Can we call it a repudiation now? Because Donald Trump flew into Georgia Monday night to perform what he surely thought was his final rescue mission. Instead, if anything, his shocking antics in these last few days drove the turnout against him.
I know it’s just a few thousand votes and Jon Ossoff hasn’t officially won yet and this sounds a little sweeping, but fuck it, it wouldn’t stop the other side: On Election Night, America was sure it wanted to get rid of Trump, but wasn’t sure it wanted to hand the Democrats the keys to the car. After two more months of watching Trump try to set fire to our country, and watching Republicans hand him the match, Americans, or at least Georgians, said the hell with it. Democrats, it’s all yours.
It was a staggeringly amazing night. Georgia has elected a Black man and in all likelihood a Jewish man to the United States Senate. Both of them liberal. Georgia. It’s astonishing. And the historical debt paid, especially in Raphael Warnock’s win: The pastor at Martin Luther King’s church is going to be a United States senator.
Quick: When was the last time Georgia had two Democratic senators?
Answer: Early 2000s, when Max Cleland and Zell Miller were there. Of course, Miller was essentially a Republican—he endorsed George W. Bush in 2004. For a realer answer, you go back to the early 1990s, when it was Sam Nunn and Wyche Fowler. And before that, you have to go back to the racists.
So you bet this is a revolution. A liberal Black man and a liberal Jew? Driven by Black and suburban voters? And orchestrated by the incredible Stacey Abrams. What Abrams put together in Georgia now has to be a model for so many other states. If this can happen in Georgia, it can happen in some other states. Not a ton. Not Alabama. But North Carolina. And maybe Texas. And certainly Florida.
This is one of those rare situations in life where it’s impossible to know what to be happiest about.
Maybe about Trump. Picture him fuming over this, confused, pacing, picking up the phone, screaming at whoever, throwing stuff at Hogan Gidley; just think of the dark torment that has clouded his brain, which must physically hurt. He’ll rationalize it away as cheating, of course, but he’ll do that for the precise reason that he’ll know deep down that this was a fuck you aimed right at him.
So that is good. But then, every 30 seconds or so, my brain starts ringing with: “Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell…”
Because this is a repudiation of him, too. There is a price to his oily arrogance, his sneering abuse of democracy, to block a Supreme Court nominee in March of one presidential election year and jam one through in September of the next. You can’t sit on bill after bill after bill designed to help people, from minimum wage to infrastructure. You can’t deny people $2,000 in a COVID relief bill and restore the three-martini lunch. People will say enough.
And of course it’s a repudiation of David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Barely, yes. But a repudiation all the same of their stock-trading scumbaggery and their groundless and ugly “Marxist!” attacks, especially Loeffler’s. The fact that those didn’t work—in Georgia!—is unbelievably heartening.
This result is horrible for all the above. And it will be good for the Democratic Party and Joe Biden, yes. But mostly this will be good for the country because now, the Democrats will be able to do some things that have been impossible for a decade that will make people’s lives better and create a more just society.
Not everything, but a lot of things. First of all, Biden’s Executive Branch appointees will be confirmed. And federal judges. Those alone!
Legislatively, they should be able to raise the minimum wage for the first time since (get this) 2007. Could get an infrastructure bill. Prescription-drug bill. And, of course, a new and more generous COVID relief bill. None of these things will be easy. But they’re in sight. The Democrats can do some things to improve people’s lives. And Republicans will be standing there voting “no.” For that handful of swing voters who determine the outcomes of all these elections that are decided by a few thousand votes—well, they ought to notice.
And today, Congress will certify Trump’s defeat. One of pathetic Kelly Loeffler’s pathetic last acts will be to prove to Georgia and America exactly why voters just ended her pathetic career: her contempt for democracy. Her robotic subservience to a fascist destroyer. Trump took her and (apparently) David Perdue down Tuesday, but of course she’ll degrade herself for him one more time.
The Trump rage machine will heat up again today. If you’re not nervous about these next two weeks, you’re asleep. But at least now there’s light ahead. Or, as Warnock’s famous predecessor in that famous pulpit put it: “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”