Those voices are discussing the Georgia runoff, a term that accurately describes a closely-watched Senate election as well as the texture and taste of boiled peanuts.
In a pair of highly-contested races that will ultimately determine which party controls a key lever of the legislative branch, Georgians across the political spectrum find themselves asking the same question: is the devil coming down here to weigh in, or is he flying direct to Mar-a-Lago?
Thanks to the peach state’s so-called “Jungle Primary,” which shoves candidates of all parties through a political meat grinder worthy of Upton Sinclair, no two sausages emerged as clear favorites, resulting in a special double-election that’s already cost nearly 10x more money than The Rock spent purchasing the XFL at Vince McMahon’s garage sale.
If the two Democratic candidates emerge victorious, the Senate will be tied at 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as tiebreaker, firing an extra puck into the net after Senators McConnell and Schumer fail to resolve things on the ice.
But if one or two of the Republican candidates emerge victorious, the GOP will continue to wield power over the Senate, allowing the building to continue functioning like our nation’s pre-eminent WeWork: beautifully constructed, with nearly nothing happening on the inside.
In one race, the Democratic candidate is Raphael Warnock, a baptist pastor who led a sit-in at the Georgia State Capitol in an effort to expand Medicaid and was ultimately arrested.
His opponent is Republican Kelly Loeffler, who is widely regarded as one of the richest people in Congress — about four times wealthier Mitt Romney, amounting by weight and current commodities prices to roughly 500 more of Joseph Smith’s golden plates.
She’s the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA team that’s living up to their name by fulfilling every little girl’s wish of competing at the highest athletic level while being overseen by the CEO of an offshore credit default swap clearinghouse in the Cayman Islands, and her husband literally owns the New York Stock Exchange, who must be advising her on important trades, like sending Jessica Breland and Nia Coffey to Connecticut.
She’s also called herself the most conservative republican in the senate and wants to hold China accountable for passing the virus to Melania Trump.
Considering Loeffler has claimed she’s not familiar with the president’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, it’s no surprise that she believes that the First Lady was infected by something other than the most obvious source.
The other race features Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, a 30-something investigative journalist and media executive who’s produced documentaries about lighthearted subjects like human trafficking and ISIS.
His opponent is David Perdue, the former Vice President of Sara Lee, head of a pillow company, and CEO of Dollar General, who was presumably elected on his platform of being an impulse buy.
His expertise in brownies, bedding, and batteries aligns with Georgia’s motto of Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation, which explains why he’s voted against the affordable care act, opposes same-sex marriage, and doesn’t believe there’s a scientific consensus on climate change as his community constructs a sea wall to protect his $4 million beachfront mansion.
To be fair, maybe it’s just because he enjoys the view of concrete — and considering his dollar stores sell $1 ribeye steaks, maybe the taste as well.
My intention here isn’t to paint this as a picture of Democrats, good, Republicans, bad — those portraits already hang in statehouses across the country.
But Loeffler and Perdue, to me, are uniquely despicable representatives of the people, much like the McRib Sandwich is a uniquely despicable representative of food.
If you remember an old episode from August, which you do, because you love blasting through a 60-something episode archive of old sarcastic news, I talked about Loeffler undergoing a Senate Ethics investigation for her alleged attempt to profit off of the pandemic.
No, she wasn’t scalping homemade hand sanitizer outside of the Gateway Center — she sold millions of dollars in stock before the market plunged, and acquired stock in telework software companies, after she received a January briefing about the severity of COVID-19 and continued to downplay its effects in public.
Perdue was implicated in the same scandal to the tune of another couple million.
They’ve both denied wrongdoing and the senate found “no evidence” that they broke the law, but that’s because it’s still legal for members of Congress to trade on stocks.
If it’s not insider trading, it’s insider trading lite — the sugar-free variant that somehow tastes worse than the original.
I’m not sure how many listeners I have in Georgia; according to my statistics, the vast majority of downloads originate from a small apartment in Brooklyn that’s suspiciously close to my address.
But if you’re listening in Hotlanta, or Hotgusta, or Hotvannah, or Cowarmbus, if you weren’t planning on voting for Ossoff and Warnock on their merits, I hope you’ll at least consider voting against Loeffler and Perdue on the basis that the stock market and the Dollar Store may not have your best interest at heart.
If Democrats don’t retake the Senate, it’s going to be nearly impossible to pass meaningful stimulus around the coronavirus, advance legislation on racial justice and voting rights, or even dedicate a post office to Wilford Brimley with Mitch McConnell in charge.
From the virus to amateur golfer masquerading as commander-in-chief, this country’s on a long road to recovery in the pursuit of returning to normal.
And if we want to have a fighting chance to stand back up again on our own two feet, one red, one blue, maybe we shouldn’t let the fate of the next few years be in the hands of the Robinhood app and the place that sells off-brand Tylenol that put your grocery store out of business.