But the results in Georgia prove that the faction that elevates figures like Mastriano does not have a simple veto in the party. It shows the effectiveness of what you might call a “stay and govern” strategy of dealing with Trump’s hold on the G.O.P., one with wide application as the party moves toward 2024.
And it indicates the limits of the all-or-nothing thinking that a crisis mentality imposes. I can easily imagine an alternative timeline where Raffensperger resigned his office rather than standing for re-election, inked a deal with MSNBC, turned his subsequent book into a mega-bestseller in the style of so many Trump-administration exposés and adopted Biden-administration talking points to denounce Georgia election laws. That timeline would have unquestionably been better for the Raffensperger family’s bank account, and it would have prompted many liberals to hail him as a profile in Republican courage.
But for everyone else — Georgians, the G.O.P., the country — that timeline would have been worse. Whereas because he stayed in the party, ran again and won, even in a dark week for America one region of our common life looks a little better, and one of our crises should feel a little bit less dire.