The Republican Nanny State Strikes Again

During last week’s CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled “It’s the Spending, Stupid!” during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit … which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all. 

As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Legislation was introduced that would have repealed that prohibition and let voters decide via referendum whether their cities or counties would allow retailers to sell alcohol on Sundays and appeared on the fast-track to passage. 

And why wouldn’t it?  Republicans ought to love it because it a) limits government and b) gives voters the choice to decide for themselves. 

But then the Georgia Christian Coalition mobilized and started “suggesting that our supporters tell their city councilman or commissioner to call their state senator and say alcohol is an issue that divides us. Just leave Sunday alone.”

And that was the end of that:

The chances of a Sunday sales bill passing this year took a major hit on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders said the measure lacks the support necessary among the majority caucus.

The bill, SB 10, would allow local governments to allow their voters to decide whether to allow sales of beer, wine and liquor in stores on Sundays.

It appeared to finally have the votes to pass after years of failure during Gov. Sonny Perdue’s administration. Perdue, who left office this year, had promised to veto it. But Gov. Nathan Deal has said he would allow it to become law.

But in the past two weeks, Republican support for the bill in the Senate began to crumble as social conservatives, including the Christian Coalition, marshaled opposition to it.