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The AJC report shows the Biden campaign sees Georgia as one of the key battleground states in 2024. Georgia Democrats, let's do our part by giving Biden and all our Democratic candidates our all-out support. Don't forget: a presidential election year tends to suck energy out of state and local elections. Let's not let that happen!

A good beginning: your candidates for the Georgia state legislature could use money, right now. And they need volunteers to join in the campaigning. Get involved, and let's turn Georgia blue, not just purple.

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Excerpts from the AJC:

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Tom Barksdale
1025 Rose Creek Dr. – Suite 620
Woodstock, GA 30189

Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington St.
Suite 203, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Governor Kemp:

I’m one of your constituents who considers himself well within the range of a normal American. I am an 80-year-old native Georgian and a Vietnam combat veteran who spent his 30-year career in Washington, D.C working with a national security agency. I give you these credentials to weigh when I state that I am a life-long Democrat. I believe I base my political decisions on the same use of facts and rational analysis that informed my career as an analyst.

My problem, Governor, is that I am unable to discern any facts or rational analysis that would lead you to support Donald Trump for president for the third time in a row. You and I seem to live in two totally separate dimensions of reality. The facts I look at describe Trump as an immoral, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, narcissistic, dumb-as-a-brick congenital liar and miscreant who is waging a war against America’s basic moral and democratic values, and who has taken God’s Ten Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule, spat on them, ripped them to shreds, tossed them on the ground, and trampled them into the mud.

And yet, after nine years of this person wantonly displaying all the above characteristics, you gleefully line up to kiss his behind and support his re-election.

(See: Kemp hitching his wagon to the lunatic fringe)

Rather than engage in abstract partisan bickering, I thought the best approach would be to start with Trump’s own words as the basis for discussion. Here are the words spoken by Trump recently which have received Brian Kemp’s stamp of approval:

”If we don’t win this election, I don’t think you’ll ever have another election in this country.” He also said, “If I am not re-elected, there will be a bloodbath for the country,” although he attempted to link the latter statement to what would happen to the automobile industry. Gov. Kemp, how can you approve those words?

Gov. Kemp, how can you approve of Trump saying about migrants “…these are not people. These are animals” and claim that foreign leaders are offloading their prison populations at the southern border, sending gang members and other undesirables to the United States.

The “country is being poisoned” by migrants. “We can be nice about it…But we have people coming in from prisons and jails, long-term murderers, people with sentences that the rest of their lives they’re going to spend in some jail in some country that many people have never even heard of.”

Gov. Kemp, how can you approve of Trump saying that the persons who either plead guilty or were convicted by a jury and were jailed over their violent acts during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol are “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots.” (Not criminals). He has said he would consider blanket pardons for some of those charged. These words prove that Donald Trump and Brian Kemp have utter contempt for the rule of law, don’t they, Governor?

Gov. Kemp, how can you approve of Trump letting it be known that he intends to enlist his 2016 campaign manager and convicted criminal Paul Manafort as a campaign adviser later this year? After resigning his position in the 2016 campaign, Manafort was convicted on bank and tax fraud felonies. He also was accused of hiding millions he made consulting for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians. He served time in prison before Trump pardoned him in the final days of his presidency.

I don’t recall the position you took, Gov. Kemp, on Trump’s pardon of many of the officials convicted of crimes in his Administration. No other President has so abused the pardoning power like this. Another example of tramping on the rule of law. Perhaps you can enlighten us, Gov. Kemp, on your assessment of Trump’s use of the president’s pardoning power, now that your hero has stated he will misuse it again to free the Jan 6 mobsters.

Now that Trump intends to reappoint this reprobate to a high position, Gov. Kemp, what is your position on the findings of the bipartisan Senate committee that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 elections and concluded that Manafort’s receptivity to Russian outreach was a “grave counterintelligence threat” that had made the 2016 campaign susceptible to “malign Russian influence?” The committee’s alarming findings obviously never caused you to waver in supporting Trump, despite Trump’s ties to Manafort. As of March 21, 2024, Kemp has shown no problem with Trump renewing his ties to this criminal who has strong ties to Russia.

(To understand what Gov. Kemp finds tolerable, see “A review of all the warnings about Paul Manafort from a 2020 bipartisan Senate report)

The Trump-engineered incident, Gov. Kemp, that causes me to question whether you have any semblance of a moral conscience was Trump’s Big Lie alleging that two Georgia election workers engaged in criminal activity to manipulate the ballot count in the 2020 election. Trump joined his lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani, in a publicity campaign to spread the lie, unleashing a torrent of threats and intimidation of the two that turned their lives into a living hell. Trump kept the vile lie about Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Shaye Moss going for three years until a trial exonerated the two, and the jury orders Giuliani to pay almost $150 million in damages.

Brian Kemp never uttered one word of criticism of Trump’s gross mistreatment and flagrant character assassination of two innocent Georgians. Where is one iota of Brian Kemp being guided by Jesus’ teachings in this affair? (My conclusion is based on three Internet searches. If they somehow missed Kemp’s words and deeds, please let me know).

Gov. Kemp, how can you possibly claim loyalty to America’s basic democratic values while supporting for President of the United States someone who over and over again expresses his fulsome praise for democracy-hating thugs Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, Chinese President Xi, and Hungarian strongman Orban. Even Trump’s calling the terrorist organization Hezbollah "very smart," Gov. Kemp, did not alter your commitment to putting this dictator-loving authoritarian back in the White House.  Not a problem, says Gov. Kemp.

(Last year, Trump suggested that General Mark Milley, the highly respected Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, deserved execution. Not a whisper of dissent by you, Gov. Kemp. In 2022, Trump took to social media to call for the termination of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election and “reinstate” him to power. He based his deranged demand on his own false allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen from him. You have expressed your views on this insanity, Gov. Kemp, by working to re-elect Trump as President, so he can use the power of the presidency to pursue his treasonous agenda).

In an interview published on March 18, Trump said “Jews who support Democrats hate Israel and their religion.” A few hours later, facing mounting criticism from Jewish groups, Mr. Trump’s campaign repeated his incendiary charge, declaring that “Trump is right,” and that the Democratic Party “has turned into a full-blown anti-Israel, antisemitic, pro-terrorist cabal.”

Gee, Governor Kemp. As a Democrat, am I supposed to demean myself by even bothering to refute these beyond-outrageous remarks by the man you want to make President of the United States? Your tolerance, Governor, for warped, twisted, and depraved filth from Donald Trump is bottomless. I ask again: where is there one iota of the teachings of Jesus Christ in these words?

This despicable remark about Jews, Governor, is, in my opinion, about equal to the personal insult you and Trump have hurled in my face. Former Trump White House chief of staff John Kelly last year confirmed that Trump had repeatedly made disparaging remarks about U.S. service members and veterans. On a trip to France in 2018, media reports said Trump had called the soldiers “losers” and “suckers” and refused to visit their graves.

And Trump during his 2016 election campaign and while serving as president repeatedly demeaned the military service of John McCain. After the White House flag was lowered following McCain’s death, Trump ordered it to be restored to full height even while McCain’s memorial services were still underway.

I am bereft of any understanding, Gov. Kemp, of how you and Trump can call me a loser and a sucker for serving in the armed forces of the United States. I accept the reality that my service means nothing to you, Trump, or most other Trumpist Republicans. Your accepting as normal nine years of Trump’s insults, libel, and character assassination of American service members offers a revealing insight into Brian Kemp’s heart and soul—and what an ugly picture it is.

I can only fall back once more on the famous words lawyer John Welch hurled into the face of Joseph McCarthy, the 1950s GOP equivalent of Trump’s lying demagogue, which drove a dagger into McCarthy’s sinister career: “Little did I dream that you could be so reckless and so cruel. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you (Brian Kemp) left no sense of decency?”

Trump’s words, Governor Kemp, are dangerous, demagogic, despicable, and full of outright lies. They far exceed whatever has been considered as within the mainstream of acceptable political speech in the past, however heated it may have been. Do I really have to explain to Brian Kemp the extremist nature of Trump’s words? Do I have to convince Governor Kemp that Trump is waging a war against America’s basic democratic values, against the Judeo-Christian ethos, against common human decency?

What makes your sycophantic support of a corrupt miscreant like Trump even more astounding, Gov. Kemp, is the fact that so many prominent Republicans have broken with Trump and are refusing to support his re-election—including former senior officials in his Administration. The leader of the pack: former Vice President Mike Pence announced in March that he would not support Trump’s presidential bid. Other formers senior officials who oppose returning Trump to the White House are: former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former Attorney General William Barr, and former chief of staff John Kelly. And, of course, there’s Liz Cheney. Senator Bill Cassidy  (R-LA) said that Trump’s calling the convicted Jan 6 hostages was “unacceptable.”

Their outspoken opposition speaks to Trump’s manifest flaws and how they are visible to those who know him best. “These former advisers have shared hair-raising observations of Trump’s outbursts, mind-set and personal depravity.” See "Ex-Trump advisers alert voters to his unfitness" for the explicit damning words of Esper, Barr, and Kelly. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said on CNN: “He doesn’t understand the job, particularly” in regard to national security.

One last plea, Gov. Kemp. Please explain to your constituents how you came to be so much smarter than Mike Pence, Mark Esper, William Barr, John Bolton, John Kelly, Bill Cassidy, and Liz Cheney—combined.

Look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

Tom Barksdale

Carlton Fletcher in the Albany (GA) Herald

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