I hated to root for Saxby Chambliss in the runoff for the U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Back in 2002, when Karl Rove partisanized patriotism in a successful effort to regain a Republican majority in the Senate, Chambliss ran one of the all-time scurrilous ads: a photograph of Osama bin Laden next to a photo of the Democratic incumbent, triple amputee Max Cleland. The ad attempted to make the point that Cleland, by opposing a provision of the Patriot Act that prohibited Department of Homeland Security employees from forming a union, had helped the terrorists. Rove has always said that he would not have run the ad. Of course not.
But root for Chambliss I did. I believe in checks and balances, and I think it was important for the Republicans to deny the Democrats a 59th seat in the Senate, with the Minnesota race still undecided. We have seen in Texas what happens when a party has an unassailable majority: They overreach. I have always thought Obama would try to govern from the center. Now he’ll have to.
The race was never in doubt. Chambliss won 58% of the vote. This proves that the Republicans can still win in the Deep South.
- 1 week