Buried in all the debate about the ramifications of the election was what happened in Georgia.
I know that everybody knows that the Dems had a major meltdown in the state; the Gov, Senator, Speaker of the (state) House, and assorted others lost (and lost big in some cases), but nobody has thought about the reason. Did anyone consider "blowback"? Georgia's voters may not be as stupid as the state Democratic Party thought they were.
Sure, the whole "blowback" thing has been debated to death over the Wellstone fiasco, but is this a case of just desserts? After all, it was only a few months ago that the Georgia Democratic party was busy gerrymandering the congressional districts all over the place. The Georgia redistricting was flat out the most nakedly partisan redistricting plan in the country (even more so than the maps in Florida and Pennsylvania), and it came back and bit them in the tuckus. Remember, they managed to put Barr and Linder (both Republicans) AND Chambliss and Kingston (also both Republicans) into shared districts, in a state that GAINED two seats! Nobody else was quite that obvious, and the only other states that put two politicians into one district were states that lost seats.
I noticed that Barnes wasn't on anybody's radar for "in trouble", and the worries about Cleland and some of the congressional Dem candidates were fairly muted. Did everyone miscalculate the races that badly? I find it hard to believe that nobody had a clue that Barnes was going down, as it wasn't even close. And the guy who ran the whole show, the speaker of the (state) house, had served in that post (28 years) than any speaker, in any state, in this country's history.
I think the Dems really fornicated the canine in Georgia; not only did they help the GOP get rid of loose cannon Bob Barr (he was good on privacy rights, but he was still a nutjob), but by eliminating Chambliss's district, they encouraged him to run against Cleland, instead of staying in the House. I wonder if the GOP would have been able to recruit a top-tier candidate for the Senate if the Dems had been less partisan.
posted on November 06, 2002 05:03 PM
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