Blind ambition can be painful, but stupid ambition is suicide.
The GA-06 seat is open, made open because Donald Trump hand-picked its former occupant, Dr Tom Price, a staunch conservative, to become Director of Heath and Human Services. It was Dr Price, in that cabinet seat, that caused the House Freedom Caucus to okay a compromise Obamacare repeal, now awaiting some sort of action by a tardy Senate.
This short piece is about the relationship between Tom Price and his voters for many years, and yes, it was Price’s standing with his voters that largely propelled Donald Trump to the presidency just a few short months ago. GA-6 isn’t just Republican, it’s mostly anti-establishment Republican.
Of course we know that moderate Republicans, aka RINOs, aka Establishment Republicans, for many years have carved out large parcels of American territory and amassed great wealth and power, simply by becoming the permanent minority party. Part of the formula to their success has been in the knowledge that Democrats and the Left are so hated in their states and districts, the voters will vote for any R, just to keep the Left from getting a stranglehold on them. Well, a strong grip at least, for the GOP has always allowed the Dems at least to get one hand around the people’s neck. That was always the price of the spoils they get to share as part of the ruling establishment.
To save a long diatribe, let’s just say that Barack Obama let the cat out of the bag.
And in moments of weakness, to pretend wroth, the Republican Party made certain promises to its voters. We saw this pretense anger in 2010 in order to regain the House, 2014 to regain the Senate, and finally, in 2016, to regain the White House. They made promises which the Establishment half of the Party never intended to keep, and now only pretends to want to keep now that they have their own end of government in their control.
Tom Price intended to keep that promise, which explains the high position he now holds in the Trump Administration.
The voters of the 6th District expect no less from Karen Handel, only she’s been less than reassuring. My son is there and says there is not a lot of enthusiasm for Ms Handel, in part because there is not a lot of enthusiasm in her campaign for the Trump agenda. A career politician, she seems to convey the sincerity of a career politician, looking to secure a really nice niche in Washington (where she was born, by the way) instead of the “let’s all hang together” revolutionary tone the Price voters of her district feel.
Even with a snot-nosed kid from (literally) across the tracks running against her, this election is the 6th District voters’ existential moment. In the 2016 election cycle, North Carolina voters showed a turncoat conservative by the name of Renee Ellmers the door by a 30-point margin when a redistricting opportunity forced her to run against a staunch conservative Republican instead of a squishy Democrat, as almost all North Carolina Democrats are.
Mrs Handel has not conveyed to the voters of the 6th District the importance of this election, except to say keeping that seat in the Republican aisle and that Jon Osoff is a squid. But even Democrats know that Jon Ossoff is a squid and that in two years he would be known as “One-Term Jon Ossoff” – forgotten except for the damage his election may be able to do to the Donald Trump promises during the next few months.
It’s those breathing-fire promises that Donald Trump made to the voters of the 6th District that Karen Handel seems to be neglecting. She has just under two weeks to find her voice (among other things) for if she wins, and then sidles up the establishment wing of the Republican Party, and all those extended hands across the aisle, in just fine old peachy “go along to get along” fashion, my advice would be not to make any down-payments on a villa in Maryland. In fact, don’t even unpack your bags, for “One Term Karen Handel” will become a catch-phrase in Cobb County before her first rose bush can bloom.