Do you know Jody Hice? Have you ever seen him? Neither have I. He is our congressman. By “our,” I mean that he represents Athens in the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., where he defends the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol (“our 1776 moment”) while he and most of his Republican colleagues were voting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. That Jody Hice.
The reason you haven’t seen Jody Hice is that he never makes a public appearance in Athens, the largest city in his district. That’s because his schedule is always filled with appearances in the rural, Republican counties that consistently give him large vote totals. So Jody Hice doesn’t need Athens, where he might encounter constituents who disagree with his politics and oppose his stances on the Affordable Care Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the border wall (remember that?), impeachment, immigration, a woman’s right to choose, the NRA, the American Rescue Plan, the Keystone XL pipeline, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, corporate tax cuts, infrastructure and other matters Hice doesn’t care to discuss with us.
But anyway, all that is irrelevant now, because Hice has his sights set on lower office. He is leaving the U.S. Congress to run for Georgia secretary of state. Of course he is, because his president, who didn’t lose, remember, has asked him to primary the present secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, because that official lied and said Trump lost Georgia.
In other words, Hice’s campaign for secretary of state is based squarely on Trump’s Big Lie, which has been Hice’s Big Lie all along, too. The thing about the Big Lie is that you have to keep on telling a lot of little lies to justify the big one.
Hice’s campaign slogan is “Let’s Renew Integrity.” That is a good one. Let’s renew integrity by running against the man who had the integrity to stand up against Hice’s president and refuse to endorse the Big Lie. In other words, let’s renew dishonesty but call it integrity.
That’s the tone of Hice’s latest press release, and it makes you wonder where he came up with the PR firm handling his campaign—apparently some low-bidder from the national pool of GOP attack sharks. Maybe the Russians wrote it, because it is filled with all those buzzwords that don’t sound quite right when they’re supposed to be coming from Hice, piped out from behind the walls of his gated community down there on Lake Oconee.
It starts off, “Dear Friend, The ‘woke’ mob has gotten out of control.” Ha, ha! I guarantee you Hice doesn’t have any idea what “woke” means in this context, but his campaign gunners know it’s a hot button. They go on to assure us that the “baseless uproar over Georgia’s new election laws” is “spurred on by Democrats’ lies.”
Hice tells us that because the national media spins things to fit “the liberal left’s agenda,” they have distorted Georgia’s new Election Integrity Act, and as a result “Hollywood elites” are now pulling projects from the state and “WEAK corporations like Delta and The Coca-Cola Company have even succumbed to the cancel culture…” Just throw those buzzwords against that wall over there on the right and see what sticks. Probably all of it, because God knows the Hollywood elites’ woke cancel culture, whipped up by the liberal press and spurred on by Democrats’ lies, is running roughshod over WEAK corporations.
So it’s possible that Hice could knock off Raffensperger in the primary, but what if he does? In the general election, how is Hice’s message going to go over statewide—in Savannah and Columbus and, most importantly, in the gigantic metropolitan Atlanta region filled with Democratic and independent voters: Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, even Rockdale and Newton? It is one thing to run in a gerrymandered congressional district where you can ignore the Democrats, but will Hice’s cuisine of canned clichés appeal to anybody outside Georgia’s sizable red-meat base?
Of course, that’s not really the point. Trump is just punishing Raffensperger and doesn’t really care who registers Georgia corporations and licenses Georgia beauticians and regulates Georgia bond salesmen. But if Trump does knock off Raffensperger, he may just open the door for somebody more competent than Hice. John Barrow is probably laundering his work shirt and polishing his grandaddy’s pistol even as we speak.
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