On the aptly poetically named Jekyll Island, Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp did his best Mr. Hyde imitation before a crowd at his state party’s annual convention. And they would have none of it. In fact they booed him relentlessly. These days you have to be really, really evil, not just a lukewarm sort of evil, to satisfy the Trump crowd. The “Mr. Hyde” demanded by the crowd had to be evil enough to insist that Donald Trump won Georgia in 2020. Kemp was unwilling to do that. Hence the booing.
James Hall, a delegate from Savannah said “I’m scared to death of these anti-Kemp Republicans.” Delegate Kevin Gough said, “The boos don’t speak for the whole party.” No, but they speak for enough of them.
The Republican Party of Trump appears to be winning its battle with the traditional GOP. Only Trump-anointed members are admitted to the fellowship, and any who finds disfavor with Donald Trump are quickly labelled “RINOs,” or, Republicans In Name Only.
Without mentioning Trump or paying lip service to the false notion that the 2020 election was fraudulent, Kemp tried to calm the crowd. “We must be strong and courageous,” Kemp said. He said of Democrats: “They’ve got Hollywood. They’ve got billionaires in New York and California. … That is why we have to be united as well and move forward together.” For all that the boos continued, despite Kemp supporters who tried in vain to drown them out with cheers.
Kemp’s willingness to pass draconian voter laws inimical to people of color wasn’t enough for the vocal crowd at the party convention crowd. These are the same kinds of people who tried to lynch Mike Pence merely for performing his symbolic duty before the joint session of Congress which met on January 6 to ratify the election.
Trump submitted a video message to the convention to underscore where he stood. He praised Georgia Republicans in general yet never mentioned Kemp. Trump also promised he’d treat Georgia to a rally “in the very near future.” No doubt it was a reminder to Kemp of the time when he promised a Georgia crowd to spend the 2022 race “campaigning against your governor.” Sins against Trump are neither forgotten nor forgiven by the Party of Trump. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.