The Democrats' comprehensive meltdown after their fifth straight election loss is a spectacle worth savoring. They're vacillating between denial and self-flagellation, between consuming depression and delusional optimism. Some are even blaming hacking for the loss.
Don't let them fool you; they did not expect carpetbagger Jon Ossoff to lose to Karen Handel in the special election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District. If they had, they would not have poured unprecedented millions into the race. No one but gambling addicts intentionally waste that kind of money.
For all the talk about President Donald Trump's being in trouble, the Democratic Party is on the ropes. Democrats are in the minority in the federal and state legislative branches, and they've now sustained five consecutive losses in special House elections. The Federal Election Commission reports that the Democratic National Committee raised only $4.3 million in May -- the worst May for fundraising since 2003. April efforts were almost as dismal.
I can't remember the last time I heard Democrats beating themselves up this intensely and openly. "Our brand is worse than Trump," Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said. "We can't just run against Trump." Ouch. Other Democratic leaders are signaling signs of mutiny against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
On the other hand, some Democrats insist these losses are a portent of great things to come. Former Sen. Barbara Boxer says Democrats will do fine in 2018. Likewise, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan says, "The House is in play (in 2018)." He wrote, "I don't make this statement lightly -- I've never said it before. ... This is about much more than one race."
But Rep. Lujan, there hasn't been just one race; there've been five. If Democrats actually have unprecedented grass-roots energy and impressive candidates but still can't win, what does that say about your party's predicament?
Then again, Democrats can't even agree whether Ossoff was a good candidate. They expressed no doubts before the election, especially not to their witless Hollywood sugar daddies when soliciting funds for this mega-hyped wunderkind.
The Democrats' problem is that they are intellectually and morally bankrupt, as I argued in my 2006 book, "Bankrupt." It's not that they don't have policy ideas. It's that their ideas don't work, so they just attack and demonize Republicans. Though Trump is often a convenient target, they would (and did) crucify any Republican president in office. And despite the leftward cultural shift of the nation and their virtual monopoly on academia, the mainstream media and Hollywood, their polices are not that popular with the American people, so they can't afford to be completely honest about them.
Ossoff, for example, was hardly running as a liberal. Why would liberals tout a candidate who wasn't running as a liberal unless they knew he was pretending? More importantly, why would this darling of the left have run as a moderate -- unless he and his party knew he wouldn't have stood a chance had he run as a liberal Democrat?
The truth is not the Democrats' friend. They are engaging in stunning deceit over President Trump's alleged collusion with Russia and claims that he obstructed an investigation. Not only was there no obstruction but also Trump had no incentive to obstruct an investigation into something that didn't occur.
Even the Democrats' feigned outrage over Russian "interference with our democracy" is a sham. It would be one thing if the Russians had disseminated lies about Hillary Clinton, but instead they exposed damaging truths about her. Without defending Russian perfidy, did that actually hurt the democratic process in the sense of informing voters? What does harm the democratic process is the Democrats' assault on the integrity of the voting process, from blocking voter ID laws to facilitating the voting of immigrants who are here illegally. And if Democrats were so committed to the democratic process, they would quit trying to nullify the will of the people with manufactured Hail Mary impeachment attempts.
Truth be told, nothing would hurt the Democrats more than an authentic referendum on their policy agenda -- a legitimate unfolding of the democratic process they profess to treasure. Knowing this, they do everything they can to make elections about anything but their policies.
They know, for instance, that Obamacare is a failure and a poster child for failed liberal policies. Yet as premiums and deductibles skyrocket and choice and quality of care plummet, they barely concede that it is problematic. Their "policy" argument is to say Republicans want to hurt and kill Americans by repealing and replacing their abominable plan. On taxes, immigration and other policies, we are simply mean-spirited bigots. These tired lies are all they have.
But the Democratic establishment is nothing if not arrogant and unimaginative. Though focus groups and elections reveal that even Democratic voters are sick of these bottomless and unfruitful Russian investigations, they are going to keep beating this dead horse, hoping it comes to life.
Democrats are welcome to fool themselves into believing they've dealt Trump a deathblow, but his approval ratings aren't much lower than when he took office -- despite their endless slandering. They have nothing new against Trump. They are just recycling the criticisms they made during the election campaign, which he won.
Let the Democrats keep hallucinating and dissembling. Let them keep lying about Trump -- because with every passing day, their bankruptcy is more apparent. But in the meantime, pray that President Trump will resist the temptation to be distracted by these sordid Democratic efforts to undermine our democracy. Instead of focusing too much energy on defending himself, he needs to reignite a fire under the American people -- and particularly Republicans -- to move forward with his agenda. This week, with his uplifting speech in Iowa and the Senate's rollout of a health care bill, could be a promising reboot.