December 7, 2020

Georgia Senate Runoffs

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“U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned in Georgia on Saturday for two Republican senators at a rally… Trump urged the crowd to vote for Republican candidates in the Georgia runoff election on Jan. 5 despite his unsubstantiated claims of significant electoral fraud in the state… he gave considerable time in his remarks to allegations, made without evidence, of widespread fraud in the nationwide election.” Reuters

“Attorneys Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood urged Georgians not to participate in a runoff vote that will determine control of the Senate in January until state officials address unsubstantiated claims that President-elect Joe Biden won the White House through voter fraud. Powell and Wood are not working for the Trump campaign in an official capacity but have waged legal battles on his behalf. Speaking to the president’s supporters at a press conference in Atlanta, Powell said state residents should not vote until Georgia overhauls its procedures and ends the use of Dominion voting machines.” Fox News

“Georgia voters will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in two January [5] runoff elections. Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face competitive challenges from Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.” CNBC

See past issues

From the Left

The left condemns Trump’s claims of fraud and urges Georgians to vote Democrat.

“Republicans are in damage-control mode in the Georgia runoffs, launching a nascent effort to delegitimize Trump-aligned lawyers who have led calls for a potential GOP boycott of the January races… There are two main problems with this. One is that some top GOP figures — including Trump — have in the past and very recently promoted Wood’s and Powell’s work. The other is that Trump continues to send very mixed messages about whether Republicans should or will turn out to vote…

“Trump has now repeatedly promoted the idea that it’s not worth it to elect Republicans if they don’t stand sufficiently with him… Trump retweeted a user who said ‘why bother’ electing Republicans if they might turn out to be like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), both of whom Trump has attacked for certifying Biden’s win in their states.”
Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“The [election fraud] conspiracy, to be real, would have had to enlist Attorney General Bill Barr, Republican governors and election officials across the country and a plan so complex that it denied victory to Trump while allowing Republicans to gain seats in the House and deprive Democrats of a majority in the Senate… In the face of death threats, Republican officials are pleading with him to cool the temperature. But Trump is shoveling more coal into the boiler.”
Frida Ghitis, CNN

“[During the Sunday debate] Kelly Loeffler refused to acknowledge that President Trump lost the election. She refused to admit that Joe Biden received the most votes. She refused to accept the math… Loeffler was not emotionally present. She spoke in flat notes and seemed to have a handful of set responses that she mixed and matched with every question that arose…

“When Warnock, who grew up in public housing, pointed out that she was the wealthiest person in the U.S. Senate and that such privilege is a hindrance to understanding the plight of clock-punching Americans, she described her own beginnings as humble, noting that she was raised on a farm and waitressed when she was a teenager…

“When she was asked how she would connect with Black Americans after deriding the Black Lives Matter movement, she pointed to her humble beginning growing up on a farm. When accused of being more supportive of the wealthy than ordinary Americans, she brought up her humble youth on a farm.”
Robin Givhan, Washington Post

“Perdue and Ossoff were also supposed to face each other Sunday, just before Loeffler and Warnock. But Perdue refused the invite from the Atlanta Press Club, as he has refused other debate invitations during the high-stakes runoff campaign. Why?… A New York Times report published this week identified Perdue as ‘the Senate’s most prolific stock trader by far, sometimes reporting 20 or more transactions in a single day.’… And they look to have been the swampiest of swampy trades…

“For instance, ‘as a member of the Senate banking, housing, and urban affairs committee since 2017, Mr. Perdue bought and sold shares of a number of financial companies his panel oversaw, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Regions Financial.’…

Salon has reported that Perdue purchased Pfizer stock one week before the pharmaceutical giant publicly revealed that it would be developing a coronavirus vaccine… Ossoff has a message for the voters of Georgia: ‘If Senator Perdue doesn’t want to answer questions, that’s fine, he just shouldn’t run for re-election to the U.S. Senate.’”
John Nichols, The Nation

Here is what you could expect if Democrats [win both senate seats]: A strong coronavirus aid bill to help schools, businesses and people pushed to the edge by pandemic-related job loss, hunger, evictions and other hardships… A higher federal minimum wage. Two dozen states raised their minimum wage this year; eight are phasing in a $15-an-hour minimum over several years…

“A House-passed bill to strengthen the ACA. It would add insurance subsidies for higher income families and pressure 14 holdout states to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income people. It would also allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription prices… it’s up to you, Georgia.”
Jill Lawrence, USA Today

From the Right

The right urges Trump and GOP voters to focus on keeping the Senate majority.

The right urges Trump and GOP voters to focus on keeping the Senate majority.

“Ideally, the Georgia races would be about President-elect Joe Biden and stopping his liberal agenda. Instead, Trump and his fraud claims have become a wedge issue, making it harder for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to bridge the gap between Trump’s base and suburban voters…

“Perhaps Republican voters will ignore all of this come January. But there is a reason that parties seek unity before important elections. At best, Wood-Powell are distracting from the GOP message in the races and, at worst, convincing persuadable Georgians that it is the Republican Party that needs to be checked, not Biden. Certainly, the Wood-Powell logic supports sitting this one out. There is no reason to bother voting if Georgia is controlled by politicians on the take who use technology to predetermine the outcome of elections. Who needs actual agents of the Democratic Party if this is what the most fervent Trump allies are saying?”
Rich Lowry, New York Post

Wood has a history of helping the Democrats. He funded John Edwards's presidential campaign. He funded Barack Obama’s campaign. He funded various other Democratic Senate campaigns to help Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. He has funded a variety of progressive Democrats in Georgia in both gubernatorial races and state legislative races… Wood, who did not vote for Donald Trump in the [2016] Georgia presidential primary but did vote for Obama [in 2008], wants you to let the Democrats destroy the Trump legacy. Will Georgia Republicans believe his lies or stand and fight?”
Erick Erickson, Substack

“The argument that the country needs a GOP Senate to check a President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should resonate with voters now that it’s clear President Trump has lost. The problem is that Mr. Trump keeps stepping on that argument, and muddling the GOP message, with his claims that Democrats in Georgia and elsewhere stole the election… If Republicans lose [these Senate] seats, President Trump will be the main reason, and the main casualty will be his legacy…

“At least for now [Trump] can say, with justification, that he helped the GOP gain seats in the House and avoid a rout in the Senate. But that narrative changes for the worse if the GOP loses in Georgia after Mr. Trump divided his own party to serve his personal political interest. He needs a GOP Senate nearly as much as Mr. McConnell does.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“With a Republican Senate, Biden can say goodbye to plans to pass legislation that would raise taxes, implement a Green New Deal, ban guns, cater to unions, expand Obamacare, and implement a whole host of other liberal priorities. With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the helm, Biden won’t be able to confirm radical nominees to the Cabinet or judiciary. Instead, he’ll be forced to offer more centrist choices if he wants vacancies to be filled…

But if Democrats sweep in Georgia, Schumer will be in charge of the Senate floor. Sen. Joe Manchin will be the only thing standing in the way of the liberal agenda. Republicans will be stuck on the sidelines, forced to sit and hope Manchin holds his ground under enormous pressure from his party and resists cutting backroom deals with Schumer. There isn’t much reason to be confident that this will work out. During his time in the Senate, Manchin voted with Schumer a majority of the time, and as high as 86% during one Senate term during the Obama era.”
Editorial Board, Washington Examiner

“Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler’s biggest advantage is the Democrats they’re running against. Both are distinctly left-of-center in a state that isn’t. Mr. Ossoff has aligned himself with Sen. Bernie Sanders, complimenting the Vermont socialist for his views on health care and opposition to corporations. ‘His advocacy,’ Mr. Ossoff gushed, ‘is welcome, is necessary, is appreciated.’…

“[Meanwhile] Mr. Warnock has endorsed the Green New Deal… [He has] declared from his own pulpit that police have a ‘gangster and thug mentality’ and ‘act like bullies.’ He even told parishioners, ‘You cannot serve God and the military.’ Aren’t there better ways to explain Matthew 6:24 than to insult every person of faith who has worn our country’s uniform?”
Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal

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