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The Resistance Strikes Back

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10.11.2018

In April 2017, progressives across America turned toward Georgia’s Sixth District for the race to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who’d become President Trump’s (short-lived) secretary of health and human services. That affluent, highly educated district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs had been solidly Republican for decades; Newt Gingrich had held it for 20 years, and Price won his 2016 election by more than 23 percentage points. But Trump had prevailed there only narrowly, and Democrats dreamed of using the special election to rebuke him.

A great many local women, some awakened from political indifference by shock and revulsion at Trump’s victory, threw themselves into his campaign. Money poured in from all over the country for the Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff. It became the most expensive House contest in history.

He lost. Afterward, people complained — often on cable TV — that Democrats had squandered their money. But last week, some of that investment finally paid off.

[Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.]

On Thursday we learned that a year and a half after Ossoff’s loss, Lucy McBath, an African-American gun control advocate, had flipped the seat.

McBath’s victory was emblematic of the Resistance triumphs in the midterms. There was no immediate catharsis on Tuesday, no definitive national rebuke of a president whose bottomless depravity continues to dumbfound more than half the country. But the steady work of citizens who’ve been trying, over the last two years, to fight the civic nightmare of Trumpism bore fruit. It was a slog, pockmarked with disappointments. At the end, though, there was hope.

During the Ossoff campaign, “we built an army of volunteers,” said Stacy Efrat, a mother of three with a full-time job who’d organized voter registration drives most weekends this year. “We built the Resistance in the Sixth District, and we already had our infrastructure in place to work on the Lucy election.”

It took a while........

© The New York Times