Marjorie Taylor Greene. (Elijah Nouvelage for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage

The Jolt: A Georgia congressional candidate flip-flops on Satanic statues

Staking out a position on Confederate history is hard enough for a Republican candidate in Georgia. But one would think that when the topic is Beelzebub, the lines would be pretty clear. 

Up in Dalton, the local branch of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has announced that the group is open to relocating a statue of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, which some locals want removed.

Last week, the statue was a topic of conversation at a meeting of the Dalton City Council. One of several people speaking was Marjorie Greene, the leading Republican In the congressional contest for the 14th District to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger. She’s in an Aug. 11 runoff with neurosurgeon John Cowan.

Greene has caused concern among GOP leadership ranks in Washington because of her belief in a trove of Q-Anon conspiracy theories on the fringe of American political thought.

At the June 15 council meeting, Greene began with comments that few could disagree with. Said the candidate:

“I support keeping all of our monuments, and I'll tell you why. As a mother of three kids, I always want to be able to point to statues, monuments or any type of history so that I can tell my child my children and teach them lessons in our country -- whether they're good, bad, embarrassing, something that I'm happy about something that I'm sad about, or something that I wish hadn't happened.”

But here’s how Greene closed her remarks:

“Whether I see a statue that may be something that I would fully disagree with, like Adolf Hitler, or maybe a statue of Satan himself, I would not want to say take it down -- but again it's so that I could tell my children and teach others.”

Forces unfriendly to Greene note that she has not always felt this generous when it comes to the Dark One. They point us to this Aug. 16, 2018 piece from KATV in Arkansas:

Dozens attended a rally held by the Satanic Temple at the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

The rally comes after the Arkansas legislature approved the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.

During the Satanic Temple's Rally for the First Amendment, a more than 8-feet-tall Baphomet statue was unveiled.

Here’s how Greene responded on a now-deleted Facebook post:

“You know how they attacked confederate statues and tore them down? I see a statue that needs attacked and torn down!!!

The evil that has come out of Arkansas…”

***

U.S. Sen. David Perdue applauds President Donald Trump during his speech at the Black Voices for Trump Coalition Rollout in November in Atlanta.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday about racism, his Middle Georgia upbringing and why he believes Democrats should not block a vote on the GOP policing bill. 

Perdue, who is standing for a second term in November, said he recognizes his experiences as a white man contrasts with the Black people he knows, including two grandmothers he referenced.

“We talked about how their perspective and my perspective differed and how we saw each other in this crisis, but the most telling thing in that conversation was how they told me their No. 1 concern was for their grandsons and how their grandsons would be treated by members of the police force in their communities,” Perdue said, adding, “This issue is personal to me.”

Perdue and other Republicans urged Democrats to keep their bill, the Justice ACT, alive so that they could work on amendments. He mentioned but didn’t elaborate that he agrees the measure needs more teeth, and his office said this bill is currently Perdue’s top priority.

Republicans needed at least seven others to help them reach the 60-vote threshold for the bill to proceed to a final vote. They didn’t get there, as the broad majority of the chamber’s 45 Democrats voted to block the bill from proceeding with support from House Democrats and 138 civil rights groups.

Meanwhile, the House will vote on its Democrat-led policing proposal today. It can pass without any Republican support, but that bill is unlikely to gain traction in the Senate because of provisions that conservatives and the Trump administration believe would tie the hands of law enforcement officers.

***

Dr. Rich McCormick is a Republican candidate in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Special.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Rich McCormick must apologize for putting lives at risk during a pandemic.”

That’s the close of a 30-second digital ad launched by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeting McCormick, an emergency room physician who is the Republican nominee for the 7th District.

At issue is his endorsement of the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of the coronavirus. The FDA recently withdrew certain authorizations for the drug’s use as a treatment. 

McCormick spokesman John Simpson has dismissed the attacks, panning Washington operatives for “telling a Georgia licensed physician how to practice medicine.” 

Check out the ad here.

***

The left-leaning Let America Vote named Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and congressional candidate Karen Handel, a former state elections official, to its “voter suppression hall of fame.”

The group's president, Tiffany Muller, called the Republicans “two of the biggest enemies of voting rights in the country” and claimed they actively supported restricting voting access and disenfranchising voters. 

After June's problem-plagued primary, Raffensperger blamed county elections officials in Fulton and DeKalb rather than take responsibility for technical errors, hourslong lines and issues with absentee ballots.

***

Do campaign rallies matter?

That’s the question Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz sought to answer after President Trump’s Tulsa rally drew a lighter than expected crowd. 

Here’s what he concluded

“Whether either campaign holds live rallies and whether one holds more rallies than the other will probably have little or no impact on the election results at the state level. Campaign events may have other benefits such as energizing supporters and stimulating donations, but in 2016 they did not appear to have any effect on how well candidates did in the states in which they were held.”

***

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 13: Congressman elect Hank Johnson (D-GA) poses for a picture during a break in his orientation class on Capitol Hill November 13, 2006 in Washington DC. The 110th Congress will be sworn in January 2007 when Congress reconvenes. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. Reps. Doug Collins and Hank Johnson were involved in Wednesday’s partisan meltdown at the House Judiciary Committee meeting.

It started during former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer’s opening remarks in a hearing led by Democrats who worry that President Donald Trump’s administration has tried to politically influence federal prosecutors.

As Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, allowed Ayer to speak past a five-minute time limit, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, started banging on his desk in protest. Democrats complained about the noise while Republicans accused Nadler of unevenly enforcing the rules.

Johnson, a Democrat from Lithonia, took things up a notch by suggesting Nadler ask the sergeant-at-arms to remove Gohmert or any else who disrupted the meeting. That is when Collins interjected and began arguing with Nadler about parliamentary procedure.

“The rules are being violated by a capricious chairman who is not following the rules of the House by arbitrarily deciding when the five-minute rule will be applied and when it will not be applied,” Collins, R-Gainesville, said as Nadler tried to shut him down for speaking out of turn. “Mr. Chairman, you have not stated a recognizable way of running this committee in 18 months.”

Democrats gasped, the crowd murmured and, eventually, the meeting carried on.

***

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has Georgia’s House on its second-tier of “expansion” targets, mindful that the 16 Republican-held seats needed to flip the chamber is somewhat of a longshot. 

Most political operatives project Republicans losing six to eight seats in the House, mostly suburban districts. Top targets include Brett Harrell of Snellville, Deborah Silcox of Sandy Springs and Sharon Cooper of Marietta. 

“Notably, Georgia Democrats shattered their last primary turnout record from 2008 and outvoted Republicans in the state, despite widespread problems with absentee ballots and at the polls on election day,” the DLCC said in a recent memo about the campaign. “With the Georgia GOP in a full-blown meltdown, the Peach State is one to watch heading into the general election campaign.”

Republicans are trying to cut their losses and also claim a major victory of their own by ousting House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, whose Luthersville-based district was captured by President Donald Trump in 2016.

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