Today, voters in Georgia’s Sixth District will go to the polls (although many already have, in heavy early voting) for a Congressional runoff election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff. And from the way the parties and the media are treating it, you’d think it was Batman vs. Superman.
Democrats are so desperate to win any national office after losing the federal government, over 1,000 offices nationwide, and two Congressional special elections since November that this race for just one of 435 House seats is actually being dramatically described as their possible “new path to power.” Well, every journey starts with a single step, and at least winning this would be their first step in years that’s toward power instead of away from it.
It’s a measure of how far out in the weeds Democrats are that this one Georgia House race that would normally garner little notice nationally has been the subject of $40 million worth of campaign ads, shattering the previous all-time US record for a Congressional race by $10 million. Of course, most of that has poured in from outside groups; about three-quarters of it from liberals starved for a win, any win, and the rest from Republicans dead-set on stopping anything that can be painted as a Democratic comeback.
But even if the Democrat does win (polls are close, and we know how accurate they’ve been lately), aside from the morale boost (“Hey, we finally won one local election, on our second try!”), what would it even mean? It would make no difference to the balance of power in Washington. Democrats claim that it would “send a very strong message that we can win these kinds of seats,” but it would hardly be an indicator of how future races would go, since the outrageous amounts of money and attention have distorted this race out of all recognition. Do they plan to blow billions of dollars by outspending their Republican opponents 3-1 in every local race in America? If so, I’m going to invest in some TV and radio stations.
And what would a win mean for the Democrats’ general direction and guiding philosophy? Ossoff originally ran on anti-Trump hatred, with the slogan “Make Trump Furious.” That appealed to deep-pocket coastal liberals but even against a splintered field of Republicans, it attracted less than 50% of local Georgia voters. So now, he’s running as a moderate centrist; he says voters care more about accountability than political drama, and he’s promising to work with Republicans to boost the economy, protect health care and cut wasteful spending. It’s boosted him in the polls, but do you seriously believe that if Mr. Ossoff goes to Washington, it will convince Nancy Pelosi and all the firebrand partisan Democrats to drop the "resistance" melodramatics and start working with Republicans to cut wasteful spending? If so, then I have a bridge in Georgia I’d like to sell you. Only $40 million.
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