Opinion: Who’s afraid of the big, bad ‘establishment’?

We’re now six months away from picking party nominees for Georgia’s statewide offices. Most voters probably aren’t paying much attention to the campaigns yet, but some themes are starting to emerge.

One theme is a staple of contemporary election cycles, particularly on the Republican side: What is really needed, some candidate says in seemingly every race, is someone who will fight back against “the establishment.”

To which I must ask, at what point does the referee stop this fight? “The establishment” has taken body blow after body blow in recent years, without landing many of its own.

Forget Donald Trump’s presidential victory; his mere nomination by the GOP was a win against the party’s establishment. Not just in terms of the primary opponents he defeated, although beating the Bushes is no small thing. Trump also dismantled party orthodoxy on issues ranging from trade to foreign policy. With his hard line on immigration, he repudiated then-conventional GOP wisdom that future victories at the ballot box would require extending an olive branch toward Hispanic voters.

This shows up in state politics, too. Before 2016, there was 2014 — and the original businessman “outsider,” David Perdue.

Now, jean jacket or no jean jacket, an ex-Fortune 500 CEO and cousin of a recent governor is a bit more insidery than Perdue let on during his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But he did defeat a quartet of longtime elected officials. And while I don’t want to overstate this, it’s fair to say the preponderance of support from “the establishment” in the GOP primary runoff that year went to his opponent, Jack Kingston.

If “the establishment” of the Georgia GOP were running the show, one might expect smaller, more strategic contingents of Republicans in recent special elections. After five Republicans this month split the vote and allowed two Democrats to make the runoff in a GOP-held state Senate seat, following a near-disaster in the 6th Congressional District when Jon Ossoff almost slipped past 11 Republicans, settling internal matters in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms might merit a second look.

What about policy and legislation? Well, it wasn’t Democrats alone who defeated Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District measure on the 2016 ballot. That took an anti-establishment backlash, in the name of local control, in a lot of deep-red counties (whose schools were never at risk of state intervention due to poor performance anyway).

And you know what “the establishment” in Georgia, writ more broadly than just the GOP, didn’t want to pass the General Assembly? Try religious-liberty legislation. Try the campus carry bill. Deal vetoed both in 2016, but the latter returned indomitably this year and is now law.

To the extent there is an “establishment” blocking conservative-minded reform efforts in this state, it labors chiefly in fields not dominated by Republicans. K-12 public schools come to mind.

Need more proof that the GOP “establishment” is fighting uphill in Georgia? Consider the fact, revealed on financial disclosures this past week, that the state’s dominant political party is some $700,000 in debt thanks to mismanagement by the previous regime.

Georgia has problems, no doubt. But they remain unsolved generally because they’re hard nuts to crack, not because some shadowy cabal stands in the way of clear popular opinion. If the latter is a candidate’s go-to mantra, perhaps he just doesn’t want to do the hard work.

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
Caius
Caius

Surprised by the lack of discussion of the SCOTUS denial of a hearing on appeal of a Maryland law outlawing the AR 15 type firearms and a Florida law denying open carry.

The news is not the ruling (Heller says it is OK) but the fact that it was 9 - 0. A ruling that said AR 15 type firearms are not covered by the 2nd Amendment. The Court let stand a 10 - 4 Appeals Court ruling by 9 - 0.

I find the 9 - 0 vote astounding and wonder what is behind the vote.




SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Caius 

State laws vs federal laws. The SCOTUS will typically defer to the states. I support concealed carry but have never been a fan of open carry.

Olivia_Ava
Olivia_Ava

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°°°°°°http://ow.ly/pqaC30fgvnI 

bendedknee
bendedknee

So how is the vote on the billionaire tax relief act  going cons? 6.6 trillion dollars in revenue lost after Bush tax cuts; maybe 10 trillion  revenue lost  this time plus another opportunity for cons to tank the economy.

Who was the president when stock market crashed in 1987 and again in 2008? which party did they belong to?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

A prime example of the Washington swamp is the CFPB. Mulvaney, is just the man to drain that swamp of bureaucratic snakes.

bendedknee
bendedknee

@SGTGrit Marietta attorney running a boiler room collecting on invalid and expired collections paid US taxpayers 3 million dollar fine due to prosecution by CFFB . Black guy from Kenya and Pocahontas  responsible for creating CFFB so for SGTG  and his bunch of bigots and anarchists it is all bad.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @bendedknee After the latest big recession under Dubya you're saying banks don't need to be regulated? 

bendedknee
bendedknee

@Starik @SGTGrit @bendedknee SGTG and most cons can't respond to facts when challenged so we get stupid comments about Kool Aide  and democrats  in response 

Doomy
Doomy

@Starik


Much better man. But I doubt the word will get out enough to put him in. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik 

Better man than most of the pizz complected shyte in Washington.

Doomy
Doomy

The establishment is the swamp. And that swamp is exactly what Trump was elected to fight. The current fight with the CFPB is a perfect example of the swamp, or establishment, needing to be tamed. 


And in other news I see that the progs who've been screaming that Roy Moore should drop out of the Alabama senate race over an allegation from nearly 40 years ago, which he denies, are strangely quiet over Al Franken and John Conyers refusing to vacate their seats even though Franken has admitted to his sexual assaults and Conyer's sexual assaults required taxpayer hush money. 


The 3 certainties of life are death, taxes, and the mind boggling hypocrisy of the Dims. 

Starik
Starik

@Doomy Aren't you part of the establishment? 

Doomy
Doomy

@Starik @Doomy


And how, pray tell, would I be considered part of the political establishment?

Starik
Starik

@Doomy @Starik Because you're part of the "business" establishment, bigly. That's who's really in charge. The Swamp.

Doomy
Doomy

@Starik @Doomy


Naw. I'm a small biddness man with a handful of employees. I would hardly qualify as "business establishment". Goldman Sachs isn't paying me a cool 400k for a speech like they did Hilz. 

Starik
Starik

@Doomy @Starik Sure you are. You support big insurance, big pharmaceuticals, and the medical establishment, that's clear. And you're a Trumpist. 

Doomy
Doomy

@Starik @Doomy


Nope. I'm the one who supports getting rid of insurance as far as paying for all the small stuff and having insurance be like car insurance where they only pay for true catastrophes and truly unexpected events. 


Pharmaceuticals? Sorry. I don't work for one. 


A Trumpist? Nope. I voted for Gary Johnson as I splained numerous times before and shortly after the election. 


I will say however that I am pleasantly surprised by many of his actions- in particular his rolling back of regulations and red tape which do nothing but add costs to the consumer. Why are you guys so anti-consumer?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Doomy 

Unbelievable the hypocrisy on the left. Well on second thought not really.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I'm not as familiar with specifics of Georgia politics as National and have always taken the route that if we get a Republican in office we will be OK.

Trump's election has flushed out the RINO's in Congress and I expect it has done likewise within our state politics.

The "establishment" against everyone else sounds political but surely there are some within the Georgia Repub establishment that embrace Trump's policies instead of being RINO's.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@JohnnyReb


LOL


Quite possibly, Liddle J, you're the most grubered Trump Humper of them all!

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@JohnnyReb So you are uninformed, but blindly vote Republican.  From your posts, I never would have guessed that. /s/

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@JohnnyReb I have never understood what a "RINO" is, except maybe that it's like "activist" judge---somebody you disagree with. And therefore not a true Republican, like yourself.

Starik
Starik

@Aquagirl @JohnnyReb Reagan, George HW Bush, even Romney and Dubya were true Republicans. Trump is a true demagogue.

Doomy
Doomy

@Starik @Aquagirl @JohnnyReb 


Dubya was a good example of a rino. Could probably say the same about his dad and possibly Romney. It was W who got us into trouble with Dim like policies with the subprime housing meltdown. His "home ownership" drive was part of the problem.

bu22
bu22

@Aquagirl @JohnnyReb  A "RINO" is what former Democrats who switched to the Republican party call true Republicans.

jhgm63
jhgm63

When the establishment controlled the purse strings, they could call the shots. Now, not so much ...

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@jhgm63 The establishment does control the purse strings....they do what their donors tell them to do!


We have to pass the tax cut bill to please our donors.

Caius
Caius

Georgia Republicans need to get a pedophile on the ballot,  Seems to work in the state next door.


JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Caius

If there were legal charges against Moore on the alleged incident with the 14 year old girl it would be Child Molestation, not Pedophilia.  Take the time to learn about such charges and quit posting the propaganda you hear from the MSM.

Nancy Pelosi endorsed John Conyers staying in the Senate and stated he must receive due process.

How do you square that with Dim calls for Moore to withdraw when he has not received due process? 


Wings9
Wings9

@JohnnyReb @Caius Johnny, for someone who  is more familiar with national politics than state, you might want to look at which chamber of Congress John Conyers is a member.  Also most "Dims" would love to see Moore and his brand of conservatism elected.   

bendedknee
bendedknee

David Perdue is a disgrace. He will strip naked and run down Pennsylvania Avenue if Trump orders him to do so. 

BTC
BTC

@bendedknee If you look up the word 'sycophant' in the dictionary, Purdue's picture is right there....

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

Kyle,

Voters don't care about policy so long as the economy doesn't crash. Establishment Republicanism is about social greivances. I know that never in a million years will you admit what is really driving your party, because it will reflect on you. Everyone can clearly see it though, and I think the "establishment"has lost and is disappearing.

Trump isn't losing voters because he is keeping the only promise that matters. Its the giant unaddressed elephant in the room.

Kamchak
Kamchak

 but some themes are starting to emerge

Fear?