"[I]f we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." Thomas Jefferson (1802).
Being an astute political analyst with a long history of being right about political races 50% of the time, I have some thoughts on the recent GOP primary for Georgia’s U.S. Senator.
Congress is awful. The people are tired of Congress with its constant bickering and petty politics. Kelly, you mean people are tired of the arguing over important political issues, like abortion, gun control and immigration? Nope, that's not it.
I could be wrong, it's happened before, but I think the vast majority of people are fed up with Congress thinking it has a solution to everything.
Now there is a contingent, and unlike Mitt Romney I won't put a number on it, but there are folks who want the government to do everything for them. But after the failed policies of the past, I believe that most Georgians and most of the country want the federal government to get out of their lives.
We don't know exactly how to do that because the government is so intertwined with our daily lives that we have become scared of the beast. When I advocate for the abolition or reduction of any federal agency (pick one), there are people who say "but what about..." and then come up with some way that we can't tame it. Yes, folks, we are scared of the beast.
So how about Jack Kingston? Jack is a great guy, family man, Christian, conservative Congressman, and he took it on the chin, but only lost by less than 2%. He was the Congressman's Congressman. He had the support of every Congressman in the State, maybe the nation. Look what that did for him.
I heard people say to support Jack because he would be good for... RAFB, conservative values, gun rights, business, immigration, etc. When challenged by some with "how come he hasn't done much about that for 22 years?", the answer was that he was just one of 435. Being Senator is, true enough, a smaller crowd, but you're still just 1 in a 100. When you are part of Congress for more than two decades, it’s hard to say you are different.
I'm not one to tell Jack what he could have done differently, but he did have the lead in early voting. I think the last 10 days of negative ads had an impact. It made Jack seem like just another Washington politician willing to do anything to hold onto his job. Think Thad Cochran. What was Jack to do? In order to get along he had to go along. He played the game. He brought home money to his district. He helped the State here and there when he could. But that isn't what the people want right now. The GOP electorate thought that it was time for something different. Barely. Because you can't be too brave when you take on the beast.