The first few months of 2011 was tumultuious in the Georgia Senate with a group of senators leading the charge to topple Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle as the leader of the Senate. That ended up being more of a flesh wound rather than a full-fledged coup d’etat. The Senate GOP Caucus civil war was the butt of most jokes for those who follow inside baseball in Georgia politics. Once the gavel slammed down on Sine Die to close the 2011 session of the Georgia General Assembly, it seemed like both sides retreated back to their camps and pretty much been mum on the issue since. It’s been quiet…all too quiet.
The General Assembly will come back for a special session to draw new district lines in the state next week. Where will the battlefield be made for the two warring factions of the Senate GOP Caucus? Will the lieutenant governor flex some political muscle behind the scenes and try to draw out some of the more vocal and powerful malcontents within his own party? Will both factions try to cause each other problems on the congressional district map? Are there troop movements behind the scenes, or will the leadership and lieutenant governor agree to a temporary truce for the special session?
I believe the ultimate victor in the Senate civil war will be the lieutenant governor. He doesn’t have anything to lose since his “district” is the entire state of Georgia, and the senators can’t really draw him out (unless they draw a congressional district that would be irresistible to Cagle). As for the GOP senators at odds with Cagle, they might consider treading lightly for the next few weeks. It will be an interesting next few weeks to see how things will play out in the Senate. I suspect that things will be tense in the upper chamber, but I believe ultimately that there will be a truce in place. That is, unless a senator, or a group of senators, feels bold enough to take on the lieutenant governor head-on yet again.