GOP Congressman Doug Collins—Another Agitator in Demagogue Donald’s Corner July 28, 2019
How low can you go? Just when you think Demagogue Donald has hit rock bottom, we find there is no lowest limit to his irrationality, imbecility, and insane racism (yes, I’m going there). On 7/14/2019, Mr. “stable genius”( NOT) tweeted that four Democratic Congresswoman, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of NY, Ayanna Pressley of MA, Ilhan Omar of MN, and MI’s Rashida Tlaib, all women of color, “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” should , “go back and help fix them (nytimes.com, Hirschfeld Davis, Haberman, & Crowley, 7/18/19).” Never mind that three of them are American-born. Only Cong. Omar, was born overseas in Somalia. She came to this country at age eight and is now a naturalized U.S. citizen (huffpost.com, Miller, H., 7/21/19). In Donald’s world of “alterative/fake” facts, reality is irrelevant. Never mind that the overwhelming majority of Americans, nearly 60%, call such beyond hateful xenophobic tweets “un-American (USA Today/Ipsos Poll, nytimes.com Editorial Board, 7/18/19).” Never mind that our “leader-in-chief” is fanning the flames of hatred and aims to divide this country over racial, ethnic, and religious lines to get re-elected (nytimes.com, 7/18/19). And never mind that according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces anti-discrimination national laws, such language by supervisors or co-workers is a potential federal legal violation (cnn.com, Brownstein, R., 7/23/19). According to Donald, the charge that these tweets were racist “doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me (nytimes.com, Hirschfeld Davis et al, 7/18/19).” Huh? Using this “logic,” segregation in the South and Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s defense of it were, therefore, “fine” because “many people agreed with him!” Yes, many people rightfully oppose Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib’s anti-Israel stands and Ocasio-Cortez’s and Pressley’s strong leftist views. However, they are entitled to express their opinions and not be told they have to leave their own country.
After these awful tweets, on 7/16/2019, the Democratic-controlled House passed by a 240-187 vote, House Resolution 489 (H. Res.489), a motion to condemn as racist Trump’s attacks against these congresswomen. This resolution was sponsored by legislators of color and other Congressmembers who were themselves immigrants to the U.S. (See nytimes.com, 7/16/19). No Democrat voted against this resolution, but only four GOPers joined “Team Blue” on what should have been a “no brainer” statement upholding our true values. Justin Amash, now an independent, from the closely divided Grand Rapids, MI 3rd Congressional District (CD), joined the four dissenting GOPers. The other GOPers with the Democrats included retiring IN 5th GOP Cong. Susan Brooks, representing a district that will be hotly contested in 2020, and three other GOP Congressmen from swing districts, Adam Kinzinger (IL-16th CD), Will Hurd (TX 23rd), and Fred Upton (MI 6th CD). The House GOP-- real congressional “profiles in courage (LOL).”
This House vote did not go smoothly. GOP Cong. Doug Collins ran interference for Demagogue Donald. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued that “there’s no excuse for any response to those words (by Trump) but a swift and strong and unified condemnation,” Cong. Collins went ballistic (See nytimes.com, Hirschfeld Davis, J., 7/16/19). Collins made a formal objection to Pelosi’s remarks, charging they had violated the House rules of decorum, which call for lawmakers to avoid impugning the motives of their colleagues or the president. The NY Times called Collins’ comments a “stunning turn for a resolution that was drafted in response to Trump’s own incendiary language (Hirschfeld Davis, 7/16/19).” Collins made the proceedings into a spectacle, touching off tumult as officials scrambled to review House rules. At one point, the Democrat presiding in the House stormed off the floor. Other GOPers, following Collins, did not defend Donald’s remarks but condemned Democrats for calling Trump out as a “racist.” The move by GOPers to strike Pelosi’s words from the record about Donald being “racist” ultimately failed along party lines. After all this brouhaha and delaying tactics instigated by Collins and his “Team Red” followers, the House finally passed its resolution strongly condemning Trump’s racism (nytimes.com, Hirschfeld Davis, 7/16/19). Here’s Cong. Collins.
Fourth-term GOP Congressman Doug Collins (52) represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District (CD). The current GA 9th was newly drawn after the 2010 census. It covers the Peachtree State’s northeast corner and is anchored by Gainesville in Hall County. The 9th includes part of the city of Athens and the city of Toccoa. The 9th borders S. Carolina in the east. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chattahoochee National Forest take up much of the 9th’s land. Newly build subdivisions are also sprouting up. Tourism to the forest and mountain areas is an economic mainstay. Blue collar jobs are important in the 9th. Gainesville is a major poultry processing center and produces more than one-fourth of the birds in GA’s multi-billion-dollar poultry industry. Granite deposits support more than 45 quarries. The 2 million cubic feet of granite annually mined is mainly made into tombstones (CQ & Barone 14 Political Almanacs).
The GA 9th was drawn by GOPers to elect one of their own. From its creation, the GOP has thoroughly dominated here. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voting Index, PVI, gives the GA 9th a lopsided R+31 score, making his CD the third-“Reddest” nationally (Ballotpedia, CQ & Barone 14). In 2012, Romney took 78% of the 9th’s vote, his statewide best, and in that year, GOPers ran unopposed in nearly every state House and Senate race. Former GA GOP Gov. Nathan Deal and former GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle launched their careers in Gainesville. The current GA state House Speaker GOPer David Ralston also comes from the 9th. The 9th remains mainly rural and nearly 90% white (cookpoliticalfile.com, 4/07/17, Barone 14). The GA 9th went for Donald by 58.5 points (Recent Pres. Election Results).
Gainesville native Collins’ father was a state trooper and his mother worked in a variety of local jobs. Doug Collins received a 1988 undergraduate degree from N. GA College & State University. Collins worked at several jobs in the hazardous materials industry, but felt a calling to the ministry. He received a 1996 divinity degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He returned to Gainesville and served as pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church from 1994-2005. Collins joined the Air Force Reserve in 2002 and in 2008 did a chaplaincy tour in Iraq. Collins received a law degree in 2008 from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and practiced in Gainesville from 2008-2012. In 2006, Collins won election to a state House district north of Gainesville and was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. In his third term, Collins was floor leader for GOP Gov. Nathan Deal whom he had known since high school (Barone 14).
In the GA state House, Collins sponsored a plan to cut 10% of the funds for the prestigious Hope College scholarships. He voted to allow jurors to use the death penalty even without a unanimous verdict. He voted in favor of GA’s prohibiting abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive abortion bans enacted in the country. He signed a pledge sponsored by the Koch-affiliated Americans For Prosperity in which he promised to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes (votesmart.org, americansfoprosperity.org, web.archive). In 2012, Collins won the primary and runoff for the 9th CD U.S. House seat. He was endorsed by then Gov. Deal, State House Speaker Ralston, and other local GOP leaders. He clobbered his Democratic opponent and has since coasted to re-election. In 11/2018, Collins took 80% of the vote (ballotpedia.org, CQ 116th Congress At Your Fingertips).
In the House, Cong. Collins is no GOP back-bencher. He is the ranking, top minority member, of the powerhouse Judiciary Committee (CQ 116th Congress At Your Fingertips). Collins was the perfect fellow to lead the fight against Speaker Pelosi’s resolution condemning racist Donald. He is a hard-right Congressman and member of the Republican Study Committee (RSC). The RSC is the most conservative bloc and dominant force within the House GOP caucus (CQ 14). Collins has voted with Demagogue Donald nearly 98% of the time (projects.fivethirty-eight.com). The anti-regulatory Koch Industries has given him at least $17,500 (sourcewatch.com). As early as 2014, Collins was rated the most conservative member of GA’s congressional delegation by the National Journal. Collins endorsed Donald in 2016 and did not publicly comment on the sexual misconduct accusations leveled against Trump by the “Access Hollywood” tape (ballotpedia.org, Hallerman, T., ajc.com, 10/10/2016). Collins voted to repeal Obamacare and for the top 1% tax cut (Silavent, J., gainesvilletimes.com, AP). He opposes same-sex marriage. In 2019, he voted against expanding the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (cspan.org, 5/17/19, clerkhouse.gov). He voted against the Violence Against Women Act (nytimes.com, Weisman, J. 3/14/12). He is a hard liner on immigration. Collins says that border security and enforcement must be a big part of any overhaul (CQ 14).
In the dripping “Red” GA 9th , Collins can keep getting re-elected. However, he must be kept in the minority where his delaying motions will be defeated. As long as Democrats vote in droves in 11/2020 and in all other national elections, the House will stay “Blue” and Collins will remain a harmless nuisance.