By Doug Walker, Northwest Georgia News
Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter and Clerk of Superior Court Barbara Penson got the Floyd County Republican rally off to a rousing start Saturday.
The longtime Democrats each announced their switch to the GOP Saturday, but it was U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson who might have drawn the loudest applause when
he proclaimed that the only way to defeat ISIS is to shoot members of the Islamist militant force one at a time.
“If somebody will cut off your head, kill themselves to kill you or burn somebody in a cage on the town square there’s only on way you deal with them — you kill them — every single one of them,” Isakson said.
His comments drew long applause at the Republican gathering at the Tillman hangar at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport. “You can’t do it by bombing them, you can’t do it by cussing them, you can’t do it by looking the other way, you’ve got to shoot them one at a time and get every one of them off the face of the earth.”
Isakson said the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts are not respected around the globe and the U.S. is no longer feared as a military power.
“We need to change that and we need to change that immediately,” Isakson said.
The senior senator from Cobb County also said that one of the first things the Senate will deal with after the August recess is the nuclear treaty with Iran.
“This member of the Foreign Relations Committee is voting no,” Isakson told the crowd. He said there are two appendixes to the agreement that the Senate has not been allowed to see.
“Can you imagine me voting for an agreement I can’t read,” Isakson said. “Any agreement with the Iranians and the International Atomic Energy Agency that we can’t read is an agreement that we need to put out there so that everyone can see.”
The nuclear deal with Iran essentially forces Iran to give up close to two-thirds of its capacity for the enrichment of nuclear grade uranium. The IAEA will also be charged with monitoring the agreement, but detractors argue that the deal would give Iran too much time to move or otherwise hide nuclear material prior to an inspection..
The rally started with Floyd GOP Chairman Layla Shipman revealing that Burkhalter and Penson are joining the GOP.
“Over the last several years I’ve put a lot of thought and prayers into this,” Burkhalter said. “Once I made the decision, I’m 100 percent all in.” Burkhalter said deep family ties with the Floyd County Democratic Party, which his mother Sarah Burkhalter chaired for many years, made the decision all the more difficult.
“I’m not leaving the Democratic Party, they left me,” Penson said.
She said she has always been a strong family-values oriented person and a fiscal conservative.
The rally also brought out U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.
“We’ve got a fight for the direction of our country, for the moral compass of our country, for the culture of our country,” Graves said.
He said the rule of law in this country has been violated by the administration in Washington. The congressman said pointed to the fatal shooting in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant, then pointed to the GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood and, like Isakson, Graves blasted the nuclear deal with Iran.
“We have got to say ‘no, that’s it,’” Graves said. It’s for the safety and security of our country that we must reject this.”
Attorney General Sam Olens drew long applause when he said he is disgusted by what he sees as a bias in the Obama administration. Olens said the White House seems to take the stance that anytime a law enforcement officer shoots someone, it’s the officer’s fault. “It’s a pretty sad time in Washington when the administration constantly supports the wrong side,” Olens said.