The year after Republicans lost the presidential race again in 2012, the party compiled a painfully honest “autopsy,” in which it admitted its shortcomings for all the world to see.
Since then, the GOP took over both chambers of Congress in 2014 and added the White House in 2016.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost an election nearly everyone thought she’d win. Subsequently, despite soaring confidence that Republicans already regret their 2016 victory, Democrats have gone on to lose all four special congressional elections – including Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District on Tuesday, a race the polls and pundits said Democrats had a real shot at winning.
Candidate Jon Ossoff, a thin-résuméd unknown with looks and glibness Democrats apparently thought would be irresistible, and running with a mighty warchest, not only lost to Republican Karen Handel but much worse than Hillary Clinton did to Donald Trump in that particular district.
No doubt Democrats and their fans in the media – did you see the long faces at CNN Tuesday night? – were at least hoping for a “moral” victory. But it wasn’t close enough for even that.
Now what? Is it time for Democrat soul-searching, a la the 2012 Republicans?
You’d think so, especially after pouring millions into Tuesday’s loss. But don’t hold your breath.
As one Facebook poster noted, they just don’t get it.
The Democrat intelligentsia appears quite content to go on thinking that red-state Americans are knuckle-dragging, xenophobic Neanderthals. A 1990s editorial cartoon depicted Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who wanted fair trade, as a cave man: Pro-Tectionist Man. Not much has changed.
They think those of us who want border security are just racist. People who want to keep more of the money they earn are selfish. They think we’re stupid. Literally. Provably: One Obamacare architect, Professor Jonathan Gruber, was caught admitting that Democrats relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” to pass their health care bill.
There certainly appears to be a false sense of moral and intellectual superiority among the elite left – along with their constant us-against-them pandering to racial, gender and social-class voting blocs – that leads them to absolute shock and bewilderment when things don’t go their way at the ballot box.
But it never seems to lead them to an honest accounting of their losses. Nor do they seem to think they need anything more than a pretty face and a facile tongue and a little charm to win elections.
So they may come away from Tuesday’s election thinking it was just dim Georgia voters. Or poor messaging on their part. Whenever their policies or candidates are rejected, it’s the messaging. (Although Hillary Clinton supporters have come up with so many more reasons why she lost.)
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, noting Clinton’s narrow 1-point loss to Trump in the Sixth District and the 7-to-1 fundraising edge Ossoff had over Handel, said early on election night, “This should not be close. Ossoff ought to be running away with it. …
“Democrats still have literally no idea why they keep losing elections.”
After Trump’s win, which confounded the left, New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd urged the paper’s own reporters to get out more and find out what red-state voters are thinking. She wrote that she hoped Times editors “will think hard about the half of America the paper too seldom covers.”
Her column was headlined, “Want to Know What America’s Thinking? Try Asking.”
Democrats should too.
But perhaps they should start by asking themselves.