Isn't this interesting? Take President Bush out of the election, bring the issues down to the state level and suddenly the vaunted invincible Democrat machine falters, sputters and dies!
Saxby Chambliss, Republican senator from Georgia, who was supposed to be in a nail-biting, cliff-hanging runoff after failing to receive 50 percent of the vote in the general election Nov. 4, emerged on top of a landslide Tuesday, as his Democrat challenger was swallowed up in a quagmire.
The general election had featured several candidates for the Georgia Senate seat and although Chambliss was the favorite, he didn't receive the requisite 50 percent of the vote to be declared the winner. That necessitated the runoff against the next highest candidate, Democrat Jim Martin.
(Too bad we can't have Georgia's election laws transplanted to Minnesota, where a recount is underway that has all the earmarks of a stolen election - if Al Franken can generate enough new votes to overcome his current deficit.
An independent candidate took 15 percent of the Minnesota vote, leaving Franken in second place. Ever since Election Day uncounted votes for Franken have been springing up all over Minnesota, in dumpsters, in backyards, in election officials' car trunks, in morgues, in cemeteries, in crypts, but mostly in Al Franken's warped mind. I'd love to see Franken have to go through a runoff instead of a highly questionable "recount.")
Back in Georgia, Chambliss crushed Martin by approximately 57 percent to 43 percent. It could be closer to 60-40 when the final votes are counted. The polls had the race within the margin of error at 3.0 percent. Well, someone's margin of error anyway, but not the one that matters the most, the one imposed by the voters. Their margin was much, much wider.
Those polls provide subject matter for lots of talk by people who should know better, but when the votes are cast, it all just adds up to hot air.
Chambliss was effusive in his praise for Sarah Palin, who had injected so much energy into the John McCain campaign as his running mate that the Democrats and the Democrat infiltrators running McCain's campaign fell all over themselves attacking her. Nonetheless, Palin was one of many Republican individuals and organizations who went to Georgia to campaign for Chambliss, who said that the crowds "exploded" when she showed up.
There was an avalanche of personal attacks on Palin from inside the McCain campaign, not to mention the president-elect's campaign and the media, before and after Election Day. The attacks continue from the Democrats, as they will as long as she remains on the national scene. Thus, I have a question for my Democrat friends.
If it is true, as many of you claim, that the Republicans are the originators of the ad hominem attacks that comprise so much of modern politics, then why was Sarah Palin swarmed over by the Democrat attack machine literally from the instant she appeared on the national stage? She hadn't said a single critical word about the Democrats, other than she disagreed with their positions and was going to work to put a GOP team in the White House.
But every single aspect of her public and private life was ripped into with the ferocity of a rabid pack of jackals. Nothing was too personal, nothing was off limits, and much of what was said about her was flat out untrue. Her family life was scrutinized, her comments were taken apart, reconstructed and then mocked even though she hadn't said what was claimed.
I don't agree with her on every single point. But I do take a step back and determine exactly which of her personal beliefs she can transform into public policy and which she can't. If she can't make national changes on issues with which I disagree with Gov. Palin, I dismiss that as people agreeing to disagree, not something that qualifies as permission to rip into every facet of her being.
I am glad to see that Gov. Palin was such a positive factor in the Georgia race, and I am happy that crowds came out to cheer for her. She has had an opportunity to emerge from John McCain's shadow and let the voters see her as an individual, and they responded very favorably.
I believe that if the media, the Democrats and renegades from her own party didn't crush her in the presidential race just passed, they won't do it in the next four or even eight years. I'd like to see her running on her own ticket.
In the meantime, Democracy has worked as it should. The voters have thrown one hell of a lot of Republicans out of office in the last four years. Not all of them deserved it by any means, although some of them certainly did.
But yesterday in Georgia, the voters made sure that no one, especially the incoming administration, will have free rein to change the basic nature of our government while the minority party stands by helplessly wringing its hands, outraged but impotent.
At least there are enough people in Congress of differing minds that major legislation will have to be decided on with input from all sides, and nothing can just be rammed through.
I see that as a good thing.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008