In case you missed it, Georgia’s Republican Senate candidate, Texan Herschel Walker, was presented as a Black victim on the Hannity show Thursday night because Elie Mystal wrote a column in The Nation blasting Walker’s shocking unfitness for office as an insult to Black people. “Georgia Republicans have embraced Walker because they think any old Black person will do when it comes to their cynical strategy for defeating Raphael Warnock,” the subtitle said.
Rather than gin up the Trumpian-type, own-the-libs smackdown Sean Hannity probably hoped for, Walker invited New Yorker Mystal to come to Georgia and “sit down and break bread, because I am about bringing people together, not separating people … like you are.” It seemed to be part of an effort to rehab Herschel’s debate-ducking, woman-threatening, lying, ignoramus image.
MSNBC host Katie Phang offered to do the driving, organize the snacks and the mix tape for Mystal’s road trip to Georgia. But Mystal turned down the invitation by focusing on and highlighting the seriousness of Walker’s unserious invitation:
MYSTAL: Don't get me wrong, Katie. I would love to snap into a Slim Jim, hop down I-95, take the thruway down, throw on some -- I would probably go with, just because of the season, I would probably go with Jesus Christ Superstar ... It would be fun for the entire road trip, but I won't. Because the bottom line is, I will not waste the time of Georgia voters helping Herschel Walker distract himself from their issues.
Mystal would be willing to meet with Walker if he'll debate Warnock on the issues, though.
MYSTAL: I will debate or have lunch with or break bread with Herschel Walker the moment after he talks to the senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock, about actual issues affecting Georgia voters. All Walker is trying to do is distract people from the fact that he doesn't have a policy plan, literally cannot articulate an energy policy, or a COVID policy, or any policy that matters to Georgia voters.
And he won't even sit down for his own party’s senatorial debate. But sure. he wants to talk to a guy from New York. I mean, look, if he wants to talk about the efficacy of the screen pass in the face of an all out blitz, we can have that discussion. But if he wants to talk about being a senator from Georgia, he needs to talk to Georgians, which is what he is afraid of doing.
It's a misunderstanding that he has -- and I think that a lot of Republicans have -- as if liking somebody is an important qualification for their political career. It's not. I do not need to sit down and have dinner with him because I do not care if he is a nice guy. My article about him wasn't even really about him. It was about his Republican handlers. It was about the white, conservative handlers that dredged this guy up out of Texas, which is where he lives, not Georgia. Dredged him up to run against Raphael Warnock. Why? Because Raphael Warnock is Black. And in 2020, Black voters in Georgia proved that they have the electoral might and muscle to put candidates over the top. That's what they did for Warnock, that's what they did for John Ossoff. All credit to Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown, others for registering Black voters in Georgia.
And so what does the Republican party do? Do they have an outreach to Black voters in Georgia? No, all they come for with Black voters in Georgia is voter suppression. That's all you get from the Republicans if you're a Black voter in Georgia. They want to suppress your vote. They want to make it so that you have to sit in la very long line before you can vote. Then they don't want to let people, they want to make it so that people cannot bring you water while you're in the line to vote.
Then Mystal came up with a better plan for Walker's bread breaking.
MYSTAL: Why doesn't Herschel Walker want to break bread with people who are voting in Georgia? That would be a nice use of his time. Go hand out bread and water to people who are standing in line to vote in Georgia.
I bet he won't. I'll tell you why he won't: because he knows that the more people who vote, the less likely he is to be senator. And that's the whole game. To distract, to throw out bank shots, to call me out from, as you put it, the safe space of Hannity, as opposed to getting on the ground and dealing with his potential constituents. That's what he is afraid of doing.