While the media tries to put on a brave face and claim a “moral victory” was won, the truth is that the Democrats suffered a significant electoral defeat Tuesday night in the Georgia special election:
Ossoff’s moral victory — capturing 48 percent of the vote in a conservative-oriented district — was welcome, but after two successive close-but-no-cigar finishes in House special elections in Georgia and Kansas, a new worry is beginning to set in.
For all the anger, energy, and money swirling at the grass-roots level, Democrats didn’t manage to pick off the first two Republican-held congressional seats they contended for in the Trump era, and the prospects aren’t markedly better in the next few House races coming up: the Montana race at the end of May, and the South Carolina contest on June 20.
Now, with Ossoff falling short of an outright win despite an unprecedented surge of campaign cash and national attention — in a district which Hillary Clinton lost by just 1 percentage point in 2016 — comes the potential for another round of fingerpointing within the party. The worry: that if operatives and voters continue their practice of quietly blaming one another for losses, as they did after a narrow defeat outside Wichita last week, the current level of runaway enthusiasm and budding trust in the national party leadership could sputter out long before the 2018 midterms.
It is worth noting that both of these seats were very promising pickups for the Democrats as the Republicans running for these seats were weak candidates. In Kansas, the Republican Ron Estes was the state treasurer and associated with Governor Sam Brownback, who is arguably the most unpopular governor in America right now. In Georgia, the Republican field was hopelessly divided with eleven different candidates running, and the leading candidate Karen Handel in Georgia was running away at full speed from Donald Trump and his policies. Outside Democrat groups poured millions into these races, desperate to produce a win. Particularly in Georgia, the GOP seemed to be doing everything it possibly could to lose these races.
A Democrat win would have been helpful for both the Democrats and the GOP leadership, as it would have allowed them to create a narrative in the media that Trump was “dead” and that his policies were widely hated and rejected – Ossoff in particular ran against Trump more than he ran against Handel, with his slogan “Make Trump Furious Again.” Instead, despite having every advantage, the Democrats lost.
The reasons Hillary Clinton lost the election are still largely in force. Since 2000, even as the far left has expanded its power in government and academia and the media to the point where it has a death grip on these institutions, the Democrats as a party are clearly further and further out of step with America.
The Democrat caucus in the House is dominated by Representatives from New York and California, and while these are large and important states, there are many other states in the Union which are not in step with the policy preferences of those who dwell in Manhattan and Silicon Valley. Electorally, the Democrats have been backing themselves into a corner since the beginning of the George W. Bush administration; they are only being kept alive through collusion with the Republicans, who continue to support the Democrats’ policy priorities even as the actual standard-bearer political party of the left crashes and burns.
There has been some fracturing between Trump and his supporters since the election, particularly over the health care bill failure and the Syria missile strikes. Nonetheless, it hasn’t been able to depress Republican turnout to the point where the Democrats can regain some momentum. This means either there is no turnout depression at all, or the Democrats are even more depressed than the Republicans.
The Democrats are increasingly the party of SJWs and have trapped themselves in a delusion that the rest of America loathes Trump as much as they do, not realizing that Trump is fairly popular outside the tiny bubble of the upper middle class and the rich. Furthermore, as the Democrats become the party of the rich, they are focused on irrelevant issues like transgender bathrooms, gay rights, and global warming while most Americans want their jobs back, an end to economic stagnation, immigration brought under control, the massive costs of education and healthcare reduced, out of control crime reduced, and their roads and bridges fixed.
The bubble of denial around the Democrats is essentially the same as the one around our elites. The elites simply refuse to accept the increasingly negative feedback they’ve been receiving from the electorate (the Tea Party uprisings and the Trump candidacy), instead imagining themselves instead to be persecuted by a secret “Nazi” movement and using Facebook and Google as vehicles to censor criticism of the government and the elites.
In the period after the election, the Democrats needed to take time to reflect on why they had lost. Instead they’ve sunk into a morass of violent social justice activism, a conviction that anyone who criticizes them is a “Nazi” who must be destroyed, and conspiracy theories about Russia. No one in the Democrats are asking why the media was wrong about the election, why the polls were so badly wrong about the election, why the “election gurus” like Nate Silver were wrong about the election, why a failure like Hillary Clinton was allowed to be nominated, and whether a backlash against social justice warriors contributed to the Democrats’ defeat.
Until the Democrats develop the courage to grapple with these questions, they will continue to suffer defeat after defeat.