The Albany Herald endorsed Mike Keown for congress in Georgia’s second district over Sanford Bishop. I think that newspaper is wrong because Bishop is uniquely qualified and appropriate to represent the urban/rural; liberal/conservative and yes Black/White hodgepodge that is the 2nd District.
Keown is a conservative pastor from a very rural area and speaks with a command similar to a stern father chastising a wayward child. That type sternness has been at the center of the far Right’s reaction to the election of President Barrack Obama. In our system of government, most American adults have the right to elect officials and the actions of those public servants should reflect the will of the people.
That concept sounds clear in theory but we know that a more detailed explanation is that elected officials do the work of those Americans that vote, vote, vote. President Obama and the Democrats did well in southwest Georgia in 2008 and those election results gave direction to Rep. Sanford Bishop. For some reason, the Tea Party division of the conservative movement feels their votes count heavier that other Americans’ vote. It must because they are smarter or something.
If Rep. Sanford Bishop did everything the Tea Party Movement wanted during the last two years, he would have been functioning in an unconstitutional manner because he would have ignored the desires of the majority that put him in office. As a moderate, I could accept a Republican taking this swing seat if the guy was a policy wonk like Austin Scott or a conservative with a personal history of talking with various communities like Rep. Jack Kingston, Senator Johnny Iasakson or former Senator Sam Nunn.
Bishop came to congress 18 years ago after serving in a majority White state legislature seat; he prides himself on relating to and having a comfort level with everyone. As a blogger, I watched the Keown campaign from day one and rarely saw them working to build relationships with my community. The tone in Tea Partiers’ voice when then say “Barrack Obama,” “Sanford Bishop” and “Nancy Pelosi” is something different from regular Republicans. You know the tone and if you have forgotten it shame on you. Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.
Keown ran a strong race but some other congressional district or statewide position would be better for him and better for us. Bishop won’t win this election if the people who gave him a mandate in 2008 don’t vote on November 2.
An Albany city commissioner, who is also a Darton College professor, told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that Rep. Sanford Bishop was a $100 million dollar industry in south Georgia based on this position on the House Appropriations Committee. In one of the poorest areas of the nation, the voters shouldn’t drop a congressman who secures funding for economic development, training and job creation.
This hard campaign has served the purpose of making Rep. Bishop aware that he must be in the middle of helping President Obama shape more-moderate policy if he wants a second term. And that’s it; the reason far right conservatives want Bishop gone from the Democrat Caucus is so the remaining Dems are so liberal that the presidency will go their way in 2012. The Tea Party candidate for president will be Sarah Palin and keeping Palin out of the White House starts with voting for Bishop on Tuesday.
Did the Albany Herald ever ask Mike Keown about his opinion of a possible Palin presidency? Keown keeps bring up my old boss Rep. Charles Hatcher, who Bishop defeated in 1992. As one of the last loyal Hatcherheads, I can say Hatcher always said you don’t get rid of committee chairs and appropriators because they deliver for home. Hatcher knew the Farm Bill like the back of his hand and wouldn’t jeopardize the provisions of interest to south Georgia by bouncing Bishop during tough times.