The Suicide of the GOP: A Case Study in Georgia

I live and work in Georgia and have been active in Georgia Republican politics. One of the biggest consistent trends I have seen in Georgia is just how beholden the Georgia Republicans are to the Georgia and Metro Atlanta Chambers of Commerce.

I want to point out exactly how this works to conservatives’ disadvantage and how it will ultimately destroy the Georgia GOP.

Using the Chamber of Commerce model, the Georgia GOP demands social conservatives vote for them while refusing to ever do anything for social conservatives. The only times the Georgia Republicans act is when they can be sure the passage of socially conservative pieces of legislation won’t actually go into effect.

A few years ago, the Georgia Republicans passed a religious freedom restoration act in the year they were all up for re-election, but Republican Governor Nathan Deal was not. He had pledged to sign RFRA into law, but after the legislators — up for re-election — passed it, he vetoed it. The legislators only passed it because they knew he would veto it.

But they’re cracking down on absentee and early voting.

Last year, to much national hubbub, the Georgia Republicans passed a fetal heartbeat bill and many of them only voted for it because they knew a federal judge would block it from going into law.

But they’re cracking down on absentee and early voting.

This week, the Republicans blocked school choice initiatives and also blocked a measure that would prohibit boys from playing on girls’ sports teams. They killed a measure that would allow special needs students into private schools. They killed a measure to protect girls sports.

But they’re cracking down on absentee and early voting.

In the early 2000s, Jennifer Keeton attended Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia. Keeton was an open Christian who adhered to and believed in the orthodox Christian sexual ethic. As a result, the state funded school in Georgia booted Keeton from the counseling program in which she was enrolled. Keeton sued after the professors at Augusta State insisted she put in writing that she renounced her Christian views on sex. She lost her lawsuit.

The Georgia legislature did nothing. But they’re cracking down on absentee and early voting.

In 2006, Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar attended Georgia Tech, another state funded institution. The students joined conservative groups on campus and in the course of several years, the university’s administration bullied the students. One administrator restricted where their organizations could be on campus. Shortly before graduation, the university’s president advised Malhotra to walk away from her academic career at Tech if she wasn’t going to change her Christian views. Malhotra and Sklar filed a lawsuit and the university declined to stop the ensuing harassment against them. Malhotra had to have uniformed police officers protect her at graduation.

They won their case and, among other things, the federal courts made Georgia Tech rescind a policy that designed religions on campus by their level of tolerance. Buddhists had been listed as most tolerant and Southern Baptists as least tolerant.

I documented both Keeton’s case and Malhotra’s and Sklar’s in my 2016 book titled You Will Be Made to Care, which chronicled the rise of the wokes and Christian persecution in America.

The Georgia legislature did nothing in these situations. But they’re cracking down on absentee and early voting.

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court rejected another Georgia academic institution — Georgia Gwinnett College, which like Georgia Tech, had persecuted Christian students who wanted to openly discuss their faith on campus.

Again, the Georgia legislature did nothing.

Last year, the Georgia Board of Pardon and Parole released after seven years in prison a man labeled the world’s most prolific collector of child pornography on the planet. The judge who sentenced the man to 1000 years in prison labeled him that. Two weeks after the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled the 1000 year sentence was not excessive, the Board released him after only seven. The man had over 26,000 images and videos of children being raped and tortured. The trial showed the man has a compulsion. He’s now on the streets of Atlanta thanks to Georgia’s Board of Pardon and Parole.

The Georgia legislature has done exactly nothing.

In each of these cases, the legislature could act. They could legislate. They could investigate. They could impeach.

They have done nothing. Every time they could protect our kids from predators or persecutors or others, they fail.

Only now are the Georgia Republicans in the legislature going through the motions of fighting to defend the integrity of elections. But they are not really doing it for their voters. They’re doing it to try to hold on to their own power — power they never use to benefit or protect their constituents.

Republicans anywhere are going to ultimately lose to Democrats when they decide their path to keeping power is being Democrat-lite, punting on the cultural issues of the day, and changing the rules to make it harder to vote.

At some point, their voters will just stop voting for them. That day may be rapidly approaching in Georgia.