Clicking on the above picture will take you to former construction business owner, minister and radio talk show host Jody Hice, one of the two Republican candidates vying to fill retiring Representative John Linder’s seat in a special run-off election August 10. As a bit of quick background, Rep. Linder has become nationally known for his ardent support of the FairTax alongside radio talk show host Neal Boortz (also an Atlantan).
For further background, Mr. Hice is running against Rob Woodall, a gentleman who used to be Rep. Linder’s Chief of Staff. When you go to his website, you will notice very quickly that he appears to nearly singularly push the FairTax as the main reason — outside of Rep. Linder’s own endorsement — for voting for him (this is also true for the mailed collateral, of which I’ve received a few). There is a lone Democrat who’s also running for the seat, but with the demographics of the 7th, hell would freeze over before a Dem were elected in this area.
Normally I don’t post much on those legislative activities that are closer to home (for me), as most of these types of things don’t affect most other readers of my blog. However, when I saw what I saw off of Georgia’s largest political blog, PeachPundit.com, today (though it was posted on July 29), I felt that this played right into the over-arching narrative that I think is crucial for conservatives, independents and libertarian-leaning conservatives to make note.
Living in the 7th CD, I had to admit that, overall, it really didn’t seem to matter to me which of these two guys got in. At first glance, they both appeared to support the same initiatives — FairTax (of course), repealing ObamaCare, cutting taxes and spending, etc.
Then came the “billboard” issue.
The following billboard has been posted around the metro area and, interestingly enough, has been causing quite the hub-bub:
In fact, local ABC affiliate Channel 2 covered this story:
There’s just something about that ol’ hammer ‘n’ sickle that gets some folks’ blood stirrin’, eh? Call someone like Mr. Obama a socialist and you really get folks’ attention, especially when the “heir apparent” to fill Rep. Linder’s seat gets less than 50% of the vote and is forced into a run-off.
Mr. Hice further explained his position on his site:
“I am going to be a Congressman who shoots straight with the American people, not one who hides behind the cloak of political correctness. Our country is in a colossal mess that endangers our future. A radical president with huge liberal Democrat majorities in Congress is engineering a socialist takeover of our nation. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s new book To Save America – Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine has it right. In Congress, I will relentlessly fight to stop the socialist tide. I will be a leader for restoring the freedoms that we are losing to big government. I will fight to restore the American Free Enterprise system to re-build our economy and create jobs. I am not a politician. Politicians look for a wave to ride. I, on the other hand, am asking voters to send me to DC to create a wave which will wash our nation clean from the oppressive assault we are currently under from Obama and Washington liberals.”
Again, that’s the background of a simple political story going on down here. This is what got me to post on the story:
Tim Bryant of WGUA in Athens interviewed both Hice and Woodall this week and the subject of the billboard came up. As you might imagine Hice and Woodall disagree about the appropriateness of the hammer and sickle (quote via the Political Insider).
“I make no bones about it. I respect the office of the president, but I make no bones about it – I do not respect the policies of this president, which are socialistic.
“We are watching this administration take over the health care industry, the banking industry, the student loan industry, the insurance industry, automobile — one part of the private sector after another.”
“It’s one of those sad things that happen when folks start to believe the end justifies the means.
“I know that Jody’s a good man. I know his heart’s in the right place. And kicking sand like that is exactly the way to get elected in a Republican primary. I’m sure he had someone give him some very good advice….
“But the truth is that’s not how you get good policy passed in Washington. Kicking sand only gets you through the primary. It doesn’t help you implement good policy for the country.
“So do I think that was a clever electoral ploy? Absolutely. I think he got out of it exactly what he wanted to get out of it. Do I think that’s going to hurt him, in terms of being taken seriously in the halls of Congress? Absolutely, I do.”
See, after the first two paragraphs of the above quote, Mr. Woodall should have stopped and, instead, said something more like the following:
While Jody is certainly entitled to expressing his views as he pleases, I think it would be far better to instead focus on tough issues such as [blah, blah blah]…
OK, dude, we get it — you basically want to be Yet Another McCain ™ and reach out to Yet Another Kennedy ™ and sing kum-ba-yah.
Unfortunately, Mr. Woodall, that’s not the way this thing’s going down this time around. In the 7th, you can’t go about saying that you disagree that a representation of Mr. Hice’s views of this President’s policies is wrong, especially when — and get this — there has been no evidence that anyone has tried to push for taking these billboards down, nor that they’re so offended as to be astonished by them (at least not outside the media or other talking heads).
For me, there is now no clearer choice. Mr. Hice gets my vote — not only for the above, but based on his own debate performance and the fact that he resides in the district, has met a payroll, and understands what it means to be a church leader.