A Walk On the Wild Side

I was going to await his formal announcement before uttering the cry of joy every progressive blogger will share at the arrival of a cycle’s worth of slow-news-day content. But now that Salon‘s Alex Pareene has interpreted the statement of the wife of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Jr. (R-GA) that her hubbie will be running for Georgia’s open Senate seat in 2014 as a de facto announcement, I’ll go ahead and pile on. I will note first that Niki Broun’s assurance was a real in-your-face gesture since it occurred at an event where a potential Senate rival, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (of Komen Foundation infamy), was about to deliver a keynote address.

As Pareene notes, Broun is a bottomless cup o’ crazy, generating wild quotes with an abandon matched perhaps only by his former House colleague Allen West. Alex chooses as his fave a floor speech by Broun in which he compared the enactment of Obamacare to the “War of Yankee Aggression.” My own top Broun chartbuster was his speech last fall to a Baptist Sportsman’s Banquet in his district that expressed his opinion as a member of the House Science Committee that many of the teachings of modern science are in fact “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” The optics are great, too:

It is widely thought that Broun will face another physician who doesn’t seem to care much for science, his House colleague Phil Gingrey, in the primary, with Handel and another House member and conservative firebrand (and yet another anti-health care physician!) Tom Price, being possibilities as well. A crowded field and a probable runoff should make for a lot of “more conservative than thou” posturing.

Georgia was one of the last Deep South states to go Red in non-presidential contests (Gov. Sonny Perdue, elected in 2002, was the first GOP governor since Reconstruction), and its Republicans have made up for lost time with truly uninhibited behavior. The Senate race should be quite the show–truly a walk on the wild side–and with my many contacts in my home state, I’ll have a pretty good perch to watch it all from a safe distance.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.