Democrats lose political capital when their candidates can’t concede with grace
Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who admitted a week ago that she couldn’t beat her Republican rival in the gubernatorial race — after filing a lawsuit and demanding a provisional ballot recount — still won’t bow out gracefully and issue a proper congratulatory message to her now-newly elected governor, Brian Kemp.
“Democracy failed” in the Georgia race, Abrams said.
“Democracy did not win in Georgia,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted.
This isn’t just sticking it out ’til the last. This is outright delusion; dub it “Stacey Abrams Stubborn,” if you will.
It’s a race to the bottom, that’s what it is. Democrats, by refusing grace and standing senselessly stubborn, are missing an opportunity here to gain a bit of political capital by showing some basic common American courtesies in the face of defeat.
Isn’t it the left, after all, that always calls for tolerance and diversity and acceptance of others’ views?
Abrams has an opportunity to take the high road here. She has an opportunity to represent well for the Democratic Party.
But instead, we get this: “[Kemp] won an adequate number of votes to become … the legal governor of Georgia,” she said, during a recent interview on CNN to discuss her ultimate loss.
Emphasis on “legal.”
Then she said, Fox News reported: “But we know sometimes the law does not do what it should, and something being legal does not make it right. What you are looking for me to say is that there was no compromise of our democracy and that there should be some political compromise in the language that I use. And that’s not right … Will I say that this election was not tainted, was not a disinvestment and a disenfranchisement of thousands of voters? I will not say that.”
Oh, come on now.
What Abrams is saying in not so thinly veiled language is that Kemp stole the election from her — that he’s poised to be Georgia’s next governor by “legal” maneuvering, rather than by the will of the voters.
Didn’t we already go through this line of logic and argument with the election of President Donald Trump?
The American people are tired.
“[The disinvestment] began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of more than a million voters and continued with the underfunding and disinvestment in polling places and training and in the management of the county delivery of services, and I think it had its pinnacle i this race,” Abrams said.
Even CNN host Jake Tapper countered that many states have been actively purging voter rolls because — well, because that’s the lawful thing to do.
“Democrat Stacey Abrams may have lost,” WSB-TV 2 out of Atlanta reported on Monday, 13 days after the November 6 election, “but she’s planning to launch a new legal battle.”
Let it go, Stacey Abrams. Concede with grace. Admit defeat. Issue a congratulatory statement Kemp’s way.
It’s not democracy that failed in Georgia. It’s you. The Democratic Party simply isn’t winning any points with the people by continuing this fruitless election fight.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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