Public Notice: Georgia on My Mind
It was the best of days, it was the worst of days
Yes, I know this column generally focuses on local politics – and god knows we have plenty of that going on largely behind the scenes at City Hall (see last week's City Council item on the jockeying for mayor pro tem) – but I woke up this morning expecting to take a break from that, to bask in the very satisfying news out of the Peach State: the dual Senate races providing the electoral rebuke of Trumpism that was so sadly and strangely missing from his own defeat two months ago. But the events of the day have overtaken that, as whatever last-ditch assaults on the democratic process the GOP's Sedition Caucus may have intended were drowned out and run out of the building by the goons they've inspired and mobilized and will now be scrambling to disavow.
The GOP may never come to terms with the fact that this is the logical extension of their brand – that if you stoke fear and resentment nonstop, promote hatred and divisiveness at every turn, and build your whole message around that, then people are going to react in very predictable hateful ways and not be inclined to even want to find common ground – but that lesson was on full display today, and that disavowal is going to take some acts of extreme contortion, if not contrition.
So many times over the past four years, I've been reminded of U.S. Army counsel Joseph Welch's immortal rebuke to the red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy – "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" – and wondered that same thing, as the bar for what might be considered acceptable behavior kept getting lowered to impossibly subterranean levels. But today may have finally been the rock-bottom, can't-ignore-it-anymore dead end for that brand. So just for now, once the carnage around the U.S. Capitol is cleared and the would-be seditionists slink back home with the entire world aghast and embarrassed by their actions, I'm going to go back to reveling in Georgia and looking forward to having the adults back in charge of both houses of Congress.
Living Springs: the origin story. In case you missed it the first time around, KLRU will re-air the documentary film Origins of a Green Identity: Austin's Conservation Pioneers this Friday, Jan. 8, at 8pm. A product of the Living Springs documentary project, Origins looks back at "Austin's earliest efforts to preserve Barton Springs and Barton Creek," focusing on two early heroes in Austin's conservation history, Parks Board Chair Roberta Crenshaw and Parks and Recreation Department Director Beverly Sheffield. Directed by Monica Flores and Karen Kocher, the film is narrated by novelist Sarah Bird, with original music from Graham Reynolds and David Murray.