On the Georgia Runoff: Musings from Rush Limbaugh’s Hometown

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4 mins read

I’ve been reading a lot of commentary this morning on the outcome of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia and the reasons behind it. Obviously turnout was key — way to go, Stacey Abrams! — and Trump’s catastrophic performance since the November election turned out to be a real drag for Team Red. But I don’t think there’s nearly enough mention of the really poor quality of the Republican candidates. 

The GOP advanced not one but two incumbents up to their ears in shady stock dealings, neither fit to serve in any elective office. Both candidates engaged in odious race-baiting tactics, and neither offered any level of accountability. David Perdue refused to debate his opponent; Kelly Loeffler served up rote, monotone, focus-group-approved rhetoric. She looked and sounded more like a Stepford wife than a sitting U.S. senator. 

Not even multiple campaign appearances on the stump from right-wing heartthrob and cult leader Donald Trump were enough to send the two Republicans back to D.C. from Georgia. 

Georgia!

Their problems started in November, when Perdue failed to meet a 50-percent threshold to win reelection outright. Loeffler had the same problem in a larger field for her special election, forcing the two target-rich candidates to a runoff in which each was relentlessly under siege from a fully engaged, well-financed Democratic campaign machine with nothing to lose. 

Rev. Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ran exceptional campaigns, but it’s fair to say that many of us expected their opponents to be returned to office. By the time January rolled around, though, Peach State voters apparently had seen enough. They spoke. 

My husband and I watched the televised election coverage until the wee hours, with me switching between MSNBC and CNN while he (for amusement) kept tabs on Fox News (which I steadfastly refuse to view). At one point early this morning, wearing my pink headphones, he turned to me and commented, “Fox pundits say this election is for the future of America.”

“They’re right,” I replied. 

This was a race for the future direction of our country, especially when it comes to President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to effect change. Controlling both houses of Congress as well as the White House would mean Democrats could pursue a legislative agenda that would enable them to pass actual bills into actual laws. Self-described “Grim Reaper” Mitch McConnell, unable to kill everything in his path, would have to send his scythe out for maintenance. 

Imagine: Our 46th president not having to spend the first days of his first term begging the GOP to confirm his Cabinet! He maybe could lead the party to so many successes that Democrats wouldn’t get slaughtered in the midterms or in 2024!

OK. I may be getting ahead of myself. But I never expected to spend this morning indulging such thoughts. Ossoff and Warnock changed everything Tuesday night. 

Whatever the key to the Georgia runoff results, the country now may be able to look forward to something beyond gridlock. Maybe we’ll even see an actual Infrastructure Week! Whether it was turnout, Trump’s meltdowns, or weak incumbent candidates, millions of us are sending a big “Thank You!” to Georgia voters. Fingers crossed!

Photo courtesy of @ReverendWarnock.


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Tilsen is a retired journalist whose 20-plus-year career included covering local politics and courts in her former home state of Minnesota. She has written for The Associated Press, Reuters, two newspapers and three television stations and is the recipient of four first-place reporting awards. She resides with her husband and mother in Cape Girardeau, MO, where she is a volunteer with the local Humane Society.

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