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Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE

The week before Labor Day is usually a vacation time for politics — but not this year.  

At Georgia's state Capitol, a big and diverse crowd gathered for the unveiling of a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The same week, a social media post appeared, in which a white Republican state lawmaker appeared to threaten a former Democratic lawmaker, who is African-American, with possible physical harm if she were to speak about removing Confederate monuments in South Georgia.

Cliff Owen / Associated Press

It was a stunning few days in politics: President Donald Trump drew fire from across the political spectrum when he said both sides were equally to blame for the deadly violence in Charlottesville; Georgia's political leaders faced calls for stronger statements about the president and hate groups; there were renewed questions about the future of Confederate monuments and memorials; and the two major state parties engaged in sometimes noisy internal debates among candidates for their nominations for governor.

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As Thursday night turned into Friday morning, the U.S. Senate — by a vote of 51-49 — defeated the “skinny repeal” proposal pushed by Republican leaders as a measure to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.  

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That left GOP leaders in a familiar position: starting over on a health care bill. 

On Morning Edition, Denis O’Hayer got some thoughts on the dynamics behind the vote — and what’s next— from political strategists Brian Robinson and Tharon Johnson. 

Richard Drew / Associated Press

Forget the old idea of summer doldrums in Washington.  In fact, forget the idea of a long summer recess.  Georgians were in the middle of a July frenzy in the nation’s capital:  from the continuing Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act, to the battle over Donald Trump Jr.’s emails.  That series of messages revealed Trump Jr. had been told a Russian lawyer with whom he had scheduled a meeting was part of a Russian effort to discredit Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press file

Even in a world that is now accustomed to big surprises, it was a dizzying week in politics.

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President Donald Trump, who had just visited the Atlanta area to support Karen Handel's 6th Congressional District campaign, abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. 

That event, in turn, could affect the close battle for the seat left vacant by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price -- at least according to political strategists Brian Robinson and Tharon Johnson.