If there is one person to whom Democrats should doff their hats to today, it is Stacey Abrams. She lost a narrow race for governor of Georgia to Brian Kemp in 2018 when Kemp, who was then the secretary of state and thus is charge of running the elections, pulled out all the stops to hinder voting by poor and minority communities.
Because of her impressive showing in spite of these massive obstacles, Democrats saw her as a future star and tried to recruit her to run for other offices. But she decided that what she wanted to do was fight vigorously to overcome the registration and voting injustices in her state and she has been indefatigable in pursuit of that goal. And now we see the results of that effort: Joe Biden won Georgia and now Democrat Raphael Warnock has won one senate seat and Jon Ossoff is very likely to win the other. These will have a far bigger impact on the national political scene than if Abrams had won the election to become Georgia’s governor or to some other office, because it gives control of the senate to the Democrats. The expected wins by both Democrats also further solidifies my reputation for getting election predictions wrong.
Where should she go from here? It is clear that Abrams knows how to register and turn out voters so perhaps the best position might be to be chair of the Democratic National Committee where she can apply her skills nationwide to all the elections.
When Stacey Abrams declined to run for the Senate and focus on voting reform and mobilization, there was a LOT of skepticism in response. But she had a vision, she knew what her state needed in this moment, and she followed through on it. Thank goodness. A leader of leaders.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 6, 2021
As a result of her efforts, the smug and odious Mitch McConnell will no longer be majority leader and I cannot tell you how pleased that makes me. It is clear that he loved the power that came with that position and used it to gloat. As Jane Mayer wrote in a profile in the April 2020 issue of The New Yorker, those who are close to him say that McConnell has never had any guiding principles, he just wants power for its own sake. Being minority leader will be a huge letdown for him. We should have no doubt that he will use all manner of parliamentary tricks to try to gum up the works but it will not be the same. In addition, and even more importantly, all the committee chairs will now be Democrats and they will have a majority on each committee which makes a huge difference in what legislation is brought to a vote.
Trump hates Abrams. In the infamous Saturday phone call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, he attacks her, ascribing to her enormous powers of fraud. Trump is the master of projection, ascribing to others his own faults.
Look. Stacey, in my opinion, Stacey is as dishonest as they come. She has outplayed you . . . at everything. She got you to sign a totally unconstitutional agreement, which is a disastrous agreement. You can’t check signatures. I can’t imagine you’re allowed to do harvesting, I guess, in that agreement. That agreement is a disaster for this country. But she got you somehow to sign that thing, and she has outsmarted you at every step.
And Stacey Abrams is laughing about you. She’s going around saying these guys are dumber than a rock. What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you.
This is not to say that Trump did not play a role in losing Georgia. His attacks on Republican election officials there and his claims that the system cannot be trusted has led to local Republicans blaming him for the relatively low turnout in Republican areas of the state.
Gabriel Sterling, a top Republican official in the Georgia secretary of state’s office, blamed Donald Trump for the party’s potential losses tonight.
Sterling told CNN that, if David Perdue and/or Kelly Loeffler lose, then the blame for that will “fall squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and his actions since November 3”.
Sterling, who has repeatedly refuted Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the November election, said the president’s evidence-free assertions sent a message to Republicans that their votes would not matter.
Sterling also said Trump was singlehandedly responsible for a “civil war” among Georgia Republicans since 3 November.
Text from a GOP strategist: "thanks alot Donald"
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 6, 2021
So, yes, thanks Donald!