Only six months ago Georgia GOP thought itself a giddy exception to the directionless GOP in Washington.
“We wanted it. We got it. Now we don’t know what to do with it,” said Dave Barbee, former chairman of the Richmond County GOP. The troops, he said, are disappointed and demoralized.
To get his way on tax policy next year, Richardson must beat back a now-hostile governor and a Senate that won’t want to become a mere third wheel when it comes to who rules Georgia.
Win or lose, that means a messy fight in an election year, and a legislative session that could become even more fractious and unproductive.
That worries GOP staff sergeants like Barbee, who pull the levers on the Republican grassroots machinery in Georgia. With little in Washington to stir confidence in the ‘08 elections, a meltdown in Atlanta would only add to the difficulty of moving enthusiastic voters to the polls.