Among the post-mortems written about last week’s elections, the best in my estimation was penned by radio talker Neal Boortz. It boils down to this: Boortz makes the case that the Republican Party is going to kill itself by continuing to put so much focus on abortion, immigration and gay marriage, rather than core issues such as limited government, tax reform, a strong military and the rule of law.
Republicans will die as a national party if they don’t confront the fact, Boortz says, that abortion is never going to be illegal; that gay nuptials aren’t a threat to their own marriages; and that illegal immigrants in the United States are never going to be rounded up and deported.
“If the GOP cannot turn loose of this mindless social conservatism, then you will be relegated to second class status (politically speaking) for the remaining days of this Republic, which may not be all that many,” Boortz writes.
Here's the link to his column: www.boortz.com/weblogs/nealz-nuze/2012/nov/08/republican-party-let-me-help-you-out/
Give him a read and let me know what you think.
Speaking of Republicans, a couple of Columbia County Republicans who have been around a lot longer than I have pointed out that my recent column was incorrect in assigning the distinction of the county’s first elected Republican (in the modern era).
It’s quite an interesting story, and tells a lot about the pettiness that can get entwined in party politics.
As political veteran Bob Beckham notes, the first Republican elected in Columbia County was a woman, Lee Morris. She was elected as justice of the peace from the Evans District in 1980.
Shortly after Morris’ election, state lawmakers saw that many of those county positions around Georgia had gone to Republicans. Their reaction was to rewrite the state constitution to put justices of the peace (and small claims court) under newly created magistrate courts. The chief magistrate was elected countywide, and because Democrats still held majorities even in counties with pockets of Republicans (like Columbia County), the change forestalled Republicans from making inroads. And it put the justices of the peace elected as Republicans, like Morris, under the supervision of elected Democrats.
In 1982, Columbia County elected its first Republican lawmaker when Jim Hill defeated then-Democratic state Rep. Bill Jackson. “The Republican Party was on the move,” he says. “He went door-to-door, worked his butt off and he won.”
In 1984, the remaining dominoes began to fall when Suzanne Scott was elected to the school board (those races were still partisan then) and Otis Hensley was elected sheriff. This revolution by evolution was occurring across Georgia, and the ruling Democrats tried to slow the rise of Republicans by changing elected school superintendents to appointed positions (which Columbia County voters opposed) and turning school board seats into non-partisan posts.
And, as I’ve previously noted, the Legislature dictated that ballots list candidates by order of the party of the governor, keeping the Democrats listed first until after Sonny Perdue defeated Roy Barnes in 2002.
By the turn of the next decade, Republicans had captured a majority on the Columbia County Commission, and within a few years Republicans held every partisan elected position in the county.
And now the rest is history, or one day will be.