NewsPub Notes

Pub Notes

Former Governor Sonny Perdue has endorsed newly Republican State Representative Doug McKillip for re-election. Mr. Perdue calls Rep. McKillip “a man of deep faith and a sincere conservative.†The governor himself is said to be a man of faith, and he has also proven to be a man who caused special-interest legislation to be passed, giving him a $100,000 tax break. He is a man who used the power of his office to block the state purchase of a brown-bear wildlife preserve so that land speculators could buy it in order to turn it into a subdivision that happened to be adjacent to the governor’s own property. Later, when it turned out that the development was not profitable, the governor had the state buy the land at a considerable profit to all concerned. Thus, Governor Perdue has shown us that men of faith are not precluded from acting in their own best interest, even when those actions are counter to the best interests of the people they govern.

Perhaps we should wonder, then, just what exactly Governor Perdue meant when he called Rep. McKillip “a man of deep faith.†Why did the governor leave his description hanging? Why did he not say that Rep. McKillip is a man of deep faith in God or a man of deep faith in Jesus or in the Almighty?

Was Governor Perdue not sure where Rep. McKillip’s faith lies, or did he purposely leave it vague, for us to fill in the blanks? Did Governor Perdue think it better not to tell us too specifically what or who Rep. McKillip believes in, so that we can fit our own ideals into Rep. McKillip’s template? Thus, perhaps the governor intended that local voters, if they’re so inclined, could see Rep. McKillip as a man with deep faith in himself or in mankind or even, perhaps, in astrology or Scientology. This is probably the kind of thing Governor Perdue had in mind, since he, himself, is a highly successful politician and knows the value of inclusiveness when he is making an endorsement. His phrasing was no doubt carefully chosen so that all of us, no matter what our persuasion, can identify Rep. McKillip as a man of deep faith in the same principles that we ourselves believe in.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the governor stopped short of saying just who Rep. McKillip believes in, because the governor is not sure and chose to play it safe.

It may indeed be that Rep. McKillip is a man of deep faith in the principle that it is better not to have any principles, in case one wants to be elected by one political party and then change to the other party. It may be that Rep. McKillip is a man of deep faith in the belief that people will not remember if you betray them and will vote for you again, anyway. For that matter, Rep. McKillip may have deep faith that the Speaker will prepare a table before him in the presence of his enemies and that his cup will run over and goodness and mercy surely will follow him all the days of his life.

We can certainly conclude that Rep. McKillip is a man of deep faith in miracles, because his Republican friends in Atlanta were able to take his deeply Democratic Athens-Clarke County district and change it into a heavily Republican district spread out over four counties, sort of like one would turn water into wine—if one were the sort who believed it was OK to drink wine.

It is odd, in a way, that Gov. Perdue chose to endorse Rep. McKillip instead of his opponent, local attorney Regina Quick. Ms. Quick is a longtime Republican leader and has consistently proven herself to be a sincere conservative, even back when Rep. McKillip was still an insincere liberal. Perhaps Ms. Quick’s faith is not deep enough for the governor, or perhaps she just does not choose to use her faith for political purposes. In any event, the candidates have a long campaign ahead of them until the July 31 primary. Between now and then, local Democrats need to decide whether they’re going to cross over and vote for Regina Quick. If they do, in spite of Rep. McKillip’s born-again Republican faith and his sincerity, he might not have a prayer.