We figure a reader had it about right on the upcoming Georgia Senate runoffs. Voters, the reader suggested, could throw out the mudslinging attacks that bombard us on television every night in an effort to sway our friends south of the Tennessee border.
When the candidates get to Washington, the reader said, they will vote their party's agenda. It's up to voters to determine which agenda they prefer.
Indeed, one can't even enjoy "Jeopardy," one of the last cerebral — and so far nonpolitical — programs on television, without seeing commercials for the four combatants, and usually back to back to back to back.
"Now Ossof, now Loeffler, now Perdue and Warnock. On Trump, on Pence, on Harris and Biden."
However what we think when we see them is: "Now dash away, dash away, dash away all."
But the reader is right. The mudslinging is just business as usual.
Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler aren't going to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. That old falsehood has been consistently used by Democrats going back to the days of Ronald Reagan. The two programs are still thriving, but that doesn't mean they don't need reforming.
Neither have the current senators wanted people to die with the coronavirus. Sometimes we hear these advertisements and wonder if those who created them really believe someone can take them seriously. But evidently they do.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Raphael Warnock may have cozied up to race baiters like Jeremiah Wright and Al Sharpton and had kind words to say about Fidel Castro, but he is not is not about to usher the country into a radical future. Not without help, he isn't.
And Jon Ossoff can't paper liberal Hollywood, from where much of his backing comes, over conservative Georgia without assistance.
It's the national agendas Georgia voters should be examining. But it is, in fact, a rare moment in American history when their votes — two months past Election Day — can decide such an agenda.
It's not rocket science, either.
Come Jan. 20, Donald Trump will no longer be the bogeyman around whom every issue is framed. The country will be left with one of two scenarios.
If Democrats win both Georgia runoffs — and they must win both for this to happen — they can change the age-old Senate rules that require a 60-vote majority to end filibusters. That would pave the way for a simple majority vote to pass legislation, and radical Democrat Vice President-elect Kamala Harris could provide the 51st vote in cases of a tie between 50 Republicans and the combination of 48 Democrats and two Democrats who prefer to call themselves independent.
If Republicans win one of the runoffs, the filibuster rule is not likely to change, and major Biden administration policy could not advance without one or more Republicans voting for it. The president would still be able to take executive action on some issues, but that is not a permanent change.
Not so long ago — as recently as 2005 — Georgia routinely elected Democratic U.S. senators. In fact, only two Republicans were elected between 1873 and the 21st century. But the state's most recent Democrats, Zell Miller, Max Cleland and Sam Nunn, understood the state was not of one — left-wing — mind on most issues. They understood there was the Democratic Atlanta metro area and a huge swath of Republicans in the rest of the state. So they didn't always toe a party line and frequently voted to advance bipartisan legislation.
If the hard-to-miss television ads are making one authentic point about the candidates, it is they are not "one of us." And they're not.
Perdue and Loeffler ran several big businesses, Ossoff was a London-based documentary filmmaker and Warnock pastored the politically connected Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, once the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
None of them are likely to go duck hunting on Saturday, coach Little League in the spring and work in the mill to earn a week's pay.
Perdue and Loeffler have backed Trump's continued attempts to investigate election shenanigans, and Ossoff and Warnock have voiced support for the radical actions and ideas of anarchists who rioted across the country over the summer.
In other words, none of the four is going to be driving the bus toward bipartisan legislation like Republicans Paul Coverdell and Saxby Chambliss and Democrats Miller and Nunn did in Georgia in the recent past. Instead, they see Georgia as all red or all blue. That's a pity, because it's not.
So Peach State voters will have to determine if they buy the line Biden is selling — because Ossoff and Warnock will support it — or if they want to put a stop sign to that line — because Perdue and Loeffler will back that.