09/27/2020

March 2, 2020: Republican Campaign Slamming Congressman Doug Collins Could Backfire

What a difference a decision makes.  Wasn’t it just the other day that Georgia Republican Cong. Doug Collins, of Gainesville, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, was the Hero of the Day, for his strong unwavering defense of Pres. Donald Trump during his Kangaroo Court impeachment trial?

Now we are being told that he is just another tax-and-spend Washington politician who is soft on crime and good buddies with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  What in the world has happened?

It seems that Collins has had the temerity to suggest that he might  run for Johnny Isakson’s seat in the United States Senate, currently held by Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointee Kelly Loeffler.  He must have a pretty good chance of winning because a Washington-based group called Club for Growth is spending roughly $3 million dollars to disparage him and his record during his three terms in Washington. 

David McIntosh, the Club’s president, said in a statement that “Club for Growth will educate Georgia voters about Doug Collins’ record on economic issues and demand that he change his ways.”  Oh, please.  They must think folks here in Georgia are dumb as rocks and need some Washington special-interest group to tell us how to think. 

I don’t know Doug Collins personally.  I met him once at a speech to the Gainesville Kiwanis Club some year ago and  recall that he is a chaplain and a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve Command and was deployed to Iraq for a period of time.  Even though I wowed the crowd that day with my dazzling wit and wisdom, I have a feeling he wouldn’t remember me from a tree stump.  

Politicians being politicians, maybe Collins thought his defense of the president would be the ticket to getting him Trump’s endorsement for the senate seat.  After all, polls say that the president enjoys the approval of 93% of Georgia Republicans. But, it  didn’t happen. Despite being lobbied by Mr. Trump, Gov. Kemp  appointed Loeffler instead.

Brian Kemp may be one of very few people who has defied the wishes of Donald Trump and has not gotten publicly scorched in the process.  

The consensus of the political navel-gazers is that Loeffler’s appointment is an attempt to broaden the party’s appeal with suburban women, especially important since Georgia voters will cast ballots for both of the state’s Senate seats in 2020, given that Sen. David Perdue is also up for reelection..  Also, the fact that reports say she is willing to spend $20 million of her own money on her campaign doesn’t hurt. 

I am grieved to report that Gov.  Kemp, following the lead of several of his predecessors, didn’t seek my counsel before making his appointment.  Go figure.  If he had, I would have cautioned him that We the Unwashed are the final decision-makers on who represents us in Washington.  Just ask Jimmy Carter.  When Sen. Richard Russell died in 1970, Gov. Carter appointed his buddy David Gambrell to fill the seat.

Gambrell hardly got the seat warm before he was ousted in the next election by a little-known state representative from Perry named Sam Nunn.  The same thing could happen to Loeffler.  As for appealing to suburban women, I know a bunch of them and I have yet to have one tell me they identify with a zillionaire who owns a women’s basketball team, has her own private jet and lives in a $10.5 million 15,000-square-foot house estate, bought in the most expensive real estate transaction ever recorded in Atlanta.

About the basketball team, Jim Galloway, the respected political observer for the Atlanta Newspapers, says that  “the WNBA has a history of appealing to black and LGBTQ fans, both groups far from Trump’s base. Plus, the league has a reputation for supporting progressive causes like a 2018 initiative that allowed fans to donate a portion of ticket sales to Planned Parenthood, an abortion rights group.” 

That could be a problem for Loeffler. Remember that Jimmy Carter in his shameful racist campaign for governor in 1968 had pictures circulated to rednecks around the state showing his opponent, Carl Sanders a co-owner at the time of the Atlanta Hawks, with his arm around Bill Bridges, a black basketball player. Sadly, it seemed to have worked.

In the meantime, I have a feeling the Republican establishment’s heavy-handed smear campaign against Doug Collins is going to backfire.  I don’t know about you, but the more I see,  the more I say: Run, Doug, run. 

 

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at dick@dickyarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb