Georgia on my mind

I am back. Back from the swirl of the times. I know. I know. I slammed you with posts running up to and including Election Day and since then, crickets from me. I spared you the anxious writings as the six or so states continued to count and we continued to wait. Most of us, patiently. One individual in particular, not so much.   

North Carolina. Arizona. Nevada. Pennsylvania. Wisconsin. Michigan. And, who would have guessed it, Georgia. All hanging in the balance. All working hard to count the surge of absentee and mail-in voting caused by the Pandemic. 

Slowly, step by step, inch by inch, like a molasses drip, Arizona, Michigan  and Wisconsin were called for Biden by the afternoon on November 5th, giving him 264 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 214. That left both candidates with viable paths to victory, albeit a very narrow path for Trump. Biden just needed six electoral votes to get to the magic 270.

Still counting were North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. And they counted and counted until one by one they fell. North Carolina went Trump.

On Saturday at 11:25 a.m., with enough of the vote count reported, AP called Pennsylvania with 20 Electoral votes for Biden. That was the show stopper. Driving Biden way past the 270 mark. That was the presidential race, Biden’s victory and Trump’s defeat. Fittingly, Biden ultimately carded the same number of electoral votes as Trump had garnered in 2016, a victory that then President-Elect Trump had self-proclaimed to be a “massive landslide victory” and contended that the size of his victory was historic. It wasn’t. That was typical Trump hyperbole substituting his fantasy for facts. Here’s a fact from real history: of the last 58 presidential elections, 37 were won with more Electoral votes than Trump’s. It wasn’t massive. It wasn’t historic. But, it was surprising.

Biden’s victory, on the other hand, was historic on multiple levels:

  • Biden ran with an Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris will be America’s first woman, first woman of color and South Asian heritage to be chosen for national office.
  • Biden/Harris received the most votes for any presidential candidate in U.S. history.
  • Biden became only the tenth U.S. presidential candidate to defeat an incumbent president making Trump only the tenth incumbent to lose his re-election bid. Trump also made history by receiving the most votes for a losing candidate. 

Immediately following the news that Biden had won, people all over the country and the world took to the streets, in mass and in masks. They sang. They danced, waved flags, clapped and generally and politely just went happy. Outside of the U.S. people were saying, “Welcome back America! We’ve missed you.”

That day I was playing in a golf event with phone on silent when I noticed that Julie had texted that Biden had won. I didn’t jump up and down, hoot nor holler. One of my partners was a Trump supporter. I learned long ago in sports and life not to rub victory in the face of the loser. I held my joy and relief inside but quietly signaled the news to my other partner who shares my political view. My heart swelled up and a smile spread across my face before it was my turn to tee off on the next hole. I tried to focus on the difficult drive on the hole in front of me, but the news danced across my brain as I started my swing. I promptly duck-hooked it into the creek coursing down the left side. 

I laughed as I thought, “Who cares where that ball went. Biden did it. We fired Donald Trump!”

That was my quiet celebration of the moment. 

Still you heard nothing on “Life of Riley.” Not a chirp. Not one word clap. As the days passed, I even got a few emails and text messages from some of you saying, “Hey! Did I miss something? Where’s the election results blog?” 

Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. There were too many issues and aspects on which I could and wanted to comment. Trump’s continuing stream of virulent conspiracy claims turns weirder and weirder as the days go on. His voting fraud, cheating, scamming, dead voters voting, documents shredded, election stolen whine-fest has defined the non-concession Trump defeat. 

Georgia – Ground Zero

And, since you have to start somewhere, I decided to focus first on right here and now in Georgia. 

As the old Hoagy Carmichael song goes, “Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through,” all the talk is about Georgia for two reasons. First, all are still awaiting the results of the second recount of the Georgia presidential election to see if it falls in line with the initial election count and subsequent hand count showing the state turned blue for Biden. The first two counts showed Biden winning by just under 13,000 votes. Watch this Georgia website for the numbers as the counties report. Currently at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, December 2nd, Biden leads Trump by 27,411 in reported votes.

Right now, Rudy Giuliani is in Atlanta talking to lawmakers about the Georgia election’s integrity. Appearing for Trump, he’s asking the Georgia legislature to overturn the election and select its own electors.

Second, our special election for the two Georgia U.S. Senate seats in January will decide if Mitch McConnell holds on to his stranglehold over the Senate or if a Democratic victory creates a pathway to bipartisanship. 

What’s on the line? Nothing but saving the American people from COVID19 and the U.S. economy at the same time. That requires a willing Congress which we will never have as long as McConnell has his foot on our necks. Even if you’re a Republican, electing these two Democrats will even out the Senate in a way that will make bipartisanship possible again. Democrats won’t be able to strangle the Senate as Mitch has for far too long. 

Democrats Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock run to replace Republican Senators David Purdue and the appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler.

That’s where my mind and efforts are directed between now and January 5th lending my full support to Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock for Senate. I hope that you will do the same. Join me. Even if you don’t live in Georgia. Donate to the Democratic cause. Give of some of your time to get out the vote. Make calls, send texts. Volunteer. You better believe that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are bringing in money and horses from out of state to support Loeffler and Purdue. Karl Rove (see “Karl Rove, GOP building money machine for Georgia runoffs”)  is moving in to lead the GOP charge. 

We need all of the help that we can muster. Here are a few websites that will help you DO something for the cause.

Stay tuned tomorrow for what I saw as a registered observer of the Georgia recount in Cobb County, my home county and Georgia’s fourth largest county by population with almost 698,000 residents.   

As always, thanks for reading. I welcome your comments. You can post them on the site or send to me. 

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