Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday’s loss of Democrat Jon Ossoff to Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District Special Election will dominate the political news for days to come. The Democrats tried to make it a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency. It was a mistake and they will pay dearly for it in the media and in Washington, D.C. New York Times columnist Joe Bruni analyzes the election’s results. Here is an excerpt:
“Make no mistake: Democrats were swimming against the current in Georgia. The House seat that their sights were on had been safely in Republican hands for nearly four decades. Georgia’s Sixth District is purple only if you scrunch your eyes just so. If you un-scrunch them and look at it honestly, it’s red.
So the question isn’t what happened on Tuesday, when Karen Handel, the Republican candidate, prevailed over Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, in a special election with stakes and resonance well beyond the district’s parameters.
The question is what happens next. How do Democrats buoy their spirits, maintain their ardor and press on?
They ached for this seat. They fought for it fiercely. They reasoned that Ossoff had a real chance: Donald Trump, after all, won this district by just 1.5 percentage points. Donations for Ossoff flooded in, helping to make this the most expensive House race in history by far.
Democrats came up empty-handed nonetheless. So a party sorely demoralized in November is demoralized yet again — and left to wonder if the intense anti-Trump passion visible in protests, marches, money and new volunteers isn’t just some theatrical, symbolic, abstract thing.
When will it yield fruit? Where will it translate into results? And at what point will Trump be held accountable for a presidency that, so far, has been clumsier and more chaotic than even many of his detractors warned that it would be?
With Handel’s victory, Trump caught an enormous break and got fresh hope for his stalled legislative agenda. As he tries to persuade moderate Republicans to support a deeply flawed, broadly unpopular and ridiculously secrecy-shrouded health care bill, he can and will point to the outcome of the Georgia race, in which Handel sided with him and Ossoff pilloried her for it.”
The Democrats will recover but no one can say when!