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Doug Jones Wins In Alabama

Doug Jones Victory

After one of the hardest fought Special Elections in recent memory, Alabama Senate Democratic nominee Doug Jones pulled off something that no Democratic candidate for Senate has done in Alabama in more than twenty years by defeating controversial Republican nominee Judge Roy Moore in yesterday’s Senate Special election:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore, after a brutal campaign marked by accusations of sexual abuse and child molestation against the Republican, according to The Associated Press.

The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat.

Mr. Jones’s victory could have significant consequences on the national level, snarling Republicans’ legislative agenda in Washington and opening, for the first time, a realistic but still difficult path for Democrats to capture the Senate next year. It amounted to a stinging snub of President Trump, who broke with much of his party and fully embraced Mr. Moore’s candidacy, seeking to rally support for him in the closing days of the campaign.

Amid thunderous applause from his supporters at a downtown hotel, Mr. Jones held up his victory as a message to Washington from voters fed up with political warfare. For once, he said, Alabama had declined to take “the wrong fork” at a political crossroads.

“We have shown the country the way that we can be unified,” Mr. Jones declared, draping his election in the language of reconciliation and consensus. “This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law.”

Mr. Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mr. Jones “on a hard fought victory.”

“The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time,” he wrote. “It never ends!”

Propelled by a backlash against Mr. Moore, an intensely polarizing former judge who was accused of sexually assaulting young girls, Mr. Jones overcame the state’s daunting demographics and deep cultural conservatism. His campaign targeted African-American voters with a sprawling, muscular turnout operation, and appealed to educated white voters to turn their backs on the Republican Party.

Those pleas paid off on Tuesday, as precincts in Birmingham and its suburbs handed Mr. Jones overwhelming margins while he also won convincingly in Huntsville and other urban centers. The abandonment of Mr. Moore by affluent white voters, along with strong support from black voters, proved decisive, allowing Mr. Jones to transcend Alabama’s rigid racial polarization and assemble a winning coalition. And solidifying Mr. Jones’s victory were the Republican-leaning residents who chose to write in the name of a third candidate rather than back one of the two major party nominees. More than 20,000 voters here cast write-in ballots, which amounted to 1.7 percent of the electorate – about the same as Mr. Jones’s overall margin.

To progressive voters, Mr. Jones’s victory was a long-awaited rejection of the divisive brand of politics that Alabama has inevitably rewarded even as some of its Southern neighbors were turning to more moderate leaders.

At a party for Mr. Jones, Sue Bell Cobb, a former chief judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, said that he had overcome a culture of “toxic partisanship,” reaching out to Republicans and electrifying restive Democrats

“Never has there been this level of civic engagement,” said Ms. Cobb, who is planning to run for governor next year. “Never has it happened.”

She was drowned out by a raucous cry from her fellow Democrats and clasped her hands to her face as she saw on a huge projection screen that Mr. Jones had pulled ahead. Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, a newly inaugurated Democrat standing just feet away, beamed as returns from his city helped put Mr. Jones over the top.

“It feels great,” he said with undisguised elation. “It sends a message not just to America but to the world.”

The campaign, originally envisioned as a pro forma affair to fill the Senate seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general, developed in its final months into a referendum on Alabama’s identity, Mr. Trump’s political influence and the willingness of hard-right voters to tolerate a candidate accused of preying on teenage girls.

Mr. Jones, 63, best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for bombing Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963, offered himself chiefly as a figure of conciliation. He vowed to pursue traditional Democratic policy aims, in areas such as education and health care, but also pledged to cross party lines in Washington and partner with Senator Richard C. Shelby, the long-tenured Alabama Republican, to defend the state’s interests.

Mr. Moore did little in the general election to make himself more acceptable to conventional Republicans. To the extent he delivered a campaign message, it was a rudimentary one, showcasing his support for Mr. Trump and highlighting Mr. Jones’s party affiliation. But after facing allegations in early November that he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl and pursued relationships with other teenagers, Mr. Moore became a scarce presence on the campaign trail.

More from AL.com:

A deafening roar fell over the Birmingham Ballroom inside the Sheraton Hotel in the Magic City as supporters of Doug Jones watched the two large projectors tuned to CNN that showed the Democratic Senate candidate in Alabama’s special election inching closer to Roy Moore. At the time, Jones was still in a hotel room gathering with his family.

A night that began with cautious optimism among Jones’s supporters grew into euphoria minutes later as the election was called for Jones – a race where the Democrat in a dark-red state faced long odds at the start of the campaign; a Democrat had not won an Alabama Senate seat in a quarter century.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones, a former federal prosecutor who successfully led the cases against two men behind the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, was leading Moore, 50 percent to 48 percent, according to unofficial results.

Meanwhile, Moore was yet to concede to Jones as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, and the Republican candidate held out hope for a recount, which is triggered when the margin of victory is within a half of a percentage point. The margin was 1 1/2 percentage points.

Shortly after red, white and blue confetti blasted over the ballroom, Jones addressed supporters, crediting his victory with what he said was his campaign’s positive message. While his speech didn’t mention Moore by name, Jones referenced the sexual misconduct allegations that plagued the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice’s campaign.

“I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than divide us,” he said. “This campaign has been about the rule of law,” Jones said. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state … is going to get a fair shake in life.”

Jones had a steady ground game throughout the election and enlisted prominent African American lawmakers and figures, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Auburn basketball star Charles Barkley, over the weekend to help with outreach to black voters.

He referenced the campaign knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors and making 1.2 million phone calls.

“We tried to make sure that this campaign was about finding common ground,” Jones said, adding that he hoped his victory would send a signal to his future Washington colleagues. “I have this challenge to my future colleagues in Washington: Don’t wait on me. Take this election from the great state of Alabama … where the people said, ‘We want you to get something done. We want you to find common ground.'”

While Jones claimed victory last night after all the major media outlets declared him the winner of the race, Roy Moore refused to concede the race and is apparently holding out hope for a recount that could change the outcome of the race. As things stand, the results from last note show Jones with 671,151 votes (49.9%) to Moore’s 650,436 votes (48.4%), and there were some 22,819 write-in votes cast in the race, representing 1.7% of the total vote. Under Alabama state law, a recount is apparently only available if the margin between the two leading candidates is 0.5% votes or less, which means that Moore would not be entitled to a recount if this margin holds, and it’s fairly unlikely that the race will get to the point where a recount would be triggered. While it’s true that there are apparently overseas ballots, write-in ballots, and provisional ballots that have yet to be counted, but it’s unlikely that these votes would change the margin between Jones and Moore significantly enough to bring the margin even close to where they would need to be to trigger a recount. Even assuming that they did, it’s unlikely that a recount would result in a change in the outcome of the election. Historically, recounts rarely uncover many uncounted or miscounted ballots and, when they do, they tend to follow the same trend as the votes that were actually counted, meaning that a recount would be more likely to increase Jones’s margin than decrease it. Finally, recounts tend to end up slightly favoring the Democratic candidate, and this may be especially true in Alabama.

As for how Jones was able to pull off this seemingly surprising victory, it would appear that all of the factors that needed to come together did so in a perfect electoral storm that turned an election that seemed to be narrowly leaning toward Roy Moore into a win for the Democrats for the first time in two decades. First of all, it appears from initial reports that voter turnout in the election was significantly higher than what many observers had been predicting for a Special Election just two weeks before Christmas. Instead of the 20-25% turnout that was predicted, preliminary numbers that are saying turnout was roughly 40%, which is unusually high for a Special Election at this time of year. Additionally, anecdotal reports throughout the day were reporting heavy turnout in areas that Jones needed to get heavy turnout, including the so-called “Black Belt” areas where the majority of the state’s African-American population is located. This was also indicated in the exit polls, which showed that African-Americans turned out to vote in numbers that actually slightly exceeded what Barack Obama got when he was on the ballot in Alabama in 2008 and 2012. This suggests that the Jones campaign’s decision to bring in Senator Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Governor Devall Patrick, and to use former President Obama and former Vice-President Biden in “get out the vote” robocalls targeted at African-Americans, paid off quite nicely. It also appears from preliminary numbers that, while Moore received the majority of the white vote and the Republican vote as expected, Jones was able to get sufficiently high numbers among these demographic groups to help push him over the top. Also, Jones did fairly well in the suburban areas of the state, getting to within four percentage points of Moore while simultaneously crushing him in the state’s urban areas such as Birmingham Mobile, and Montgomery. Moore did very well in the state’s rural areas, but his success there was not sufficient to overcome Jones’s strength elsewhere in the state. It’s finally worth noting that these exit polls also showed that President Trump’s approval rating came in at just 48% in a state where he won 62.1% of the vote in 2016. Finally, Jones did very well among female voters, especially women with children under 18, many of whom were likely motivated by the charges leveled against Moore by eight women regarding his conduct when he was in his 30s. All of this was exactly what Jones needed to happen, and it came together last night and handed him a victory.

The reactions to the outcome of the race are about what you’d expect. The New York Times Editorial Board called it a “triumph for decency and common sense,” and The Washington Post cited the reports about Moore’s sexual misconduct, which it was the first to report on, as a crucial factor in Jones’s victory, which is likely true. Washington Republicans, meanwhile, are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief given the fact that a Moore victory would have immediately placed them in a politically difficult position and caused problems for them in the 2018 midterms. President Trump meanwhile, is trying to deflect any responsibility for or connection to Moore’s loss, claiming this morning that he never thought Moore could win even though he had been urging Alabamans to vote for him less than twenty-four hours earlier.

Here’s Trump on Twitter at roughly 9:30am yesterday:

And here was his Tweet this morning:

Trump’s attempt to dissociate himself from the Moore loss is, of course, utterly absurd. Even in the wake of the allegations about Moore’s behavior toward teenage girls, Trump came out enthusiastically for Moore, characterizing a vote for Doug Jones as a vote for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Last Friday, he went down to Pensacola and gave a speech that drew heavy attendance from Alabamans across the border and was devoted almost exclusively to backing Moore and attacking Jones. While there were a number of reasons for Moore’s defeat, it seems without question that there was something of a rebuke to Trump being sent by voters yesterday, and it’s one that Trump specifically and Republicans generally ought to be careful to pay attention to lest they pay the same price next year.

Democrats should also be careful about counting their chickens based on the outcome of this race. While there’s some evidence you can point to that suggests that Republicans have something to worry about in 2018, the fact of the matter is that this was largely a rebuke of Roy Moore specifically. Any other Republican, whether it was Luther Strange, Congressman Mo Brooks, who came in third place in the primary, or someone else, would have easily won this election. More likely than not, the race itself would not have gotten the national attention it did in this case, and Jones likely would not have received the support and fundraising from national Democrats that he received, especially in the wake of the allegations against Moore by eight women. Furthermore, Jones will only hold this seat until 2020, when he will have to run for re-election. Most likely, the Republicans will win the seat back at that point just like Democrats won the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy back in 2012 after Scott Brown won it in a Special Election in 2010.

Like nearly every analyst out there, I was assuming before the polls closed last night that Roy Moore would win, although it would likely be by a far narrower margin that we’d ordinarily see for a Republican in Alabama. As I noted when I wrote about the final polls in this race, a Jones win was possible but what it would require a number of factors falling into place for him that simply haven’t happened in Alabama in a long time. I was wrong, of course, but I’m happy to be wrong in this case. Roy Moore was a detestable candidate long before the allegations of sexual impropriety became public. His positions on a wide variety of issues ranging from religious liberty and the Constitution to his views on Muslims, the nation’s LGBT population, atheists, non-Christians of all types, and women were detestable and out of step in the 21st Century. He quite simply did not belong in the Senate, and fortunately, Alabamans agreed.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    To repeat myself from the previous thread:

    I know everyone wants to make this all about the pedophile who was running for the US Senate seat being unacceptable to the voters of Alabama but I do wonder. I wonder if maybe, just maybe, it was really about DEM voters being totally and completely pissed off about the direction of a GOP without a halter or muzzle and now not letting anything stop them from voting, and in the wake of these tax votes GOP voters are coming to the realization that the GOP really does hate them and while they still can’t bring themselves to vote for a DEM, they can no longer bring themselves to vote for a GOP either.

    It’s a thought anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  2. MarkedMan says:

    This may be the best possible outcome: Alabamans get a decent Senator, Dems get another vote in the Senate, Trump will lose a few more of his supporters over his support for a pederast, and the RNC will have p*ssed off both the Trump/Moore contingent by initially dropping support, and then also angered decent people by pulling a u-turn and supporting him again.

    And nothing demonstrates Republican “morality” quite like the two Mitch McConnell’s:

    McConnell #1, when it looked like Moore was a dead man: “I believe the women. Moore should drop out. We Republicans have integrity.”

    McConnell #2, two weeks later, when Moore was still alive and rising in the polls. “Forget all that. Roy, here’s some money for your campaign.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  3. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Denture Donnie managed to support two losing candidates in Alabama…Strange and Moore.
    Add that to Ed Gillespie in Virginia.
    SO MUCH WINNING!!!

    While there’s some evidence you can point to that suggests that Republicans have something to worry about in 2018, the fact of the matter is that this was largely a rebuke of Roy Moore specifically.

    I don’t buy that. Moore is an unpopular guy in Alabama…no doubt. But this was also a referendum on Denture Donnie. Steve Bannon spent a lot of time in Alabama making it so. And Donnies campaigning was all about HIS agenda, not Moore. No…the guy who yesterday called a sitting Senator a whore saw his numbers slide a great deal. After winning Alabama by some 28 points, last nights exit polls show his approval dead even…a 28 point swing in a deep-red state.
    Have no doubt…the leader of the GOP has no coat-tails. If Republicans pass this wildly unpopular tax cut for the rich…2018 may very well be a blood-bath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Still waiting for Bunge to tell us how this is all part of Denture Donnies 10 dimensional chess game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    This was a 30 point swing in the vote. There’s obviously more than one factor. Moore’s repulsiveness was a big one. But black people turned out like gangbusters (in a hostile voting environment I might add). Moore put the election with reach and Dem voters grabbed it with both hands.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Oh, and good on Senator Shelby. He gave a lot of GOP voters an excuse to stay home or write-in.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  7. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Have no doubt…the leader of the GOP has no coat-tails. If Republicans pass this wildly unpopular tax cut for the rich…2018 may very well be a blood-bath.

    You have an historically unpopular president, an unpopular congress, and they are pushing a tremendously unpopular agenda. A perfect storm.

    And I doubt the fact that the Sexual Predator in Chief called Gillibrand a whore is going to just blow over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  8. Matt Bernius says:

    @Hal_10000:

    But black people turned out like gangbusters (in a hostile voting environment I might add).

    There can be no doubt that black voter turn out (particularly black women) swung this election. I’m sure this will lead some to knash their teeth about racial block voting (strangely those people seem to ignore exit polls that show strong white voting block support for Moore).

    Based on what just happened, it will be telling to see the degree to which any additional “voter fraud protection” measures will be passed prior to the 2018 mid-terms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  9. Stormy Dragon says:

    Roy Moore refused to concede the race and is apparently holding out hope for a recount that could change the outcome of the race.

    The miracle of the votes and fishes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    Let The Finger Pointing Begin! Hannity Blames McConnell For Roy Moore Loss

    Mitch McConnell is a liberal traitor that I hope to run out of Washington, and dammit, why isn’t he helping me get elected!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  11. Kathy says:

    America takes a small step back from the brink.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  12. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly :
    A good point to consider is that Jones is what a sane Republican might look like if they ditched the religious nutjobs, moneygrubbers and racists. He’s one of them – a good ole boy – without a lot of the toxic negatives that have been poisoning the GOP lately. Save for the all-important shibboleths of abortion and LBGT rights, what makes Doug Jones a “liberal” to Alabama eyes? He’s pro-2nd and tax-reform (albeit not the garbage they’re trying to pass now). He’s famous for prosecuting criminals in cold cases.with the KKK being the most famous one. He’s passionate about law enforcement and is a “law and order” type. He strikes me more as a Rockerfeller Republican then a true modern Democrat and thus much more palatable to the masses then an extremist like Moore hoping to be Trump Redux.

    Jones is a Dem because the GOP is nuts and some of his views would make him highly unwelcome there. Had RINO not become a driving concept of Republican ideology in the last century, would Alabama be celebrating Senator Jones’ victory as an (R) win?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  13. michael reynolds says:

    That was fun.

    I mean, either way it was better for Democrats than for Republicans, a bit of a no-lose. Still and all, it’s rare that you get to witness a miracle: a liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay Democrat elected senator from Alabama. Wow.

    Donald Trump went all-in for Moore. Bannon went all-in for Moore. And what do we call people who seem tough but turn out to be weak? Paper tigers? Empty suits? Weak?

    I said months ago that we were past peak Trump. His own incompetence, criminality and bestial vulgarity has rendered him impotent.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  14. Rob Miles says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s more like Moore just doesn’t know the meaning of “no”.@Stormy Dragon:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    What’s even more amazing is that the Dems won in Alabama even while Jimmy Kimmel made jokes on TV, and movies didn’t do well at box offices.

    I was led to believe this scenario was impossible.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  16. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And what do we call people who seem tough but turn out to be weak? Paper tigers? Empty suits?

    I’d go with paper tiger or even better, white elephant as he’s proving to be a costly burden and the puns just write themselves.

    Also, Trump’s fast food diet makes him a little too big around the waist to be an empty suit, just sayin’……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @KM:

    Also, Trump’s fast food diet makes him a little too big around the waist to be an empty suit, just sayin’……

    You know…Melania is an attractive 47 year old…how in the world can ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY be worth crawling into bed with that geriatric, comb-overed, cheap fake tanned, denture wearing, fat oaf?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  18. Kylopod says:

    Now, to revisit my prediction from a couple of weeks ago:

    One month from now, Al Franken and John Conyers will no longer be in office, but Roy Moore will be Senator and Donald Trump will still be president.

    And the usual suspects will still be saying “both sides do it.”

    Franken and Conyers are gone or nearly gone, and there are no signs of Trump vacating his office anytime soon. But Roy Moore will not be Senator. I got that wrong.

    Of course none of that absolves Trump, McConnell, the RNC or any of the fine voters of Alabama who cast their lot with the diaper-chaser. The stunning outcome of the race notwithstanding, we are truly at a wretched place when Republican leaders and nearly half of the Alabama electorate cannot disavow a sexual predator—and this time they don’t have Hillary Clinton as an excuse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  19. dmichael says:

    While we are celebrating, let’s not ignore the fact that McConnell has announced that Senator Strange will remain so long as this legislative session continues. I expect that the multiple-chinned majority leader is researching whether he can keep it in session until January of 2021 when Senator-elect Jones’s term expires.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  20. Scott F. says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Impotent maybe, but dangerous still, like a cornered feral animal. He still has it within him to hurt the country and he still has willing partners in the GOP.

    It seems feasible that the damage to be done by the horrible policies Trump and the Republicans are pursuing could be limited. The policies are so unpopular, it’s reasonable to think they can be reversed should control of Congress change due to their unpopularity.

    But, the Trumpkins’ delegitimization of the press and the law continues apace and it’s working to a great enough degree that it could take decades to recover from – if there’s a recovery path at all.

    Until that destruction is stopped, I’ll not be turning my back on Trump or his enablers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    Roy Moore’s brother wants us to know that we’re all going to face an eternity of torture for thwarting the apotheosis of the chosen one:

    Roy Moore's brother Jerry Moore spoke to @NPRDebElliott: "It might not happen on this earth right now, but Doug Jones will pay for what he’s saying. And them Democrat people that’s out there and those Republicans in Washington. They’re going to have to answer to God.”— Arnie Seipel, NPR (@NPRnie) December 13, 2017

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @dmichael:

    He’s incorrect about that. Jones must be seated as soon as he shows up in DC with his certificate from AL’s Secretary of State. He doesn’t get to run out the clock.

    That said, the earliest that can happen is Dec. 26th so …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. CSK says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Melania has pretty much admitted she’s in it for the money. But I agree you would have to have a cast-iron stomach to service that flabby old carcass. You probably can’t be a successful gold-digger without that asset.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  24. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Meh. As I pointed out on the Jerusalem thread, Trump’s a remarkably good fit for the lurid description of the Anti-christ in their twisted End Times theology dramafest so MAGA-ism is likely the Mark of the Beast. Should that prove to be the case, Alabama just rejected one of his cronies (the Beast? False Prophet?) and got back into God’s good graces. I’m sure it’s sliding around in the general subconscious in the evangelical-soaked South that siding with the Swamp Things is going to hasten one’s trip downstairs and some token atonement might be in order. Moore wanted his campaign to have religious overtones but they didn’t end up being the ones he expected.

    i’m comfortable discussing with God how I stood up against a man who perverts His Word for earthly gain. I’m even fairly sure that discussion will go in my favor. Looks like a lot of Alabama feels the same way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott F.:
    Oh, he can absolutely do damage. At the very least his continued occupancy of the White House is all it takes to make the United States ridiculous in the eyes of the world.

    But Republicans today are significantly less afraid of Trump and Bannon than they were. The cost of defying Trump has dropped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  26. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Yeah…this is bad for McConnell and I think he comes out the worst among the bunch (Moore/President Trump/Bannon) because he took what could have been a win, even with Moore’s defeat and turned it into a moment where most folks are looking at McConnell and saying that he F___ed up big time. I almost feel bad for McConnell but for someone who is thought of as a politician who knows how to think long term and slowly but surely maneuver events to greatly benefit the GOP he effed up big time.

    What McConnell did was the very definition of a self inflicted wound, he really blew off his own foot by backing Moore. He had a chance to be able to say hey good for the people of Alabama and as I have been saying all along Moore should have never been on the ballot but no…he went all squishy and tried to hedge his bets by supporting Moore when it looked like things were looking slightly better for Moore’s chances at the polls. If he had stuck to his guns that Moore was unfit all the way through the vote he would have come out of this looking pretty damn good.

    He really squandered a rare opportunity to show America that the GOP could take the high road and accept defeat graciously, what a wasted opportunity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  27. michael reynolds says:

    I enjoy these golden hours, this inevitable time lag between when something happens that’s bad for Trump, and the downloading by MBunge and JKB and Guarneri of their ‘thoughts’ from Breitbart and Fox News and Zero Hedge.

    Can’t wait to read their exciting regurgitations.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  28. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They’re too busy screaming at each other and deciding who to sacrifice for MAGA. Interestingly, Bannon is being declared “least culpable” while Trump’s getting flack for being mean to Mo Brooks in the first place. They think he’ll take back the seat in 2020…. except he just announced he’s got prostate cancer so there goes Coulter’s great hope and the GOP’s only game plan. God works in mysterious ways indeed….

    It’s probably going to be a while before they get their stories straight. My recommendation is to have a drink while we wait for the entertainment to arrive. In honor of Alabama’s moment of sanity, my drink of choice today has been Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine (yeah I know, Tennessee but its the thought that counts)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. Kari Q says:

    Given how crucial black voters were to this victory, I hope we get at least a couple of days without hearing concern trolling about “identity politics.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    @MeghanMcCain
    Suck it, Bannon

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    This Jones will hopefully bring new energy and interest in the Southern wing of the Democrat party. His election shows that a lot of Democrats have become totally disenchanted and disengaged from the big government, leftist policies of the party leadership of the last several years. The Southern Democrats support traditional American values that the national party leaders abandoned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    Just swung by the Brietbart home page to see what headlines they had on the election. Hardly a whisper, Coulter chortling that she was hoping Moore would lose and touting Mo Brooks in 2020. Of course Brooks announced today that he has prostrate cancer, so we know that a senate run in 2020 is not what he’s thinking about. Best of luck to him in his fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    Was thinking about this some more today and realized something. As recently as ten years ago, Moore’s gay-bashing would have been a big positive for him, enough to overcome the allegations. This time it wasn’t. This time it may have even hurt him a little bit (especially after Nathan Mathis’s heart-breaking video went viral). We’ve really come a long way on cultural issues; even in Alabama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. Matt says:

    @Kari Q: I’m waiting on James P to show up and tell us how this is actually bad for the Democratic party and stuff.

    @Tyrell: It’s interesting that is what you take away from an election where Alabama residents elected a left wing Democratic candidate who was supported by the establishment….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Anonne says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    She has Hope Hicks to pick up the slack since he’s bored and doesn’t need another divorce.

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  36. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    The big lesson, in my less than humble opinion, is that to win, Democrats need to vote. Stop looking at Trump’s sinking numbers–polls change in a second’s time–and (ht to HL92) stay angry. Keep remembering that Hillary lost because she didn’t campaign where “she was already winning” and don’t make that mistake again. Democrats are the majority numerically in a plurality of wing nuts, bigots, establishment Republican elites, and progressives, radicals, and portions of the electorate who believe the party “sold out” when Bill Clinton was running triangulation. But being the majority will only work if everybody comes to the party and remembers that the game is “partisan politics” not “moral superiority” or “social justice warfare.” Those who stayed at home or voted for Stein or Johnson cast votes for Trump’s election. Very few live in reliably Democratic state or districts. It is foolish to trust that the GOP will keep shooting itself in the foot even though they are likely to. Stay angry and keep showing up if you want to win Congress back.

    Trump is history, Forget about him; the GOP will look for the next shiny thing for 2020. It’s name may well be Ted Cruz, so focusing on Trump instead of what you want to do for voters is a losing proposition. Most important is to find somebody to run in 2020 who isn’t named Hillary, Joe, or Bernie. Boomers are over; it’s time for us to get of the stage and let someone else’s mother be proud at long last.

    @michael reynolds: What to say? How about

    Low Energy. Sad. Pathetic.

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  37. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Need to vote *and* need to run. Letting elections go uncontested even in long shot races means that you can’t take advantage of unforced errors.

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  38. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Stormy Dragon: To pedophilia and racism, the Moore campaign, classless to the bitter end and beyond, has now added blasphemy.

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