The Democrats just lost two more elections. This time, it was the hotly contested race in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District, and the less-followed special election in the Fifth Congressional District in South Carolina. These follow on the heels of recent losses in Montana and Kansas.
The left is understandably glum — and a bit flummoxed. So let's put it in historical context. We have a class of elites in the United States — comprised largely of the entertainment industry, the media and academia — who had a stranglehold on information for decades. They've been smug in their assurance that Americans would continue to think what they were told to think, hold views that they were instructed to hold, and — most importantly — vote as they were expected to vote.
That changed with the rise of talk radio in the 1980s and the advent of the internet in the mid-1990s. With new sources of information, Americans started to see gaps and inaccuracies in information that they'd previously assumed were factual, complete and unbiased. The credibility enjoyed by earlier generations of "thought leaders" began to erode.
As their power structure crumbled, the facade of objectivity did as well.
Hillary Clinton was supposed to win last year; "supposed to" in this context meaning that the elites had decided upon her in advance. Hollywood dutifully hosted Clinton fundraisers, academics sung her praises, and fashionable magazines wrote perfunctory puff pieces. The broadcast and print media downplayed questions about Clinton's health, glossed over her mishandling of confidential information as secretary of state (and her deceit about it afterwards), fed her campaign questions in advance of national debates and shrugged when the Democratic National Committee apparently rigged the primary process to marginalize popular Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and his increasingly large following.
The power players of the left promoted a narrative and stuck to it: The Republicans were imploding; Donald Trump was incompetent; the polls were crystal clear, Clinton was unbeatable.
Until she wasn't.
The shock — and anger — displayed by the left when the unthinkable happened says plenty. Donald Trump's victory was not just a repudiation of Hillary Clinton. It was proof of the left's complete loss of control over political messaging in this country. What has transpired since is a toxic mix of unhinged temper tantrums and calculated strategies that reveal the left's fair-weather friendship with the democratic process.
Having lost the presidential election, the left's initial response was to riot.
Then, they shifted gears, challenging the legitimacy of the election. This first took the form of complaints that "Hillary Clinton won the popular vote." Meaning, "Clinton won a lot of votes in California." Bully for her. California voters do not elect the president of the United States — the states do, via the Electoral College. So the left began to pressure electors in states that Trump won to cast their votes for someone other than Trump.
When that failed, there next came calls to abolish the Electoral College.
The left then glommed onto the claim that "Russia hacked the election." But even former Director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has acknowledged that there is no evidence Russia's nefarious meddling affected a single vote. They've tried accusing Trump and his campaign of "collusion" with Russia. Zero evidence of that.
Now they're arguing that Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey amounts to "obstruction of justice." Harvard Law Professor (and Democrat) Alan Dershowitz has debunked this claim, as well. And yet here we are with are with Robert Mueller appointed as "special counsel" (despite, as law professor Glenn Reynolds has pointed out, concerns about Mueller's own conflicts of interest, and his peculiar predilection for hiring Clinton donors on his team of investigative attorneys.)
The left's intentions should be clear. Having lost a presidential election fair and square, their efforts will be devoted to:
—Undermining public support for Trump however possible.
—Drumming up accusations to dominate the news cycles.
—Distracting the president — and Congress — from the initiatives that American voters sent them to Washington, D.C., to accomplish.
The American public shouldn't fall for this deceit, and the recent special congressional elections suggest they haven't. Jon Ossoff, bright and telegenic, was widely proclaimed by the media to be within spitting distance of Karen Handel in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District. (Even Nate Silver — chastened and more circumspect following Trump's nomination and eventual election — cautiously predicted Ossoff by +2.) Ossoff lost by nearly 4 percentage points. (Handel's election also blew a Humvee-wide hole in the Democrat narratives that Hillary Clinton lost because of "sexism," and that the problem is "too much money in politics." Neither Ossoff's gender nor the $34 million-plus plowed into his campaign won it for him.)
The Republicans in Congress need to wise up, give the Democrats' obstruction a wave of the hand, and get on with the business of doing what voters sent them to D.C. to do.
And the Democrats had better get used to losing.
To find out more about Laura Hollis and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.