Well, that make it zero for four for the Democrats in this year’s special congressional elections. The party has racked up impressive defeats from the mountains of Montana to the prairies of Kansas, and has now flamed out in South Carolina and Georgia. In the former, a candidate who formerly worked for Goldman Sachs and Exxon — yes, that would be the Democrat, Archie Parnell — lost to Trump-backed Ralph Norman while in Georgia, bland, lifeless Republican Karen Handle defeated bland, lifeless Democrat Jon Ossoff by more than 10,000 votes.
The GOP has held the seat for 39 years but Trump is supposed to be a lightning rod for Democrats everywhere, the party poured massive financial resources into the state and polls showed Osoff ahead for almost the entire campaign. (In the April special election, Ossoff got 48 percent of the vote, almost 30 points more than Handel!)
Oh well, $30 million in Democratic spending just went down the drain in what was, for the pitiful party “the single-most winnable special election of 2017.”
So how did Ossoff manage to lose?
Well, not living in the district he campaigned in was a major handicap. And I don’t know, but pulling in twice as much money from the San Francisco Bay Area than from the entire state of Georgia during the last two months of the campaign may have offended a few voters.
But the main reason is that, like his party, Ossoff had no inspiring ideas and no courage. The Democrats are increasingly hard to distinguish from Reagan-era Republicans, with their calls to cut government spending and mindless Russia-bashing, which, whether you believe the substance or not, isn’t going to mobilize voters in Georgia or anywhere else.
Last month, PoliticsUSA.com, one of those liberal sites that appears to believe its own propaganda, excitedly reported that Ossoff was opening up a big poll lead and that the “increasingly explosive Russia scandal isn’t just dragging the president down – he’s taking the entire GOP with him.” Uh huh.
Meanwhile, the call from the party establishment is already going out. We must veer away from radicalism and hew towards the center. God help us all.