How Georgia Happened
...and what to watch for on Wednesday
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It will take the discovery of some major error or fraud for David Perdue to win the final Georgia Senate count.
Such things shouldn’t be ruled out, but there is no indication of either.
It would take Mike Pence acting in a way that he has definitely not telegraphed for Donald Trump’s chances for reelection to have even a brief/fantasy flicker of life.
Such a things shouldn’t be ruled out, but there is no indication of this, either.
Which means that in the next 36 hours, Donald Trump’s Republican Party will likely be looking at the reality of being shut out of controlling power at the White House and on Capitol Hill, badly shaken and stirred from its establishment surviving leaders to its angry grassroots.
Neither David Perdue nor Donald Trump appears inclined to concede in the short term (or ever) but both are almost certainly going to have to accommodate themselves to the following ten words: “President Joe Biden and Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders.”
Mr. Trump said that if his Georgia Senate candidates lost, he would get the blame.
Partly right you are, Mr. President, but that is not the whole story.
Assuming Ossoff wins, here are your TEN REASONS GEORGIA WENT DOUBLY SENATE BLUE
1. Let’s start where the Republican establishment has lickety-spliterry gone. In their view, it all belongs at the Oval Office doorstep.
Politico has the key graph:
With control of the Senate at stake in the state’s two races, the president chose to spend weeks peddling baseless claims that Georgia’s electoral system was rigged, fueling an online movement to boycott Tuesday’s election. He demonized the state’s Republican leaders and fractured the local GOP. He ignored calls from his allies to rally in the state sooner. His support for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue mainly came in the form of the occasional tweet and two rallies, including one on Monday. He blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not heeding his calls for boosted stimulus checks.
2. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock ran spirited, focused, almost error-free campaigns, backed by unprecedented amounts of money and strong paid media, and a greater emphasis than commonly appreciated on populist attacks on the personal finances of the two GOP incumbents.
3. Stacey Abrams raised money, developed a plan, and executed that plan with private-public aplomb, and an understanding of politics, policy, press, personnel, field, geography, and momentum.
4. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were weak candidates by almost every metric – an observation not disputed by senior Republicans throughout the cycle. They could not inspire sufficient rural turnout, effectively compete for non-white votes, or reengage the suburbs well enough to win.
5. The Black vote, including the rural Black vote, propelled and fired up by many factors, including the Republican attacks that were felt as affronts to the Black church — and including the prospects of an historic victory.
6. The Georgia and national media were more unabashed in their support for the Democratic candidates than they were in their support of Biden over Trump – and that is saying something, indeed.
7. Demography is indeed destiny, finally, in the Peach State.
8. The national environment – shaped by Trump, McConnell, and all the December fighting and infighting – was bad for the Republicans.
9. The Democratic Party in Georgia and nationally were fully united and all-hands-on-deck engaged from November 4 until January 5.
WHAT AND WHO TO WATCH ON CAPITOL HILL, IN WILMINGTON, AND IN DC WEDNESDAY
1. Mike Pence.
This Washington Post story is bigly essential reading. In the end, with irony and extraordinary timing, the Veep is likely to hit the moment he has amazingly avoided up until now. There is no way to both please Trump and do what he thinks is right, no difference to be split. The balance of reporting suggests that Pence will try to let all the “evidence” be heard, denounce the results, and/but not step outside history, the Constitution, or the law by doing what the president would apparently like. Whether Pence fully and climactically shows his cards early or late in the process, his team has telegraphed its intentions.
2. The congressional objectors.
Hard to imagine that the House Republicans have a compelling case to make, based on the “evidence” and their history of (not) understanding how to communicate. Ted Cruz is likely to have the most forceful presentation, but does he focus on “fraud,” equal protection, or what?
3. Team Klobuchar.
Watch how the Democrats use their newfound/temporary Republican allies to smother the process in optics and rhetoric.
4. The Tom Cottons and Ken Bucks of the world.
How directly do they clash with their partymates in debating the Electoral College?
5. Mitch McConnell.
If the goal is no longer keeping his majority, what, then, does the Kentuckian care about between now and January 20? We will see some of those cards on Wednesday. But not all of them.
6. Donald Trump.
From his morning speech to his supporters to his likely live tweeting of the day’s proceedings and the endgame vote counting in Georgia, get ready for a lot of past-is-prologue behavior.
7. Joe Biden.
Behold a 48-hour period of past-is-prologue jujitsu.
8. Trump supporters on the streets of DC.
Please, let’s extend The Presumption of Grace all around, and/but also please let’s keep the peace. The District is in many ways a tinderbox right now. Defuse, defuse, defuse.
9. The TV networks.
How does one cover simultaneous debates in the House and Senate with audio and video?
What did I miss off of my two lists?
Let me know.
See you soon.