With each new day, Georgians are learning not only about the Democratic candidates vying for two United States Senate seats in the Jan. 5 runoffs but how desperate national Democrats are to make sure those candidates are elected.
All in all, it's not a pretty sight.
With Republicans already assured of 50 seats in the next Senate session, the only chance Democrats have of fully enacting an agenda by declared presidential winner Joe Biden is to win both runoffs and have a presumed Democratic vice president break any 50-50 ties.
In Georgia, candidates in the general election must win 50% of the vote, plus one vote, to avoid a runoff.
In the regular Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue missed winning outright by a shade over 14,000 votes and leads his resume-light challenger, Jon Ossoff, by nearly 90,000 votes. In the special election, created by the resignation of Johnny Isakson due to illness, an open primary of 20 candidates produced a runoff between appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, expressed what was on Democratic minds last week concerning the Peach State.
"Now we take Georgia," he said, "then we change the world."
It's how they "change the world" Georgians may not be so excited about.
Thomas Friedman, a left-leaning but once reasonable New York Times columnist, suggested this week that people move temporarily to the state, register to vote and then vote for Democrats.
Andrew Yang, the onetime presidential candidate, said he would move his family to Georgia to do just that.
Georgia law allows people to vote in the state, basically, if they are a U.S. citizen, 18 years old and have a legal residence in the county. However, it says establishing a permanent or primary home in a county is required and not simply acquiring a post office box.
In the special election, with 20 candidates competing, very little media vetting was done of Democratic contenders. Thus, many Georgians are just hearing about Warnock, the leading Democratic vote-getter.
Although a minister at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church that was once pastored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he's less King and more akin to Jeremiah Wright, the controversial Chicago minister of whom former President Barack Obama was a close disciple.
Just in the past few days, Georgians have learned Warnock welcomed Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to his New York church in 1995, was arrested in 2002 for obstructing a police investigation into alleged child abuse at a campground in Maryland, compared Israel in 2019 to apartheid South Africa and said the U.S. should cease any military aid to Israel, promoted Marxism by saying it was a way to "teach the Black church," referred to President Donald Trump in 2016 as a "fascist, racist, sexist xenophobe," criticized white evangelical Christians and Catholics for voting for Trump, and defended Wright's hateful rhetoric calling on God to "damn America" by saying the minister was only misunderstood.
In the regular election, already a loser in the most expensive House race to date when he failed to win a suburban Atlanta district in 2017, Ossoff recently proved he was out of the mainstream from most Georgians in an MSNBC interview when he expounded on his desire to require the licensing of all semiautomatic firearms, even if they are already in private hands.
"For semiautomatic weapons," he said, "whether they are rifles or handguns, we need strict licensing requirements."
Ossoff's website also explains his intent to ban the sale of semiautomatic rifles.
"I support a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles ('assault weapons') and high-capacity magazines to the general public," it states.
Ossoff, in the MSNBC interview, also renewed his support for universal background checks, which would make private gun sales — even, say, between longtime neighbors — a crime.
If such sales could stop the accumulation and use of illegal guns in most street crimes or could have stopped most of the mass shootings over the past 15 years, the measure would have popular support. But in almost every high-profile mass shooting over that time, the shooter acquired his gun through a legal process with a background check.
Ossoff, who lists his occupation as a filmmaker, outraised his opponent, Karen Handel, in the 2017 House race by about 7 to 1, according to The New York Times. Of the itemized contributions for him in that campaign, 86% were from large Democratic states like California and New York and 14% from Georgians. More than half of Handel's contributions came from Georgians.
The same was true for the challenger this year. Most of his funds — as well as those for Warnock — have come from out-of-state donors.
The two races are heading toward a finish that is likely to make them the most expensive in Senate history. But Georgians should make sure that Georgians choose their winner — not Chuck Schumer, Hollywood or groups who oppose the values of those in the Peach State.