The stakes in Georgia are obviously enormous. The races there will make the difference between a defanged Biden presidency at the outset (relying almost entirely on “pen and phone” governance), or unified Democratic control of the elected branches of government in Washington.
You’d think the forecast for Republicans in these races would be good, assuming that they can make the campaign about Biden and his agenda. The big question, though, is whether Perdue and Loeffler can turn out Trump voters in requisite numbers to overcome the Democratic advantage in the suburbs, a challenge in the best of circumstances and even more so with the state’s Republican Party on the verge of descending into a civil war over the legitimacy of Trump’s defeat.
It was with an eye to these Trump voters that Perdue and Loeffler called on Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to resign, even though it appears that his only offense is administering an election that Trump narrowly lost. The Perdue/Loeffler calculation was that this was a way to signal to Trump voters that they take election integrity seriously, without creating the downside political risks with suburban voters of repeating outlandish theories about how the election was hacked and stolen.
This wasn’t an admirable move, but politics isn’t bean bag and all that. The problem is, unless the conversation moves on, it may become increasingly difficult for Perdue and Loeffler to bridge the divide in the party. Here is a tweet from attorney Lin Wood, who is suing to stop the certification of the Georgia results, calling for Republican governor Brian Kemp to go to jail (along with Raffensperger):
Here is a suggested course of action for GA Governor @BrianKempGA:
1. Order a special session of GA legislature.
3. Admit guilt.
4. Go to prison.
5. Ask for cell near @GaSecofState.
Accountability for wrongdoing is called JUSTICE.#FightBack for Justice
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 16, 2020
If Republicans blow themselves up in Georgia and hand Joe Biden control of the Senate, it will be a reckless act of self-destruction that will impose a steep cost on the country for years.