"Inherit the Wind:
The coming fight for the Georgia Senate seat"
by Victor Provenzano
Sherman's march is about to recur: thousand of troops will arrive; and cities will alight.
A new Reconstruction will come soon after: carpetbaggers, veterans of the Obama campaign, will descend on the towns of Georgia to take back the seat of Saxby Chambliss. It will make the presidential election seem like a race for county sheriff. In comparison, the recent fight for Florida---in which 200,000 Obama volunteers went door to door and harried citizens with text messages---will seem like a local tulip festival.
Tens of millions will be spent on the plains of Georgia and the stakes will be high: a coveted 58th seat may be won in the Senate, the only legislative body in the world where a simple majority cannot rule. The 58th seat will bring the Democrats that much closer to limiting the use of the filibuster as they seek to cajole---and then bribe---Senators Collins, Snowe and Specter with committee chairmanships into becoming independents and caucusing with the majority. The very success of the coming Obama presidency will depend on this seat, on the imminent recount in the race in Minnesota, and on the coming fight over the seemingly stolen seat in Alaska. Why should we care? Because until Sarah begins to run for the seat in the Millionaires Club that "Seven Felonies" may soon have to vacate, it'll be the best fight in town. The welterweight Jim Martin against the local bully Saxby, who kicks paraplegics off their wheelchairs on the way to D.C.…mere noblesse oblige.
The seat in Georgia is hot. Very hot. The man who's in it may have swiped it in the first place.
This year, a former member of the McCain campaign gave testimony on what he knew about the tainted "come from behind" victory of Chambliss in 2002. Are we seeing a recidivist theft of the election in Georgia this time around? Quite possibly.
The polls showed Chambliss leading by 4% on average in the days before the election. But the results thus far in Georgia seem to concur, you say.
Not so fast.
In Georgia in 2004, African Americans were only a fourth of the electorate. During the early vote in 2008, incited by the possibility of an imminent Obama presidency, black turnout was committed and historic, more than a third of all voters. A million woman march on Atlanta and environs. Where are those votes and the will of the voters behind them? In a shredder? In a delete file? Under the roots of a peach tree in Saxby's backyard? Who knows. But they failed to show up with the marchers, who were hosed…and so the troops will soon arrive.
Along with the carpetbaggers.
O and his minions are coming. Young and old, black and tan, boomers and moondogs. From Florida, Carolina and D.C.
They're coming. They like the fight.
This one's for Max.