Remember When Politicians Would Challenge Each Other to Duels?

They don’t do that anymore, but they get awfully close sometimes. Jim Galloway was cc’d on a letter from Secretary of State Brian Kemp to State Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus. Seems Sen. McKoon did not give Secretary Kemp the requisite amount of deference at a subcommittee hearing McKoon was chairing. Kemp’s note to McKoon begins: “I want to take a moment and express my displeasure with the pathetic charade you presided over yesterday as Chairman of the Regulated Industries and Utilities subcommittee…” and goes downhill from there.

Sen. McKoon sent back four paragraphs, and saved this zinger for the end: “if Secretary Kemp spent more time doing his job and less time writing insulting letters filled with erroneous information, perhaps Georgia’s business community would not be fleeing his office’s regulatory jurisdiction.”

If exchanges like that don’t create the need for 20 paces at dawn, none ever will.


  1. Charlie says:

    Kemp needs to get some folks around him fast that are grounded in reality that can help him come back to earth. Most likely too late for the celebrity SOS however.

  2. tdk790 says:

    Didn’t the legislature reject Kemp’s major initiative last year, too? He doesn’t seem to be making too many friends.

    • Romegaguy says:

      do you mean the 1500 page bill Kemp had introduced to add another layer of government that he would control over the licensing boards?

    • GOPGrassroots says:

      That’s what happens when you let your seasoned staff go and bring in your future gubernatorial campaign staff to run your campaign out of your official office.

  3. Duels are nothing new to Georgia politicos.

    Button Gwinnett, namesake of Gwinnett County, was killed in a duel in May of 1777 by Lachlan McIntosh. McIntosh County was likewise named for the McIntosh family.

    Maybe Milton County should try instead to use the name Kemp County or McKoon County. After all, counties do get created by duels ‘roun heah.’

    • Ron McClellan says:

      We need more Democrats to do that, instead of “eating Chinese money” Can anyone say “George Johnson/ Troup County Democrat Party?” I don’t find it particularly enjoyable, but hey, I realize that “Democrats versus Republicans” is NOT a sporting event, and acting as if it is in toxic to our country.

  4. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Whenever I take friends, relatives or political junkies on a tour of the US Capitol I always point out where the dueling grounds where.

    However my favorite story is when Sen. Brooks (SC) beat Sen. Sumner (MA) with a cane on May 22 1856, It was so bad Sen. Sumner couldn’t serve for three years.

    The issue was slavery… folks should remember that then is comes to same sex marriage, it ain’t worth getting beaten over, gay folks still going to get married eventually whether you all like it or not.

      • WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

        According to many of the denominations that claim to speak on behalf of God, many of the heterosexual marriages already recognized by the state, but not by their church, are not married in the eyes of God. The State should not be involved in which deity does or does not bless a union and besides that, the new twists in Georgia divorce courts will be interesting. For example, primary custody automatically going to the wife might be problematic.

        • Harry says:

          The issue is not really whether the state recognizes marriages or not, but that state-sanctioned benefits and mandates follow the piece of paper. Spousal rights and benefits are supposed for the most part to provide support to children, not adults. If homosexual “married” couples are willing to forego all spousal rights and benefits, then we have a different discussion. We who are God-fearing Christians still wouldn’t support such “marriages” but they would no doubt nevertheless have a much stronger argument among the “moderates”. But of course, it’s really all about “da money”.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Lots of attention to politics and personal turf here but not much conversation on how the citizens of GA are served by an efficient or inefficient change in licensing.

  6. caroline says:

    If we had a duel today and somebody was on the losing side, would they be missed? I have to wonder sometimes.

    • Will Durant says:

      I have a written invitation to a duel from an 1824 resident of Dinwiddie County, Virginia. If the writer turns out to be who I believe it may be then he lost his duel, left no offspring or other legacy, and most pertinent to any written legacy is that few ante-bellum county records survived the Civil War. So from the long range perspective I would say for at least one, he appears not to have been missed.

      I don’t remember the exact percentages and am not going to bother to look it up right now, but most of the time, the “combatants” took each other’s measure…ahem, claimed satisfaction had been met, sometimes fired into the bushes, and almost always resolved to drink less brandy after big dinners.

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