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Losing column fodder the real election tragedy

The state primary elections are history - with the exception of a few runoffs - and that means we get a brief respite from all the mud-slinging political ads on television. Now it's back to screaming car dealers and commercials about medical problems that shouldn't be mentioned in a family newspaper.

Better enjoy it while you can. You know that the political strategists are loading up their slop buckets and getting ready for the November general election.

For whatever reason, only about 20 percent of us voted in the primaries. That is a shameful statistic. I was in Iraq when people got their first chance to vote in a democratic election. Some walked 20 miles for the privilege. We won't even get our lazy rumps off the couch.

In the Republican primary for governor, incumbent Gov. Sonny Perdue easily dispatched Ray McBerry, the choice of the flaggers. Flaggers are high-fiving each other over the 50,000 votes their guy received.

I hate to burst their bubble, but Sheila the Family Wonderdog could get 50,000 votes without missing her daily 22-hour nap. Perdue got 370,000 votes, or 88 percent, which qualifies in my book as a rout.

Flaggers have been telling me for several years that 79 percent of Georgians have said they want a chance to vote on a state flag referendum that includes the Confederate battle flag. Maybe so, but the flag issue wasn't a blip in the primary and won't be in the November general election either.

Meanwhile, back in the 21st century, Perdue will face Lt. Gov. Mark "The Big Guy" Taylor in the general election. Perdue says he will run on his record, which includes spaying a couple of dogs and giving an elephant a physical. Taylor has chosen not to run on his record because he didn't do anything worth talking about while lieutenant governor.

Perhaps a good campaign strategy for Taylor would be to charge Perdue with animal cruelty because of the poor dogs that lost their manhood, their self-respect and some other stuff I'm not going to mention at the hands of the governor. (Note to Taylor's campaign team: I'm giving you this idea free of charge.)

Replacing Taylor as lieutenant governor will be either Gainesville Republican State Sen. Casey Cagle or the Democrats' Jim Martin of Atlanta, a former state commissioner of Human Resources, or former State Sen. Greg Hecht of Jonesboro.

Martin and Hecht are in a runoff, if anybody besides their closest relatives care. Cagle beat slick-as-oil Ralph Reed, who happened to be passing through Georgia on his way to the White House. Reed, a Duluth resident, was the choice of the Christian Coalition, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, and a bunch of Republican fat cats. He just wasn't the choice of the voters.

Reed claimed to be an anti-gambling advocate at the same time he was helping disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff protect the gambling interests of some Indian tribes. I guess he thought we were too dumb to notice the irony of that.

In Georgia's 4th Congressional District, Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney is in a runoff with an earthling named Hank Johnson, a former DeKalb County commissioner.

Stumping the district for the ambassador is media publicity hound Cindy Sheehan, as well as Darth Vader and E.T., the Extra Terrestrial - none of whom are qualified to vote in the district. Needless to say, I have a great interest in the outcome of this race. The ambassador is worth a minimum of four columns a year - six, if she slaps a police officer.

The primary results have been a bit unsettling for me. If I lose Ray McBerry, Ralph Reed and our Ambassador to Outer Space as regular column fodder, this would leave me with only President Peanut and his unsolicited and self-important pronouncements, bleeding heart liberals who think George Bush is responsible for all the world's ills, including psoriasis, and people who talk too loud on their cell phones in the checkout line at the grocery store.

If that happens, I just may be forced to spay dogs for a living.

Contact Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139. Visit his Web site at www.dickyarbrough.com. His column appears on Saturday.