Political Animal


January 31, 2013 12:32 PM A Walk On the Wild Side

By Ed Kilgore

I was going to await his formal announcement before uttering the cry of joy every progressive blogger will share at the arrival of a cycle’s worth of slow-news-day content. But now that Salon’s Alex Pareene has interpreted the statement of the wife of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Jr. (R-GA) that her hubbie will be running for Georgia’s open Senate seat in 2014 as a de facto announcement, I’ll go ahead and pile on. I will note first that Niki Broun’s assurance was a real in-your-face gesture since it occurred at an event where a potential Senate rival, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (of Komen Foundation infamy), was about to deliver a keynote address.

As Pareene notes, Broun is a bottomless cup o’ crazy, generating wild quotes with an abandon matched perhaps only by his former House colleague Allen West. Alex chooses as his fave a floor speech by Broun in which he compared the enactment of Obamacare to the “War of Yankee Aggression.” My own top Broun chartbuster was his speech last fall to a Baptist Sportsman’s Banquet in his district that expressed his opinion as a member of the House Science Committee that many of the teachings of modern science are in fact “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” The optics are great, too:

It is widely thought that Broun will face another physician who doesn’t seem to care much for science, his House colleague Phil Gingrey, in the primary, with Handel and another House member and conservative firebrand (and yet another anti-health care physician!) Tom Price, being possibilities as well. A crowded field and a probable runoff should make for a lot of “more conservative than thou” posturing.

Georgia was one of the last Deep South states to go Red in non-presidential contests (Gov. Sonny Perdue, elected in 2002, was the first GOP governor since Reconstruction), and its Republicans have made up for lost time with truly uninhibited behavior. The Senate race should be quite the show—truly a walk on the wild side—and with my many contacts in my home state, I’ll have a pretty good perch to watch it all from a safe distance.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on January 31, 2013 1:14 PM:

    I hope the Republican primary debates won't be scheduled at the same time as the qualification competitions for "The Village Idiot Olympics."

    The VIO ratings will be seriously hurt by those debates, if they're televised.

  • John on January 31, 2013 1:21 PM:

    Any chance of a Democratic pick-up there? Georgia seems to be next behind North Carolina in the "Southern states becoming more Democratic" column. I understand that the state party is in enormous disarray, but are there any strong Democratic candidates who might have a chance against a super-crazy like Broun?

  • CharlieM on January 31, 2013 1:54 PM:

    Yeah, great. Whatever
    Pundits make think it's cute and fun and eager with anticipation. But those of us who live in GA are faced with the real prospect of one of these brain-damaged Bubba's becoming the next Senator.

    No. Not a chance of a Democratic pick-up here. None. The only Democrats with a base here are in Atlanta - and we all know what that means (i.e. the "urban" vote). The suburblicans and the "other GA" simply aren't going to elect anyone with a base in Atlanta.

  • John on January 31, 2013 2:36 PM:

    What about John Barrow? He's terrible, admittedly, but certainly better than any of the possible Republicans, and he's not from Atlanta.

  • TL on January 31, 2013 2:41 PM:

    As one of my friends sadly noted, after 2014 we in Georgia may look back fondly on the Senate term of Saxby Chambliss. That's how bad it is here in terms of a Democratic pickup.

  • Anonymous on January 31, 2013 11:52 PM:

    "Pundits make think it's cute and fun and eager with anticipation. But those of us who live in GA are faced with the real prospect of one of these brain-damaged Bubba's becoming the next Senator."

    just for the record, the rest of us aren't exactly thrilled at the prospect either. it's not like we have nothing at stake in this race.