Trump Doing All He Can To Help Make Stacey Abrams Georgia's Next Governor
Republican David Perdue is a pawn in the high-stakes checkers game Donald Trump is playing in Georgia. Trump wants to punish Governor Brian Kemp because he refused to help him steal the election he lost. According to a recent Politico profile, Trump "urged Kemp to use 'emergency powers’ to block the certification of the results and demanded that the governor call a special session to overturn the election results and name a slate of Republican electors to award him the state’s 16 electoral votes.” (Trump should’ve been impeached for his active couping while it was happening, but that’s another post.)
Like an average narcissistic psychopath, Trump thinks he “made” Kemp, therefore he can break him just as easily. He’s backed Perdue’s bid to oust the incumbent governor during the GOP primary. Perdue is a simpering sack of crap. He was one of many Republicans who knew damn well that Joe Biden beat Trump’s ass in Georgia, but along with fellow former Senator Kelly Loeffler, he pushed Kemp to help Trump overturn democracy. They thought it would jazz up the base.
Perdue has stated that if he’d been governor in 2020, he would’ve blocked certification of Biden’s win. The law — and three recounts affirming that win — be damned. He’s also fully embraced the Big Lie. During an interview last week with conservative radio host Brian Pritchard, he said:
Most people in Georgia know that something untoward happened in November 2020 ... I’ll just say it, Brian. In my election and the president’s election, they were stolen. The evidence is compelling now.
Ahead of Trump\u2019s visit, David Perdue echoes the former president by falsely saying he didn\u2019t lose his Senate race either. \n\u201cI\u2019ll just say it Brian, in my election and the president\u2019s election, they were stolen. The evidence is compelling now.\u201d #gapolpic.twitter.com/KrMR5JsKQY— Greg Bluestein (@Greg Bluestein) 1648216751
Most people don’t believe the 2020 election was rigged, because most people voted for Joe Biden, Raphael Warnock, and future president Jon Ossoff. Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia (11,779 votes) was less narrow than Trump’s 2016 Michigan win (10,704 votes) that he never shut up about. However, Warnock soundly whooped Disney villain cosplayer Loeffler by 93,272 votes, and Ossoff defeated incumbent senator Perdue by 54,944 votes. That shit wasn’t close.
Perdue claims that only he can unite Republicans and defeat Stacey Abrams in November, but that seems far-fetched when Kemp has already beaten Abrams once, and Perdue just lost his last election. That’s insane troll logic. It’s also hard to “unite” Republicans when you’re insulting the ones who supported Warnock, Ossoff, and Biden. Racists might want to blame the losses solely on Black people freely voting, but Warnock performed about four points better among white voters than Abrams in 2018. (Their overwhelming share of the Black vote was about the same.)
Relitigating 2020 only serves Trump’s wounded baby pride. Kemp eagerly signed the GOP legislature’s voter suppression bill that targeted Democratic voters. What Republicans don’t need is Trump’s tantrums depressing the MAGA vote, which most GOP strategists agree cost them the Georgia runoffs and the Senate. The Republican share of the electorate decreased from the presidential election to the runoff. That’s unprecedented, but so is a Republican president smearing the Republican governor and election officials while supposedly “campaigning” for the GOP Senate candidates.
Perdue's campaign has no reasonable rationale for ousting an incumbent, and it shows. He's currently trailing Kemp in polls by about 10 points. Trump thought he could change the dynamic with another unhinged hate rally this weekend where he whined about losing the election. How well did it go? Well, Marjorie Taylor Greene was present and gross if that tells you anything.
In 2021, Loeffler arguably performed worse than Perdue because voters considered her more extreme, and Perdue hadn’t yet torched his establishment GOP reputation with a full-throated embrace of Trump-ism. But Saturday night, Perdue actually encouraged the mob when it shouted “Lock him up!” about the sitting Republican governor and likely nominee.
David Perdue smiles and flashes a thumbs up sign to a crowd chanting \u201cLock him up!\u201d about Brian Kemp at Trump\u2019s rally last night in northeast Georgia. #gapolpic.twitter.com/teXB5XhvGA— Greg Bluestein (@Greg Bluestein) 1648380616
Greg Bluestein at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Trump threatened another 2021 catastrophe for Georgia Republicans:
“Trump voters will not go out and vote for Brian Kemp,” Trump said, adding that the Senate GOP frontrunner will also be damaged.
“If Kemp runs, I think Herschel Walker will be seriously and negatively impacted,” Trump thundered from the stage at an old racetrack in Commerce. “A vote for Brian Kemp, RINO, is a vote for Democrat senator who shouldn’t be in the Senate.”
”If Brian Kemp is renominated, he will go down in flames at the ballot box,” said Trump.
So, that’s encouraging ... for Democrats. Just a few thousand people showed up for the rally, and Stephen Fowler of NPR affiliate GPB News tweeted that its was “the smallest Trump rally I’ve ever covered here.” If Kemp prevails despite Trump’s all-out assault, we can savor his humiliation and then work to remove Kemp ourselves.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."