Pump­kins grow­ing weary

The Covington News - - OPINION - You can reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@ bell­south.net; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139; on­line at dick­yarbrough.com or on Face­book at www.face­book. com/dick­yarb.

Can it be? Is it Septem­ber al­ready? One of my fa­vorite tunes, “Septem­ber Song,” was writ­ten by Kurt Weill and Maxwell An­der­son for a Broad­way mu­si­cal in 1938 called “Knicker­bocker Hol­i­day.” The lyrics could ap­ply to­day to the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal sea­son in Ge­or­gia — “For it’s a long, long time from May to De­cem­ber, but the days grow short when you reach Septem­ber.”

For­tu­nately for us, the days to en­dure the cam­paign prom­ises we know can­di­dates won’t keep grow short, and De­cem­ber isn’t all that far away. (Yes, I know the elec­tion is in Novem­ber, but work with me here. I’m try­ing to make a point.)

How­ever, the days are still too long for the te­dious tele­vi­sion ads ac­cus­ing Demo­cratic sen­a­to­rial can­di­date Michelle Nunn of be­ing chummy with Barack Obama and Repub­li­can can­di­date David Per­due of clos­ing plants and cost­ing peo­ple jobs. Enough, al­ready.

No mat­ter what the sea­son, you can count on the Repub­li­cans to make things in­ter­est­ing. Their lat­est an­tic in­volves the re­cent forcible ejec­tion of a videog­ra­pher and self-de­scribed “cit­i­zen jour­nal­ist” named Ny­dia Tis­dale from a Repub­li­can rah-rah meet­ing in Daw­son County held at the site of a pump­kin patch. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

When State In­surance Com­mis­sioner Ralph Hud­gens re­ported to the as­sem­bled throng that some­thing Michelle Nunn had said made him want to “puke” — the guy has a way with words, doesn’t he? — some stiff-neck ev­i­dently de­cided that wasn’t the kind of thing you want to see or hear from a high-level gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, so he asked Tyns­dale to turn off her cam­era. She said no. Or­ga­niz­ers claimed it was a pri­vate gath­er­ing, but me­dia re­ports said it was open. The pump­kins tell me they felt strongly both ways.

A burly county Moun­tie hauled Ms. Tis­dale kick­ing and scream­ing out of the room to the chuck­les of the crowd. The po­lice con­fis­cated her cam­era. A spokesper­son for the pump­kins said the whole place went ba­nanas.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Sam Olens took um­brage at the spec­ta­cle and right­fully up­braided the at­ten­dees. “What are we say­ing here that shouldn’t be on film?” he asked. “What mes­sage are we send­ing? Cause it’s pri­vate prop­erty they shouldn’t be film­ing? What is the harm? The harm that this poses is far greater than her film­ing us. What are we hid­ing? If we are telling you why we are run­ning.” The pump­kins gave him a stand­ing ova­tion and then puked on Ralph Hud­gens’ shoes.

The brouhaha hap­pened in front of Gov. Deal and Mrs. Deal, who were in­vited guests. I can’t be­lieve the gov­er­nor was very happy watch­ing a live per­for­mance of the Key­stone Kops. If I were him, I’d have the whole crowd sit in the pump­kin patch and read aloud the part in the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion that talks about free­dom of the press.

Speak­ing of Gov. Deal, I would sug­gest a bit of ur­gency might be in or­der for his cam­paign as the days dwin­dle down to a pre­cious few. Most peo­ple I hang with are nei­ther lib­eral wee­nies nor tea party con­ser­va­tives. They are av­er­age Ge­or­gians who care about the state of their state. To them, Nathan Deal seems like a nice man, but the cur­rent ethics con­tro­versy is be­gin­ning to stick like the ice from last win­ter’s snow­storm and shows no signs of thaw­ing. Who­ever is run­ning his re­elec­tion cam­paign had bet­ter take heed. In­cum­bent gover­nors have been known to lose elec­tions. Ask Roy Barnes.

As for Gov. Deal’s op­po­nent, Demo­cratic State Sen. Ja­son Carter, I won­der if he would be run­ning if his name was Ja­son Smid­lap? He is go­ing to have to fight the per­cep­tion that he is not at­tempt­ing to cash in on his grand­fa­ther’s name. That may not be as big an as­set as some be­lieve. It sure isn’t with me. I like Ja­son Carter per­son­ally, but I won’t for­get Jimmy Carter’s shame­ful gu­ber­na­to­rial cam­paign against for­mer Gov. Carl San­ders in 1970.

Note to Jimmy Carter syco­phants: Spare me your right­eous in­dig­na­tion. Oth­er­wise, I’ll dredge up the de­tails of that cam­paign again.

The more I think of “Septem­ber Song,” the more I am con­vinced it de­fines pre­cisely the 2014 po­lit­i­cal sea­son in Ge­or­gia and the can­di­dates who seek our vote. Check out th­ese lyrics: “But if you could ex­am­ine the goods they bring, they have lit­tle to of­fer but the songs they sing. And a plen­ti­ful waste of time of day. A plen­ti­ful waste of time.” Now, aren’t you glad the po­lit­i­cal days grow short? Even the pump­kins grow weary.

DICK YAR­BROUGH

COLUM­NIST

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