Sunday night brought forth one heckuva double feature: two separate debates for the Senate runoff in Georgia. Ordinarily such a hoedown wouldn’t receive national attention. But not only has this been one of the most intense election seasons in American history, but this particular runoff — set to happen on January 5 — may wind up flipping the Senate blue. (Also, it’s 2020, so everything is weird.) Earlier in the evening, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff debated…well, not his Republican opponent David Perdue, but rather an empty podium, as Perdue didn’t show up. The other, between Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Reverend Raphael Warnock was also weird, but in a much different way.
For one thing, Loeffler — who like Perdue has been accused of dumping stocks upon learning about the severity of COVID-19, which they’ve downplayed — delivered a performance many on social media called “robotic.” She was stiff, her words delivered as though by rote, as though she had memorized only a few scary Republican buzzwords and kept repeating them, no matter the question. But she used two words to describe Warnock more than most: “radical liberal.”
My Wife, who is NOT watching the debate, just asked me if I'm rewinding the TV, because she keeps hearing Kelly Loeffler say the EXACT SAME THING over and over, starting with "Radical Liberal…"
I am NOT rewinding.
Ready to move forward with Reverend Warnock.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 7, 2020
Soon a drinking game was born.
I don’t want to be drunk but if she says “radical liberal” one more mf time… pic.twitter.com/1YEMatfyyK
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) December 7, 2020
"radical liberal Raphael Warnock" — drink! pic.twitter.com/j2pyByA4Vl
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 7, 2020
Lots of jokes were made.
Kelly Loeffler is a brainwashed Stepford Wife that is shorting out. She keeps repeating radical liberal…
— 🌎 The Tao of Kat 🌎 (@kathrynresister) December 7, 2020
Does Loeffler know any other lines besides “radical liberal”? Mix it up a little, you weird fembot. pic.twitter.com/Cyvsm8L5lF
— Rachel (@TheRachelLeeAnn) December 7, 2020
The eTrade android should stop saying Radical Liberal every five seconds
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 7, 2020
So clearly @KLoeffler went in with a single strategy: just keep repeating “radical liberal Raphael Warnock” over and over and over like a robot. She didn’t, however, answer why she traded stocks on her inside Senatorial knowledge about the pandemic. #GADebate
— Joy WE VOTED!! WEAR A MASK!! Reid 😷) (@JoyAnnReid) December 7, 2020
kelly loeffler waiting for her turn to speak so she can say “radical liberal” again pic.twitter.com/05eDrDABK6
— chloeigh (@lassmasta) December 7, 2020
This debate is a direct result of Trump politics.
We will see this same thing over and over again from Republicans in 2022 & 2024.
It's a robotic racist attack repeated over and over and over again. The most used line in this debate (more than 10 times) is "radical liberal…."
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) December 7, 2020
— Henry VIII (@SussexHenryVIII) December 7, 2020
“Senator Loefler, what time is it?”
“Radical liberal Raphael Warnock"
— Radical Liberal Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) December 7, 2020
Others wondered if “radical liberal” isn’t the insult Republicans seem to think it is.
Jesus Christ was a radical liberal.
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) December 7, 2020
To #KellyLoeffler a "Radical Liberal" is anyone not afflicted with privilege or willing to pad their portfolio on the bodies of dead Americans, and whose spirituality was not invented in the past 2 months.@ReverendWarnock is a decent human being. That makes him radical to her.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) December 7, 2020
To her credit, Loeffler repeated other words as well.
Kelly Loeffler has 3 basic lines in this debate:
1) "Radical Liberal" Raphael Warnock
3) "I have live the American dream."
She says these 3 lines no matter what the question.
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) December 7, 2020
"They will take your guns"
"They will defund the police"
What do you notice about this?
Republicans have no ideas.
They have fear.
They use fear.
Because most of the time fear works.
But fear won't create any positive change for people.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) December 7, 2020
Others thought her overuse of the same words were just part of an overall poor debate performance, in which she avoided answering if she believes Donald Trump’s baseless accusations about voter fraud, and claimed to have been “exonerated” of accusations concerning insider trading.
Kelly Loeffler’s debate performance was such a disaster she should have gotten advance warning to sell her stock before
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) December 7, 2020
The voice from my home alarm system telling me “the front door is ajar”, sounds less robotic than Kelly Loeffler. https://t.co/CjOv4mXCtK
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) December 7, 2020
Wonder if Kelly Loeffler could pass the Turing test.
— Jeffrey We Voted Out That Gameshow Clown Wright (@jfreewright) December 7, 2020
On the other hand, unlike Perdue, at least Loeffler showed up.
The Georgia runoff is on January 5. If both Loeffler and Perdue are defeated, the Senate will flip to the Democrats and Mitch McConnell will no longer be Majority Leader.