Dumb as a Georgia Peach

This is Ridiculous IV

There's lots of stupid going on, as usual, but I want to comment about the Georgia governor's race. Yes, I can comment on things I know basically nothing about. I came across a Wall Street Journal article about the primary results, Rough Republican Runoff Set in Governor's Race. Background: Georgia has a primary system that requires a run-off election for any race in which the winner doesn't get a majority of votes. First, the Democratic side.
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Former governor Roy Barnes surprisingly managed to get a majority, 66% of the vote in fact. But why is this popular politician still not the Governor of Georgia? "Mr. Barnes lost his 2002 re-election bid to Sonny Perdue, partly in backlash for his successful fight to remove the Confederate battle symbol from the state flag." This is a good quick introduction to current Georgia politics. Hang on for the Republican race (pun intended).
Former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal are headed for the Aug. 10 runoff for the Republican nomination, according to the Associated Press. The three-week runoff will likely be dominated by a continued brawl over who is more conservative on immigration, abortion and gay rights.
So those are three most important issues facing Georgians today, huh? Well, I'd imagine that a GOP hopeful would be conservative on these issues, but what exactly are we talking about here?
Ms. Handel opposes abortion but has made an appeal to women voters by highlighting her support of exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. She was the only major Republican candidate not to get the stamp of approval from the Georgia Right to Life Political Action Committee because of that stance.
WTF?!? That's an appeal to women voters? If your pregnancy is likely to kill you, you can get an abortion?!? What woman wouldn't want that choice? For that matter, what man wouldn't allow that choice? Too many question marks - this is f*cked up. The second sentence could be confusing, perhaps other major GOP candidates didn't get a good pro-life stamp for other reasons. But still, protecting the fetus is one thing, forcing childbirth no matter the result on the mother is another. [See Update below] The numbers:
Ms. Handel had 33% of the vote to Mr. Deal's 24%, in unofficial results. They both led former state Senate President Eric Johnson, who had 20%, and the race's former favorite, Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who had 17%. .... After months of trailing Mr. Oxendine in the race, Ms. Handel surged to the front of the field after a late endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Oh no she did-ent! Peachers, pls refudiate. Explanation and laundry list:
Mr. Oxendine had been the front-runner for months, raising more money than his opponents and leveraging his status as the only current statewide officeholder in the GOP field. Mr. Oxendine also allied himself with Tea Party activists and made denunciations of the Obama administration and the new federal healthcare bill the keystone of his campaign.

But controversy has dogged most of the Republican field, with the candidates firebombing each other over alleged ethical abuses. Mr. Oxendine has been sidetracked by questions about campaign contributions from insurance interests. Mr. Deal has been fending off accusations that he sought preferential government treatment for his businesses, and Mr. Johnson, the former Senate leader, has been criticized for being too lenient in an ethics probe of the former House speaker. Ms. Handel has also come under scrutiny, distancing herself from the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican advocacy group whose support she once sought.
The first three look like ethical abuses, but asking teh gays for support is un-ethical? (spelling intended and I know that's not what they're trying to say). So it looks like Handel is the least conservative on abortion and gay rights. Oh, and immigration, too:
[Deal] has focused on immigration reform, and once authored legislation to end birthright citizenship for babies born in the U.S. whose parents were illegal immigrants.
So, if the WSJ's prediction holds up, Nathan Deal (and Newt Gingrich, who endorsed him) will be the winner, while Handel (and Palin) will be the loser. For the Democrat Barnes, he wins the next three weeks no matter what. I'm hoping for a nasty intra-GOP fight.

Originally, I had a long section on how I found the WSJ story, but it is better placed as its own entry: The League of the South.

Update: WSJ didn't get it right. The pro-life group does make an exception for the life of the mother. Handel is the only GOP pol to not get the stamp of approval, because she also makes an anti-abortion exception for rape and incest. On this point, Handel does not agree with her endorser, Palin. Just another reason to illustrate Palin is quite pragmatic about her pro-life stand. She certainly isn't anti-choice in practice.

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