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Posted by on Sep 19, 2009 in Health, Places | 4 comments

Health Care Debate Makes Life Hard for Black ‘Blue Dogs’ in Georgia

Georgia congressmen Sanford Bishop and David Scott are both ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats. And both are being put to the test by the raging health care debate. McClatchy Newspapers:

While both men say they’re comfortable balancing the fiscal conservatism and strong support for the military that the Blue Dog Coalition advocates with the black caucus’s socially progressive platform — which includes pushing for a strong public health option — the health care debate has made it tough for them to walk the moderate fine line that’s defined much of their tenure in the House of Representatives.

Scott learned that last month, when he found a swastika spray-painted on a sign outside his Smyrna district office after a contentious town hall meeting on health care.

One letter sent to his office addressed him as “Nigga David Scott.”

“The folks are not going to stand for socialized medicine even though negro’s (sic) refuse to stand on their own two feet,” read another letter, sent from a Michigan address. […]

Bishop represents Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District, which is nestled along the state’s southwestern border with Alabama. The area is a patchwork of small rural towns, peanut farms and Fort Benning, a sprawling military installation near Columbus that’s seen large numbers of its troops deployed in heavy rotations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Roughly 50 percent of the district’s active registered voters are white and 47 percent are African-American. Though some counties in the district voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, Bishop handily defeated his Republican challenger with roughly 69 percent of the vote, according to September figures from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

In the 2nd District, the priorities are “God, country, hard work and guns, and not necessarily in that order, and that’s for the black and white community,” said Bishop, who was one of only four Congressional Black Caucus members to vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war.

For all the talk about the racial divide in the South, how many northern districts have a racial split like that? Or, for that matter, how many even have rural blacks?

Via Jim Galloway.