Short version: Trump asked-- the way a Mafia boss "asks"-- Georgia's very conservative Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to steal the election for him. Raffensperger demurred. Trump flipped out and blamed his election loss on poor Raffensperger and other Georgia Republicans, particularly Governor Brian Kemp. This morning, Trump endorsed Congressman Jody Hice against Raffensperger.
We started watching Hice in the summer of 2014 when I noted after the Georgia primary that Paul Broun's replacement in GA-10 wasn't going to be an Establishment favorite. Crazy right-wing extremist, Hate Talk Radio host and bigoted Baptist preacher Jody Hice beat Mac Collins' son Mike 26,959 (54%) to 22,673 (46%). Both are far right crackpots but Hice has much more potential to regularly embarrass the House Republicans and reduce their approval rating by even more. With Bachmann and Broun retiring, Hice will immediately be in contention for the title, "craziest clueless Republican in the House."
Three days later, I realized I hadn't done Hice justice and decided to work on a more thorough look at Georgia's latest crackpot congressman. Back then Marjorie Taylor Greene-- born in Milledgeville in Hice's district-- hadn't converted to the QAnon cult yet, but Hice, who went to Buy-Bull school instead of college, was working towards being the Marjorie Taylor Greene of the 114th Congress. His district stretches from the exurbs east of Atlanta to the exurbs west of Augusta and from Milledgeville and Wrightsville in the south to Athens in the north. (Poor Athens.) There are 25 counties (all or part) in the district, but most of the voters live in just 6-- red hellholes Walton, Barrow, Henry and Oconee, swingy Gwinnett and solidly blue Clarke.
When GA-10 far right goon Paul Broun ran for Senate-- and was beaten with less than 10% of the vote in the GOP primary-- he deemed Hice a worthy successor and endorsed him against the establishment pick. During the campaign, the only outside spending was from 2 gun-nut/domestic terrorism groups which find the NRA "too liberal," Gun Owners of America (who hadn't run ads for anyone in the country but Hice) and the National Association for Gun Rights (whose only other race this cycle was opposing Thad Cochran and supporting neo-fascist Chris McDaniel in Mississippi). Why are the gun worshippers so wild about Hice? Watch the clip up top from his crackpot radio show. "It is my belief that any, any, any, any weapon that our government and law enforcement possesses ought to be allowed for individuals to possess in this country, provided they can afford it." He goes on the explain why people should have cannons and bazookas and missiles. Really. He just got 54% of the vote against a former congressman's son-- not despite his views but because of them. With Georgia Republicans then hoping to change their image before the midterms in order to appeal to a broader swath of the population, Hice was having none of it. He regularly lambasted the LGBT community and Muslim-Americans and he insists that gals who want to run for office get permission from their husbands. I suppose if they're not married, they could get permission from a father, brother, uncle or son. It was a low turnout runoff primary and the nuts came out in force. That's what happens. The race against Raffensperger will be different. Trump will certainly help Hice win thee primary... but what will that mean in the general election?
Last night, Alex Isenstadt broke the news about Trump endorsing Hice. "Hice, who first won election to his east-central Georgia seat in 2014," he wrote, "is a staunch Trump ally who supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. He derided the Democratic-led push to impeach Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot as 'bogus.' ... Trump has been fixated on Georgia as he maps out his plans for the 2022 midterms. The former president has been trying to recruit a primary opponent to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump has accused of doing too little to intervene in the state’s vote count. He has also publicly encouraged former NFL running back Herschel Walker to mount a Senate bid. The former president also recently hosted former Sen. David Perdue at his South Florida resort as Perdue was weighing whether to challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, before Perdue decided not to run."
Trump gave Hice one of his rote, one-size-fits-all endorsements: "Jody has been a steadfast fighter for conservative Georgia values and is a staunch ally of the America First agenda. Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100 percent confidence in Jody to fight for free, fair and secure elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. constitution. Jody will stop the fraud and get honesty into our elections. Jody loves the people of Georgia and has my complete and total endorsement."
Trump made more news on a podcast with far right kook and Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe that aired earlier today. He teased the idea of launching a right-wing version of Twitter and he told Republicans to replace McConnell as Senate majority leader. Claiming McConnell is "hanging by a thread," and insisting that "the difference between victory and massive defeat" in 2022 rests on whether they dump the turtle or not. "Guys like Mitch McConnell, they don't fight... I think we need better leadership than Mitch McConnell and stronger leadership. I mean, he can't rein in his own people. We have the Mitt Romneys of the world and the Ben Sasses of the world. These are not good for the Republican party."