The youth vote is still strange in
We continue to improve, though. So many of
The run-off results are also set up for a GOP victory. You have to remember that the run-off rules are a relic of the segregationist past. They were set up to ensure that the old (white) guard maintained control of the Democratic Party. Remember, until 2002, Democrats had ruled
For the Democratic youth, this racial stuff doesn’t matter nearly as much as it does to our elders. We care much more about policies and getting things done than the exercise of raw (or, more accurately, imagined) power. You do see moments where young people try to emulate their elders by trying to incite racial bias, but those efforts are not widespread. They also usually fail.
The Georgia Run-off law requires a winning candidate for any office other than President to get an absolute majority of 50% plus one. If you look at the 1990 Democratic primary for governor, you will understand the usefulness to the white power structure of the run-off law. Since the Democratic nominee always won the general election, open Democratic primaries were crowded. The top two vote getters in July 1990 were Zell Miller and Andrew Young. For whatever reason, it is an accepted fact in
Another example is 1998 when Mary Margaret Oliver faced off with Mark Taylor for the Lt. Governor nomination. Oliver, a liberal Democratic white woman from DeKalb, came in 1st place with 29% of the vote. Taylor, a rural white boy from
We knew going into 2008 that we had an uphill climb.
I never thought that winning GA for Obama (or Hillary) was realistic in 2008. My stated goal was to make
Unseating Saxby was also going to be difficult. When the primary season started, we had about 5 candidates who were fairly lackluster. No one really sparked a huge fire, although we did have a couple of interesting choices. We also had the Saxby-financed Vernon Jones campaign (it was an open secret in DeKalb that Saxby asked his builder buddies to finance Vernon’s campaign) since Saxby knew that Vernon as the Dem nominee would assure his reelection. He might as well not have an opponent as to have
In the end, though, Jim Martin came through and decided to run. He started late, though, and required a run-off to secure the nomination. Even then, it was going to be a huge uphill fight. We had hoped that people excited about the Obama win would come back out to support Jim on Tuesday, but that did not happen. Despite ads and robo-calls from Obama to the black community, and rap artists pleading for turnout, the huge black turnout for Obama in November did not materialize in December. Of course, the turnout with white progressives was not so great either. I know many people were turned off by all the ads and calls as the eyes of the nation focused on
The results showed that people who turned out to re-elect Saxby just went to the PSC race and voted for the Republican. They didn’t care who it was, so long as the “R” was by his name. That is the only reason Jim Powell lost, as he was CLEARLY more qualified and independent than Bubba.
Saxby’s campaign again was full of lies and distortions about Jim Martin. Saxby got his feet wet in 2002 by strongly hinting that triple-amputee and
This year, Saxby basically ran a campaign that said Jim Martin was a child murdering, child prostituting, and inveterate tax raiser who also liked to line his own pockets with public money. Anyone who has ever met Jim Martin knows what a pack of lies these charges were. Jim Martin is an honorable and decent man who has always cared more for results than getting credit. He is one of the most decent people I’ve ever seen in politics, especially when compared to Saxby “Big Daddy” Chambliss who has few morals and even fewer ethics. Saxby always leaves me feeling dirty, and I have the impression that he is a bad person. I do not say that lightly. Generally, I feel Republicans are good people, just misguided.
A bright spot in the run-off election results was the win by Sara Doyle for GA Court of Appeals. While she is a consistent Republican voter, she was not nearly as rigid or ideological as her opponent, “Christian” Taliban tool, Mike Sheffield. I put “Christian” in quotation marks because I consider the man to be anything but a true Christian. His philosophy and beliefs are anything but Christ-like. But he calls himself a Christian, so I’ll put it in quotation marks. He would have added a highly partisan and extremely right wing voice to the Court of Appeals, and defeating him was a real victory.
It does feel like we got our asses handed to us in Tuesday’s run-off election. We have not mastered the art of turnout for a run-off, especially around the holidays. It is not a reason to despair. No one would have thought we could force Saxby into a run-off even as late as September. The “smart” money was on a Saxby easy victory on election night. That we forced Saxby into a run-off and drained away all that GOP money is a victory for us. It may feel hollow, but that is the reality.
So, my fellow Democrats, do not despair. We started out in a very deep hole, and we got close enough to feel the edges. Maybe next time we can pull ourselves out. That is what we are working toward. It is not likely that
We can and will win
That’s why we fight…and in the end, that is why we will win.