And I am popping corn.
We have written and spoken about the Georgia Republican Assembly’s insane attempt at changing the rules of the party that would allow a relatively tiny handful of people to decide who would be eligible to run for office as a Republican. The short of it is, if they don’t like you for any reason, they take your elephant away. Nevermind that the two leading candidates for the chief spot in the Georgia Republican Party recently criticized the proposed rule during a debate hosted by Peach Pundit the Podcast™. Nevertheless, they persist.
For purposes of Peach Pundit, we are going to begin referring to the rule as the Alex Johnson Rule. We think it is fair that he always be associated with it and should it pass, the absolute devastation it will wreak on the party. If it fails, it will remain in legacy as one of his attempts to wield absolute control over those who dare disagree with him.
It now looks like the proponents of the rule have decided to spend some cash in the effort to convince delegates to obliterate the party’s dwindling prospects of remaining relevant, creating a website to tout the wrong-headed justification for the proposal. The site heavily quotes GRA Big Wig, Nathaniel Darnell, and links to a video wherein he describes the proposed rule in great detail.
Take note of that last point because it’s going to come back in a second.
The AJC had one of their most accurate portrayals of anything, ever, yesterday in their jolt chronicling the rift the party is seeing because of the proposal. Georgia GRA President, Alex Johnson, miffed that many elected Republicans continue to ignore his existence, won’t stop pushing for the rule and is likely to try to force it onto the floor for a vote on Saturday at the GAGOP Convention.
Enter the Alabama Cheerleader (The ALC) and Ultra-MAGA-everything-all-the-time-self-described-America-First-Tea-Partier, who sent an email of her own condemning the proposed rule. In her typical style, she didn’t hold back, saying the Alex Johnson Rule should be called the, “Destroy the Grassroots Control of the Georgia GOP and MAGA Candidates Rule.”
She ain’t wrong (this time).
If it was this easy to keep Trump, or candidates like him, off the ballot as a Republican you don’t think people with money would take over the convention process to keep them from continuing to damage the cause of genuine conservatism? In the words of the Alabama Cheerleader, “if you think [they] wouldn’t use it to try to stop Trump next year, I have some ocean front property in Ellijay to sell you.”
Further down the email she details a conversation she had over the phone with someone who is making campaign calls to GAGOP delegates to build support for Johnson’s Folly (okay, maybe we will refer to it as that too). The caller tried to imply that Trump supports it, which set the ALC off. She used words like, “appalled, ” and, “liar,” to describe the campaign to support Johnson’s Folly.
Now is the moment to recall the point I asked you to remember above. In an earlier email, the ALC had linked Darnell to the previously mentioned website. This prompted Darnell to reach out to the ALC to clarify he didn’t create the website. As if that matters. The content of the site is a regurgitation of his public writings and statements. He might as well have been its author and creator.
This one small example is symptom of a much larger problem. The people who want to make the determination of who has the right to run for office as a Republican are incapable of seeing the impact of what they say and do. They have no accountability within their own ranks, and no self awareness to realize just how destructive they are to the causes they love and cherish.
When I was in the House, the GRA loved me. I was one of their highest scoring legislators every year I was there. And every year I pleaded with them to stop doing the things they do because it made my job, to advocate for policies they wanted to see, infinitely harder. And you would have thought they would want a legislator like me to be successful, but that wasn’t what mattered to them. No. What mattered was that they felt like they had control. That they could bully someone into taking their preferred path.
And that’s not how you win friends or influence people. And therefore it is why they continue to fail to move the ball on policy. Influence is greater than power, but the GRA still wants power.
I know now that no amount of criticism, no matter how valid or logical it may seem, will convince the GRA that their tactics are self destructive. Like a viciously abused spouse of a hopelessly drug addicted partner, I gave up on them a long time ago. They are going to need to hit rock bottom before they will, if ever, see the error of their ways. Until then, I am going to stick around the GAGOP and support people who are willing to rebuild it when the GRA have finished ransacking the place.