Around Town: Catching grief ... and not just from the left
by Bill Kinney & Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
January 12, 2013 12:00 AM | 5377 views | 4 4 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOST BACKBENCH Congressmen are pretty anonymous. Not so U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta), whose comments about abortion and rape to the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce went viral on Friday after being reported in that morning’s Marietta Daily Journal.

Gingrey, an OB/GYN who delivered more than 5,000 babies in the course of his career, told the crowd that former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri had been “partly right” when he said women’s bodies can avoid pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

Gingrey told the audience that Akin had been trying to differentiate between cases of rape and cases in which underage girls are impregnated by their boyfriends and then try to explain it by saying they were raped.

Gingrey added that women are more likely to conceive if they are relaxed.

“We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight, because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So (Akin) was partially right, wasn’t he?” Gingrey said. “Yet the media took that and tore it apart.”

But on Friday it was Gingrey who was being torn apart in the media, although he issued a statement to the effect that his remarks had been misconstrued. His words were reported and remarked on in The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR and many more.

HOWEVER, many of the harshest comments came from the home front via the “Reader Comment” section on Wrote “Anonymous,” “Did Gingrey get a mail order medical degree?”

Moreover, much of the invective came not from liberals, but from Gingrey’s fellow conservatives perturbed by his suggestions during his speech that it was time for universal background checks for all gun sales and that restrictions on the sale of high-capacity magazines should be considered.

Wrote another commenter anonymously, “So, Phil, you have ideas about keeping guns/magazines out of law abiding citizens’ hands. But, tell us what are you going to do to keep guns out of the hands of the criminals? That’s not really the problem you are trying to address, is it?”

Wrote “SP60,” “Eliminating private transfers means that you would have to go through all the paperwork and expense of a background check with the FBI, just to give your son a .22 on Christmas.”

Wrote “Holy Mustard,” “I take real issue with anyone that’s recommended to go see a therapist then be entered into a database and have a permanent mark on their rights. Not all mental illness ends in homicide.”

Wrote another “Anonymous,” “I’m a Republican woman and it’s just downright EMBARASSING to hear these men talk about women’s bodily functions pre-rape, post-rape and whatever!!! Stop sticking your feet in your mouths! My goodness!”

Added “Bill Millette,” “What Akin meant is rejected by most since what he said came out so wrong as to be indefensible and Rep. Gingrey should not have touched on it.”

We agree — and suspect Gingrey may now feel the same way.

ADD LEE TO THE LIST: In addition to all the others he ticked off via his comments in Smyrna, Gingrey’s remarks after the event to the MDJ about whether contractors doing business with the county should be part of the controversial IMAGE program probably did little to endear him to Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee.

Gingrey said he is supportive of the push to have Cobb government require the contractors and subcontractors it hires apply for federal IMAGE certification to ensure that those employed are in the country legally.

“I think it is basically a good idea,” Gingrey said. “The case they make (Commissioners Bob Ott, JoAnn Birrell and Helen Goreham) is about protecting jobs.”

Lee and new Commissioner Lisa Cupid say they are still studying the new law, but Lee — who has close ties to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce — is unenthusiastic about it, worrying that it is anti-business. Supporters of the program, on the other hand, argue such concerns are trumped by the fact that it helps assure that jobs go to legal residents, not illegal aliens.

Gingrey did say that the IMAGE program’s impact should be phased in.

“I don’t think I would be for a Draconian approach, where when you adopt IMAGE and you find that of your 500 employees 30 of them, some of whom have been there 25 years, came into this country illegally, and that you give them their pink slip tomorrow. I think there needs to be a more compassionate approach and maybe a phased-in approach, but I think the idea of ultimately doing that and getting everybody, contractors, subcontractors to adopt IMAGE is a good thing.”

TIME TRAVEL: 2013 is already starting to seem eerily like 1863, or 1860. And it’s not just the fact that we’re in the middle of the Civil War Sesquicentennial or that Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln” garnered a dozen Oscar nominations on Thursday.

No, it was the loose talk at last Saturday’s Cobb Republican Breakfast about “secession,” the “Nullifcation Doctrine” and the possibility of Georgia printing its own money that brings the comparisons to mind. No wonder the party has a hard time appealing these days to minority and younger voters when so many rank-and-file Republicans seem to have their focus on issues that hearken back to the South’s “Fergit, Hell!” days. Meanwhile, state Rep.-elect Charles Gregory (R-Kenn.) is pushing to make it legal for nearly anyone over 18 to carry a concealed weapon almost anywhere, anytime and without needing a license to do so.

As one high-powered Cobb political strategist — and Republican — complained to Around Town afterward, “How embarrassing. If Georgia ever hopes to be a major player in national politics, we need to focus on issues that can actually gain traction with mainstream voters and stop wasting time on things like printing our own money and seceding from the Union.

“The only time the New York Times will put Georgia on the front page is when they make us look backwards and uneducated, and the Cobb GOP is on its way to making such headlines.”

GEORGIA TREND’s latest 100 Most Influential Georgians List included in its January issue includes 14 people who either work or live — or both — in Cobb. They are: Home Depot Chairman/CEO Frank Blake; Georgia Power President Paul Bowers; Cobb Chamber President/CEO David Connell; Lockheed VP/GM Shan Cooper; Rep. Phil Gingrey; U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson; WellStar Health Systems’ President/CEO Reynold Jennings; Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee; Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Tad Leithead; Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens; Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp; Synovus Chair/CEO Kessel Stelling Jr.; Home Depot CFO Carol Tomé; and Perimeter Community Improvement Districts President Yvonne Williams.

Georgia Trend is published by Neely Young of Cobb.

AT THE LECTERN: Aviation museum volunteer Bill Paden will brief the Marietta Metro Rotary Club on the Marietta Museum of History’s Aviation Wing at club’s Monday lunch meeting. … The MDJ’s Joe Kirby will speak on his latest book, “The Lockheed Plant,” at Winnwood Retirement Community in Marietta at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The public is invited to the free event. …

The Cobb-based Captain John Collins Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will hold their annual banquet Tuesday evening at the Marietta Conference Center with former Congressman Bob Barr of Marietta as speaker, reports the group’s newest member, Marietta attorney Chandler Vreeland. … Syndicated MDJ columnist Dick Yarbrough is speaker at Thursday’s Capitol lunch of Georgia newspaper publishers sponsored by the Georgia Press Association. …

And Marietta’s Ken Kirk will present a talk at 7 p.m. Thursday on World War II, the French Resistance and its Youngest Hero.” Kirk, who now divides his time between Marietta and his chateau near Malicorne, France, will describe the French Resistance exploits of that town’s Auduc family, including son Jean-Jacques, who was later awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom and the French Croix de Guerre for heroism at age 12. For information call (770) 794-5710 or go to Cost is $5; free for members.

SADDLE UP: Don’t forget tonight’s “Boots, Bluejeans & Country Music” anti-domestic violence fundraiser for the YWCA of Northwest Georgia. The event starts at 6 p.m. at Jim Miller Park and will feature the Bill Atkins Band with Pat Head and food by Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q. Chairing the event are former Cobb Commission Chair Bill Byrne, D.A. Vic Reynolds and Solicitor General Barry Morgan. Tickets are $35 per person or $50 per couple.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Pat H
January 12, 2013
Try having some compassion for taxpayers who have been supporting those illegals for 25 years as well as their anchor babies (aka future gang bangers) and suppressing wages and obscuring jobs citizens need.

Rep. Gingrey, if you want to have compassion for illegals, invite them into your home and pay their bills. Otherwise, if IMAGE shows they have been working for anyone associated with County contracts, then adios and goodbye.
January 12, 2013
Wow. When the MDJ thinks you're too far to the right. Wow. Of course, Georgia has been entrenched in the 1860s since the 1860s, so I'm not sure why anyone is surprised that the state is a laughingstock.
January 12, 2013
Thanks to Repubs like Akin and Gingrey, the Dems have had a lot of success lately. Long live idiocy!
enough already
January 12, 2013
@Georgia Trend List. Enough already. Doesn't that crowd ever get tired of patting each other on the back.
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