Today marks the feast of the Epiphany on the Christian calendar. The date is celebrated as Three Kings Day in Spain and much of Latin America, including the great state of Puerto Rico. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself there, but political change is afoot in this country: In news I'm sure you already know, Georgia voters elected the Rev. Raphael Warnock as the first black senator in the state's history yesterday. The other Senate race is closer, but it seems to have gone by a razor-thin margin to Jon Ossoff.
Ossoff's lead as I write these words is some 16,000 votes. That total may increase, but even if it rises to 20,000 or so, that's a very slight margin in an election in which 3.4 million people cast ballots. Only 33 years old and with a decidedly underwhelming resume, Ossoff managed a neat trick: He was a career politician who could never get himself elected to anything. He's apparently done so this time, however, and it's a victory that will make a Senate majority leader out of Chuck Schumer.
Credit, and blame, were being apportioned last night even as the votes were being counted.
"Flipping Georgia was unthinkable a few years ago," tweeted Democratic donor and 2020 presidential candidate also-ran Tom Steyer. "Yet here we are, in a historic moment. Credit must go to the Black women who brought us here." Steyer then thanked them by name: Stacey Abrams, the former legislator and gubernatorial candidate who led the Democrats' impressive voter registration drive; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Black Lives Matter organizer Latosha Brown; grassroots activist Nse Ufot -- "and countless others who worked tirelessly and kept the faith."
On the other side, there were recriminations, mostly directed at a certain lame-duck president who has opted during the past two months not to go gently into that good night. Donald Trump not only refused to accept his own defeat, he picked fights with Georgia election officials (including its Republican governor), blind-sided the Senate leadership with an eleventh-hour demand for $2,000 relief checks, and continually told his supporters that U.S. elections were "rigged." When he did campaign in Georgia, Trump talked mainly about himself instead of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
"Why did GOP lose [Georgia Senate races]?" tweeted Texas Republican Matt Mackowiak. "Trump's ridiculous bullshit for six weeks. He depressed GOP turnout."
"No, Republicans, the Democrats did not steal the races in Georgia," added popular conservative commentator Erick Erickson. "You talked yourself out of voting. That's not theft. Turns out many of you are as stupid as they said."
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.