Friday, December 04, 2009

Seeing Red In Georgia

It's hard to find a redder state than Georgia. (True, Utah is bright red, but Georgia has more rednecks, so it has the upper hand.)

In Georgia, Republicans control the state House and Senate, the governorship, most statewide constitutional offices, both U.S. Senate seats and a majority of the congressional delegation. And these aren't "moderate" Republicans, either--they're mostly from the hard-core social conservative side of the party.

Now Georgia's Republicans are facing yet another sex scandal like those in other states. This time, it's the Speaker of the House, Glenn Richardson (why are so many conservatives named Glenn?), who is resigning in the wake of allegations of a "full-out" affair (his wife's description) with a lobbyist.

Richardson, of course, has been an aggressive "family-values" conservative, so he deserves to fall hard. For some reason, however, he isn't resigning immediately, but rather on Jan. 1. (We think that any politician who vocally espouses "family values" and then gets caught with his or her pants down deserves the media ridicule; in contrast, the frenzy over Tiger Woods is hardly justified.)

Apart from the sex scandal, however, let's look at how Georgia has fared under Republican rule. Surely, with all that freedom, capitalism and patriotism, the state must be doing well relative to less red states.

Well, let's see: Georgia accounts for one out of six bank failures in the U.S. (25 out of 150) in 2008-09. It has the 8th highest new foreclosure rate in the nation. Unemployment was 10.2% there last month, just above the national average. Not exactly a beacon of economic prosperity.

(And Georgia's politicos have been lobbying Washington for additional TARP bailout funds for smaller banks in Georgia--how ironic.)

So much for being "in the Red."

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