Perhaps one of the most memorable lines to come out of the 2020 election cycle happened just a few days before Election Day, in a senate race that no one thought would be particularly consequential until after Election Day ended, and both senate races in Georgia moved to a runoff. In the second debate between himself and current Sen. David Perdue, Jon Ossoff hit it out of the park when he tore into Perdue about his overall corruption and his abysmal failure to do anything about the COVID health crisis decimating his own state with the line: “It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator. It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people you represent.”
In just one stroke, Ossoff suggested that while Perdue was fending off multiple federal investigations into his insider trading scandals, the health crisis became increasingly unmanageable in Georgia – and yet, Perdue made no efforts to increase the congressional stimulus package that Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump refused to pass before the election. Perdue remained silent for a minute and a half, looking particularly weak since he made no efforts to cut off his opponent, unlike Trump and McConnell in their respective debates. The next day, Perdue bailed out of the final debate, to avoid another such embarrassment, going instead to a Trump rally. Now, he’s about to regret making that decision, since it’s coming back to haunt him in a big way.
The Atlanta Press Club, the most prestigious journalism association in the state, is organizing an upcoming debate on Dec. 6. Perdue has also declined to appear at this one, and will be represented by an empty chair at the podium. The ACP has invited him to reconsider, but this is a lose-lose situation for Perdue – he has the choice of either being embarrassed by every prominent newspaper in the state or being forced to explain how he can be concerned about the health of everyday Georgians while going to a superspreader event to benefit himself. There’s not really a good answer he can give.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making