If you tuned into Democrat-sympathetic media over the last week, you might have thought that Donald Trump and the Republican Party were getting ready to experience a disastrous, embarrassing loss in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Thanks to a young, photogenic young challenger, Democrats were on the verge of stealing a congressional seat away from the GOP – a seat that had been in Republican hands for thirty years.
As it turned out, that optimistic story didn’t quite play out. Even with the inherent advantage of having the Republican vote split 11 ways, the Democrat – Jon Ossoff – failed to capture more than 50% of the vote, thus sending the election to a runoff. There, Osssoff will have to directly compete with a single GOP challenger, and he stands almost no chance of victory.
This is illustrative of everything going on in the Democratic Party right now. Watch the Rachel Maddow show on any given night. Inevitable, she will devote at least some part of her program to showing town hall protests or some other symptom of an energized left wing in America. And over the top of those stories is the assumption – spoken or unspoken – that Trump has awoken the beast. That liberal Americans are finally paying attention, and the destruction of Trumpsim – if not conservatism and the entire Republican Party – is soon to follow.
But so far, this narrative has not translated into any positive movement for the Democratic Party. Yes, they’re raising a lot of money, and yes, they have a few “stars” like Bernie Sanders. But beyond protests, where is the tangible proof of this party resurgence? It isn’t there. When the rubber meets the road, the Democrats lose. That won’t necessarily be the case forever, but it’s certainly the case right now.
Most likely, Republican candidate Karen Handel will easily defeat Ossoff in June. But even if Democrats rally national attention to the election like they tried to do Tuesday and pull off a stunning upset, it won’t say much about their 2018 chances. Are they going to be able to do that next November, when they supposedly have a good chance of flipping the House of Representatives? No way. Not a chance.
If Ossoff had won on Tuesday, we might have a different story on our hands. But he didn’t. Even with Hollywood stars like Samuel L. Jackson helping him out, he couldn’t overcome the odds. Liberals are energized – no doubt about that. But if there aren’t enough of them (in the right places) to swing Washington their way, their energy is meaningless.