As if 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, we now get to follow up the most contentious presidential election in American history with a pair of runoff elections in a newly-minted purple state for all the marbles in the U.S. Senate. Indeed, there’s a reason you’re about to see seemingly every politician and celebrity in the country descend on Georgia to make their case for either Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler or their Democratic challengers, Jon ‘Soy-Boy’ Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael ‘Don’t Call Me A Commie’ Warnock. The stakes couldn’t possibly be higher. Either the leftists who control Joe Biden get to run roughshod over everything good and decent for at least the next two years, or a GOP-controlled Senate keeps them to some degree in check and unable to create the one-party state they desire.
Plenty of rhetoric is being tossed around these days on all sides, but if you want to get inside the heads of the left on this election, you need only read the words of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, given in a candid moment of post-election excitement he’d probably love to have back: “Now we take Georgia, then we change America!”
Without 60 votes in the Senate, how would Schumer & Co. “change America,” exactly? After all, Republicans weren’t even able to nuke Obamacare while they had the trifecta for two years. We know the answer, of course. Chucky plans to nix the filibuster, a longstanding Senate tradition that ensures some degree of bipartisanship before laws are imposed on the American people, then promptly and freely pass every single solitary leftist wet dream from packing the courts to the Green New Deal.
In this latest battle in their overall war on the rest of America, Democrats’ most useful soldiers aren’t far leftists like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, AOC, or even the admittedly formidable Stacey Abrams. Notwithstanding the results of the recent election, most pundits don’t expect that message to play with the majority in a state like Georgia. No, the left’s most effective soldier, ironically, is a “moderate” like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a seemingly reasonable voice who’s been all over media last week trying to “allay” the fears of ordinary Americans by ensuring us that he, HE, will stand in the gap between the Republic and socialism in a 50/50 Senate.
“Well, there’s a lot of people that are concerned, there’s a lot of fear tactics being used right now,” Manchin told Fox News last week. “So I commit to you tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that.”
Do you believe him? And even if you do and he’s true to his word – and he may be, given that he’ll have to defend his own seat in the overwhelmingly red state of West Virginia in a short four years – is that a reason to vote a pair of far-left loons one might expect to find running in New York, California, or Massachusetts? ‘Trust us,’ Manchin is basically saying. ‘Go ahead and give Democrats the Senate majority, then I’ll make sure some of the most extreme stuff isn’t passed.’ The chutzpah of Manchin’s plea is beyond striking. ‘Just bring me inside,’ says the copperhead, ‘and I promise I won’t bit you, but if I do I’ll make sure I only release a tiny amount of poison.’ Even if Democrats are unable to nuke the filibuster, no gavel for Mitch McConnell means no power for Republicans to keep Biden in check on budgets, appointments, and especially investigations of past, current, and future wrongdoing by Democrats.
Manchin, of course, didn’t bother to explain that the Senate landscape looks pretty awful for Republicans in two years, with GOP candidates having to fend off Democratic challenges in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, and Florida. Even if the Biden administration is a total disaster, the GOP would be lucky to keep their losses at one or two, and the chances of picking up a Democrat-held seat the next cycle is next to nil. Yes, Kevin McCarthy is bullish on the chances of taking back the House, and he should be, but even that’s anything but certain. Even on the slim chance Manchin keeps his word and holds things at bay for two years, what happens after that?
No, a 52-48 GOP-controlled Senate is the only way to make sure the left isn’t able to fundamentally change things forever. Sure, Biden will be able to do a lot of damage with executive orders, but those can be reversed. Adding blue states and sitting new Supreme Court justices, on the other hand, cannot.
“Are we going to live under Democracy or socialism?” asked Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy last week, referring to the choice Georgia residents have. And unfortunately, they’ll be answering that question not just for their state, but for the entire country. That’s a LOT of pressure for one state, but it should be an easy choice to make.
How will things play out? It’s hard to say, but I do think Republicans have an edge here. Donald Trump being on the ballot helped in plenty of states, but it seemed to hurt in purple Georgia as GOP Senate candidates actually received more votes than their Democratic rivals while Trump arguably lost the state. His absence may dampen some MAGA turnout, but it will also to some degree do the same for the anti-Trump vote. And the GOP historically performs well in runoffs, although it’s difficult to compare past runoffs to this.
Obviously, conservatives would love to have all the levers of power, if only to preserve fundamental liberties for everyone, but most Americans are pretty cool with divided-government. And most Americans, and certainly most Georgians, do NOT favor the left’s most radical policies. By the time January 5th hits, any Georgia voter not fully aware of the stakes will have to have been living under a rock.