The Democrats went down to Georgia, looking for a seat to steal. It sounds like a Charlie Daniels song, but instead of Johnny they ran into Republican Karen Handel, who defeated Democrat hopeful Jon Ossoff (shown) in yesterday’s special election in the Peach State.
The Democrats had hoped to flip the seat, previously held by Republican Tom Price, who vacated it to become the secretary of health and human services. But while a close race was expected, Handel ended up winning cleanly by six points, 53 to 47 percent.
It was a high-profile contest, cast as a referendum on President Trump; in April, New York magazine even called the 30-year-old neophyte Ossoff the “Trump-Hate Weather Vane.” As such, both sides devoted tremendous resources, making the congressional race history’s most expensive — by a $20 million margin.
Approximately $32 million of the race’s total $56.7 million cost was spent by Democrats (note: Different sources provide different figures), with copious out-of-state money pouring in. It turned out to be the best loss money could buy.
This certainly is the Democrats’ talking point. The sixth district is a red one, and “Ben Ray Luján, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which spent about $5 million on the race, pointed out that Ossoff ‘vastly outperform[ed]’ past Democrats who tried to take the district,” wrote Vice News.
Truth be known, Georgia’s sixth hasn’t sent a Democrat to Congress since 1979, and was won by Mitt Romney in 2012 by 23 points (Trump carried it in November by just two points).
Yet this may be deceptive. As Business Insider’s Brett LoGiurato informs, “that Jon Ossoff narrowed a 23-point gap in last year's election to about six points in Tuesday night's runoff” is “a bad talking point. Last year, Tom Price … was a six-term Republican incumbent who raised more than $2 million. His Democratic opponent raised nothing and spent $346.”
In other words, Ossoff spent $32 million more “to finish 9.5 percentage points better than Democrats did last time,” as LoGiurato puts it (though he presents a different spending figure).
While the win has symbolic value — and continues a pattern of victory that has seen Republicans dominate Congress, state houses, and governorships (Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats under Obama) — it’s not likely a predictor of future political fortunes. Nor would a loss have been.
Another pattern was evident in the race. With Ossoff presenting himself as pro-business and fiscally conservative, a cynic might see him as a typical Democrat who can only get elected by lying about what he actually believes, as radio host Rush Limbaugh has long put it.
In fact, President Trump had called Ossoff “super liberal,” and this likely is accurate. As Mediaite reported, making this point, “Leftist Mother Jones posted a Saturday article about Ossoff that revealed that ‘he started an alternative publication to the … [high school] newspaper, which he named the Great Speckled Pi in homage to a liberal underground Atlanta newspaper of the ’60s and ’70s.’ It later highlighted that the candidate was ‘distraught’ over Trump’s election in November 2016, and quoted a friend of his, who recounted, ‘I had never seen him so scared, so unsure.’” Wow, sounds like the Hollywood types who threatened to leave the country if Trump won but, lamentably, didn’t.
Of course, people do generally change markedly after high school, yet Ossoff isn’t that far removed from it (at least not by political standards). In fact, Mother Jones called the Georgia race “the First Real Battle Between Millennials and Trump.”
If this is so, it’s Trump 1, Millennials 0. But the reason for this score has perhaps eluded some pundits.
While much has been made of how tweeting-loving Trump is a drag on GOP fortunes, underemphasized is that no intemperate presidential comment could be as ugly as the face recently presented by leftist America.
When people see liberals rioting, vandalizing, setting fires, preventing conservative speakers from appearing at colleges, attacking Trump supporters, and attempting political assassinations (Hodgkinson incident), it doesn’t exactly endear them to the cause. A media and Democrat Party that can say nary a good word about the president, and appear willing to kick a man when he’s down, may have trouble winning converts. And when Democrat standard-bearer Hillary Clinton called a large portion of the country “deplorables” — reflecting the typical pseudo-elitist left-wing contempt for Middle America — it wasn’t exactly a vote getter.
This current disenchantment with the Democrats was perhaps well reflected by one lifelong, rank-and-file Democrat who appeared on a May edition of Face the Nation. Addressing the damning election-season WikiLeaks revelations, he said that the Democrat gripe boils down to, “If we hadn’t been caught lying, we’d be running the country right now.”
Of course, this analysis merely concerns the two major parties’ short and medium-term prospects. The big picture is that our nation ever slides further “left” due to conditioning effected by academia, the media, and entertainment, and because of our suicidal immigration regime (85 percent of our post-1965 immigrants have hailed from the Third World, and 70 to 90 percent of that group votes Democrat upon being naturalized).
It is this race, in the cultural/demographic realm, that ultimately determines the politics of tomorrow. If more leftists fully understood this, their current collective tantrum might not be so intense.
Photo: AP Images