Political Animal


May 02, 2013 3:05 PM The Broun Effect, Continued

By Ed Kilgore

I’ve been treating the upcoming Senate Republican primary in my home state of Georgia as something of a controlled experiment measuring the rightward pressure on Republicans generally. So it interests me that the presumed “moderate” in the race, Rep. Jack Kingston, has formally announced his candidacy by warning he’s up to the nobody-gets-to-my-right competition, per this report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein:

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has a message for his conservative challengers for an open Senate seat: He won’t be outflanked on the right.
In announcing Wednesday that he’s joining the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat, the Savannah Republican told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s a workhorse who “will yield no ground to any of my opponents as to who is the most conservative.”

That’s saying a lot when his opponents are the conventionally wacky Phil Gingrey and Tom Price (who lest we forget came close to becoming the Tea Party-backed challenger to Speaker Boehner a few months ago) and then the wingnuttiest of them all, Paul Broun, who is clearly driving the pace car in the race to the Right.

Now to be fair, Kingston did allow as how he’s been willing to “work with the other party and do that without selling out our philosophy.” As a long-time member of the Appropriations Committee, he has to say that, or otherwise squarely take the blame for the insane domestic spending increases conservative stalwarts associate with the Bush administration as much as its successor.

I personally think Kingston is on a fool’s errand, though he might stand a chance of squeaking through a divided primary field on the basis of being the only candidate from south of Atlanta, and then maybe beating someone like Broun in a runoff if the zany extremist goes around the bend and starts calling for armed revolution against the evil secular-socialists who control both parties in Congress. But it will be both entertaining and instructive to watch the whole show.

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 May 02, 2013 3:22 PM:

    What the hell does "...nobody-gets-to-my-right competition..." mean, nowadays?

    How much further right is there to go?

    What, no one else's feet will go higher than yours when you're goose-stepping?

    No ones shirt will be browner?

    No one will "Zeig Heil" any quicker or louder?

    Start talking about putting Libtards in with the gays and immigrants in camps where they're concentrated, and therefore easier to control?

    My apologies to Mr. Godwin and his "Law," but really, any further right, and we're not that far from Mussolini and Hitler, here!

    And this guy's supposed to be the "REASONABLE" one, in this race?

  • Peter C on May 02, 2013 3:39 PM:

    We have two important tasks:
    1. We need to draft a credible candidate.
    2. We need to document the primary struggle carefully and completely, preferably on video.

    These sort of 'any-position-you-can-take, I-can-find-one-that's-closer-to-fascism!' contests tend to alienate normal people. We've got to bring the behavior into the sunlight where voters see it clearly and then give them a reasonable alternative. Even in Georgia, there are an ample number of normal people. But, we've got to do more than just watch. We've got to document it and offer an alternative.

  • Citizen Alan on May 02, 2013 4:07 PM:

    Who is running in the Dem primary?

  • registeredguest on May 02, 2013 4:35 PM:

    C U N D Gulog is asking the same question I was asking myself as I read the article.

    We liberals should have long ago learned from Frank Luntz that how you frame the debate is often how you win the argument. Although since facts have a liberal bias we won't have to be as dishonest as Luntz in our characterizations.

    Instead of calling Rep. Kingston "far right" let's label him the fascist that he is.

    And let's resist the fascist's push back. I remember when Bush was being compared to Hitler the righties (fascists) immediately were up in arms claiming anyone who brings up the appellation Hitler loses the debate.

    Well I think it's well applied when a leader illegally invades another country, kills 100s of thousands of their innocent citizens, uses torture as policy, and lies to it's citizens.

    If Kingston wants to claim no one will out flank him on the right then let's call him what he is a Fascist.

  • Decatur Dem on May 02, 2013 5:17 PM:

    No one has announced yet for the Democratic primary. According to Jim Galloway's "Political Insider" column April 12, likely contenders will be Rep. John Barrow and Michelle Nunn.

  • Steve in the ATL on May 02, 2013 6:24 PM:

    Whatever happened to Lewis Massey? Would Michael Coles try again?

    This is a truly insane group of Republicans, but Georgians seem to have no qualms about electing horrible people if they have the R next to their names on the ballot (cough Nathan Deal cough).

    Isn't there someone we can run from our wafer-thin bench?

  • Hoodie on May 03, 2013 10:56 AM:

    Kingston will have a hard time pulling that off against those guys, so it bodes well that he's going to take that tack. You have to hope for a Broun nomination and a bunch of Todd Akin moments in the general. Michelle Nunn should run and just post signs all over the state bearing only her last name. Maybe change her name to Samantha.