“We have to make a hard right hand turn.”
– David Perdue, Georgia Republican candidate for U.S. Senate
Put it down to defensiveness born of desperation. David Perdue has been running marginally close to his Democratic rival, Michelle Nunn, over a string of recent polls, in a state he and the GOP thought was likely in their pocket. He has been forced to scream inside the echo chamber of his party’s conservative base, to get their attention and rile them up to go vote. That may explain why he dog-whistled his way through the pair’s last debate, Sunday night, in Atlanta.
Over and over, he reiterated his charge that Nunn was “handpicked by Obama,” and therefor would be a “rubber stamp” for his policies because “she’s not going to bite the hand that feeds her.”
He also charged that Nunn’s campaign has been funded by “liberal parties who want to come in here and steal this election,” like gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg (hardly a liberal) who recently gave over $300,000 to a PAC supporting the Democrat.
Nunn was gracious, but sharp. To the former point about the president, she simply stated that Obama was not on the ballot in Georgia, that she disagreed with him on several policies, and that “no one hand feeds me.” To the latter, she said that despite Bloomberg’s largesse, “right now” she only supports Manchin-Toomey legislation, which calls for universal background checks.
While Nunn promised to “work with whoever is the president, Democrat or Republican,” Perdue called for “a hard right hand turn” in Washington.
The real question is, is that where the voters of Georgia are? Admittedly, I tend to operate within an echo chamber with a liberal bias, but I have seen no evidence that six more years of unapologetic obstructionism by Congressional conservatives is what the American people want. Time and again, in poll after poll, voters blame the stubborn Republicans for our nation’s legislative failures. The president may be at 41% approval, but Congress remains in or near the single digits. In that type of relative atmosphere, Obama may be underwater, but at least he doesn’t have to come up as far for air.
Despite my wishes and the expressed desires of many of my friends, there is no doubt Georgia is a conservative state. Sadly, it often seems our politicians would feign ignorance unbecoming their level of education, just so they can be mouthpieces for the one-percenters who fund their campaigns, and promise continued quid pro quo support once elected. We’ll know by January just how far right we are allowing our politicians to take us.