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The Book of the Week is “Flipped, How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power” by Greg Bluestein, published in 2022.
According to the book (which appeared to be credible although it lacked Notes, Sources, References, or Bibliography), in the 2010’s, a Republican candidate in Georgia would better their chances of getting elected when they were on Fox News all the time and became a darling of hard-right conservatives.
Former president Barack Obama said manufacturing and mining jobs weren’t coming back. Former president Donald Trump contradicted him, saying the coal industry would be returning (but he was wrong). Similarly, in 2017, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams told her opponent Stacey Evans, that a certain scholarship program wasn’t coming back. Significant funding that would assist financially challenged students was part of a bygone era in Georgia. Sadly, she was right. Nevertheless, a new Democrat political coalition in the state was on the rise.
For decades and decades well into the twentieth century, the Democrats, via gerrymandering, maintained a stranglehold on Georgia politics. The GOP implemented voter-suppression tricks in order to turn the tide, beginning in the 1990’s. In 2018, state election officials sent a postcard to voters telling them they were required to re-register to vote even if they changed residences within the same county in Georgia, or else they’d be ineligible to vote come election time. The ACLU put the kibosh on that with a lawsuit.
As is well known, the most recent decade saw especially vicious feuding between Democrats and Republicans in Georgia. A bunch of cliches apply to the campaigning environment:
Turnabout is fair play, but–two wrongs don’t make a right. And a pox on everyone’s house– because an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Two other cliches apply in politics, too: A man is known by the company he keeps, and when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.
When former vice-president Al Gore was campaigning for president in 2000, he cringed when former president Bill Clinton insisted on helping him campaign by making appearances and endorsing him. Gore’s association with Clinton was not a good look anymore. Similarly, messaging of former president Trump was unwelcome during the Georgia runoff campaigns between Democrat and Republican senate candidates at the end of 2020. The Democrats enjoyed the delicious irony that their side was helped when voters (who would have voted for the GOP candidates) were told by Trump to stay home and not vote in revenge for the “rigged” presidential election.
One theme the author also could not help but mention that involved the state of Georgia, was the recently concluded but contested, presidential election. Lieutenant governor Geoff Duncan appeared on CNN and Fox News shortly after election day in November 2020 to “… invite Georgians who had evidence of legitimate voter fraud to come forward. None could do so.” Governor Brian Kemp also stood pat and did the right thing, because the fact was, “State lawmakers can’t retroactively change election law after a vote to help a candidate [such as Trump].”
Read the book to learn of: the candidates’ campaigns, conflicts and confrontations, and their many attendant issues, such as GOP senate candidate Kelly Loeffler’s part ownership of a WNBA team and the suspicious timing of her stock transactions; the ambivalence of most GOP candidates in uttering anything negative about Trump lest they lose votes; and much more.