Reports coming out of the recent state Republican convention in Columbus paint a picture of Democratic Sen. Zell Miller's continuing effort to destroy the party that elected him to every Georgia office from governor to senator.
Sporting Bush-Cheney buttons he gave a rousing speech, denegrating his Senate colleague and party's nominee John Kerry, mocking him and urging his defeat. This follows his recent actions of going to Bush fundraisers and hugging on the Republican president.
I really can't even think of the right words to describe Miller, who is a cross between the uncle in "Arsenic and Old Lace" who charges up the stairs thinking he is Teddy Roosevelt, and Benedict Arnold, who tried to sell the country down the toilet. The analogy doesn't even work because Arnold was passed over for pay raises by the Continental Congress, raises he earned, while the Democratic Party did nothing to Miller except help get him elected year after year.
In America, you can get elected by running in either the Democratic or Republican primaries and then winning the general election or by a write-in in November or a petition candidate or as the nominee of the other lesser known parties.
When you choose to run in the primary of a party and win you are that party's nominee and thousands of party faithful man phones and stuff envelopes and knock on doors for you.
Miller is on a one-man crusade to destroy the Democratic Party, the party whose label he carries. It is one thing to say the party's views no longer represent your views and either get out of the party or switch parties or give up your seat. It is another thing to do everything possible to wipe your party from the face of American politics.
Think of it this way. A young farmer in pioneer days needs a barn to keep his feed dry and livestock warm. All the neighbors agree to help him build it and they labor mightily during the day. Zell Miller's granddad sits under a shade tree near the barn raising and then when the tired out farmers are sleeping he slips up and takes the pegs out and does everything to destroy the barn. That is what Zell Miller is doing.
And the Republican faithful who cursed him in the past are slurping up his words because it has more impact to have Benedict Arnold say the American cause stinks rather than King George saying it.
You will recall that Captain Courageous didn't have the guts to deal with the Confederate flag issue when he was governor and basically took a powder so he could keep getting elected.
And lately the guy has been doing strange things that make the Arsenic and Old Lace Teddy Roosevelt look normal.
He had that whole temper tantrum over a proposed Beverly Hillbillies reality show, taking up Senate time ranting about it. And lately he has proposed that we abandon the direct election of U.S. senators, opting instead to return to the time when the legislature in smoke-filled rooms picked the senator. This goof-ball idea arrived d.o.a. as do many of his ideas.
If families took the same approach as Miller, the first time there was a crisis or something you don't agree with, you try to destroy the family. The real courageous thing to do is stay put and work to make it better.
For many who feel betrayed by Miller, the sooner he gets out of office the better. Even a Republican would be better than this turncoat weasel.
The British have the right idea. If you are going to vote in the House of Commons with the opposing party, an unheard of and rare thing, you have to get out of your seat and walk over to their side and sit with them. And then your party immediately begins to strip you of committee assignment and other perks.
I have no use for traitors. They are the dirty little germs that lurk in darkness and try to infect a healthy being. They are the little cowards who don't have the courage to stand up and do the right thing.
I'm just an old Southern redneck, but give me a Bud over a Miller anytime.
Bob Paslay is assistant managing editor of the News Daily and Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.