Jon Ossoff lost to Karen Handel by a larger margin than Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. That’s a pretty stinging defeat for somebody that collected more money and significantly spent more money than his opponent. Democrats are assuaging their hurt feelings this morning with talk of Handel “barely” winning and that Democrat near-misses are a “trend” the GOP should worry over.
So the question many are asking is, “Why did Jon Ossoff lose despite an unpopular president and a huge financial advantage?”
The answer is pretty easy: Ossoff tried to position himself as the nice, bland Democrat who was the anti-Trump guy without ever mentioning Trump, and the district is reliably Republican.
I don’t live in the 6th congressional district but next door in the 11th. However, I saw all the ads run by both campaigns. Ossoff’s ads never mentioned health care or President Trump. The ads spoke of Ossoff’s willingness to cut spending, eliminate waste, and re-negotiating federal cell phone contracts. The ads going after Handel never mentioned Trump or health care. Instead, they focused on her supposed lavish spending while the Secretary of State for the state of Georgia. One ad crowed about her expenditure on fancy office chairs. As if highlighting expensive tastes in the wealthiest district in Georgia matters and would get people running to the polls.
Still, as the inevitable became a reality and Handel was declared the winner, there were still people talking about the “moral victory” of having “come close” to winning the race. There are no moral victories in politics. Rudy Reuttiger making the Notre Dame roster for a game and running out on the field is a moral victory. Nobody is going to carry Ossoff off on their shoulders shouting about his “moral victory.”
Many times I go back to this clip from the movie ‘True Believer,’ where James Woods’ character talks about “fighting the good fight.”
He’s right. A good fight is one that you win. Joe Scarborough spoke about what kind of candidates Democrats need to win in the south, and he was spot on when he said they’re not going to win if they are little versions of Nancy Pelosi. It is a cultural battle Democrats are not willing to engage. It means having candidates that support Democratic policies on taxation, spending, and trade but are pro-life and support a robust defense of the second amendment.
Unfortunately, too many people on the left think the reason Ossoff lost is due to him not being a raging leftist. There is no better example of that than Jill Filipovic who tweeted the following this morning:
Note her advocating candidate condescension by saying, “Cater to them.”
If Democrats continue to go this route, Republicans will keep winning, especially in the south. You see, contrary to what Filipovic thinks, Republican and conservative voters don’t go to the polls with identity politics in their head. Filipovic doesn’t even get the irony that Ossoff, the straight white male, was defeated by a woman.
Sooner or later, somebody in the Democratic party will realize some self-reflection is required and perhaps recognize they are the problem and not the voters they insist are too stupid to vote for the right candidate.
Until they do that, Democrats will sell lots of copies of ‘Moral Victories’ but won’t actually win anything of substance.