I'm Sorry, Democrats in GA6

So, Democrat Jon Ossoff lost a surprisingly competitive special election in Georgia to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

My condolences to the Democrats in Georgia's sixth district, who are certainly feeling far worse than any of us looking in today. Amongst all the hot takes in the wake of Ossoff's loss, I've seen precious little acknowledgement that the biggest losers are the people who will now be represented by Karen Handel. This loss will personally and directly impact them in a way it never will the Democrats/leftists outside that district who cultivated a vested interest in the race to use it as a referendum on their ideas for the future of the Democratic Party.

I am sad that Ossoff didn't win, because the Democrats (or most of them, anyway) in his district very much wanted him to win. I don't have any hotter take than that.

I will only note that, as per usual, lots of Democrats seem to be taking precisely the wrong lesson from Ossoff's near miss. I've got a special heap of contempt for Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, the guy who challenged Nancy Pelosi for her House leadership position (and lost), who opened his yap to unleash this mess:
Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who has been a vocal critic of his party's overarching political strategy, said Democrats needed to recognize that they were "toxic" in huge parts of the country.

"Our brand is worse than Trump," said Mr. Ryan, who urged Democrats to make forging a clear economic agenda an urgent priority. "We can't just run against Trump."

Mr. Ryan, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, as House minority leader after the November elections, said she remained a political drag on other Democrats. Ms. Handel and Republican outside groups tied Mr. Ossoff to Ms. Pelosi in campaign events and television ads, casting him as a puppet for what they described as her liberal agenda and "San Francisco values."

"They're still running against her and still winning races, and it's still a problem," Mr. Ryan said.
Dude. They're running using misogyny against a woman in leadership and using homophobia, for which "San Francisco values" is an ancient dogwhistle. That isn't evidence that the Democratic brand is "toxic," and it sure as shit isn't evidence that it's "worse than Trump." It's evidence that the Republicans did what they do best in a district they've held for decades: They played to bigotry.

And the reason that Ossoff got as close as he did is because that strategy isn't as broadly appealing as it used to be.

The solution, then, is not to replicate it, for Maude's sake.

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