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What Recent Events Mean for Cagle and Kemp

By Teresa Tomlinson | July 2018 Nationalism is not new: President Trump did not create it, he just makes it sing. And, it sure has been embraced by Trump’s Georgia acolytes, Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. Both Cagle and Kemp are in a July 24th run-off to determine which one will face the Democratic nominee, Stacey Abrams, for Georgia’s next Governor. Both continue to defend the Trump administration’s so-called “get tough” border policies, and each promises to send Georgia’s National Guard to help enforce those federal policies. Nationalism is easy to tout and hard to implement. The Trump migrant family…

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Just Peachy: A Great Night for Women Candidates in Georgia

Yes, Stacey Abrams will be the Democrats’ nominee for governor. But many more Democratic women are suiting up for what could be an earth-shaking general election. By Teresa Tomlinson. Originally published on The Daily Beast, May 23, 2018. As the American political world watched to see which Stacey would make the cut in Georgia’s gubernatorial Democratic primary, an equally interesting story unfolded down ballot. Diverse, enthusiastically progressive women and men were making a move all across the Georgia ballot in what most of the country has written off as the ruby red, conservative South. White Democratic men, however, did not…

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In Georgia, It’s the NRA and the Legislators vs. the Police

Georgia’s state legislature is so in hock to the NRA that it passes gun laws the cops oppose. Where's the outrage? By Teresa Tomlinson for thedailybeast.com Some ask whether the Parkland shooting is our Rubicon, but there have been so many seeming “Rubicons” before. This time, though, seems different. This was the first time I saw political fear in the eyes of elected officials—Gov. Rick Scott and state Attorney General Pam Bondi—as they addressed the Parkland crowd hours after a school shooting left 17 dead in a Florida high school. They had the look of people who know the jig…

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A Turbulent Week In Georgia Politics

By Teresa Tomlinson It is no secret that Lt. Governor Casey Cagle is the current frontrunner in the 2018 gubernatorial race. He has so far outraised all challengers, and his polling bests his opponents. Ask any Republican and they will tell you: The race is Cagle’s to lose. Apparently, Casey Cagle intends to test that proposition. He has been labeled an ideologue in the past for his support of religious liberty bills that allow discrimination against gays and lesbians (precisely as segregation discriminated against people of color a few decades ago – on the basis of a perceived faith dictate), causing…

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Don’t Mistake Racism for Politics

Originally published on myajc.com, Jan. 12, 2018. This three-day weekend celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is particularly poignant as it marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Fifty years ago, we were stunned into a pact to be a better people. Fifty years ago we decided we finally would embrace the simple foundational premise of this nation – that all men are created equal. There would be no second-class citizens. We would be an integrated national community. That’s the America I was born into in Atlanta, Georgia, on the cusp of the so-called…

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The Conservative Plan to Rewrite the Constitution, and Yes, It’s a Thing

This article originally appeared in the Daily Beast on August 21, 2017 It takes two-thirds of state legislatures to approve a constitutional convention. That’s 34. The GOP controls 32. Yes—worry. As the country reels to understand the conservative party’s affiliation with the alt-right and white supremacists, it may be worth noting some disturbing mainstream conservative efforts that create fertile ground for these groups to take root. For example, conservatives have longed attempted to convert our form of federal government into a confederation of supreme states. This is how they intend to do it. In his new book Smashing the D.C.…

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Debunking the Republican Myths of Constitutional Affinity and States’ Rights Supremacy

In Other Words, They May Not Be As Smart As You Think They Are Rarely is there a debate with a Republican friend that does not end with that person invoking a proclaimed superior constitutional affinity. Republicans, or perhaps more accurately conservatives, believe and everyone else seems reflexively to concede that their political philosophy is more closely honed to the “true meaning” of the Constitution and the “actual intention” of the Founding Fathers. Think about the conservative constitutional theory of “Originalism” made famous by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It almost sounds like he was right there at its creation,…

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Generals Are Playing Vital Civilian Role Now

This article originally appeared in the AJC on August 12, 2017 By Teresa Tomlinson Progressives from around the country are uncharacteristically applauding the placement of military generals within the Trump Administration. Tweets and posts note tongue-in-check sentiments such as: “I never thought I would say this, but can we get even more generals in the White House?” or “Any chance of a military coup?” Citizens who typically reject the mixing of the military and the civilian government with the same ferocity as they reject the mixing of church and state have changed their tune. President Donald Trump, it seems, is…

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Why the Republican Brand Is So Strong Where I Live

This article originally appeared in the Daily Beast on June 30, 2017. In my neck of the woods, even two gay men in 2004 didn’t want to be Democrats. We can change this stigma—but we need to learn how to speak Republican. You have known her for 30 years. She was in your wedding. She is smart and has a big heart. The day you realized she voted for Trump you were thunderstruck. “Who is this stranger?” you thought. Literally, your entire understanding of her crumbles. She feels your judgment and resents it. The dynamic of this relationship changes. It may evolve,…

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