Political Notes — Buddy Carter, Southern idioms, and violence against women in Congress

[private]U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) is only one of many Republican congressmen who are eager to see the Affordable Care Act repealed, but he let his feelings get a little carried away Wednesday after a motion to repeal Obamacare was defeated in the Senate.

While the repeal motion lost because seven Republican senators crossed the aisle to vote with the 48 Democrats who oppose repeal, Carter was fixated on the women senators in that group, Susan Collins of Maine and particularly Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

When he was asked by an MSNBC personality what he thought of Donald Trump’s attacks on Murkowski, Carter blurted out: “Let me tell you, somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass. I’m telling you, it has gotten to the point where, how can you say I voted for this last year but I’m not going to vote for it this year?”

Carter’s remark caught fire and was soon being repeated in just about every media outlet.

Earlier this week, Carter’s Republican colleague from Texas, Rep. Blake Farenthold, had expressed similar frustrations about the women senators and said he wanted to challenge them to a duel because they had voted against killing Obamacare.

This prompted some observers to opine that Carter and Farenthold were advocating violence against women.

Not so, said a spokesperson for Carter, who quickly sent out a clarifying statement: “Rep. Carter’s comment was in no way directed towards Sen. Murkowski specifically. His words speak for themselves, that he was not speaking about a single senator. This is a southern phrase used frequently throughout Rep. Carter’s lifetime which simply means get your act together.”

That sounds like a largely accurate reading of the situation. The phrase “snatch a knot in their ass” — a milder version is “jerk a knot in their tail” — is one of many slang expressions that a person hears when they are raised in the South.

These Southernisms often have a hint of violence to them, especially when they are said in the heat of anger or frustration: “I’m gonna snatch you bald-headed,” for example, or “I’m gonna whip you like a red-headed stepchild.”

They also can be quite poignant, as with the time that a state legislator who was about to vote on a very controversial bill remarked, “I’m as nervous as a whore in church.”

What some see as colorful phrasings, however, others see as physical threats, especially in these hyper-partisan times.

It will be interesting to see if Carter tones down the language a bit or continues to hurl Southern idioms at the female members of the world’s greatest deliberative body.

Ralston appointments

Speaker David Ralston has made two House appointments to the Joint Study Committee on Storm-Water Management Fees: Reps. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan) and Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro).

Ralston also named Brian Johnson, the city manager of City of Peachtree Corners, Brandon Lovett, the assistant city manager of Newnan, Taylor Anderson of Sugar Hill and Diane Parks of Auburn to the committee.

Cagle appointments

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced the following appointments to Senate study committees —

Joint Transparency and Open Access in Government Study Committee: Sens. Chuck Hufstetler (co-chair), Fran Millar, Jeff Mullis, and Freddie Powell-Sims. Also named: Larry Gerdes of Pursuant Health, Joel Zemel of McKesson Corp., and Patty Lavely of Gwinnett Medical Center.

Joint Study Committee on Stream Buffers: Sens. Frank Ginn (co-chair), Ben Watson, William Ligon, John Wilkinson, and Steve Henson. Also named: Harold Reheis, Phil Munro, and Brandon Smith.

Senate Study Committee on Homelessness: Sens. Renee Unterman (chair), Donzella James, and Michael Rhett.

Senate Stroke Trauma Study Committee: Sens. John F. Kennedy (chair), Renee Unterman, Dean Burke, and Ben Watson. Also named: Dr. David Hess of Augusta University, Dr. Joe Sam Robinson of the Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, Dr. Christopher Hendry of Navivent Health, and Kiva Schindler of the Emory School of Medicine.

New reading website

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) has launched a “Words2Reading” website that is designed to help families, caregivers and teachers sharpen their early childhood language and literacy skills.

“Strong language and reading skills lay the foundation for a student’s long-term academic success,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “By making these resources readily available for families, caregivers and educators, we are further investing in Georgia’s greatest resource, the minds of our youngest learners, for generations to come.”

GOSA said it launched the new website to build awareness of the importance of early language and literacy development in students from birth to age 8.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Buddy Carter , David Ralston , GOSA , Obamacare repeal