What to do for the special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district between Democrat Jon Ossoff and repeat candidate Republican Karen Handel when your party is being destroyed by the long shadow of the vulgarian-in-chief, who is under criminal investigation by the FBI for obstruction of justice and his campaign under investigation for possibly colluding with Russia?
In what might be a sign of trouble ahead for Republicans in 2018, they are relying on the overused and now even more ineffective strategy of running against Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), even though she isn’t in power, is not from Georgia, and there’s no legitimate reason to bring her up.
Pelosi is the ultimate strawman for a Republican party devoid of ideas.
Handel’s website brags:
“Republican Karen Handel insisted repeatedly during a debate Tuesday that Jon Ossoff, her opponent in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, is a tool of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and “the most liberal elements of the Democratic Party.” Handel mentioned the California Democrat about a dozen times in less than an hour…”
But it is Karen Handel who is not from Georgia, not Jon Ossoff. Handle was born in Washington, D.C. and she grew up in Maryland.
This was an odd choice as Handel hopes to distance herself from toxic Trump even though Handel has been Trumpian in her own actions over the years, after all Karen Handel is claiming Democrat Jon Ossoff will “represent Nancy Pelosi” as a “childish radical.”
Speaking of actual childish radicals, most people might not remember President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon’s website’s abuse of Pelosi over the years, including in 2014 posters of her on all fours in a bikini with her tongue out under a dominating muscle bound Jerry Brown. These are the “men” running the country right now, so you would think that Republicans in Georgia might take advantage of the fact that Karen Handel is a woman by not using another woman who isn’t even in the race as her punching bag, especially because it’s not even effective. It’s sort of a filler, it seems, for lack of a real message.
Of course, Handel has that whole getting breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure to cut ties with Planned Parenthood scandal in her recent history, which is pretty radical especially as it was based on false political allegations. The scandal was called “one of the great PR faux pas of the decade,” and led to Komen losing 22% of its funding in the subsequent fiscal year.
Handel followed that up by writing a book, Planned Bullyhood, in which she called Planned Parenthood – an organization that saves women’s lives across the country – “schoolyard thugs” and “bullies.” Handel has a very Trumpian dexterity with cheap name-calling. She is, perhaps, more “childish radical” herself than grown up politician who can handle herself with a modicum of diplomacy.
Certainly moderates and independents in the country have had their fill of toxic nastiness from Trump, and aren’t looking for more of that. A new AP poll showed that 64% of the country now disapprove of Donald Trump. There is a much more compelling, because it’s real and the public agrees, case for Democrats to make in terms of the necessity to elect Democrats to help check Trump’s ongoing power grabs.
Perhaps even more troubling for Republicans looking to 2018 is the fact that this strategy is ineffective with their own base. Yes, Pelosi is unpopular, but this fact doesn’t impact how people vote.
“One national Republican strategist warned that while Pelosi is widely disliked, there is evidence that brandishing her doesn’t actually affect how people vote. In fact, the source noted that name-dropping Pelosi may not even motivate the conservative base,” Politico reported Friday.
“Given everything the literature and years of research informs on how messages affect voters, it’s extremely unfortunate that we’re going to the same wells with the same tired methodologies in 2017,” the strategist said, granted anonymity to speak candidly about the race’s messaging. “There is zero evidence that linking a candidate to Nancy Pelosi is a meaningful, powerful message that will persuade swing voters or motivate the GOP base.”
House Republicans are morally bankrupt of ideas for Americans looking to improve their lives, and it shows in the fact that this is the best Republicans can do for a special election. Republicans couldn’t really run on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the Republican House leadership, because Ryan is brutally unpopular and Trumpcare is even less so.
If Karen Handel really wanted to distance herself from Trump, she should have started by running on something positive instead of clinging to the stale strategy of an omnipotent Democratic boogeywoman under the bed. Republicans are in power in both chambers and in the White House, so they have no reason to whine about Pelosi, unless they are the “childish radicals” who can’t seem to govern now that they’re in power.
If Georgians want more Donald Trump, Karen Handel is clearly their woman. She specializes in name-calling and demonizing “others,” even as she herself is often guilty of the things she accuses others of doing and being.
Just like Donald Trump.