RESISTANCE FAIL: Georgia Republicans Fend Off National Democrat Invasion
For weeks, liberal Democrats have been telling us that the outcome of Georgia’s Sixth District Congressional race will tell us the story of just how damaging the Donald Trump presidency has been for the Republican Party. And while they are probably now wishing they’d never set up young out-of-towner Jon Ossoff to be the last, best hope of The Resistance, there are no takebacks. When Ossoff was defeated on Tuesday night by Tea Party original Karen Handel, it proved that despite all the so-called polls and all of the so-called anti-Trump sentiment swirling out there, the Democrats are still major, major luhh-oooosers when it comes to the vote.
Thanks to the Democratic Party putting all of their chips into the Ossoff basket, the race turned into the most expensive contest in the history of the House of Representatives. A full 97% of Ossoff’s money came from outside the state of Georgia. That statistic, of course, is somewhat appropriate considering that Ossoff himself was a carpetbagger from another district – a factoid his opponent hammered him on in debates and advertisements.
Once it was clear that Ossoff was the symbol for the Anti-Trump “Resistance,” the national Republican Party endeavored to fight fire with fire. Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence lent their support to Handel in the closing weeks of the campaign and national super PACS poured money into the race. A small Georgia district thus became the focus of intense national scrutiny and anticipation, its symbolic meaning far outweighing the actual political importance of the seat itself. Losing the Sixth District wouldn’t have changed the balance of power in the House of Representatives, but it would have given Democrats an enormous amount of enthusiastic momentum heading into the back half of Trump’s first year. It might have even put Republicans on notice for 2018 and encouraged them to distance themselves from an unpopular president.
Instead, we have what amounts to a replay of November 8. The Republicans have once again defied the odds and the Democrats are once again standing around, dazed and confused, wondering why they can’t seem to ever pull it out when it really counts.
Perhaps, before the week is out, we’ll learn that Russian hackers cost Ossoff the victory…
In his concession speech, Ossoff attempted to turn defeat into hope.
“This was not the outcome any of us were hoping for, but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us, so thank you,” he said. “Thank you for the most extraordinary experience I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of.”
That “something,” however, may not be what Ossoff and the Democrats have in mind. It may be that, despite The Resistance, President Trump and his movement are here to stay. It may be that November 8 was no fluke and that Trump’s victory was not contingent on Vladimir Putin’s interference, nor Hillary Clinton’s specific flaws. It may be that after eight long years of outrageously-terrible leadership, the Democrats have worn out their welcome in Washington.