Georgia’s High Noon Hot Mess

Earlier today I noticed, and read, an opinion piece in the New York Times:

Brian Kemp defeated Stacey Abrams in the election to decide the next Governor of the Great State of Georgia, the state of my birth. He ‘won’ the election in 2018 the ‘old fashioned way’ by disfranchising certain segments of society, namely those who would most probably not vote for him, or any republican, for that matter. He could do this because he was the Secretary of State. Former POTUS and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter implored the Kempster to not eradicate potential voters from the voting register, but the Kempster ignored Jimmy. Unfortunately, the Kempster again defeated Ms Abrams in the next election for the office of Governor of Georgia. Now one reads about his possible future in national politics. The Kempster is BIG on

During the first election for Governor in 2018 the Kempster ran an ad in the media featuring him pointing a shotgun at the boyfriend of one of his daughters which created a media firestorm, which may have been the ‘point’…

When young my father and cousin Nick took me along on a fishing trip. They left me near a small store and were across the lake fishing when I noticed a gun, which turned out to be a shotgun, on the ground near the lake. There was nobody around, so I walked over, put my finger into the trigger, and squeezed. The shotgun went backward at an extremely fast rate of speed, and a plethora of pellets hit the lake…kinda like shit hitting the fan, so to speak. Men came running out of the store and my father and cousin Nick began paddling as fast as possible. The small fishing boat was coming right at me. What could I do other than wait to be yelled and screamed at by my father? Fortunately, that did not happen. He was simply happy I was alive. Cousin Nick gave me a lesson about guns I have never forgotten. Rule number one was to, “NEVER, EVER, POINT ANY GUN AT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!” After asking if it would be OK to point an unloaded gun at anyone cousin Nick said, “HELL NO! How would you know if’n it was loaded or not?” Nick asked. “Guess you would hafta pull the trigger,” I said. Cousin Nick laughed uproariously prior to saying, “Yeah, like you just did!”

Would you go on a hunting trip with Brian Kemp?

If it seems like there is a mass shooting in the United States every day it is because: There have been more mass shootings in America than days in 2023 (

Republicans love their guns.

That is Lauren Opal Boebert, an American politician, businesswoman, and gun rights activist serving as the U.S. representative for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district. (

‘Back in the day’ the Old West was cleaned up and made livable when the cowboys had to leave their guns with the sheriff, as was the case in the Academy Award winning movie, Unforgiven.

Because of Republicans America is armed to the teeth, just like the wild west daze. They obvious want a return to the old ways and old days:

A Hot Mess in the Georgia Republican Party
By Michelle Cottle

Here’s a head scratcher for you: What happens when the leadership of a political party becomes so extreme, so out of touch with its voters, that it alienates many of its own activists and elected officials? And what happens when some of those officials set up a parallel infrastructure that lets them circumvent the party for campaign essentials such as fund-raising and voter turnout? At what point does this party become mostly a bastion of wingnuts, spiraling into chaos and irrelevance?

No need to waste time guessing. Just cast your eyes upon Georgia, one of the nation’s electoral battlegrounds, where the state Republican Party has gone so far down the MAGA rabbit hole that many of its officeholders — including Gov. Brian Kemp, who romped to re-election last year despite being targeted for removal by Donald Trump — are steering clear of it as if it’s their gassy grandpa at Sunday supper.

Republicans elsewhere should keep watch. Democrats too. What’s happening in Georgia is a cautionary tale for pluralism, an example of how the soul of a party can become warped and wrecked when its leadership veers toward narrow extremism. And while every state’s political dynamics are unique, a variation of the Peach State drama could be headed your way soon — if it hasn’t begun already.

The backstory: Some Republican incumbents took offense last year when the Georgia G.O.P.’s Trump-smitten chairman, David Shafer, backed Trump-preferred challengers in the primaries. (Mr. Trump, you will recall, was desperate to unseat several Republicans after they declined to help him steal the 2020 election.) Those challengers went down hard, and Mr. Kemp in particular emerged as a superhero to non-Trumpist Republicans. Even so, scars remain. “That’s a burn that’s hard to get over,” says Brian Robinson, a Republican strategist who served as an adviser to former Gov. Nathan Deal.

The clash also made clear that Republican candidates, or at least popular incumbents, don’t much need the party apparatus anymore. This is part of a broader trend: The clout of parties has long been on the slide because of changes in how campaigns are funded. That got turbocharged in Georgia in 2021, when its legislature, the General Assembly, passed a Kemp-backed bill allowing certain top officials (and their general-election challengers) to form leadership PACs, which can coordinate with candidates’ campaigns and accept megadonations free from pesky dollar limits.

The PAC Mr. Kemp set up, the Georgians First Leadership Committee, raked in gobs of cash and built a formidable voter data and turnout machine. The governor plans to use it to aid fellow Republicans, establishing himself as a power center independent of the state party.

As big-money conduits, leadership PACs can bring plenty of their own problems. But whatever their larger implications, in the current mess that is Georgia Republican politics, they also mean that elected leaders “don’t have to play nice in the sandbox with a group that is sometimes at odds with them,” says Mr. Robinson.

The governor says he will skip the state party’s convention in June, as will the state’s attorney general, its insurance commissioner and its secretary of state. At a February luncheon for his Georgians First PAC, Mr. Kemp basically told big donors not to waste their money on the party, saying that the midterms showed “we can no longer rely on the traditional party infrastructure to win in the future,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

New party leadership is on the way. Mr. Shafer is not seeking another term. (Fun fact: He is under investigation for his role in the pro-Trump fake-elector scheme of 2020.) Party delegates will elect his successor at the upcoming state convention. But the problems run deeper. Republican critics say that the party culture has become steeped in the paranoid politics of MAGA and election denial. And in the current environment, “everyone must pledge their undying loyalty to Donald Trump above all else,” says Jay Morgan, who was an executive director of the state party in the 1980s and now runs a public affairs firm in Atlanta.

Mr. Shafer defends his tenure, noting in particular that, since he took over in 2019, the party has gone from being mired in debt to having “over $1 million in the bank.”

To be fair, the Georgia G.O.P. has a rich history of rocky relations with its governors. But the Trump era, which brought a wave of new grassroots activists and outsiders into party meetings, put the situation “on steroids,” says Martha Zoller, a Republican consultant and talk radio host.

“Right now, it’s largely a place disconnected from reality,” adds Cole Muzio, a Kemp ally and the president of Frontline Policy Action, a conservative advocacy group.

That seems unlikely to change any time soon, as some of the party’s more extreme elements gain influence. In recent months, leadership elections at the county and district levels have seen wins by candidates favored by the Georgia Republican Assembly, a coterie of ultraconservatives, plenty of whom are still harboring deep suspicions about the voting system.

One of the more colorful winners was Kandiss Taylor, the new chairwoman of the First Congressional District. A keen peddler of conspiracy nuttiness, Ms. Taylor ran for governor last year, proclaiming herself “the ONLY candidate bold enough to stand up to the Luciferian Cabal.” After winning just slightly more than 3 percent of the primary vote, she declared that the election results could not be trusted and refused to concede — an antidemocratic move straight from the Trump playbook. As a chairwoman, she is promising “big things” for her district. So southeast Georgia has that to look forward to.

Why should anyone care about the state of the Georgia G.O.P.? Well, what is happening in Georgia is unlikely to stay in Georgia — and has repercussions that go beyond the health and functionality of the Republican Party writ large. After election deniers failed to gain control of statewide offices across the nation in 2022, many of them refocused their efforts farther down the food chain. In February, The Associated Press detailed the push by some of these folks to become state party chairmen, who are typically chosen by die-hard activists. In Michigan, for instance, the state G.O.P. elevated the Trumpist conspiracy lover and failed secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo to be its chairwoman.

MAGA zealots don’t simply present ideological concerns, though their politics do tend toward the fringes. Too many embraced the stop-the-steal fiction that the electoral system has been compromised by nefarious Democrats and must be “saved” by any means necessary. Letting them oversee any aspect of the electoral process seems like a poor idea.

If this development persists, Republicans more interested in the party’s future than in relitigating its past might want to look at how Kemp & Company have been trying to address their intraparty problems — and what more could and should be done to insulate not only the party’s less-extreme candidates, but also the democratic system, from these fringe forces. There are risks that come with ticking off election deniers and other Trumpian dead-enders. But the greater risk to the overall party, and the nation, would be declining to do so.

Is Nancy Pelosi a Badass?

According the the New York Times opinion writer Michelle Cottle, who wrote the Op-Ed, Nancy Pelosi, Badass (, she is that, and more, much more.

Nancy Pelosi with Chuck Schumer in 2018.Credit…Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

“When Nancy Pelosi first took up the speaker’s gavel in January 2007, it was amid soaring talk of making history and breaking barriers. “For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling,” she proclaimed at her swearing-in. “Now the sky is the limit. Anything is possible.”

“Sixteen years, four presidents, two impeachments, one pandemic and a failed insurrection later, Ms. Pelosi will soon hand over that gavel for good and step down from House leadership amid a darker, more divided political landscape than she likely imagined in those first heady days. The George W. Bush

years weren’t a high point for bipartisan comity and public trust in government, but they were a far cry from the violence-obsessed, conspiracymongering nihilism of Trumpism.”

“But Ms. Pelosi has never been one to let the haters get her down, and some of her most important acts of leadership have come at some of the nation’s lowest moments.

History, being reductive, will remember Ms. Pelosi as the first woman to rise to the exalted post of speaker, just two steps away from the presidency. Those who have watched her work in the House for so many years will remember her as something arguably just as notable: a total badass.”

The article culminates with this paragraph:

“Ms. Pelosi is an original, and we are unlikely to see another leader of her ilk any time soon. She elbowed her way to the tippy top of the congressional boys’ club, then set about distinguishing herself as the most formidable, most effective House leader since the middle of the last century. Love her or hate her, you have to acknowledge the fundamental badassery.” (

Nancy Pelosi wears it well. Given half a chance I believe she may have taken a Baseball bat to the Trumpster.

My Mother, who was a Republican, bless her heart, would still have admired and respected the hell out of Madam Speaker. Much will be written about Nancy in the years to come, and she will be studied in political classrooms all over the country. Every woman, Republican or Democrat, entering politics will know the story of Madam Speaker and her badass ways and methods.

Heaven Help Us All

Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for re-election for the state’s 14th Congressional district of the Great State of Georgia and she is expected to win., which should tell you much about the 14th Congressional district she represents. To many Georgians, including this one, she is an embarrassment. Her usual countenance is that of someone who is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.

This writer has only just now finished reading the article being presented in its entirety. The writer of the article is “Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995.

WASHINGTON — Are we ready for our new Republican overlords?

Are we ready for an empowered Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Are we ready for a pumped-up, pistol-packing Lauren Boebert?

“How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?” Boebert asked a crowd at a Christian campaign event in June. I’m going with none, honestly, but her answer was, “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”

The Denver Post pleaded: “We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”

The freshman representative has recently been predicting happily that we’re in the end times, “the last of the last days.” If Lauren Boebert is in charge, we may want to be in the end times. I’m feeling not so Rapturous about the prospect.

And then there’s the future first female president, Kari Lake, who lulls you into believing, with her mellifluous voice, statements that seem to emanate from Lucifer. She’s dangerous because, like Donald Trump, she has real skills from her years in TV. And she really believes this stuff, unlike Trump and Kevin McCarthy, who are faking it.

As Cecily Strong said on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, embodying Lake, “If the people of Arizona elect me, I’ll make sure they never have to vote ever again.”

Speaking of “Paradise Lost,” how about Ron DeSantis? The governor of Florida, who’s running for a second term, is airing an ad that suggests that he was literally anointed by God to fight Democrats. God almighty, that’s some high-level endorsement.

Republicans seem to be surging heading into November, with Democrats struggling to break through, as voters turn their focus from abortion to crime and inflation. Even if the polls are as off, as pollsters fear, all signs seem to be pointing toward a strong showing for the G.O.P.

For months now, Times Opinion has been covering how we got here. Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward argued that Democrats abandoned rural America. Alec MacGillis traced how the party ignored the economic decline of the Midwest. And Michelle Cottle described the innovative Republican ground game in South Texas.

Opinion has also been identifying the candidates who could define the future of their party. Sam Adler-Bell captured the bleak nationalism of Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican challenging Senator Mark Kelly. Christopher Caldwell described the transformation of J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist from Ohio who went from Trump critic to proud member of the MAGA faithful. Michelle Goldberg traveled to Washington state to profile Joe Kent, a burgeoning star on the right.

And throughout this election cycle, Opinion has held discussions with groups of experts – hosted by Frank Bruni, Ross Douthat and others – that have followed the season’s twists and turns, from reviewing the primary landscape to a Democratic backlash against the Dobbs decision which gave way to a Republican surge in the fall. And we paused to consider the mysteries of polls and the politically homeless along the way.

Much to our national shame, it looks like these over-the-top and way, way, way out-of-the mainstream Republicans — and the formerly normie and now creepy Republicans who have bent the knee to the wackos out of political expediency — are going to be running the House, maybe the Senate and certainly some states, perhaps even some that Joe Biden won two years ago.

And it looks as if Kevin McCarthy will finally realize his goal of becoming speaker, but when he speaks, it will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert doing the spewing. It will be like the devil growling through Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” — except it will be our heads spinning.

Welcome to a rogue’s gallery of crazy: Clay Higgins, who’s spouting conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi, wants to run the House Homeland Security Committee; Paul Gosar, whose own family has begged Arizonans to eject him from Congress, will be persona grata in the new majority.

In North Carolina, Bo Hines, a Republican candidate for the House, wants community panels to decide whether rape victims are able to get abortions or not. He’s building on Dr. Oz’s dictum that local politicians should help make that call. Even Oprah turned on her creation, Dr. Odd.

J.D. Vance, the Yale-educated, former Silicon Valley venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who called Trump “America’s Hitler” in 2016, before saluting him to gain public office, could join the Senate in January. Talk about American Elegy.

Even though he wrote in his best seller that Yale Law School was his “dream school,” he now trashes the very system that birthed him. Last year, he gave a speech titled “The Universities Are the Enemy”: His mother-in-law is a provost at the University of California San Diego.

It’s disturbing to think of Vance side by side with Herschel Walker.

Walker was backed by Mitch McConnell, who countenanced an obviously troubled and flawed individual even if it meant degrading the once illustrious Senate chamber.

Overall, there are nearly 300 election deniers on the ballot, but they will be all too happy to accept the results if they win.

People voting for these crazies think they’re punishing Biden, Barack Obama and the Democrats. They’re really punishing themselves.

These extreme Republicans don’t have a plan. Their only idea is to get in, make trouble for President Biden, drag Hunter into the dock, start a bunch of stupid investigations, shut down the government, abandon Ukraine and hold the debt limit hostage.

Democrats are partly to blame. They haven’t explained how they plan to get a grip on the things people are worried about: crime and inflation. Voters weren’t hearing what they needed to hear from Biden, who felt morally obligated to talk about the threat to democracy, even though that’s not what people are voting on.

As it turns out, a woman’s right to control her body has been overshadowed by uneasiness over safety and economic security.

To top it off, Trump is promising a return. We’ll see if DeSantis really is the chosen one. In Iowa on Thursday night, Trump urged the crowd to “crush the communists” at the ballot box and said that he was “very, very, very” close to deciding to “do it again.”

Trump, the modern Pandora, released the evil spirits swirling around us — racism, antisemitism, violence, hatred, conspiracy theories, and Trump mini-mes who should be nowhere near the levers of power.

Heaven help us.