me not to post here just because I didn’t drink your brand of Kool-aid. Dissent is apparently not allowed.

    Sonny Perdue is not a perfect Governor. Our first Governor since reconstruction started with a tax hike (on cigarettes) on his third day because of the overspending on the Dem. legislature and Gov. Barnes from the previous legislative session and a balanced budget amendment. If your only complaint about John Barge is that Gov. Perdue backed someone else over him, that’s not a bad place to start from. Dr. Barge is possibly the best candidate running, IMO.

    Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is not a perfect man, but it is a silly argument that he is from the same hometown as the GOP Gov. nominee and to hold that against him. If anything, by electing someone that he considers a friend as Gov., my logic tells me that they might have and easier time working through any differences that the Lt. Gov. and Gov. Perdue may share.

    Congressman Deal is not a perfect candidate. They don’t exist. Has he lead a perfect life? No one has. Has he said or done something that I don’t agree with or approve of? Of course. I don’t agree with anyone 100%. That being said, I will certainly agree with him more than I would Gov. Barnes, and I will agree with him the vast majority of the time. As I said before, I’d like to see the issues between the two men discussed instead of 24/7 bash and bash back.

    The stark terrible difference of arrogance that you find may be there, but I think it is found on Gov. Barnes side. I have known Nathan Deal for 18 years and he is not arrogant. Icarus of legend flew too close to the sun in his own arrogance and then the sun melted the wings that he had fashioned, he fell to earth, and died. Depending on whom you would replace, I still think that you may make a valuable addition to the Georgia State Senate. That won’t stop you from being wrong occasionally, or being arrogant enough not to realize that you are wrong. Deal is not Done, despite the numerous times you have posted such.

    I respect the fact that it is fine to challenge those in power, or whom we nominate to be in power. However, by looking at our nominees with the eyes that longed for someone else to be the nominee, you will always find flaws. Not perceived flaws, but real problems. No one is perfect. I am not asking anyone to drink Kool-Aid, but if you openly and honestly evaluate both men running for Gov who have a chance at winning (sorry, Monds, 5% won’t do.) I think that you will find that Nathan Deal will be the better choice.

    • Jeff says:

      Notice that you always have to put a dig in at Monds for being “unwinnable” when you aske people to “openly and honestly evaluate” the candidates.

      That should tell you that you have a MASSIVE problem, Doug…

      And it should tell people that even you, Mr. GOP 9th District Chair, agree that when it comes to “openly and honestly” evaluating the candidates, the LP candidate IS the best choice.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        Jeff,

        If I owned a car, a truck, and a bicycle and I needed to travel 20 miles, I would dismiss the bicycle as an option. Technically, yes I could ride and get there eventually. However it’s not as realistic a choice as either the car or the truck. Monds is on the ballot, so people can vote for him, but he’s not going to take us anywhere we want to go anytime soon and there are much better ways of getting there.

        I am a GOP Chairman. I can and do advocate not voting for other parties candidates. The average voter has no clue who John Monds is and you are lying to yourself and everyone here if you say otherwise. My massive problem is that the LP wants drugs, prostitution, and gambling made legal, they have no shot of winning, and they will cause me to have to work harder and longer than I have to if there is a run off.

        Is there anything about the LP I like? Yes, but the bad or ridiculous outweighs the good. I have no problem writing off the current LP candidate as a viable choice. Had you picked a candidate with a paying job, perhaps someone who could poll higher than 5%, needs to be 25 to 30%, I would not write him off as a viable candidate. As it is, he is a footnote whose only real contribution to this election is that he might cause a run-off.

        • Jeff says:

          Doug,

          How DARE you insinuate that I am a gambling, drug addicted John?

          How can you be so dense as to not get the basic concept that every man owns himself, and NO ONE else owns him? THAT is what the Libertarian Party advocates. We do NOT advocate gambling, using drugs, or sleeping with prostitutes. We DO advocate that it is NOT government’s business to make any of those decisions for you.

          As Rick Muggridge, the second highest GOP elected official in Lee County (as Vice Chairman of the Lee County Board of Commissioners) said last night, the GOP clearly believes that liberty needs to be infringed “for our own protection.”.

          I’m not even sorry in saying that is a complete load of horse manure.

          Self ownership. God created us that way, why does the GOP, who is currently run by so-called “Christians”, advocate going against His design??

          • Doug Grammer says:

            Jeff,

            My comment wasn’t about you, it’s about the platform of your party. Your party DOES support those ideas and until you change your platform, you can’t change the truth. Feign OUTRAGE all you like, CAPITALIZE it if you must, but still doesn’t change the FACT than a vote for Monds is a vote that will not go to the winner of the election. Some may call it a wasted vote. Some may call it a principled vote. I call it a vote that may lead to a runoff and more tax dollars deciding something later than could be decided sooner.

            Quite frankly, I’m not overly concerned with what a county commissioner that I have never heard of has to say about liberty beyond the borders of his county, especially without context. For all I know, he was advocating zoning restrictions to keep a horse farm out of a residential neighborhood. That could be where your horse manure comes from.

            • seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

              Still griping about those wasted runoff tax dollars? We went over this before. If you don’t like it so much, why don’t you petition the GOP to change the system? What about instant run-off voting? Surely the GOP would listen to the one man who has worked more furiously than any other member in the GOP to get people to vote for his party. That’s loyalty, and you should have some clout.

              Otherwise, you could stop complaining about something the LP didn’t create.

              All political parties have to start somewhere.

              • seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

                And of all things to “waste” tax dollars on, the voting process is one that I’d hope we could tolerate.

                That is not to say that it could not be made more efficient, but we all have to work within the system, until some party with the power (responsibility) makes some positive improvements.

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  I can withstand the system. I’d rather see money go to a run off campaign than to pay a contract to widen a road for 10 years. That is not a hypothetical situation.

                  I do my best to make the LP look silly for a few reasons. First, many parts of their platform are silly. Second, most Georgia voters will not support a party that promotes drugs, gambling, and prostitution. Third, if voters decide to NOT cast a vote for an LP candidate and still vote, they are more likely to vote for a R candidate.

          • Red Phillips says:

            “Self ownership. God created us that way why does the GOP, who is currently run by so-called “Christians”, advocate going against His design??”

            Seriously Jeff, the concept of self-ownership is in the Bible? Where? I agree with the LP on much when it comes to policy. In fact, I support more libertarian policies than many Libertarians. But I reject philosophical libertarianism precisely because it is obnoxiously un-Christian and un-Biblical. As a Christian you do not own yourself, whatever that even means. God, the Creator, owns you and all He has created.

        • Three Jack says:

          “…they have no shot of winning, and they will cause me to have to work harder and longer than I have to if there is a run off.”

          the lp is not the cause of your potential extra workload, that would be the candidate you helped to nominate. if you had a decent gop nominee, the race would already be over and you could go meet charlie for a day on the lake fising.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            You are off in your thinking. If there were a different nominee, the race for Gov. would not already be over, and even if there were a comfortable margin, we would keep working until 7 Pm Nov. 2 on that race and on other races.

            If there is a run off, it will be cause by a LP nominee that has no realistic chance of winning. If he had a chance, I would say it’s it a three way race and we could discuss his issues more.

            I doubt Charlie will be inviting me to go fish with him anytime soon.

            • Three Jack says:

              more arrogance…blame the lp instead of facing reality.

              the lp has fielded a candidate in all recent gubernatorial races and not once did this cause a runoff. now that the gop has nominated an ethically challenged career politician in an anti-bureaucrat era, you want to blame the lp for causing a runoff. that is funny, i don’t care who you are.

              • Doug Grammer says:

                Three jack,

                One of the most ethical men I know, and occasional PP poster, PSC Chuck Eaton got into a run off in 2006 because MacGregor got 4.9% statewide. While not quite as popular (with me anyway), Sen. Chambliss and PSC McDonald because of 3.4% and 4.9% in 2008.

                I cite races and statistics. You cite gut feelings. The facts are on my side. There is still a chance Congressman Deal will win without a runoff, and no it’s not one of those 1 in a million chances.

                For everyone who complained about Congressman Deal causing a special election by resigning, you should have 13 times the problems with the LP if they aren’t running candidates serious enough to win.

                • Three Jack says:

                  let me help you doug…my statement “the lp has fielded a candidate in all recent gubernatorial races and not once did this cause a runoff” — do you understand “gubernatorial races”?

                  you “cite” a psc and senate race…wrong again dougie. the facts are on my side, as usual.

                  but if it makes you feel better to blame others for the failure of your ga gop to put forth an ethical, qualified candidate, by all means continue. par for the course with the current gop leadership.

                  • Doug Grammer says:

                    I am talking about the LP as a party causing run offs in general. I have been doing that for months. You may be discussing just the gubernatorial race. I am factually correct one what I am talking about, and you are factually correct on what you appear to be talking about. I’ll admit I missed your one word “gubernatorial.”

                    By the way, I was not the sole person who put Congressman Deal up as our nominee, nor was it done by the GOP leadership. By GOP leadership, I mean those who hold positions within the party, not the legislature. However, even the legislature did not do so alone. It took almost 300K people to vote for him to make him the nominee. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I have that type of influence. I never did say who I voted for and I never endorsed anyone in the primary.

          • Lady Thinker says:

            Three Jack,

            I totally agree with your post. The LP is not causing the run-off, it is the lack of a viable candidate, just like you said.

  11. Bull Moose says:

    Thank you Charlie for the great return to Peach Pundit and for the thought provoking post.

    On the Federal level, in Georgia, with few exceptions, we have excellent candidates running to serve in Washington. I agree that Austin Scott, whom I participated in a fundraiser for in Savannah, and Mike Keown, will make great additions and bring much needed fresh blood to the Republican Caucus in DC. Johnny Isakson has demonstrated once again why he is a leader that people trust. Hopefully, he will take a leadership position within the Republican Senate.

    As for the state races, I can only say that we had a lot of great candidates running in the primaries. Unfortunately, most of them did not win their nomination. Never before have I been confronted with what I felt were so many inferior candidates prevailing in a primary where I could see little to no point in trusting them in the position to which they seek. On some levels, they might as well just be honest that they are only running to aid themselves and their friends, because that would be the truth. That’s not to say that their Democrat counterparts are much better, because, with few exceptions they are not.

    I do not want anyone to think that I feel this way just because “my candidate did not win.” It’s more than that. There was a time when a candidate who has as many ethical, legal, and financial problems as Nathan Deal would have been discouraged from running for office and not openly embraced by the party hierarchy. In this age of the “tea party” you would think that these warriors for good government would have little tolerance for a career politician who has so abused the public trust over and over again and now seeks more power.

    Here’s the rub for me on Nathan Deal: You have an otherwise wise older gentleman who has served in Congress with relative ease and without a lot of fan fair for 18 years who decides to run for Governor. Along the way, he helped his family in their business ventures that unfortunately didn’t go so well, and now is responsible for their debts. Had that been it, there would be little consternation by me in backing him as the winner of the race. However, that’s not the case. We have someone who personally and financially benefited from creating a business AFTER legislation passed and tailoring their business venture to the particular needs of the new law. This little venture made him a millionaire and allowed him to live quite a nice life. This is someone who went to the mat and called in favors to try and preserve this special relationship, using their Congressional office all the way along the way. Furthermore, we now know that this person also created other businesses to make money off of official government travel within their district. Someone who obtained loans based on their position that normal business owners would never be able to obtain. Someone who at every turn has done their level headed best to keep all of this secret from the voters. Someone who, when it’s all said and done, thinks that they are deserving of all of this largess because of the sacrifice of public service that they have made on behalf of the state. In an election cycle where so many good strong conservatives are running across the country, to have one so poorly fit for office in Georgia is disappointing.

    By contrast, Roy Barnes is no angel. He has his flaws too. They are being a bit exaggerated right now and the Republican vendetta against him is getting in the way of the facts about his tenure. The truth of the matter is that Barnes and his staff’s arrogance in 2002 cost him the election. He is showing some humility this time, which is refreshing from a politician. There is a report floating around somewhere, and I cannot find it, but I think it was written by Stephen Moore when he was at the Cato Institute that rated Barnes very favorably when he was Governor. Most of the education reforms that he implemented were drawn directly from Governor George W. Bush in Texas and became the backbone of No Child Left Behind. Some Republicans joined in on bashing him on this issue for no other reason than political expediency and not because they were interested in being a part of improving public education. Additionally, I believe that Barnes was ranked one of the country’s three best Governors behind Colorado’s Bill Owens and Florida’s Jeb Bush. So boogeyman of the left, Barnes is not.

    Anyway, my point, everyone should vote their conscience on this one and the rest of the state races. Federally though, vote Republican, someone has to stop Obama on the Federal level.

  12. Three Jack says:

    great post charlie!

    it all boils down to one thing which seems to be the common denominator in recent elections; select the lesser of the two evils or face being called a ‘whiner’ by the loyal servants of georgia’s extremely arrogant gop.

    doug throws around the ‘whiner’ description freely as do others on this site. they fail to understand that most of us are not ‘whinning’ because our candidate lost. we are actually disappointed that yet again we are faced with a less than desirable nominee whose main line is ‘vote for me, i’m not quite as bad as the democrat’ (see mccain, chambliss and perdue for recent examples of this perverted strategy).

    while i have not had the luxury of taking off on an extended trip to sort out my personal views on politics and governance, i am sure that i will never again vote for the gop nominee because he/she is less crappy than the dem (mccain was my last of these votes).

    the sooner the ga gop stops ‘whinning’ about ‘whiners’ who don’t go along to get along, the sooner they will find conservatives like myself supporting gop candidates again. i’m not holding my breath.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      three jack

      It’s obvious from your previous posts that your mind has been made up along time ago that you are not going to vote for Congressman Deal.

      My issue is that there is more whining and bashing going on other than talking about real issues or side by side comparisons of candidates on those issues.

      You may not like the road you are on. It will fork left and right, and for Jeff’s sake, there maybe even a bicycle path to choose from. Calling me or the GA GOP arrogant or any other names will not alter your choices. Pick a path or don’t drive at all. Those are your only options and I am not the bad guy for explaining that to you.

      • Three Jack says:

        i picked a path years ago and devoted considerable time to see that the gop ousted the party in power. unfortunately the gop decided to place many obstructions along that path thus causing many of us to seek a better path (or at least one with less clutter).

        you refering to posts about deal as “whinning and bashing” demonstrates the very arrogance i wrote about earlier. you and other leaders in the gop should come to grips with the fact that many of us long time supporters of the party have finally had enough. you should take your own advice and choose a different path doug, one that is not so narrow and filled with insurmountable obstacles.

        • Jeff says:

          I’m with ya there Three Jack. To paraphrase the D that Rs live so much, Zell Miller (whose D successor was one ROY BARNES): I didn’t leave the Republican Party. They left me.

          Adding my own bit: They chose to leave me with their own infidelity to the things I believe in, that they CLAIM to believe in.

          I filed for divorce when I realized that I CAN stand for my principles – alone, if need be.

          It is time for people to stop accepting the spousal abuse from the Republicans and demand a political divorce. Whether than be to be a true Independent or to join the Tea Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, or some other, I have no right to demand – though I will certainly recommend the LP.

          The ONLY way Republicans will ever truly learn is if you stop voting for the corrupt b*stards.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          I am happy about where I am and where I am heading, politically speaking. I am not complaining about the way things are in the GOP, I am complaining that there is an opportunity for meaningful discourse for undecided voters here and it isn’t being used.

          You may vote for Gov. Barnes, Congressman Deal, Mr. Monds, or not vote. That is the path I am describing. It’s up to you what you do from here. I have already voted.

          It isn’t arrogant to call something what it is. Are you really saying that there has been no whining or bashing going on here the last few weeks?

          • Three Jack says:

            i would describe the tone as more disappointment and disgust. but that’s just me…you call it whatever you like.

            a question for you; do you think personal financials are off limits when discussing candiate qualifications? you seem to separate this topic as if it is not an issue.

  13. Bucky Plyler says:

    Hi Charlie. More fishing is in order…particularly if you really think that Barnes is the less arrogant choice. I live on a 40 acre lake full of bass, crappie, bream, & catfish…no sharks..

    You’re welcome to come fish with me. I’ll drop some pearls on ya.

  14. B Balz says:

    Hey Charlie,

    Doug is correct, you have a wonderful writing knack. I really enjoyed reading the other contributors replies, even more. Folks whose points of view are instructive, experienced, and affect my thinking. My observations follow:

    1.) PP went from “Anybody but Oxendine”, to “Nobody but Handel.” That Team Ox did not toss ethics charges for undisclosed actions to influence an election still puzzles me.

    2.) When Ms. Handel lost, she graciously did not ask for a recount. Her Peach Pundit supporters did not match her grace, instead offered , and continue to offer, subjective vitriolic BS as a substitute for any reasoned debate.

    3.) Many of y’all take yourselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. I appreciate that when we met, you shared your personal story with me, much of which is repeated above. Y’all still don’t get it – You and the merry band of FPP’ers are not King/Queenmakers.

    Further, PP has no brand identity – It has become Roy’s best friend!

    Finally, I suggest you take up Mr. Plyler’s offer and go
    fishing, again. If this is what your hiatus has ‘learned ya’ you need more time to think.

    • I think the resistance has been reasoned and reasonable. At the very least you have to acknowledge that Nathan Deal has some serious questions surrounding him and that may be more than some reasonable, intelligent Republicans are willing to stomach.

      We have a lot of nominees on the state level that are were not just the wrong candidate in the primary, but also 180 degrees from what our state (and party) needs right now. And sadly, it seems the worst politicians are the most upwardly mobile (meaning we could be paying for this for a long time) There is a big gap between a serious public administator and a self serving politico. We are woefully short on the former and overrun with the latter.

      • B Balz says:

        What concerns you BC?

        The Congressional ethics charges that are at worst a technical foul? Running a business in GA that while protected by the State, also provided for the safe titling of salvaged vehicles? No State or tax revenues went to the firm.

        The man makes business loans to family, has the assets to cover them, is not in default, and yet is attacked? Releases more years of tax returns than Roy, and with the Fed disclosures, has a lot of info out there.

        I would rather have this man, Nathan Deal at the helm, than a woman who was so obviously disliked that we’d have no forward movement.

        Everything will be OK.

  15. chefdavid says:

    And what does Rasmussen say today?
    Republicans Much More Likely Than Democrats To Consider Voting for An Independent This Year
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/september_2010/republicans_much_more_likely_than_democrats_to_consider_voting_for_an_independent_this_year
    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (33%) say they are more likely to vote for an independent candidate in this election than they have been in the past.

    I wonder what that means in Georgia?

    • B Balz says:

      This is a topic bandied about since January. To the chagrin of some, I think the Libs will break above their traditional 5% of the vote.

      If the Libs succeed, that ought to be a signal to the Big Bosses/ettes that Brand GOP needs spit and polish.

      To me it seems like the idea of augmenting a declining, aging GOP base with extremist, religion based voters is not unlike the Dems replacing lost Big Labor votes with their extremists.

  16. Red Phillips says:

    Well written post Charlie. Two thoughts: first, I appreciate your concern about ethics, but I think the reason these nominees became nominees and will probably win is because people have come to accept the idea that politicians use their position and influence to enrich (both literally and legislatively) themselves and their friends as a given. So it has to be something really outrageous to offend them. This is how I feel about Deal. “So you say he attempted to use his influence to enrich himself via his business with the State? Yeah and? I’m supposed to be shocked and offended by this? I take this kind of stuff for granted.” So the average rank-and-file voter in November is likely to blow off these charges and cast a vote for the “home team.” (Politics has become like a spectator sport with different identity factions voting for the candidate who plays for their team.) The ethics charges will impact his vote totals at the margins, but only a few percent of voters are really “in play.”

    It would be nice if it were not so, but it is the nature of fallen man and the nature of the system.

    I voted for Deal in the run-off, in spite of the ethics charges, because I thought Handel was the Gestalt moderate, and I didn’t want to empower that faction of the party, and because I thought she was really bad on an issue I care a lot about, ballot security. So I thought “mainstream conservative” with ethics issues or Gestalt moderate who is bad on ballot security and who I assume has some ethics issues of her own simply because she is a successful politician, and I went with issues over ethical concerns. Many others I’m sure went through a similar process.

    Second, everyone says they want uncorrupted statesmen instead of politicians, but statesmanship is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. Can statesmanship every be truly separated from what the person is stating? One man’s statesman is the moderate who stands up to the “forces of religious intolerance” in the party. Another man’s statesman is the Christian conservative who “boldly proclaims Biblical truth.” Some might have seen Karen Handel as the most untainted candidate. I saw her as a fence straddling squish. The notion of electing “good people” who are going to give us “good government” is pie in the sky. The system does not reward statesmanship of any type. It rewards politicians who behave like politicians. And if anything places like PP contribute to this atmosphere because it largely points at and mocks anyone who strays too far from the conventional wisdom. Remember those discussion we had about how politics is not about the truth of a historical claim but who can cobble together 50% +1 of the vote?

  17. Georgia Judge says:

    It simply amazes me that a Republican can take an honest look at Deal and Barnes,and come to the conclusion that we are better off with Barnes.The thought that Roy is less arrogant than Deal is completely laughable,and that because he has been apologizing for his past deeds makes him more credible is a bridge too far for common logic.Lets just review a couple of Barnes non arrogant actions:
    1.How about misappropriating 10 million of toll revenues to a buy a raw piece of dirt in Atlantic Station,a piece that is still as it was when it was bought.Was the sitting Chairman of that Board at the time involved with the project?engineering or otherwise??The Chairman who became Roy’s partner and did what 19-20 million in work through Roy’s connections,did they also do work for the Owner of the land who btw was a donor to Roy???
    2.How about being a character witness for a convicted State Senator,not accused but convicted on what 30-40 counts????
    3.How about refusing to send back donations from one who has been accused of multiple child molestation acts and hiding behind the vail of religion to carryout such despicable acts.But Ol Roy says lets wait for a trial to get our moral barometer balanced on right and wrong because these boys fabricated this,PLEASE…
    4.Mockery of re-districting he constructed that was beyond rational thinking????
    So how one looks past this small sampling and purports that because a George Soros partisan hatchett job on Deal over a non contractual agreement with the state,that Deal is unfit to serve is ridicoulous.A charge that has gone nowhere and will not because there was no illegal act.The investment issue is what it is and Deal has made it clear he will honor his obligation.
    So why I completely understand its tough when your chosen candidate loses,the conventional wisdom in my opinion is to help the candidate that best fits the the end in mind that your candidate represented and Nathan is that candidate.Did I agree with Handel on everything no,but I can tell you this had she won the nomination I would have done all I could to help her beat Barnes,because Barnes is everything a Republican doesnt want in a candidate.

  18. Lady Thinker says:

    I’m glad you are back Charlie as I have missed your insightful posts. I have to agree that Georgia is becoming the Illinois of the South and have been studying the corruption parallels. It is both shocking and frightening.

    If you don’t want to name names, will you point me in the direction of finding the person you described as, “We have a candidate for labor commissioner that openly dates lobbyists and threatens state agencies who fire his girlfriends” so I can check it out please?

  19. AubieTurtle says:

    Welcome back Charlie. It’s nice to see the return of someone who (most of the time*) puts reason ahead of partisanship. Hope you got some relaxing in during your trip and didn’t obsess over politics the whole time. It’s easy for those of us who are interested in politics at the level displayed by most Peach Punditees to start to feel like politics are the whole world but there is so much more in this wonderful blue ball that we live on. It’s good to get away once in a while and enjoy the rest of the world.

    * most of the time: We all have our biases, whether we can see them or not. Some make the effort to overcome them and look for truth while others love to roll around in the partisan mud like a dog rolls around in just about anything awful smelling it finds. Sometimes around here at Pete Pundit it feels like we’ve got more dogs than truthseekers. Glad to see one of the later return.

    • B Balz says:

      Great Job Aubie, now how is Charlie going to be able to pass through a doorway with his head so large? (;>)

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