The Georgia Senator runoff elections are critical to the country’s ability to move forward, and to move out from under the heavy thumb of Moscow Mitch. But they are critical to the GOP’s return as a legitimate force in American politics — which can only happen if they lose in January.
Now, it’s true that the GOP long ago sold its soul to all comers, and sometimes even gave it away for free. But the governing structure of the United States requires two working political parties that have legitimate differences on policy, strategy, and tactics, and that are willing to work together to resolve those differences in a way that works best for the country. The GOP not only lost sight of that long ago, they counted on the fact that the Democrats had kept to that standard as part of their plan to hold an unfair advantage over the Democrats.
The Democrats can govern without the Republicans for a while if the numbers hold, because the Democrats have never been a unified mass; the party allows under its banner enough divergent opinions on where the country should go to qualify as 3 or more parties on its own. But over the long term that is not workable; we need a two-party system with two parties genuinely committed to the self-governing experiment.
Today’s GOP is not going to be one of those two parties. Long before Trump, it was clear they were interested in power for its own sake, in doing anything they could to get and keep power, and to deny Democrats the capacity to govern whenever the Democrats got power anyway. The present GOP is irredeemable and needs to be replaced.
But then along came Trump. Trump too wanted power, but in his case he was more interested in the money and attention that power could bring him. And in how power could let him indulge his racism, sadism, misogyny, and especially his narcissism. To feed his narcissism, Trump changed the GOP from a party that could get power on its own to a party that could only get power through loyalty to him personally.
If the GOP loses both Senate seats in the runoff and if it has, at last, the realism to admit that it lost because Trump will have, once again, made the election about him, those will be the first steps in their recovery from the addiction and the disease that is Trump. Those same losses will also loosen the grip that McConnell holds on the Senate and through it the country. Then it can start the long, painful, and necessary step of becoming a responsible political player. I expect there will be a schism, probably more than one, and that Trump will actually accelerate the process through increasingly desperate attempts to remain relevant (and also to stay out of prison). Meanwhile the Democrats will govern by playing the role of both sides of responsible leadership.
But first we have to win Georgia.