The most charitable description of State Senator Michael Williams’ “press conference” this afternoon would point out that it was thin on substance. More accurate accounts might use analogies like “goat rodeo” or “clown car pileup.” Even the currently overused “nothingburger” is appropriate.
After promising to expose some “reprehensible” acts by the Lt. Governor, and urging attendees to arrive early for seats in a media advisory sent out a couple of days ago, Senator Williams arrived 30 minutes late -and provided no chairs. Unless his strategy was to try to make the Capitol press corps dislike him, the event was an exercise in political amateurism.
Everyone in Republican circles in Georgia knows “the story” about Casey Cagle -an alleged impropriety in his office that was discovered by a staffer. It’s too salacious to repeat on a family blog, and may not even be true, but it usually involves a reference to “tying his own shoes,” and is tee-hee gossip that has become accepted as canon. Nobody went to hear this as “news,” they went to see If Michael Williams would repeat the tale out loud, in public. After all, the crazy man might ramble about nothing, or he could recite “The Aristocrats,” -who knows?
He didn’t do either. He did say that some State Senators told him that he wouldn’t be getting hearings on a couple of bills he sponsored last session -but didn’t back even that petulant, childish, whine up with names, dates, or even exact quotes. He accused The Lt. Governor of being “a career politician” and vowed to hit him over the head with bags of coins, or something like that. Frankly, my mind wandered off, to contemplate dumpster fires and puffy clouds. If you’re interested, you can watch for yourself at this link right here: 12 minutes and 55 seconds of stuttering horsecrap.
(There was some actual news during the session about using state funds to pay local law enforcement officers, and Senator Williams earned some actual media, by an Maggie Lee, an actual reporter. Her work can be found at this link. )
It’s hard to believe that any elected official would stage such an obvious and embarrassing debacle on purpose, but Williams’ intended audience wasn’t the Capitol press -nor voters in most of metro Atlanta. He’s thinking that way outside the Perimeter, his soon-to-be-delivered and well-deserved mocking by every pundit in Georgia will prove to angry Trump supporters that he, like the President, is an “outsider” who will “fight,” and that they will satisfy themselves that his portrayal as the slightly slow love child spawned by Benny Hill and Steve Carrell is proof of his feistiness.
One can’t imagine viewing Georgia voters with more contempt than that. But this is an unprecedented era of political decadence, in which standards have literally fallen away, and it just might work.