After last night

As I write at 6:00 a.m. (Central) this morning, Raphael Warnock’s race against Kelly Loeffler has been called for Warnock. While Jon Ossoff’s race against David Perdue has yet to be called, Ossoff leads and his lead is likely to widen when the remaining votes are counted. Democrats will thus take control of the Senate on a 50-50 split with Kamala Harris presiding as Vice President. Here are a few thoughts and observations.

• Chuck Schumer is to become Senate Majority Leader. With that prospect in sight, Schumer declared” “Now we take Georgia, then we change America!” Democrats get to redeem his vow.

• The change will go about as far as Joe Manchin and perhaps Krysten Sinema approve. Manchin has stated that he won’t go for packing the Supreme Court, but how does he feel about making the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico a state? How does he feel about killing the filibuster?

• Raphael Warnock presents as an update of Jeremiah Wright. He is a token of how far left the Democratic Party has gone since 2008, when Barack Obama found it necessary to disavow him. Now a simulacrum of Wright is moving up from a hate-America pulpit to the body formerly known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.

• Warnock ran ahead of Jon Ossoff all night. Perdue was a more formidable opponent than Loeffler, but I assume his appeal to black voters played a role in enhancing his margin of victory.

• Jon Ossoff is a throwback to Pajama Boy, another reminder of the Obama era. The guy needed a real job.

• Despite Warnock’s slightly greater margin of victory, the two Democratic candidates ran almost entirely in tandem as the vote came in. Voters who turned out wanted Democrats to control the Senate.

• With the Democrats’ margin so narrow in both races, the blame for these losses is overdetermined. I blame President Trump’s continuing critique of Republican Georgia officeholders in connection with his loss of the state on November 3. The prospect of $2,000 checks all the way around also appear to have become a substantial contributing factor.

• Governor Brian Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to the seat she has lost. While preferable to Warnock on any rational standard, she was a weak candidate in her own right. What was he thinking? I wish he had appointed Rep. Doug Collins, who challenged Loeffler in the November 3 jungle primary for her seat.

• As Collins and Loeffler went toe to toe in the jungle primary, Warnock skated until November 3.

• Warnock is up for reelection to a full six-year term in 2022. It would be nice if Republicans can field a serious candidate to challenge him in that contest.

• Republican turnout in Republican areas was less than required to prevail. Many stayed home to sit on their hands. Why might that have been with so much on the line? Erick Erickson observes: “Republicans in Georgia in November won 51% of all votes cast for congressional races; 53% for state house races; and 54% for state senate races. Then the President and the State GOP Chairman spent two months telling Republicans the game was rigged and the election was stolen.”

• Lin Wood and Sidney Powell also deserve to be remembered for their role in fanning the flames of insanity encouraging Republican voters to stay home. As far as I am concerned, they can both go to hell.

• As I say, there is lots of blame to go around and it is necessary to assess it adequately. I don’t pretend to have done so here in the early morning hours of January 6. I offer two more comments from Erick Erickson: “Area of the state where Donald Trump last campaigned turned out at a lower rate than the rest of the state. It’s also now represented by a QAnon Congresswoman who has been very vocal that the Democrats stole it all and would steal it all again.” And this: “No Republicans, the Democrats did not steal the races in Georgia. You talked yourselves out of voting. That’s not theft.”

• Behind the scenes, Stacey Abrams must be one of the Democrats’ biggest winners this year. In addition to a formidable opponent for Warnock in 2022, Georgia Republicans need a good candidate to challenge Stacey Abrams in the 2022 gubernatorial contest. Kemp is not the man.

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