Let me say first, in the end they did the right thing.
Where to begin? There are so many angles.
The politics? Certainly, good politics would dictate avoiding a controversial issue where many of your own allies stand against you on the day following a national tragedy which can be linked to the matter.
The new media? It's hard to imagine this story being reported on the same day it occurred in the old media world. It is easy to imagine a past where it would have been buried on the third page of the metro section. A practice that would allow it to be quickly forgotten. Godspeed, Tom Baxter. It makes one wonder if the AJC actually realizes what it is losing.
No, instead the focus should be on the viscera. The awful feeling that roils the gut when one can't quite believe what is happening. Surely in our modern world, filled with civility and post-modern idealism we are beyond Preston Brooks walking into the Senate to thrash Charles Sumner. Certainly, we must believe a gang cannot simply enter our houses of government and bend the representatives of the people to their will. But, yesterday, that is exactly what happened in the Georgia Senate.
There were no beatings. There were no scuffles. There was no literal blood on the floor. In this new political world, the thugs do not strike in the dark alleys. They march down the tiled halls of power, boldly into the very heart of Democracy and drag their shockingly docile victims into side rooms for the figurative beat down.
Instead of wielding guns while charging on horses, the gucci wearing lobbyist of the National Rifle Association flew from Washington in private jets armed with letters threatening political horror on any who would oppose their latest pet bill. So confident are these vigilantes, they refuse to remove their heels from the chest of the prostrate victims even when they beg to let the matter quietly fade away in arcane procedure.
We may never know what happened behind closed doors last night in the Georgia Senate but in the end Casey Cagle and his Republican caucus did march back into their chamber and adjourn the session without a vote on Senate Bill 89. There were no visible bruises but the deeper hurts will linger. Although unsuccessful in the end, for a brief moment, a gang brought a house of the people to its knees.
Somewhere in the darkened halls, the thugs remain. Patiently biding their time until the predator instinct once again urges them to seek blood.