Democrats and the losing politics of contempt

Aron Nimzowitsch, among the chess greats of his day, didn’t take well to losing badly. Knowing that he was about to be beaten by an inferior opponent in a 1925 tournament, he jumped on the table and yelled, “Against this idiot I have to lose?”

Democrats must know the feeling.

There are many ways to interpret — and overinterpret — Democrat Jon Ossoff’s not-so-narrow loss on Tuesday to Republican Karen Handel in the race for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. It’s been in Republican hands nearly 40 years. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services, won last November by more than 20 points. The district is nearly 70 percent white and relatively affluent. This was always going to be an uphill climb for any Democrat, even one as fresh and ideologically moderate as Ossoff.

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