YARBROUGH COLUMN: What would Will Rogers think of today’s Republicans?
Published 10:30 am Tuesday, August 16, 2022
American humorist Will Rogers once observed, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” There is no question that if ol’ Will was around today, he would probably be a Republican. The Grand Old Party gives new meaning to the term disorganized.
For example, former University of Georgia football legend Herschel Walker is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock in this November’s general election. Should he win, it would likely give Republicans a majority in the Senate.
As you might expect in a race with so much at stake, Walker is on the receiving end of a series of attack ads. Some are a result of self-inflicted wounds. He claims he graduated from UGA in the top 1% of his class as well as being valedictorian. Records show that he never graduated, leaving school after his junior year to play professional football.
What makes these particular attack ads unusual is they are not coming from Democrats. They are coming from — are you ready?— Republicans.
A group called The Republican Accountability Project is currently running an ad of an old interview with Walker’s ex-wife Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, saying that he once held a gun to her temple and said he was going to “blow my brains out.”
The organization says it will spend $1 million targeting Walker in his race against Warnock. “Herschel Walker might have been a great football player, but he clearly doesn’t deserve to be a senator,” says Sarah Longwell, treasurer of the Republican Accountability Project. “That’s why our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he’s unfit for office.”
So, who or what is the Republican Accountability Project? Headed up by noted conservative commentator and author William Kristol, the group says they represent Republicans and conservatives intending to hold accountable those who tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election. They plan to spend “eight-figures” across six crucial battleground states — obviously including Georgia — to defeat Republican candidates who support Donald Trump’s claims that his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden was due to voter fraud.
An aside: They aren’t having a whole lot of success to date. Trump-backed candidates have won various primary contests in Arizona, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington and North Carolina thus far.
Herschel Walker says he is glad the ad has run because it gives him the opportunity to explain that his ex-wife’s comments were taken out of context and that the state of his mental health at that time was the reason for the alleged domestic violence incident. He also says “The fact is Sen. Warnock can’t talk about accomplishments. He’s failed Georgia. So he and his friends will lie and deceive.” Uh, Hershel, this isn’t Warnock talking. These are your fellow Republicans saying you aren’t qualified to be Georgia’s United States senator. Big difference.
As usual, Republicans seem unable to figure out who is the enemy. (Hint: I think it’s supposed to be the Democrats.) They throw around RINO (Republican in Name Only) like a frisbee.They booed their own governor at their state convention. Their supreme leader is on record as saying he would prefer Democrat Stacey Abrams as governor. If Republicans don’t stop their internecine feuding, he may get his wish.
Democrats have to be laughing their heads off. A group of Republicans are spending a million dollars attacking their own party’s senatorial candidate in an upcoming election where political control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. Why waste money on ads questioning the character and electability of your opponent when your opponent will do it for you?
Before you Trump grumps fire off your predictable harrumph dumps, let me assure that I have not turned into a Chardonnay-sipping, tree-hugging liberal weenie. I will get to that crowd in days to come. Right now, I am looking at the party of Ronald Reagan and Johnny Isakson and Paul Coverdell and shaking my head that it has degenerated into a name-calling, finger-pointing, mud-slinging dysfunctional bunch of myopic RINOs too busy obsessing over the past to focus on the future.
Will Rogers noted that the Republicans opened their convention in 1928 with a prayer and said, “If the Lord can see his way to clear the Republican Party the way it’s been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get by without even asking.” The more things change, the more they remain the same. Can Will and I get an Amen?