Karen Handel ponders new sleazy anti-gay race

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Waffle fry connoisseur and noted political waffler Karen Handel may once again force her scorched earth political campaigning on the people of Georgia. You know, since she wasn’t anti-gay enough in her last losing effort. This time, she may step into the political ring to unseat Sen. Saxby Chambliss, despite quite the anti-gay track record he’s amassed during his time in Congress. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” tried to explain away gay death threats from a staffer as free speech and scored 15 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s recent Congressional Scorecard. But really, Handel is out of a job since that public falling out with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Now she’s left eating at Chick-fil-A and recruiting other anti-gay Republican women like her to run for office. So what would a primary challenge from Handel look like? A lot like it did when she nearly beat now-Gov. Nathan Deal in a nasty inter-party challenge in 2010. She pivoted away from her gay-friendly views during her stint in Fulton County politics to take a hard-right turn and disparage gay marriage, gay parents and gay kids. She also blasted the Prop. 8 court decision at the time, even though it had nothing to do with Georgia politics. Put another way, she didn’t just throw gays under the bus, she drove it over them. How would she fare against Chambliss? He’s vulnerable; 43 percent of primary voters want “someone more conservative.” And even with doing little more than float the idea of a primary challenge, Handel nabbed 23 percent in a recent poll to 52 percent for Chambliss. But it could be worse. The GOP primary nearly turned into an anti-gay orgy, but radio host Erick Erickson passed on a run and Herman Cain, who polled well against Chambliss, also ruled out a challenge. He’s too busy planning to hitch his anti-gay train to WSB Radio. Fortunately, Chambliss doesn’t face voters until 2014. So we’ve got more than a year to relish in the anti-gay sleaze sure to come if Handel steps in. Joy.


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