Liz Peek: Warnock's Georgia win means politics of envy, grievance beat hope, prosperity message – here's how

Fox News projects Warnock wins Georgia Senate race

Constitutional law attorney Mark Smith provides insight into the Georgia Senate runoffs.

To someone who loves this country, it is almost inconceivable that Georgia voters have elected to send Rafael Warnock to the United States Senate. Democrat Warnock, a Black preacher who has thundered from the pulpit that "America must repent for its worship of whiteness," has edged out Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler to win one of two Senate seats up for grabs in run-off elections. The other race, between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue, is as yet too close to call.

The politics of envy and grievance – of class warfare and racial hostilities — have won out over messages of hope, prosperity and opportunity for all. How could this happen?

Simply put, Republicans did not turn out in the numbers needed to beat an energized Democrat campaign. A campaign that was funded by massive contributions from liberals across the nation, spurred by dreams of a progressive future; a future driven by the prospect that taking control of the senate would allow them, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, to "change the world."

The liberal media will be quick to blame President Trump, and indeed he bears some responsibility. Though he made two trips to the Peach State to stump for the GOP candidates, and just the night before the vote held an energizing rally for thousands of supporters, he also muddied the waters with ongoing charges of election fraud and by picking fights with Georgia officials.

5 TAKEAWAYS FROM GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFFS

Weeks ago angry Trump backers in Georgia began a #BoycottTheVote campaign; local polling done in late December showed "Out of 691 registered voters polled in the survey of 800 Georgians, 78 said they were not likely to vote. Of those 78, the split broke 32% Republican to 25% Democrat." Those disaffected Republicans were somehow convinced that not voting in the senate races would punish those who had "stolen" the presidential race from Donald Trump in November.

Instead, that voter boycott will punish the nation.

Also, in the run-up to the election, the release of a phone call in which Trump exhorted Georgia Secretary of State to "find" 11,780 votes to give him the state likely turned off a number of Republican voters fed up with our mercurial president. Exit polls indicate that 63% of self-described "moderates" voted for Warnock, whose agenda does not promise moderation.

WARNOCK PROJECTED TO DEFEAT LOEFFLER IN GEORGIA RUNOFF

The contest became a referendum on President Trump, whipping up the same anger that drove President-elect Joe Biden to win on November 3. This did not have to happen.

The race in Georgia should have been a referendum on the Democrats' agenda. Voters should have chosen between GOP policies that have built our country up, creating jobs and opportunities, versus Democrat policies that aim to punish successful Americans. Policies that protect traditional rights and freedoms versus those that allow a censorious mob to decide what Americans can or cannot say. Policies that aim to make all neighborhoods safe, including those populated largely by minorities, versus attempts to defund the police and let criminals out of jail. 

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Democrats appealed to the 32% of the electorate that is Black in Georgia, running on righting the purported racism that has in their view held back progress for that segment of the nation. Exit polls show 92% of Blacks voted for Warnock, pastor of the storied Atlanta church once co-pastored alongside his father by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those voters shrugged off allegations of domestic abuse made by Warnock’s wife and a history of lauding the controversial Black minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright,  whose infamous "God Damn America" sermon rattled the first campaign of President Obama, who attended Wright’s church.

Instead, they warmed to Warnock’s alarms about police brutality and promises of criminal justice reform. Warnock hewed closely to the platform of President-elect Joe Biden, with vague promises about investing in infrastructure, investing in climate and in education; if voters wonder where the money will come from to fund these initiatives, a visit to his campaign website will not satisfy their curiosity. There is, understandably, no mention of taxes.

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In reviewing the Georgia election, critics will rightly award the liberal media a starring role. The press acted as apologists for both Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, instead of reporters.   

For example, after an ad from Kelly Loeffler highlighted Warnock’s domestic abuse issues, a "fact-check" from a CBS affiliate ran with a story titled "Warnock's character questioned in dredged up bodycam of dispute with ex-wife." The term "dredged up" suggests that the footage of the dispute with his ex-wife was from the distant past, and that resurfacing it was somehow underhanded. Not so, on either count. The video is from March, and the confrontation involved the police.   

Other news outfits "explained" Warnock’s endorsement of Jeremiah Wright and other disturbing messages, which the Democrat senator-elect calls "truth-telling." An admiring piece in the New York Times, for instance, notes that Loeffler’s campaign used his "sermons to try and paint him as a ‘radical’ — and their claims have often been labeled by fact checkers as misleading." That, even as the Times acknowledges that Warnock has written that white churches "had been active and complicit participants "in slavery, segregation and other manifestations of white supremacy."

Georgia’s Senate runoff contests were viewed by left and right as critical to the future direction of the country. Republicans see Democrat control of the senate possibly leading to fundamental and damaging changes in our nation. Given the chance, Democrats may push to change the Electoral College, pack the Supreme Court, allow Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. to become states and other measures that would guarantee one-party rule and pave a progressive pathway to the future.

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Georgia voters have made a terrible choice. If Jon Ossoff beats David Perdue, handing control of the Senate to New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and, consequently, all three branches of our government to Democrats, the damage will be complete.

As for President Trump, his reputation and his extraordinary support among Republicans, as well as his chances of running in 2024, have been dealt a serious blow.

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