Opinion: The most important House race in history

(AJC)

The race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional seat will go down in history as the single most expensive House campaign in U.S. history.

That’s OK, though, because it might also be the single most important in U.S. history.

Admittedly, that claim is not as earth-shaking as it might sound. Looking back through the history books, the potential significance of the 6th in setting the future course of American affairs is small compared to that of, say, the 1858 campaign between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln lost, but the race catapulted him to national prominence and two years later into the presidency.

However, that was a race for an Illinois Senate seat, not a House seat. Generally, it’s hard for individual House races to have historic impact. Every two years, we conduct 435 such races across the country, making it difficult to identify any one of those 435 as a race upon which history might turn. Their impact tends to be cumulative rather than specific.

Furthermore, the voters’ decision to elect either longtime Republican politician Karen Handel or Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff won’t have any immediate impact on partisan control of the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Republicans enjoy a large, 45-seat advantage. Unlike the 1858 Senate race, the race isn’t likely to catapult either Handel or Ossoff to the presidency (although weird things do seem to be happening).

What makes the 6th important is symbolism.

Fifteen months ago, it was still hard to believe that Donald Trump might actually win the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency. Fifteen months ago, many 6th District Republicans who will be voting in the runoff that ends June 20 were aghast that their party could actually nominate such a man. And as patriotic Americans and loyal Republicans, facing a vote that will be interpreted nationally as a ratification of all that is Trump, they have to ask themselves:

Have the intervening 15 months confirmed or eased the fears they had back then? Are they fine with the direction that their country and party have taken? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

If it’s fine with you, then vote for Handel with a clear conscience, knowing that you had the chance to object and did not.

If it’s fine with you to kick 23 million Americans off their health insurance and to watch as Trump destroys the NATO alliance, if you are comfortable with a Republican Party increasingly linking its brand to bigotry, if you’re good with a policy of rejecting science and fact, then by all means vote for Handel. If you like the idea of a Grand Old Party in which Trump permanently displaces Ronald Reagan as its defining personality, as the role model for the next two generations of GOP leaders, vote Handel.

But 6th-District Republicans who are unhappy about what is happening to their party and their country have no better way to voice that concern on behalf of Republicans everywhere than to vote for Ossoff. The loss of a district that Mitt Romney won by 23 points will do more than get the attention of national Republicans. It will be the excuse that at least some seek to begin to challenge Trump and to try to separate his political fate from that of the party.

And as difficult as casting that ballot may be for some, remember two things:

1.) It’s only temporary. In a short 16 months, you’ll be able to return to the polls and vote to replace Ossoff should you chose to do so.

2.) Loyalty to a party, like loyalty to a friend or loved one, does not require that you say nothing when they sink into self-destructive behavior. It requires intervention.

Reader Comments 1

1730 comments
Liberty_
Liberty_

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Billy2121
Billy2121

Bookman... another radical leftist Socialist who has not a clue about the PEOPLE and why we elected TRUMP. According to Jay, if you voted for Trump you're a Racist, Bigot, Earth Denier and should be sent to a re-cultured Center under guard towers and barbed wire if you vote for Handal.   LMAO Jay,  if you think anyone who voted for Trump is going to vote for another Socialist towel boy, you are as arrogant and ill-informed as a 1st grader on the first day of school. 


Jay Bookman... Keep writing your hate speech articles and continue to watch Republican's win more and more and more and more... TRUMP WINNING IN EVERY WAY!!! 

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

One writer said, "Republican leadership sold their souls to this devil and now are forced to defend as right what they know full well is wrong."

But the voters of the 6th District have a chance to speak with their vote about whether they want their leaders to countenance the conduct of the POTUS.

The voters in GA's 6th District don't have to "defend his incessant lying, clear incompetence and dubious dealings." They know that even if they don't put a Republican in the seat, they'll have a chance in just two years to field a Republican candidate that will not go along with policies that were always anathema to the GOP. But this year, in the 6th, voters have a choice about the message they send back to DC

BB1700
BB1700

"The sky is falling " sheets.......

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

I don't understand. Why do we excuse the president for something we would correct a teenage kid. Proofread your tweets you knuckle head.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Not my point. I don't have a problem with allies or NATO, I just don''t like the USA being the financial supporter of everybody while we suffer here at home. America first and then if we can help others so be it.


@Fan4500 of the Chump*


Many of you Chump* supporter


will suffer anyway!


Do you have a problem with this?


Trump’s Budget


Fan4500
Fan4500

@RantNRave Says the person who supported obama and his raising the National Debt by 9+ trillion.

Indianscout17
Indianscout17

Are you Sean Hannity orVlad Putin?....O'bama took on almost 3 rillion when he put the Iraq War on the books, something he hadothing to do with started. And then another trillionto bail out an economy that was going to Krapp. And then you elect and orange idiot who doesn't even care about coming close to abalanced budget.

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/us/politics/20budget.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

Why don't you do some research that's no on FOX, Infowars, or Brietbart.

KUTGF
KUTGF

Apparently the GOP bots are lying and claiming if you voted for Ossoff in April, you don't need to vote now because they FALSELY claim your vote will "carryover".  This is GOP bot suppression effort.  YOU MUST VOTE AGAIN BY 6.20.

Make sure all Ossoff supporters are aware!

honested
honested

I'm starting to see what life would have been like had morons been put in charge after WWII.

All of the functional New Deal programs, GI Bill programs and Interstate Highway programs that allowed the US to PROGRESS would have been eliminated so we could return to the gilded age.

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

@honested And the Marshall program which assisted the rebuilding of Europe would have never happened, fostering the resentments and poverty to lead to another world war. Peace is so easily taken for granted.

Indianscout17
Indianscout17

The GOP wants us to go back to the "good ole days", which weren't so good.

Fan4500
Fan4500

Not my point. I don't have a problem with allies or NATO, I just don''t like the USA being the financial supporter of everybody while we suffer here at home. America first and then if we can help others so be it.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Fan4500 You probably believe we give a lot in foreign aid too ?


We dont


You would need a jewelers loupe to find it in the budget. 


We are already pretty damn stingy. And occasionally we invade countries and take thier resources. 

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

@Hedley_Lammar @Fan4500 China outspends us greatly. They work with a longer view of investment. Once we drop out of the Paris Climate Accord, wait to see how long before China assumes the premier spot in the hierarchy.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Fan4500


It might be hard to understand but by helping others, we are actually helping ourselves. Its true on an individual level and as a nation.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@Fan4500 ...interesting that the GERMANS are one of the largest EMPLOYERS of American labor in this nation....in turn, the Germans do support US!!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 The United States does not need anything from them, period. They need us, we don't need them.


This is the ugly American at work. Ill bet he doesnt realize America would still be British without major help from the French.

rimsky
rimsky

@Hedley_Lammar I can tell this for sure 100% of textile machinary comes from Europe.  We never built them ever.

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

If we do in fact pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and continue down Trump's path of alienating NATO and the EU, will Republicans finally see that Trump is single handedly undermining the US position in the world? All the talk about collusion with the Russians might seem hyperbolic if Trump weren't trying his best to cut the legs out from under this country internationally.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@FloydLiberal

Republicans care only about cutting taxes, slashing regulations, making abortion illegal and hating on minorities. That's it.  As long as they have a willing pen in the WH, they will tolerate anything in service of those goals.  As we now know, that anything includes treasonous 5 year old wannabes and their icky friends and family.

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

@Fan4500 @FloydLiberal They are major trading partners. Their forces joined ours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They share strategic information with us. Where have you been hiding?

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

@Fan4500 What have the Russians ever done for us? I mean besides underwriting many of Trump's towers and businesses.

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

I used to know smart conservatives and enjoyed talking with them. Sometimes they were right and I was wrong. Sometimes the opposite. But they were very aware of history, even though they had different conclusions about the meaning of it all. The conservatives here are just dumb and ignorant.

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

@Eye wonder @rimsky @FloydLiberal Right. Because autocrats love to support other autocrats and never ever try to dominate each other or go to war. But I doubt Fan will see the mockery in your comment.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Fan4500 @FloydLiberal

Oh geez.  The EU only contains the bulk of the United States' non-domestic investments.  It is also the United States' largest trading partner.  And NATO has only been credited with maintaining the stability of the global order and averting another world war.

But yeah, other than that, they just cost us money.

/smh

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky make an enemy of Priebus and you think congress is back now..

Robert1959
Robert1959

@rimsky Now we know who the "leaker" is.  Priebus did a complete 360 by supporting Trump. Whatever happen to the "Growth and Opportunity Project" after the 2012 elections that spelled out the consequences if the GOP does not reach out to minority, woman and young voters?

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