How important is Bennett’s win in Georgia?

A strange thing happened in Georgia last week. In the kind of low-turnout election that Democrats are generally expected to lose, a Democratic candidate won a runoff election for a seat in the General Assembly in a traditionally Republican District. Democrat, Taylor Bennett, is a former Georgia Tech quarterback who ran on his opposition to Georgia’s proposed new anti-gay rights law. His opponent comes from a prominent local political family with deep Republican roots.

This outcome cuts against normal expectations in a lot of ways, but how meaningful is it? Here are a few details of Georgia’s State House District 80.

The district is anchored by the newly incorporated town of Brookhaven. It’s an affluent, close-in suburb of Atlanta, better regarded as inter-urban rather than classically suburban. The core of the district is roughly ten minutes from Emory University and twenty minutes from downtown Atlanta. Brookhaven is white, but not overwhelmingly so. The district, which includes a stretch of neighboring Sandy Springs, is a little less thirty percent Hispanic or black. Importantly, Asians now make up 7% of the district’s voters and rising.

Brookhaven was organized about a century ago as a wealthy retreat with a fine country club. It gradually became urbanized, though until a few years ago it resisted incorporation. Now it has ready access to Atlanta’s new rail system with a prominent new station.

From a quick look back at historical election results, Brookhaven is an old-school Republican enclave, a rare haven for Republicans during the years of smothering Democratic dominance in the South. In other words, unlike the rest of the South, it has a local Republican tradition older than the Dixiecrats.

Parts of it have often been represented by Democrats during the Dixiecrat era. This State House seat was previously represented by a Dixiecrat who had changed parties. But it also has a rare tradition of electing Republicans, including the father of Mr. Bennett’s opponent in this election.

An examination of the election results at the precinct level shows the same kind of eroding support for Republicans at the top of the ticket that we see in urban and suburban areas all over the country. Republican vote share in the most heavily Republican precincts in District 80 dropped by roughly 10% just between the ’12 and ’14 elections, down from a historic peak a decade ago.

With his deep local ties and relatively moderate politics, Bennett’s opponent, J Max Davis outperformed both Romney and Perdue in the district’s Republican anchor precincts and he still lost. The growing hostility to the Republican brand outside the party’s core demographic was just too much to overcome.

A few months ago I described Georgia as a state in the GOP’s critical deep-red category that might become competitive soon at the national level. Here’s the factor I identified as critical to the state’s partisan political future:

Georgia’s future political direction will most likely be determined by the outcome of races in Atlanta and its near suburbs that are too local and obscure to draw the attention of outsiders. To an ever increasing extent, Georgia = Atlanta. Metro Atlanta already accounts for half of the state’s electorate. That figure is guaranteed to climb for the foreseeable future.
….
Georgia’s future hinges on a factor separate from race and ethnicity – urbanization. Of the four questions that hang over Georgia’s political future, Republican’s ability to hold Atlanta’s suburbs is the most decisive.

How significant is the outcome in this year’s race for Georgia’s 80th House District? It depends on whether that assessment of Georgia’s future is accurate. If inner-suburban or inter-urban areas like Brookhaven hold the key to the GOP’s future, then this outcome is about as dire a warning as you can get.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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69 comments on “How important is Bennett’s win in Georgia?
  1. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Georgia, and the metro Atlanta area in particular, has seen a huge influx of young professionals from the North East and Mid Atlantic. They bring a culture and a political mindset that is very different from traditional Southerners.

    One of my best friends lives in Atlanta (Buckhead area) and he moved their from Boston. He would be considered quite conservative in Boston but he’s liberal in a state like Georgia. Seeing the amount of high rise condos and other buildings going up in that area (it makes Houston look small frankly), I can assure you he is not alone.

  2. EJ says:

    Tell me, Chris, I’m curious: Do you ever get tired of being able to say “I told you so”?

    • goplifer says:

      I want to be a bigger person and say “yes,” but I’d be lying. My most costly personal flaw might be the fact that I’d rather be right than win. A true son of the Alamo.

      I wrote about it a little bit once, in relation to a piece about Sarah Palin that had really upset some people:

      “I know it’s low. I know it’s wrong and I hope you’ll forgive me, but here’s the whole article one last time. It feels good in a dirty way, like digging your toes in the cool mud…”

      http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2011/10/because-its-fun-to-say-i-told-you-so/

      • 1mime says:

        Chris, in reading your piece on Palin, I wonder if you see similarities between the campaigns of she and Trump? Now, I know the Don has business experience…a rather mixed bag in its success, but he was born with a silver spoon in his, um, whatever…but, they seem to share other personal characteristics. I admit that when Trump began his campaign, I honestly felt the dog didn’t want to catch the car, a la Palin, but now my thoughts have changed and I am horrified at the possibility. I think Trump would love to win, even tho the White House will be a step down from his usual abodes. As for the work involved, he would surround himself with lots and lots of minions and not worry too much in the process. Your thoughts?

        Another thing about Palin that I have wondered. Do you think Game Change was an accurate representation of her appearance on campaign team?

        As for your “costly flaw”, others might see it as a rather small conceit and delicious justice.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        1mime…I’m still not convinced that Trump is running for anything other than to keep Donald Trump a celebrity.

        Other than a few of his more passionate followers, no one believes Trump can be President, and I believe Trump also knows this.

        He may be stupid, but he’s not stupid.

        Maybe he believes he is shaping the GOP, and maybe he believes he is helping the country by having these conversations, but there is no way he believes he is becoming President.

  3. 1mime says:

    In Scott Burns column yesterday (Burns is a syndicated financial journalist), he profiled Rand Paul’s Flat Tax proposal. Paul’s FT offers a limited progressive tax scale, and retains minimal deductions, but Burns points out that it reduces revenue to the US Treasury by one trillion dollars plus, which will be harmful. Burns offers modifications to Paul’s plan which would increase Paul’s maximum tax cap from 14.9% to a max of 16%, and would retain the progressive feature for lower income earners, while eliminating the payroll tax for SS and Medicare. In place of the payroll tax to fund SS and Medicare/Medicaid, he proposes a nationwide value added tax. Those paying the maximum tax rate today at 39.6% could see a tremendous reduction, those with lower incomes would be progressively taxed per their income as is currently the case but at lower rates or no higher rates than the currently exist. Deductions would be radically reduced, and more people would participate in both the income tax and the value added tax, thus stabilizing the revenue stream for funding government and entitlement benefits.

    This is MY interpretation of Burns’ proposal, so I could be misinterpreting his ideas. Judge for yourself. (link below). You can also go to ScottBurns.com if you want to explore previous commentary on the Flat Tax concept.

    What I hope will happen is that Paul’s proposal will gain enough traction to at least jump-start a discussion on possibilities for reforming our tax code while protecting our quality of life. Note that Burns & Paul’s proposals apply to personal income taxes and does not touch corporate taxes, that I could tell. It certainly offers some tantalizing debate question opportunities if the process opens up the response time format. (which won’t be in the GOP debates given the size of that contingent)

    It is time America utilized the Presidential Debate forums for more substantive discussion.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/scott-burns/20150814-rand-pauls-tax-plan-not-perfect-but-good.ece

    • EJ says:

      What is the rate of the proposed national VAT? Sales taxes are regressive, often extremely so; and proposing to switch from a graduated tax to a flat one will exacerbate that. As a European this alarms me deeply, but then Paul never struck me a a man interested in implementing a low Gini coefficient.

      • 1mime says:

        Burns addresses the regression argument pretty well. I’m not advocating for a flat tax, per se, but I am hoping there will be SOME substantive conversation in the 2016 election regarding America’s tax policies, rates, etc. I do think we need a sustainable revenue source to fund SS, Medicare, because, without it, every time conservatives have a chance they will propose cutting or eliminating or voucherizing. Simply stated, conservatives want to privatize every aspect of government they can and eliminate entitlements whenever possible. I don’t agree with this but without a stable funding source, these programs will be vulnerable. There is also the legitimate argument by those at the top of the income level for a fairer tax that has broader participation. Paul’s progressive FT is a step in that direction. If nothing else, it should provoke serious debate and lots of good questions from smart people like yourself.

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry, EJ, I didn’t answer your question. There was no specific VAT suggested. Given the Congress we have, and the Grover Norquist chokehold on the House membership, it would be a feat if we could get support from Republicans for this – EVEN if it saved them money. But, one can dream/hope/piddle with economic ideas in the meantime.

        Also note that though Paul labels his tax plan as a Flat Tax, it is a “progressive” FT,if such a thing is possible in tax jargon. I merely thought it was interesting, addresses a subject that is important and usually receives only lip service. Wanted to put it out there. Be sure to read the Burns link as he explains his ideas much better than I could.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tracy and I actually solved all of our tax rate problems in a posting a year or two ago. My zany liberal side and his conservative side managed to cobble together something of a solution that was relatively flat with lots of exemptions for low earners.

        Tracy deserves more credit. He was coming up with the ideas, and I was just poking holes in them, but he finally found a spot where we could generally agree. No one would be able to find that wonderful plan lost in the internets for eternity.

        Something of a fundamental problem is that for my taxes to go down (my wife and I have public school educations that ultimately resulted in handsomely paying jobs), someone else’s taxes are going to have to go up if we plan to fund the country at the same level. it would be patently unfair to make poor people pay more just so that I could get a tax cut.

        There is no, “taxes are lowered for everyone” that makes the country work. If you want to cut government spending, go ahead and do that, but cut spending first and then we’ll lower taxes.

      • 1mime says:

        OK, Tracy, Homer has thrown the gauntlet….Did you pigeon-hole the lib/con tax plan Homer said you and he cobbled together? I’d love to see it! (You can leave out the part where you eliminate the IRS (-:

      • 1mime says:

        “Cut spending first”……….That is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it Homer? If only there were a credible way to survey every citizen and ask them to rank order their national budget spending priorities. It would be interesting to see how citizen ranking matched Congressional ranking.

        The “big three” – defense (I’m including VA benefits in this category), SS, Medicare/Medicaid – would have to be “cut” or allocations shifted.

        Anywho, what a shame that this discussion isn’t possible/probable for our Presidential debates. I would like to see each candidate respond in detail to specific issues – but there isn’t – by design – sufficient time in the forums to allow a substantive response. That’s too bad.

        Just yesterday, Walker released his plan to replace the PPACA. It’s fairly detailed, lots of holes, but he put it out there. Paul has his FT plan. The Don his Immigration plan (sort of..). What am I missing?

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Homer, would you have a guess at where to look for the thread that you and Tracy worked on our tax system. I would like to see where you wound up. Don’t put a huge effort if you can’t remember where it is.

        Thanks.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Unarmed…I would have no idea and no idea how to search all of Lifer’s posts.

        Given how wildly off-topic we all seem to go, it is highly likely that the discussion of tax rates was in a Lifer post about something completely unrelated to taxes.

        It was the first time my typically near-violent reaction to flat (or somewhat flat) tax rates has been overcome.

        I think we ultimately still disagreed where the rate would be and how big the exemptions would be at the bottom levels, but those are just pesky administrative things once I could put away some blinders and open up to it conceptually.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        That’s Ok Homer. I’m thinking that tax reform is not as important as it once was as a political issue.

        I remember when you were mailed a hundred page “quick guide to your taxes” and in there were tables that had to be matched with the solar calendar. Now all I have to do is remember my password to an account that I used last year and “POW”, I don’t have to enter my address and SS number or remember my wife’s. If there is nothing extraordinary going on that year, I enter a couple of numbers and I’m done. A large percentage of taxpayers actually look forward to tax time because it is now easy to file and they will get a large return.

        The above aside, I would still support tax reform. Today’s system is a waste of energy.

        Not sure why the big thing is making the tax flatter. Having a progressive tax adds a couple of pages to the thousands of pages of special favors that congress has written in for specific industries and sometimes for very specific businesses.

      • Shiro17 says:

        Does his plan go into details about which tax exemptions would be eliminated? That’s always the issue whenever someone talks about fiddling with the tax rates. Sure, there are some very shady exemptions here and there. But, these usually are very specific and altogether don’t amount to a significant dent, not the kind that would be needed to offset a 15+% deduction in the income tax rates. No one ever mentions that the vast majority of the money exempted comes from three specific exemptions: the mortgage interest deduction, pension plan deductions and employer health care plan deductions. While you might get economists on board with arguing that these deductions are regressive (since richer people are the ones more likely to itemize their deductions instead of taking the standard deduction), GODSPEED to anyone politically trying to go after people’s homes, pensions and health insurance plans.

      • 1mime says:

        All who inquired, here’s a synopsis of how Paul would treat exemptions/deductions, tax rates:

        “All deductions except for a mortgage and charities would be eliminated. The first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed. For low-income working families, the plan would retain the earned-income tax credit….a 14.5% flat-rate tax (will be) applied equally to all personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest… I would also apply this uniform 14.5% business-activity tax on all companies—down from as high as nearly 40% for small businesses and 35% for corporations. This tax would be levied on revenues minus allowable expenses, such as the purchase of parts, computers and office equipment. All capital purchases would be immediately expensed, ending complicated depreciation schedules.

        Paul cites help from the Heritage Foundation (as “right” as can be) and the Tax Foundation, ditto. But at least he’s putting something out there even if it is partisan, As Homer said, when he and Tracy started their tax overhaul quid pro quo via GOPlifer’s blog stream, he felt they got to a mutually agreeable place. THAT is what is needed. Start the process, beat it up, smooth it out, get it done. It also must be bipartisan or the American people won’t buy it.

        Here’s a link to Paul’s tax plan: https://www.randpaul.com/rand-pauls-fair-and-flat-tax-op-ed

      • Shiro17 says:

        For reference, here is a very good and comprehensive estimate of the amount of money each tax deduction currently in place will cost the government (in terms of unpaid taxes) for the next couple of years so that we can all play around and have fun with math: https://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=startdown&id=4663.

        I will reiterate again that there are some very popular tax deductions that would be wiped out if it was just limited to charitable donations and the mortgage income: 1) deductions for payments of state and local taxes (i.e. you would be double taxed), 2) student loan interest payments, 3) pension plans and IRAs, 4) employer health insurance plans, 5) alimony payments, 6) health care cost deductions and workman’s comp benefits deductions, 7) deductions for Medicare and certain Social Security benefits, 8) deductions for home sales, 9) all the armed services and veterans’ special deductions, and 10) incentives for better agricultural practices and renewable energy.

        There’s a lot in the tax code that benefits poorer and middle class families that unfortunately people don’t think about. That’s the main reason why no one has been able to take an axe to the entire tax code despite all the hankering for a simplified system.

      • 1mime says:

        Good research, Shiro! I’m sure businesses feel exactly the same love fest with their deductions…So, what to do? Cut spending? Whose? Cut programs? Whose? RAISE TAXES – OOOOOOOOOOHHH

        Tis a puzzlement!

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Let me first say, I don’t care if there are extremely rich people that buy a 200 foot yacht just so they can pee on the 100 foot yachts as they pass. I am happy with a jar of peanut butter and a clean pair of underwear. And my friends, if I had any.

      But, if Pikettys formula “r>g” or “them that have, gets” is correct, and wealth gets passed to heirs untouched through various tax avoidance devices, eventually a few will own the world.

      Can it go on forever? It doesn’t seem possible. Does wealth continue to accumulate at the top until world wide depression or some other catastrophe such as world war levels things out? And we start all over again? Or is there some other levelling mechanism that I am missing?

      I am sure Paul’s plan does not take this into account.

      • 1mime says:

        No, Unarmed, I doubt Paul’s plan is designed to help level the playing field, nor any of the GOP Presidential candidates. Let me be clear, I am not advocating in favor of a FT, what I am advocating for is a serious discussion within a presidential campaign on serious issues – taxes being one. From my personal perspective, I think SS and Medicare are vulnerable any time the GOP hold majorities in two branches of government. There is no guarantee that Republicans will not win the Presidency and hold Congress. I think those of us who care about funding stability for SS and Medicare need to be vigilant anytime tax reform comes up. That’s what I am attempting to do.

    • Creigh says:

      1mime, the details given look pretty good. Eliminating payroll taxes, which are the most regressive federal tax, is a great start. And the brackets look reasonable. What isn’t talked about is what constitutes taxable income. Does it include dividends and capital gains? Cause that’s where really rich people make out like bandits today. Most of their money isn’t wages and salaries, and it is taxed at a lower rate than wages and salaries. Sorting your income into the different buckets (ordinary income, long and short term cap gains, dividends, qualified dividends) is where most of the tax code complexity comes in and most of the chicanery takes place. That and dodges like stepped-up basis and carried interest.

      • 1mime says:

        Details, Creigh! Important details. Throw inflation-based interest in there as well as most retirees are having a challenging time trying to protect and have modest growth. It isn’t happening on the money market, bond, or CD side for them. Those fortunate enough to be in the market (or unfortunate looking at today’s almost -300 point DJ close) who have dividends and capital gains, are also wary of reductions in these investments due to market pull-back.

        Carried interest, for me, has always been the bugger in the mix. Very unfair, but as you noted, a paucity of specificity. Still, other than Paul Ryan, who else has even put anything serious out there on the Republican side? Especially a proposal that actually strengthens sustainable funding for SS & Medicare?

      • 1mime says:

        Creigh, do you have a financial background? You seem very conversant with this kind of topic and your observations are spot on.

      • Creigh says:

        No formal background, 1mime, but I’m fortunate enough to have some investment income and stubborn enough to do my own taxes. That combination by itself will give you an education in tax policy.

      • 1mime says:

        Have some K-1’s do ya (-:

  4. flypusher says:

    I have to wonder at what point do the crazies cross the line so far that the Dems start winning in Kansas:

    http://cjonline.com/news/state/2015-08-19/kris-kobach-employee-allegedly-fired-lack-religious-fervor-lawsuit-claims

  5. way2gosassy says:

    Is Bennett a one off? If I start to see more R’s being displaced by D’s in local elections I could be convinced there may be a trend. The Mayoral race in Nashville has been an interesting one and watching the debate tonight was enlightening. Red State politics are a little different here in Tn. Compared to Texas politics it is quite tame. No name calling or mud slinging, mostly substantive policy positions. All very polite in a “Southern” kind of way.

    I learned that Nashville’s 50 year old policy of non-partisan city politics makes for better dialog and outcomes for the city. I can see where this could be beneficial in a lot of areas.

  6. Griffin says:

    So in your opinion does Gerrymandering give the GOP a good chance to hold the House in 2016 or could their support in these areas collapse to the point where they could lose it even with the “odds” in their favor? I ask because barring some unseen phenomenon I think the presidency and Senate are basically decided in favor of Democrats it’s the race for the House that could be interesting.

    • Griffin says:

      Also an interesting post from Paul Krugman that links the ideology of “Trumpism” to that of the old Dixiecrats. I figured you might be interested in it. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/trump-in-a-box/?_r=0

      • 1mime says:

        As Matt Dowd said, “it’s all gut, no head”. (speaking of the people he interviewed about their support for trump.

        Then, there’s this observation from Krugman: at some level Trump is catering to that unserved population….(Krugman is referring here to those who like SS and Medicare but don’t want “Those people” to have it.) I think “unserved” is a rather poor choice of wording – possibly “unhappy, or dissatisfied” would be more apt.

        What’s interesting to me is that Trump is tapping into an angst in conservative voters that may have been there for a while, but Trump seems to appeal to a shallow, gut reaction with little regard for the consequences of a Trump victory.

      • Griffin says:

        @1mime That’s certainly true but even among the GOP base the “policies” of the elites in the Republican, such as privitization of social security and Medicare, is not popular. There is a good deal of the hard-right population (especially among older voters) that favors a tepid welfare state that caters only to them but is otherwise highly socially conservative, ultra-nationalistic, and is comfortable with authoritarianism to keep “others” in their place.

        It’s a tradition that goes back to the original nativists, then the Dixiecrats, and now the crowd that likes Trump. Today it’s essentially a 21st century version of American fascism packaged in a silly way that borders on self-parody and doesn’t have a hope of coming to power but it nonetheless has most of the essential cores of fascism. I don’t like using that word because it’s been abused by many to the point of meaning very little in most of its uses and tends to have people (usually correctly) right you off as a crackpot but I don’t have a better way to describe it.

      • 1mime says:

        Instead of ‘fascism’, how about “self-centered”? I have friends who are on medicare and clearly don’t want changes to “their” medicare, but they “hate” the ACA and all those welfare recipients, and illegals, and, oh, btw, Obama is destroying America! It would do no good to remind them that many of “those” people clean their homes, mow their lawns, repair their roads, and put on a new roof when needed….at very good prices. Talk about wanting to have it both ways….

      • goplifer says:

        I’ve actually been writing something similar from a slightly different angle. Phyllis Schlafly, the matron of Christian nationalism is fawning over Trump. Several other prominent religious fundamentalists are goony over him. Ask yourself why religious extremists are backing an adulterous New Jersey gambling mogul who was ardently pro-choice until he started his campaign.

        It strips all the gloss off religious right and exposes it as the last bastion of Neo-Confederate politics. They are willing to throw away all their concern for religious issues to get one last crack at a truly, avidly racist President.

      • flypusher says:

        “It strips all the gloss off religious right and exposes it as the last bastion of Neo-Confederate politics. They are willing to throw away all their concern for religious issues to get one last crack at a truly, avidly racist President.”

        Now, now, we all know Jesus was a blue-eyed White guy who spoke American English!

      • 1mime says:

        And voted Republican (-:

  7. I’m not sure this outcome has much significance of any sort. Rank and file GOP’ers (aside from Obama-voting Chicago GOP precinct committeemen) are generally well and truly p.o.ed with their party, based on present GOP performance (or abject lack thereof) in the House and Senate. There’s a reason why GOP iconoclasts Trump, Carson and Cruz were up in the most recent FoxNews poll, and that reason has a great deal to do with rank and file disgust for the GOP establishment. Any GOP establishment candidate is going to have a very hard time drumming up support from the GOP base in the current atmosphere.

  8. BigWilly says:

    http://taylorbennett.org/#taylorsplan

    He does not mention gay rights, gay marriage, gay anything, anywhere on his campaign web page. He does feature the code words equality, and family.

    http://jmaxforhouse.com/news/

    J Max makes no mention of reprobates burning in hell, and he’s openly catholic. That must be the reason he didn’t defeat Bennett.

    I found something out there from Project Q-means quality right?

    Given the source it kind of makes sense.

    http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/gay_gop_picks_less_gay_friendly_guy_in_house_race?gid=17114

    “Republican vote share in the most heavily Republican precincts in District 80 dropped by roughly 10% just between the ’12 and ’14 elections, down from a historic peak a decade ago.”

    The special election was Aug 11, about one week ago. Do you think the gay mafia played a role in this low turnout election?

  9. 1mime says:

    Also, the Bennett election has helped preclude a GOP legislative super-majority – This may be a transient situation, but it illustrates how important one vote can be to thwart absolute control of a political agenda. I don’t know how many state legislatures are this perilously close (either party) in this regard, but it does pose an interesting incentive to focus one’s election cash and ground game.

  10. Rob Ambrose says:

    I actually would consider this more significant if the guy hadn’t played QB at GT.

    Football (especially college football) is a religion in that part of the country, even more then actual religion.

    • Tom says:

      Well yeah, but you probably don’t understand the UGA/GT rivalry.

      The fact that he played football at Georgia Tech is a negative for UGA fans (which is probably most people in the state.) It would be like Johnny Manziel running for public office in Texas. Think Longhorns would vote for him because football?

    • goplifer says:

      Another interesting note, his opponent played football at UGA.

    • Crogged says:

      A former football quarterback in a football mad state coming ‘out’ (as it were) in favor of defending gay citizens and winning a low turnout election is as significant and unexpected as Cantor losing his safe House seat. The Democratic Party in Texas has a difficult time finding normal people to run against incumbent Republicans in Texas ex-urban/surburban districts. Our alternative choices are Libertarians and Lyndon Larouche supporters.

      • Tom says:

        Running a campaign is tough, and I don’t think there are too many people who will take that on for a no-win race.

        There are probably a fair number of local elected officials who run as Republicans simply because they believe this is the only way to actually win an election. Similar to how you once had conservatives running under the Democratic Party label. At the county level there really aren’t a ton of relevant issues anyway; a county commissioner is never going to be voting on abortion laws for instance. They’re mostly administrative and some judicial positions.

      • 1mime says:

        There are normal people living in Texas?

      • way2gosassy says:

        “There are normal people living in Texas?”

        Why no, we all moved to Tennessee!

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy! You are so right! After living in TX almost sixteen years, I’m not sure I know what normal is anymore!

        Hope you’re feeling ok. Hadn’t seen you post in a while. I’ll bet you’re enjoying those cooler temps in TN…It’s been blistering in TX tho we’re finally cooling down with a few showers.

      • 1mime says:

        First I want to thank Turtles for the link to your first installment of your memoir. Then I want to tell you how special it was for me to learn more about you. One of the sad but necessary things about blogs is the need for anonymity. There are so many special people posting here on Lifer’s blog who I would love to meet in person. In your case, I could relate to your sincerity and depth of feeling in your posts, and now I am learning more about how this special lady came to be. We may never meet but I hope Turtles or you will keep us posted when you release a new chapter in your memoir.

        In reading the comments below your memoir posting, I was struck by how many people regretted that they had not asked more questions of their parents and/or special family members. We usually think of these things when they are no longer here to answer. Life is short but memories last. Thanks, Sassy, for sharing your personal stories. I loved the generous and happy Christmas firemen Santa story. It made me smile.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Hi Mime and Tracy! I’ve been lurking mostly just keeping up with everyone. Now that the garden is done for awhile I may be jumping in from time to time. We are both fine and yes we are enjoying a break in the heat but on our worst days here is no where near the hell we left behind. ; )

      • way2gosassy says:

        Thank you Mime for all your kind words! You give me way too much credit. There are many who post here I would definitely like to meet in person as well. We may sit on opposite sides of the political debate but we are all still human and basically good people at heart. The one thing we all have in common is wanting the best possible world we can have for the greatest number of people.

    • “Why be normal?”

      Isn’t that the 2nd most common bumper sticker in Austin? (After, “Keep Austin Weird!”) 😉

  11. 1mime says:

    The first “crack” in the Dixiecrat structure? I wonder if the nascent “New GA Project” will benefit from this upset? If they’ve still got some juice in their voter registration effort, this could offer the stimulus they need to re-engage.

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