What’s in a name? Well, in Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s case, one suspects it accounts for him getting elected governor by people with fond memories of a plump chicken on Sunday and sunny days the rest of the week.

Georgians like themselves a man with a sunny disposition. Jimmy Carter not only proved that, but went on to demonstrate that most Americans appreciate a man who smiles. Which, of course, is why Republicans had to wipe that grin off Jimmy’s face and send in the more genial Ronald. You remember, the guy who crowed about “Morning in America.”

That’s the only way I can explain the selection of Sonny Perdue to the governor’s office in Georgia. That and the fact that term limits lead voters to think, “How much trouble can he cause in just a few years?”

They’ve been finding out and now they’re in for more. ‘Cause Sonny wants to take on the federal government.

Since the Associated Press really hates having its stories published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed, let me just give you the link and the headline:

Ga. governor to name special AG for health lawsuit

And it’s not going to cost anything ’cause the lawyers are gonna work for free. Which can’t but help remind us of the saying that “you get what you pay for.”

But then, we already know that Republicans are specialists in programs and policies that are designed to fail. In part, that’s because, as a population that’s addicted to PR (public relations), they know full well that profits are the result of mass marketing and repetition, not the quality of the information. More to the point, they know from experience that longevity in office (the politician’s goal) depends on being a failure and asking for the “opportunity” to “try and try again.” It’s also a strategy that appeals to people who don’t really want what’s being promised — like, for example, having the laws enforced against them.

“Law and order” is a popular program, as long as people can feel confident that it’s not going to interfere with their personal freedoms. Indeed, that’s the message they take away whenever they see the flashing lights and some other guy being frisked by the highway patrol. Besides, Georgians can think to themselves, that car is likely from out of state, ’cause we all know (heard it on the news with our own ears) that the HP, even though a new law lets them collect an extra $200 , they’re not going to be stopped unless the car is traveling at 85 MPH — i.e. ten miles over the limit on the interstate. By code there’s no fine for going five miles over. Presumably, out-of-state drivers won’t know that and just pay up. Traffic enforcement as a revenue generator — it’s got a long history.

It’s really hard to believe that Sonny, who is a Republican, is serious about this health care thing, other than to give Democrats a black eye and depress an electorate that’s otherwise almost certain to go for Democrat Roy Barnes for governor in the fall. That is, unless the voting machines can be jiggled again. If the insurance guys were counting on John Oxendine, the Insurance Commissioner, to ride to the rescue, now that health insurance reform has passed, it would seem they’re just a tad too late.

Besides, considering that Georgia’s Department of Public Health features 18 districts and 159 county health departments on which 18% of the population depend for care, rejecting the additional money that’s sure to follow what’s already arrived under the stimulus umbrella, would be like cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. Well, unless it’s somebody else’s nose.

Maybe a quote from Newt Gingrich wouldn’t infringe the AP’s prerogatives too much.

Former U.S. House Speaker Gingrich, who appeared with Perdue, said he believes voters will show their disagreement with the bill in November’s midterm elections and in the next presidential election.

“Believes” is such a weasel word — even harder to challenge than a prediction.

But, if you want to see what socialism under a Republican really looks like, watch this: http://health.state.ga.us/programs/wic/videos/wic_eng.html

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."