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I am sick and tired of national folks taking political jabs at my south Georgia congressional delegation.  The fellows need to jab back.  My rural south agenda focuses on agriculture, education/jobs, military/veterans and transportation.  If they take care of those areas, other stuff is secondary because all politics is local.

My Georgia is the area south of a line from Columbus to Macon to Savannah.  “JABS” could be Jack, Austin, Bishop and Saxby as in Rep. Jack Kingston, Rep. Austin Scott, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Sen. Saxby Chambliss.  Of course, Senator Johnny Isakson is the coolest of the cool and we appreciate his ATL-based service as well.  Party politics requires these guys to publicly act combative with each other but we know that JABS circle the wagon when Georgia issues are on the table.   

Sen. Chambliss catches heat from the far Right when he negotiates with Democratic senators but kuckleheads should know that negotiating is what leaders do.  Jack Kingston can throw policy jabs with the best of them but coastal Democrats will admit that Jack will go anywhere to explain his rationale and many African American conservatives have worked in his D.C. and district offices; the same can’t be said about most GOP congressmen.  

The Austin Scott and Sanford Bishop areas of south Georgia are interesting because the recent changes to the congressional map made Bishop’s district more Dem-friendly and Austin’s area more GOP friendly.  Does this mean Bishop is going to become more liberal?  No.  Actually, Bishop, as an appropriator, has become more of a fiscal educator during his Georgia visits.  Of course, he isn’t as fiscally conservative as Austin Scott but considering SDB’s district he does more than expected and hears it from real liberals. 

The new map will move my hometown from Bishop’s district to Austin’s district but that is fine with me because interests don’t stop on political lines.  Kingston has always protected Naval Air Station Jacksonville because many employees from that base live in southeast Georgia and a similar situation exist between the 8th district and the 2nd district.  People live in rural towns but work, dine and shop in Albany, Columbus and Macon.  So, the conditions in both areas are contingent or mutual.  

I am keeping my eyes on JABS and would love to see them use the basketball fundamental technique called the jab step to get the national haters off them.  In basketball, this moved is used to create space from the opposition before executing one’s next scoring move.  Jack, Austin, Bishop and Saxby deliver or score for south Georgia but I need them to be more vocal about their achievements.  And if an occasional misstep occurs, Georgians can weigh the good vs. the nots-so-good and decide.  For example, we heard a lot of drama about candidate Nathan Deal but he has been a decent governor who is about to overhaul the expensive criminal justice system in this state.  We spend too much money on criminals and change starts with education. 

Look, people have agendas and you can detest folks for working their hustle. But, national groups can’t tell me that JABS are wrong; those guys are fellow Georgians and we will make that determination on our own.  As a matter of fact, regular Georgians should use the web and public events like our unlikelyalliesproject.com meetups to discuss our elected officials.

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I watched NCAA basketball, Ken Burns’ Civil War and the healthcare reform debate on T.V. yesterday.  Options and strategy came to mind involving all three. 

At Gettysburg, General Robert Lee called for Pickett’s Charge when everyone could see that a second plan of action or inaction was needed.  An officer in the field must assess the situation and make wise decisions.   On the second day at Gettysburg, Union General Joshua Chamberlain had his Maine’s 20th Infantry troops pivoted like a barn door on the hill known to history as Little Round Top.  This flanking maneuver stopped the 15th Alabama Infantry.    

In basketball, the “Dropstep” is a classic pivot move for a big player with his or her back to the rim.  The player must decide if he should do a sky-hook, turn and face the defender, drive to the basket or (if the double team comes) pass the ball out to an open teammate for a three-point shot.  The Dropstep move to the rim is a classic because the first step makes defending or blocking the shot difficult. 

With votes against healthcare reform, many Democrat members of congress made their first big step toward this year’s elections.  However, cumbersome southern GOP is likely not flexible enough to assess their options and execute a move to score.  That assessment involves analysis of their strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their opponents.  Is he out of position? 

Great generals and ball players also notice and exploit problems and confusion with the other side like General Washington crossing the Delaware River when his opponents were celebrating the holidays.  Democrats who voted against the healthcare reform legislation had genuine concerns with cost and the size of government.  They knew the November elections would be fine because their GOP opponent would be someone angry and off-putting to moderate voters.  If the GOP has smarter coaches, they would give the voters approachable options since some view those Democrats as Benedict Arnolds.

The GOP has a big man with his back to the goal that is shadowed by a tough defender.  The move would be kick the ball out to a three-point shooter if you have some of them on their team.

The Drop Step

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc9urNigJOA

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