The Democrats won both of the senate seats in Georgia, giving them control of the Senate and thus the entire government.
Republicans had consoled themselves that, though they lost the presidency, they kept the Senate, which would allow them to block the Democrats’ more radical proposals. As we blogged about, the Republicans had a big advantage in the Georgia Senate races.
So what happened?
Basically, there was low turnout among Republicans. This is because President Trump’s most fervent supporters boycottted the election! Trump had worked them up so much with his claims of election fraud, including in Georgia, which narrowly went for Biden, that at least some of his supporters followed the advice of two of the president’s lawyers that they should just boycott the Georgia election.
Trump has also been vilifying the Republican governor and other officials in Georgia for not overturning the results of the presidential election and giving him the state’s electoral votes. That didn’t help Republican turnout in the Senate race.
And it’s hard to take seriously his complaints that the election was rigged when there is a recording of the president himself trying to rig it in his favor by brow-beating a Republican elected official. That motivated a big turn out from the other side, including Georgians that aren’t that political but disapprove of Trump’s behavior in all of this.
So Trump, in his spleen and his spite and his pride, has, in effect, handed over the country to the Democrats.
Many of us conservatives have supported Trump for his accomplishments, while bemoaning his negative personal traits. But now those personal traits may lead to the undoing of those accomplishments!
Not only that, the Democrats are now in a position to implement their entire agenda. Since they hold the presidency, the House, and the Senate, as well as the federal bureaucracy and the judicial openings that are approved by the Senate, they can do whatever they want. The Democrats now have the votes in the Senate to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate, add a half dozen or more liberal justices to the Supreme Court, implement the Green New Deal, write Roe v. Wade into federal law, apply LGBT anti-discrimination laws to religious ministries, and anything else they think of.
Meanwhile, in another self-destructive ploy, on the day that the electoral college vote is counted in Congress, some Republican lawmakers are challenging Biden’s election by disputing the states’ elections. Yes, election procedures changed for the pandemic favored the Democrats and nation-wide election reform would be a good idea. But that is unlikely to happen now because of the way the Republicans are going about it.
The spectacle of federal legislators trying to throw out votes that have been certified by the state governments strikes at the heart of the federalism that Republicans used to uphold. Now concerns are rising that this display will further threaten the electoral college, which is the only way Republicans have won a presidential election since 2004. (Republican’s’ inability to win over a majority of Americans in the popular vote is a major brake on their ability to accomplish very much even when they have managed to win the presidency.)
If Democrats eliminate the electoral college and add two Democratic states with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, Republicans may never retake the Senate or win another presidential election.
And as if the Georgia elections and the futile self-immolation of Republican lawmakers out of homage to Trump were not bad enough, pro-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., devolved into riots, violence, fighting with police, and breaking into the Capitol building, in a sheer breakdown of social order.
The rioters are doing what they condemned the Black Lives Matter protests for doing, when those once well-intentioned demonstrations broke down into violence. Now the conservative rioters know the adrenaline rush of self-righteous destruction. The left and the right have become mirror images of each other, both fighting the police, indulging in “resistance,” and trashing America.
As Trump leaves office, he leaves behind a wrecked Republican party and a thoroughly discredited conservative movement.
OK, OK, I’m probably overstating things and being too pessimistic. I’m just frustrated and disillusioned. The leftists in power will probably over-reach, as they usually do. The Democrats will stymie themselves with infighting and political rivalries. The progressive policies won’t work, and that will become obvious. The Republican party will re-invent itself. Conservatism will come back from its exile. The pendulum will keep swinging.
The Georgia election, the fiasco in congress, the right wing riots, all happened on Epiphany, that day in the church year that marks the beginning of the season of revelation, “the light dawning.” In the church year, this refers to the various revelations of who Christ is–the Wise Men adoring the baby Jesus, the prophets recognizing Him in the Temple, His baptism and the voice from Heaven announcing the Beloved Son, His temptation and disclosure of his identity to Satan himself, His first miracle, and so forth, all culminating with the light and the voice of the Transfiguration.
The word “epiphany” is one of those theological words, like “inspiration” and “creation,” that has been taken up into literary criticism, which is my field. The “epiphany” is the point in a story where it all makes sense, the moment of discovery that resolves the plot.
So January 6 has also been a secular “epiphany” for me, making me realize the futility of putting my trust in princes, the limits of earthly governments, the transitory nature of this world. Though I can keep up my interest in current events, I mustn’t let myself become too worldly. I must stay fixed on the true epiphany of Christ. I think of this epiphany from God’s Word:
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” . . . I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. (Isaiah 8:12-13, 17)