Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
In February 2019, a group of Republicans co-sponsored Senate Bill 59 in the Georgia Assembly, which aimed to change the existing one-party consent recording statutes to a two-party consent system. One of the bill’s most vocal advocates, Jeff Mullis, was clear that he sought to introduce the bill in part because of the defeat of former Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in the 2018 Republican primary, whom he had supported, and which had partly been the result of a series of taped conversations leaked by his opponents Clay Tippins and Brian Kemp.
Prior to his primary defeat, Cagle had been running as a Trump-mold candidate, appealing to far-right voters with similar rhetoric, and had been out-raising Kemp by wide margins. He placed first in the May primary with 39%, which put him in a runoff with Kemp in July. The tapes were all leaked between those two elections, and six days before the runoff, Trump publicly backed Kemp instead of Cagle, which likely put Kemp over the top and set him on a path to win the governor’s seat against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Trump would also, later, endorse Brad Raffensperger for Georgia Secretary of State, an election he won by a 1% margin against Democrat John Barrow. Both Kemp and Raffensperger have recently been under fire by not only Trump but by incumbent Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who have publicly backed the ongoing attempt by the president and his people to execute an outright coup d’tat.
SB 59 languished in committee and died when the Assembly adjourned at the end of June last year, two weeks after Governor Kemp eased pandemic restrictions across the state and right as new daily infection reports in Georgia began to spike dramatically.
All of which is to say that there were a lot of things Republicans could have done to not find themselves in the tight, uncomfortable place they are now trapped within, and that maybe the most important of those activities was rejecting Donald Trump in the first place.