Hacks vs quacks is no way to govern
Jon Ossoff is a hack. He’s a U.S. Senator by dint of a quack. "Build Back Better" is now called the "Inflation Reduction Act" and the law does neither. The hacks win.
My dad used to own a big old house in Lynn, Massachusetts at the corner of Eastern Ave and New Ocean St. about a block from King’s Beach. The house is still there. It is at a fairly well-traveled intersection, which meant, back in the day, that it was a magnet for politicians seeking yard sign real estate. My dad would basically rent it to the highest bidder—the house that is, not his vote. He called all politics a racket (hence, the name of this site).
Now I don’t want to impugn my dad’s blessed memory or local Lynn politicians, so I don’t mean he took cash (that I know of, and if my family is reading, I’d rather not know). Let’s just say he had their ear, and something-something in the favor bank. They were all hacks. He knew it; they knew it; it was well-known.
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Jon Ossoff is a hack. He’s a U.S. Senator by dint of a quack. Ossoff put in the intern-time, volunteering for the late Rep. John Lewis, then working for Rep. Hank Johnson’s campaign in 2006. Jon’s hackery led to various positions, none of which he was really qualified to do, but at least he has a college education and some on-paper foreign policy classes. So he got his Democrat friends to support his run against Karen Handel in the 2017 special election to fill Rep. Tom Price’s seat in Georgia’s 6th district. He lost, but did well enough to get the attention of the other hacks.
A couple of things about that election. One: I was living in Warner Robins at the time, about two hours south of Fulton County. I covered several Alpharetta polling locations as a volunteer for Decision Desk HQ, so I drove up in a thunderstorm to get the data. Little did I know that a year later, I’d be living within a mile of those polling places, and in fact now vote at one of them. God does funny things. Two: The 2017 special election, at the time, was the most expensive House election ever, and by an exponential margin.
The chart lets you see the outside group money pooling like rain in a storm drain. That, plus the candidates own fundraising efforts, which were prodigious. Ossoff raised $23 million to Karen Handel’s $4 million. Nobody knew who Ossoff was, but Handel had name ID, having served in the (now cursed) office of Georgia Secretary of State from 2007-2010, losing a very close runoff to Nathan Deal in 2010 for governor, and placing third in the U.S. Senate race in 2014 behind David Perdue.
Handel also did a stint as vice president of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity focused on helping women survive breast cancer. She was pilloried and forced to resign after a bad-faith bargain by Planned Parenthood went wrong, and wrote a book titled “Planned Bullyhood” about it. Handel was a formidable politician—though in my opinion, too nice. Nonetheless, she beat Ossoff, only to lose to Rep. Lucy McBath, a hack, in the backlash to Trump, in the regular 2018 cycle.
Why did Ossoff beat David Perdue in 2020? I think we all know. About 400,000 Georgia Republicans were encouraged to stay home for the January 5th, 2021 runoff, after Ossoff and Perdue essentially tied in the general election. These Republicans were told that the whole election was a fraud, and that the evidence would arrive. They’re still waiting, and meanwhile, a hack made it to the Senate, along with a demagogue in Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Georgia is singlehandedly responsible for giving the Senate to the Democrats, which means that the hacks have won the day.
In this upcoming election, Republicans have gone, once again, with the quacks. Dr. Oz, Herschel Walker, Doug Mastriano, the prize-winning “Jew space laser” twit MTG, all are heroes of the Red Wave that may not come.
The GOP hacks are not happy. Because, what you get when one party full of hacks ends up in control of Congress, is political fodder. For example, only upon reading the whole bill to find out what they passed, are liberals discovering that—gasp—the “Inflation Reduction Act” is not going to reduce inflation. This was the “Build Back Better” rhinoceros repackaged so that Sen. Joe Manchin could save face in West Virginia, while the far-left could have a few crumbs to pander to the tree huggers.
You can blame Manchin for being the last holdout who jumped the fence, or blame Krysten Sinema for caving so quickly. But the real culprit is the guy who handed both Georgia Senate seats to the Democrat hacks and demagogues. Jon Ossoff owes his now-golden hack career to the chief quack Donald J. Trump, who made the largest in-kind donation to his campaign in history.
Now that the quacks are fully energized with FBI fever, the Big Lie and all its accoutrements will be hauled out for the final stretch to November. Republican hacks who should know better, like Gov. Ron DeSantis, will gravitate to the quack column and cast themselves in the light of insanity and conspiracy. This will damage the chances of folks like Walker, who could flip the Senate despite his own shortcomings.
At the polls, at the moment a ballot is cast, the hacks are favored against the quacks, especially given what the quacks have accomplished over the last six years. If I have to have hacks, I’ll take GOP hacks over Democrat hacks. But that option has been removed from the table for most Republicans, so we will end up with Democrat hacks, and more tax-and-spend, big government, screw-the-middle-class bills that don’t mean what their titles imply.
I’d rather have Karen Handel. But you know what they say about nice guys. They get death threats from Trumpist thugs.