Thursday, December 14, 2017

About Alabama

A lot has been written and said about the results of the special election to fill Alabama’s US Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became US Attorney General. While some of the punditry has been spot on, other punditry has been silly. It’s worth forcusing on what was right.

Democrats had a good candidate.

Alabama is a Deep Red state—so red that the last time they sent a Democrat to the US Senate was 1986 when Richard Shelby won the seat. But in 1994, in the wake of the Republican resurgence in the midetern elections, Shelby became a Republican. He still serves in the Senate at age 83. His current term expires, if he doesn’t first, in 2022.

What this means is that the chances of Democrat winning under normal circumstances were remote—slim to none, in fact. Very often no quality Democratic candidate will run in a hopeless race (in fact, Jeff Sessions was unoposed in his relection bid in 2014, apart from a write-in campaign that could never win).

So, fortunately for everyone, when Republicans nominated a crackpot accused child molester as their candidate, Democrats had a good, solid candidate ready to go and to take advantage of the opportunity handed to them. This MUST serve as an example to Democrats: They must nominate quality candidates for all federal offices because you never know what hand fate may deal. To put it the other way round, had Demcrats NOT had a good candidate this year, then a crackpot accused child molester would be about to be sworn in as a US Senator.

Alabama is still very red.

Just because Democrat Doug Jones beat the Republican’s crackpot accused child molester candidate doesn’t suddenly mean that they’ve seen the light—just look at the vote margin for proof of that. Assuming Republicans nonimate someone electable in 2020, it’s likely Jones will be defeated.

On the other hand, his presence will help Democrats stall and even stop Republicans’ radical agenda now, and makes the Democrats’ chances of taking control of the US Senate in 2018 much better. These are good things all on their own, regardless of what happens in 2020. And, who knows? Jones may win over Alabama. After the presidential election last year and the fact that Republicans nominated a crackpot accused child molester as their Alabama US Senate candidate this year, clearly nothing is impossible.

Democrats still benefit from the support of African Americans.

African Americans have been a core part of the Democratic Coalition for decades, and they turned out in force to vote for Doug Jones. This was despite all the laws that Alabama Republicans passed specifically to make it harder for African Americans to vote, and all the shenanigans they pulled to try and further suppress the vote of African Americans. This tells us that when motivated, African American voters can supply the margin of victory in many races, and also that Democrats must never take them for granted.

Republicans got a black eye.

There’s no other way to put this: Republicans seriously fucked up. By failing to clearly and unequivocally reject their crackpot accused child molester candidate, Republicans AT BEST look like craven, power-obsessed, amoral, bastards. At worst, they look like craven, power-obsessed, amoral, bastards. In other words, their failure to act morally stained their party in the eyes of Independent voter they’ll need in 2018 and beyond.

The current occupant of the White House also has the distinction of having backed the loser TWICE. Heckuva job. And the Republican leadership in Congress looked like they were licking the boots of the current occupant of the White House, all for nothing. No one likes losers, especially craven, power-obsessed, amoral, bastards who fail to express disgust and rejection of their crackpot accused child molester candidate. Republicans, too, need to nominate only credible candidates, and never allow crackpot accused child molesters to become their party’s standard bearer for any race.

• • • • •

2018 is still the most critical race in modern US history, and if Democrats don’t win control of Congress, the republic may not endure. What happened in Alabama will help in Democrats’ efforts to right the ship of state and quarrantine the current occupant of the White House in preparation for getting him out of there, BUT: it is only help, and a start. There is MUCH work to be done.

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