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Goodbye to the politics of 2012

Posted: January 2, 2013 - 1:02am

How was your 2012?

Plowing through a year’s worth of newspapers puts an interesting perspective on it. Personally, I’d like to think I was a little kinder in the past year. Some of that is simply because there were fewer reasons to make less-kind comments.

Much of 2012 seemed like one long political campaign. At the end we were so focused on the major party presidential candidates, Obama and Romney, that we likely forgot that at first there were more than a half-dozen Republicans fighting for the chance to lose to Obama.

I doubt many people other than hard-core party political junkies could even name all the ones who were in Georgia’s Republican presidential primary. Most would probably recall Rick Santorum or Rick Perry, or Newt Gingrich, or maybe Michele Bachmann. But Buddy Roemer? Or Gary Johnson? Or Jon Huntsman?

With the perfect hindsight of Romney’s loss, it seems hard to believe that he was the one who made it out of that crowd. Heck, from Columbia County’s perspective, it’s hard to believe he lost in November, but that’s the way it rolls.

Speaking of rolling, we all started paying that extra 15 percent in sales taxes Monday, thanks to the folks in the rest of our district. Columbia and Lincoln County voters had the good sense to say “no” to the T-SPLOST, but the rest of the district loves more taxes.

Even though the T-SPLOST lost in Columbia County, I doubt it had much effect on the outcome of the 12th District congressional race despite the fact that the first person to sign up for that race, Lee Anderson, was a T-SPLOST supporter.

But just as we lost in the T-SPLOST referendum, Columbia County voters were outnumbered in the 12th District election’s outcome as Democrat John Barrow rode the Augusta Obama wave to win. He’ll take a victory lap at 8 a.m. Jan. 7 at the Appling Courthouse for an agriculture “listening tour.”

A couple of things about that: First, the Appling Courthouse isn’t in the 12th District. It’s in the 10th District.

Second, I can’t imagine any topic further down the list of local importance these days than agriculture. Heck, even Barrow’s gun-waving TV commercials seem more relevant now.

Maybe he just wants to rub it in since he beat a Columbia County farmer in the election.

Other local elections in 2012 were lackluster. Barry Fleming, as expected, won back his old seat in the state Legislature, while the magistrate’s race, school board races and county commission races looked like cakewalks. Even Sunday liquor sales coasted to victory.

The good news for 2013? There are no elections scheduled. Losers will have plenty of time to plot their next moves (or decide to leave politics altogether), and the winners will be able to actually attempt to do what we elected them for.

The rest of us can hope if the country falls off the fiscal cliff, that some of the politicians jump with it.

Happy new year.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-868-1222, ext. 106. Follow at www.twitter.com/
barrypaschal.)

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