This post has been sitting in a corner waiting. Not because I doubted my thoughts – but like many I have been waiting for the “October Surprise.” But that surprise never came in October, and one can only assume it came in September when Deal got hit hard on the bankruptcy issues. But those attacks haven’t stuck.
A fellow contributor has been reciting a mantra for months, “Republican State. Republican Year.” I never doubted that saying – though I had reservations. I have always contended that if something horrible enough came up in a candidate’s history, I believe it would sink them. No such thing happened.
So why am I now defending Nathan Deal, on the eve of the election? Because I think some people, both here and elsewhere, have laid some serious accusations and allegations against him. I voted for Nathan Deal. I am not ashamed. A person very dear to me voted for Roy Barnes, calling him “The devil you know vs. the devil you don’t know.” I think that argument is certainly valid.
One of my favorite allegations against Nathan Deal is perhaps the most puzzling. Like President George W. Bush, Deal has been accused of being a bumbling oaf. Detractors cite his weak campaign start, political missteps, and words he wish he never said as examples of his “bumbles.” But often times the same very people want me to believe that Deal is also a corrupt criminal mastermind. Deal has been in the political world since the 1980s; if he was a crook then he was a smart crook. If he was as much of a bumbler as he has been made out to be, then he would have already slipped up big time. Likely before he went to Congress. I’m sorry, but I just can’t accept both arguments. Pick one and stick to it.
Much has been said about Deal’s liabilities in regards to his son-in-law and daughter’s failed business. That was a mistake. People stick their necks out for family all the time. Many Georgians have been forced to file bankruptcy because of the economy. A small minority have drawn issue with this, but a larger number have used this as an example of Deal inability to manage the State’s budget. Who decides the State’s finances? I’m going to break someone’s heart here, but Sonny Perdue hasn’t been the sole decider of this great State’s financial policies. Sonny doesn’t compile the budget all by his lonesome. Nor did Roy Barnes, nor Zell, nor any other Governor we have had in the past fifty years. The Governor is who decides who will decide. He picks advisors. Accountants. A number of people are involved in this process. If you pull the lever tomorrow for any of the candidates, they will not be the sole arbiter of all of Georgia’s finances. As this is the case, Nathan Deal’s failed business is not indicative of his ability to select a group to run this state.
But don’t forget, Deal’s been accused of keeping his salvage yard afloat on state money – why didn’t he get the same deal for this failed store? Wouldn’t his life be easier that way? Strange how such a corrupt and powerful man can actually wind up in bankruptcy court. Something doesn’t pass the smell test, you decide what.
I don’t expect Nathan Deal to be a great Governor. I don’t expect miracles. I don’t buy into the redistricting argument that Erick likes to cite as his reason for voting for Deal. I think Deal is a better candidate than Barnes. I think Monds won’t garner more than 7% of the vote. I see Deal as a one-term Governor. He saw problems in his home state with the possibility of the Governorship falling back into Barnes’ hands – and stepped in to prevent that. Deal could have remained Congressman Deal until the cows came home; but rather he has chosen to become Governor Deal and quietly retire one day.
And that’s my spirited defense of Nathan Deal.