They hoped to send one message to Washington; instead, they may have sent the opposite one—that the mass of American voters are in no hurry to deliver a rebuke to the chaos in Washington, and that Republican representatives still have wide leeway to pursue their policy objectives on issues like health care without losing or disheartening their base.
That is a tough pill to swallow for Democrats who have convinced themselves opposing Trump will bring them back from the brink of powerlessness. So far, they have cut into Republicans’ margins, but they have not yet figured out how to win, and moral victories get no votes in Congress. There was a latent fatalism in Ossoff’s parting words: “As darkness has crept across this planet,” he assured them, they “have provided a beacon of hope for people in Georgia and for people around the world.”
Short of victory, hope would have to suffice.