Yes, wronger isn’t really a word, but “Dumb and Dumber,” had already been taken.
My two favorite sports teams are the Atlanta United and my Georgia Bulldogs. I was there when our Atlanta United won their national championship, and 40 years ago, for the UGA Bulldogs National Championship. The United has struggled the last few seasons since, and while our Dawgs now have a strong program, coach, as well as their footing, we are always going to have some tough sledding ahead with a perennial national championship team in the adjoining state as well as the same conference.
And yet, I don’t see Coach Kirby Smart asking the SEC to change the rulebook, redefine a touchdown, or change conference eligibility. THAT would be cheating or the conduct of a real loser at heart. And that would be wrong.
This brings me to the clump of changes Georgia’s General Assembly and our Governor just signed into laws for voting and elections during a day of rapid-fire bill passage without much debate and a photo finish private bill-signing ceremony that looked a lot more like the Last Supper than it did the celebratory win of a championship season.
But wait, isn’t this the same Georgia GOP that increased its majority in both the State House and State Senate in November? Yes. The same Georgia GOP that had a record number of votes cast for a Republican incumbent Senator, who outpolled his party’s Presidential nominee? Yes again. The same Georgia GOP who had a runoff candidate down-ticket who out-polled every other candidate on the ballot, Republican and Democrat alike (Bubba McDonald)? Yep, GOP, 0-3.
And again, this is the state where Republicans made no excuse Absentee Voting the law of the land in 2005? Uh-huh. And where a GOP Governor, General Assembly, and Secretary of State created three weeks of early voting, online registration, a new voting system with a verifiable paper trail, and where there has been record voter registration, record participation among all demographic groups, and record voter turnout, increasing with each cycle since 2018? Yessiree…
So now, though all of that was then right…it’s now wrong to vote Absentee? Or use ballot drop boxes suggested by the Trump Administration? Or perhaps give a bottle of water to someone standing in a precinct line for 4-6 hours waiting to vote?
Okay, I will turn down the sarcasm. And I will seriously commend Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan for respectively dialing back the nearly 200 pieces of nonsense legislation proposed in each chamber ranging from ending all at-will Absentee Voting to creating a Constitutional “Chief Elections Officer” to replace Georgia’s Secretary of State.
However, SB 202 bill signing day and the related arrest of a legislative colleague for the crime of knocking on your door? This looks even more like a circular firing squad than the circus President Donald Trump got underway here during the General Election Runoff.
Securing Absentee Ballots with state or federal I.D. is a reasonable step. The Secretary of State already has Driver’s License numbers on file for nearly 90 percent of voters, as Motor Voter registration and online registration, are the top two sources of voter registration. Either a number matches, or it does not, much less subjective than a signature match.
But the bulk of the other ‘new security measures,’ like the water/sandwich ban just make our state look stupid and petty and like we do actually practice voter suppression here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve argued with folks out of state asking me what it’s like to live in a state where our last gubernatorial election was ‘stolen.’ Yeah, the other side also has conspiracy theories that they won’t let go of either.
Back to my Bulldogs and the United, I want my teams to win, but I also want my team to be the BETTER team. To play smarter, appreciate their fans, improve their skills, play at the top of their game, and even occasionally run up the score. But I don’t want to win by default, by cheating or changing the rules in our favor. That’s what they do in California.
And I’m still very clear that is both out west and to the left. Bigger government, state take-over of local control? That’s all left…I told you these guys are losing their way. Wrong is right? And right is wrong on this one… Wrong enough to cause a major shift in direction. And these wounds are again…self-inflicted.