The special election this week in Georgia’s 6th congressional district is the latest yard stick by which the Democratic Party is measuring its recovery from the November 2016 election. I developed a strong sense of hope after that election, not because of support for the victors, but because the twin shocks of Brexit and Trump could actually spur people to involvement in the democratic process, instead of resigning themselves to another 4-8 years of the norm.
The greatest impact of the 2016 elections will not be the president elected or the withdrawal of Britain from the EU, but rather the people inspired to action by these results. I cannot imagine the same would occur without such massive catalysts.
The National Review seems to think that Ossoff and the Democrats did not “even win a moral victory”. Of course, nobody actually won the congressional seat on Tuesday, so any declaration of victory or defeat is premature. In today’s world of blown 3-1 leads and losing after being up 28-3 in the Super Bowl, I think we all know to wait until the runoff election. Still, one can see the effort expended as both parties attempt to frame the vote as either support for or against national policy since January 20th.
In this article, The New Yorker speculates about whether Ossoff signals the direction for a weakened, but recovering, Democratic Party to head in. While Bernie Sanders may be the most popular politician in the United States, the general ineptitude of Trump’s first three months has allowed entrenched Democrats to find some footing from which to criticize the administration, without bending to the ends and means Bernie champions. It will be interesting to see if the progressive wing of the Democratic Party will join with progressive independents in an effective takeover of the party, split off from them as the Republicans split from the Whigs in the 1850s, or be relegated to a minor influence in the party, as the Tea Party was in the Republican Party.