Sitting on the City Council in Macon, Georgia is a most interesting experience. In a city that struggles to move beyond its poor history of race relations, a few of the old guard who remain on City Council with me do interesting things.
Take, for example, Councilwoman Elaine Lucas. This spring, Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives killed a resolution offered up by the Black Caucus to honor Barack Obama. After the resolution died, there were calls of racism from leaders in the black community.
Ms. Lucas decided to offer up the Georgia General Assembly’s resolution as her own before Macon’s City Council. But not content to just honor Barack Obama as the nation’s first black President, she wanted him named an honorary member of Macon’s City Council.
The community was outraged. Even people who voted for Barack Obama were outraged. The legislation claimed Barack Obama has “unimpeachable integrity” and is “more worthy of honor than” anyone else under the sun. It was amazing. It needed to be killed.
This past week, I killed it.
On Monday afternoon, Councilwoman Lucas presented her resolution to Macon’s City Council Ordinances and Resolutions Committee. She first praised Barack Obama, then called the Georgia General Assembly stupid. Anticipating what I intended to do, she then lit in to me, accusing me of racism.
Unfortunately for the resolutions’ supporters, most of them did not sit on the Ordinances and Resolutions Committee. An amendment had been drafted to strip from the resolution the flowery language and the call to make Obama an honorary member of Council, but the two supporters of the resolution who could make the amendment did not do so.
Before they realized what they needed to do, I got the floor.
I think in the two hundred plus years of local government in Macon, Georgia, it was the first time anyone simultaneously dropped 101 amendments to a piece of legislation.
The first several amendments added new whereas clauses such as
“WHEREAS, we appreciate Barack Obama’s candidness in his autobiography admitting that he had snorted cocaine,” “WHEREAS, Barack Obama has set an example for us all by bravely keeping his money invested in the United States despite calls for him to help his brother out of the slums and poverty of Kenya,” and “WHEREAS, prior to entering elected office, Barack Obama started his political fundraising efforts in the living room of noted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, a man who planned to kill numerous American policemen.”
The amendments went on to name more than sixty people as additional honorary members of Macon’s City Council. The names included Human Events’ own Jed Babbin plus Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Newt Gingrich, and others. If Barack Obama was worthy of our honor, surely the ladies and gentlemen whose names I submitted are too.
As soon as the City Council realized I really did have 101 amendments and, being on the committee, Council would have to go through each one, the Obama resolution was placed on the table, never to be taken off lest Council members be forced to vote awkwardly on whether each of their spouses — and Ann Coulter — should also be an honorary member of City Council.