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Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Senate Runoff

Roy Moore Victory Speech

As the polls have been predicting for some time now, Roy Moore, who was twice removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for failure to comply with the orders of a superior Court, won last night’s runoff election to determine the Republican candidate to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Roy S. Moore, a firebrand former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, overcame efforts by top Republicans to rescue his rival, Senator Luther Strange, soundly defeating him on Tuesday in a special primary runoff.

The outcome in the closely watched Senate race dealt a humbling blow to President Trump and other party leaders days after the president pleaded with voters in the state to back Mr. Strange.

Propelled by the stalwart support of his fellow evangelical Christians, Mr. Moore survived an advertising onslaught of more than $10 million financed by allies of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. His victory demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout.

Taking the stage after a solo rendition of “How Great Thou Art,” an exultant Mr. Moore said he had “never prayed to win this campaign,” only putting his political fate “in the hands of the Almighty.”

“Together, we can make America great,” he said, borrowing Mr. Trump’s slogan and adding, “Don’t let anybody in the press think that because he supported my opponent that I do not support him.”

Mr. Trump had tweeted his support for Mr. Strange several times in recent days, but tweets appeared to be deleted on Tuesday night. Mr. Trump offered congratulations to Mr. Moore in a tweet. “Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!” he wrote.

In a race that began as something of a political afterthought and ended up showcasing the right’s enduring divisions, the victory by Mr. Moore, one of the most tenacious figures in Alabama politics, will likely embolden other anti-establishment conservatives to challenge incumbent Republicans in next year’s midterm elections.

And more immediately, the party will be forced to wrestle with how to prop up an often-inflammatory candidate given to provocative remarks on same-sex marriage and race — all to protect a seat in a deep-red state. Mr. Moore’s incendiary rhetoric will also oblige others in the party to answer for his comments, perhaps for years to come, at a time when many Republicans would just as soon move on from the debate over gay rights.

On Dec. 12, Mr. Moore will face Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor and the Democratic nominee, in a race that will test the party loyalties of center-right voters who may be uneasy about their nominee. It may also reveal just how reliably Republican the state has become in the quarter-century since a Democrat last won a Senate election here.

Mr. Jones said in an interview Tuesday afternoon that he believed voters would reward a candidate focused on “kitchen-table issues,” and said Alabama’s public reputation was at stake in the election. “People are tired of being embarrassed in this state,” Mr. Jones said. “People want to see someone who can get things done.”

But Mr. Moore, 70, has proved himself to be a political survivor. He has been effectively removed from the State Supreme Court twice — the first in 2003, over his refusal to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse; the second last year, when he urged the state’s probate judges to defy federal orders regarding same-sex marriage.

And in recent days, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence had campaigned for Mr. Strange. Mr. Trump, an enormously popular figure in Alabama, cast aside the tradition of presidents treading carefully in contested primaries, as well as the warnings from his own advisers regarding a candidate trailing in the polls.

Yet instead of delivering a tightly crafted testimonial at a rally on Friday, the president rambled for nearly an hour and a half about a range of topics, while openly questioning whether he was making a mistake coming into the state for Mr. Strange, who oriented his entire run around Mr. Trump’s endorsement and stood looking on with a red “Make America Great Again” hat atop his head.

Mr. Strange conceded defeat on Tuesday night before a subdued audience at a hotel outside of Birmingham, acknowledging in a moment of striking candor that he did not fully grasp the forces at play in his loss.

“We’re dealing with a political environment that I’ve never had any experience with,” Mr. Strange said. “The political seas, the political winds in this country right now are very hard to navigate. They’re very hard to understand.”

He thanked Mr. Trump effusively, praising the president as a “loyal friend” and attempting to absolve him of any blame for the result. “If this causes him any trouble,” Mr. Strange said, “it’s not his fault.”

Mr. Strange’s defeat was the first time an incumbent senator with active White House support has lost since 2010, when Arlen Specter, the longtime senator of Pennsylvania, was beaten in a Democratic primary after switching parties.

But his loss was not just a blow to Mr. Trump. Mr. Moore relentlessly linked the senator to Mr. McConnell, who has made a priority of protecting his caucus from intraparty challenges, but is an increasingly polarizing figure among grass-roots Republicans. Despite the money and staff he directed to the race, Mr. McConnell became as much a liability as he was an asset, leaving Republicans nervously wondering what that may portend in other primaries next year.

On Tuesday night, Mr. McConnell said in a statement that he understood Mr. Moore had channeled “a dissatisfaction with the progress made in Washington.” Saying that he shared that frustration, Mr. McConnell said he was determined to help Mr. Moore win, and made no references to the bitter attacks on his leadership by Mr. Moore and his allies.

(…)

Mr. Strange’s demise was in some respects as much a local phenomenon as a national one, stemming from his appointment this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Strange, the state’s attorney general at the time, was overseeing an investigation into Mr. Bentley’s personal relationship with a close aide, suggesting to many in a scandal-weary state that there may have been a corrupt bargain. The newly appointed senator denied any wrongdoing, but never fully confronted the issue in a way that would eliminate the lingering cloud over the appointment.

And by Monday, an adviser to Mr. McConnell, anticipating defeat, started to privately make the case that it was Mr. Bentley’s scandal and the circumstances around the appointment that was most to blame for Mr. Strange’s lackluster support.

Mr. Strange’s status as a proxy for the Republican establishment and a test of the president’s sway came about almost by accident — a consequence of factors having little to do with Mr. Strange himself.

Moore’s win was hardly a surprise, of course. After coming in first place in the first round of the primary, where he beat the incumbent Senator and former state Attorney General Luther Strange by six points, Moore quickly developed a lead in the polls that seemed as though it would likely be insurmountable. By the time yesterday’s election came around, the RealClearPolitics polling average showed Moore leading Strange by more than eleven points. It’s also worth noting that Moore received more than 100,000 more votes in yesterday’s runoff than he did in the first round of the primary and that, contrary to normal trends, voter turnout for the runoff was higher than the first round by more than 60,000 votes. Additionally, notwithstanding the fact that President Trump had won the state by more than 600,000 votes in the General Election and the Republican Primary by nearly 200,000 votes, Alabama Republicans ended up rejecting the candidate that Trump had endorsed, voting for Moore, who had received the endorsement of figures such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former White House adviser Steve Bannon, both of whom campaigned for Moore several times over the past several weeks. Trump, meanwhile, only appeared in Alabama once, at a rally in Huntsville that ended up being more about Trump and the kneeling protests by some National Football League player than it was about Strange. Indeed, at one point in that speech on Friday Trump seemed to suggest that maybe he had made a mistake in backing Strange and made it clear that he would support and campaign for Moore if he won the runoff. Moore, meanwhile, was running an anti-establishment campaign that was more akin to Trump’s 2016 campaign than Strange’s was, and was careful to tie Strange, who has only been in the Senate for a few months, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the so-called Republican “establishment.” Between the signals from Trump and the nature of the campaign, it’s clear that Trump supporters in Alabama felt free to reject the candidate that their President had endorsed and get behind the candidate that arguably has far more in common with Trump than Strange did.

As James Joyner implied when Moore came in first place in the first round of the primary, the outcome of the runoff most likely means that he will win the General Election set for December 12th. Alabama is a solidly red state where Republicans control all of the Governor’s Mansion, the Lt. Governor’s seat, and the Attorney General’s office, as well as both chambers of the state legislature, the state’s Congressional delegation, and both of its Senate seats. It’s a state that has gone for a Republican in every Presidential election since 1976 and every election since 1964 with the exception of 1968  when it gave its Electoral Votes to native son George Wallace. Additionally, while the polling of a Moore-Jones race has been limited so far, the polling that has been done shows Moore with a strong and seemingly insurmountable lead over the Democratic candidate. While Democrats will no doubt try to pull out a win by running against Moore and his far-right views, the odds are decidedly against them and they would probably be wise to not invest too many resources into a campaign that is extremely unlikely to be successful.

To be sure, there is nothing good about Moore winning this runoff and the prospect of his becoming a United States Senator. In addition to the fact that he has twice been removed from his position of as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, Moore also has a long history of holding what can only be described as bizarre and bigoted views. He has, for example, called the September 11th attacks punishment aimed at the United States from God for accepting homosexuality and other alleged sins. He has also called for homosexuality itself to be outlawed. During the time that President Obama was in office, he sided with the discredited birther movement and said he did not believe the President was born in the United States even after the Obama White House produced the President’s birth certificate. He has also said that Muslims should not be permitted to serve in Congress, and made several supportive comments aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin. Most recently, Moore made comments that appear for all the world to be racist when he referred to “reds and yellows” in derogatory terms.

As Steven Stromberg puts it in The Washington Post, Moore’s victory is bad for the country as a whole:

Unburdened by a sense of responsibility or institutional tradition, Moore will have opportunity to use the considerable powers that individual senators possess to mangle the process of government. When votes will be needed to keep the government open, pass a budget or respond to a natural disaster, Moore is likely to join bomb-throwers such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in threatening counterproductive disruption if the country refuses to bend to his views. Once in the Senate, Moore is likely to remain there for many years, posing a unique challenge to whoever may run the chamber, Democrat or Republican, in the future.

Roy Moore stands for anarchy, disorder, disunity and conflict. His platform just got higher, and his power more considerable. Every minute he is in a position of national prominence, the country loses.

Longtime Republican campaign consultant Ed Rogers, meanwhile, calls Moore bad for Alabama and bad for the GOP:

Moore’s victory makes it more likely that marginal characters will run in GOP primaries nationwide next year, in some cases challenging incumbents who would otherwise have easy reelections. And along with Republicans being generally discouraged, the prospect of primaries may fuel unexpected retirements from the House and Senate that will make safe seats suddenly vulnerable and put the GOP majorities at greater risk. This phenomenon — combined with a diminished legislative agenda in Congress, an unpopular and volatile president, generic ballot polls showing a wide gap favoring Democrats and the fact that the party controlling the White House is supposed to take a beating in the midterms — does not bode well for Republicans in the 2018 elections. To say the least, momentum for the GOP is not building. This is not what a winning election cycle looks like. And let’s not forget that in politics, bad gets worse.4

(…)

Political predictions are foolish. It is a mistake to take today’s headlines and extrapolate to the next election. But Republicans are doing nothing to discourage Democrats about their prospects for 2018 by electing the likes of Moore. The idea that Moore’s victory was some kind of Bannonite strategy to strengthen Trump by diluting rational Republicans in the Senate with incapable crackpots is demented.

The bottom line for Republicans is, in Congress, within the White House and among the electorate, things are perilously close to being out of control. Our leaders, while discouraged, certainly don’t need to capitulate. But real Republicans need to start winning.

Thanks for nothing, Alabama Republicans.

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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. SenyorDave says:

    Nothing about Roy Moore is inconsistent with the current state of the Republican party. Their big money donors (Mercers, Kochs, etc.) could care less about the country. They want tax cuts and cheap, compliant labor, and will back anyone who they believe will deliver those items. A racist, homophobic nut job like Moore? No problem. A lying, amoral pig like Trump? No problem. Get in bed with the alt right, a bunch of nazi and klan wannabees ? If it will get them their tax cuts, they would back Hitler.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Waving that little pistol around on stage won them good old Bama boys over y’all..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. Mu says:

    The first thing Trump did this morning was erasing all his “I love Luther” tweets.
    Because the internet has no memory.

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

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Republicans today have a simple approach: they will support the bigger piece of sh!t in any race.

    The Party of Lincoln, ladies and gentlemen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  5. CSK says:

    @Mu:

    Trump’s managed to make a laughingstock of himself (among the non-Trumpkins, anyway) with that stunt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  6. drj says:

    Repeatedly violating the Constitution is apparently no impediment to becoming a Republican nominee for the Senate.

    And, of course, the rest of the GOP will, from now on, turn a blind eye, because it’s only the Constitution, amirite?

    There is just no saving that good-for-nothing, craven, un-American party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  7. CSK says:

    @drj:

    In his victory speech last night, Moore said his two priorities would be bringing the Constitution and God back to Congress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. drj says:

    @CSK:

    I guess irony isn’t quite dead yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  9. MBunge says:

    To be sure, there is nothing good about Moore winning this runoff and the prospect of his becoming a United States Senator.

    This is incorrect. Roy Moore did not emerge from nowhere and, as demonstrated by his apparently likelihood of victory, he is not outside the mainstream of the Alabama GOP. The good thing about his victory is that certain people will now have to deal with both of those facts.

    NEWSFLASH: Mitch McConnell is largely responsible for the state of the Alabama GOP. Not entirely, to be sure but he absolutely hasn’t done anything about anything that’s wrong with it. The real problem isn’t Moore. It isn’t Trump. The real problem is McConnell and all the other supposedly responsible people who either actively led us to this place or passively allowed it to happen.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  10. Tony W says:

    @MBunge: The real problem is that the Republican party has had to rely on an unholy merger of capitalists, religious nuts, and racists in order to piece together enough of a coalition to win elections – and even then they have to resort to gerrymandering and other voter-suppression techniques.

    Once they win, as others have said, they are the dog that finally caught the car they were chasing.

    Trump backed the wrong horse, albeit, with a wink to the religious/racists that supported Moore. A the leader of this motley crew, the blame is his, as will be the credit if he ever manages to get something done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  11. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Republicans today have a simple approach: they will support the bigger piece of sh!t in any race.

    That’s pretty much it. It could be a twice-suspended judge who believes in Christian Dominionism, or it could be a foul-mouthed pot-smoking rapper who supports gay marriage. The point is to pick whomever pisses off liberals the most. That’s the ultimate test of Trumpism, the raison detre. Whoever said a political movement couldn’t be diverse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    NEWSFLASH: Mitch McConnell is largely responsible for the state of the Alabama GOP. Not entirely, to be sure but he absolutely hasn’t done anything about anything that’s wrong with it. The real problem isn’t Moore. It isn’t Trump. The real problem is McConnell and all the other supposedly responsible people who either actively led us to this place or passively allowed it to happen.

    Mitch McConnell is to blame for the Alabama Republican voters’ decision to elect Roy Moore? 1,000 LOL’s up for that one.

    The real problem resides with the people who voted for Moore. You’re right in that it is not as if Moore is an unknown entity. No, Alabama Republican voters knew and know all about Judge Moore and his unconstitutional tendencies to prefer a merging of church and state.

    This election result should come as no surprise to anyone, and it is in fact completely consonant with todays’ Republican Party. And really, why would would Republican voters abandon the formula – extreme ideology with a preference for alternative-facts and an alternative reality does not exist – that has given them control of the entire federal government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  13. JohnMcC says:

    @MBunge: Wow! Sen McConnell personally shaped the Republican Party of Alabama! I am so freaking glad I read your posts here, Mike, so I can get the real inside dope on this kind of stuff. Who would have suspected that the Senate Majority Leader would have that sort of power if we didn’t have you to explain it.

    I was sure someone was going to explain how it is Obama’s fault. Thanks for straightening me out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  14. James Pearce says:

    While Democrats will no doubt try to pull out a win by running against Moore and his far-right views, the odds are decidedly against them and they would probably be wise to not invest too many resources into a campaign that is extremely unlikely to be successful.

    Republicans don’t struggle in the cities as much as the Dems do in the South.

    The Democrats would be wise to wonder why their entire enterprise is a complete waste of time, energy, and resources in the blackest state of the union.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  15. Tony W says:

    @James Pearce: Two words: Voter Suppression

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    Roy Moore is a religious nut. Electing religious nuts to high office is a horrible idea(As people in Rio de Janeiro are discovered after they elected an Evangelical Pastor as mayor).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Gee, why don’t you tell us? Share with us your insight, Pearce. Let me guess: we should stop calling racists racists and pretend that people who march with swastika flags are good Americans. Is that pretty much it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  18. Tyrell says:

    I have not heard much about Judge Roy and I will do some educational research on a selection of his legal judgments before I form any sort of opinions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  19. MBunge says:

    I know Trump butt hurt has led to some possibly permanent brain damage around here, but this takes the cake. Trying to absolve Mitch “The #1 goal is defeating Obama” McConnell of his responsibility for the state of the Alabama GOP?

    POP QUIZ: How many times has Mitch McConnell publicly criticized Roy Moore?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  20. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Do you want to win or do you want to lose?

    Actually, that’s not quite right when it comes to you.

    Do you want to do something that actually helps the country or do you just want to keep massaging your wounded ego?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  21. Andre Kenji says:

    James Pearce is right that Democrats need to increase their share of the White Vote and their share of the rural vote. At least to the point that some Southern states could be competitive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    If winning means becoming a sad little cult member like you, acting as mouthpiece for Nazi sympathizers, I’ll choose losing. I won’t surrender my integrity as a human being. I seem to lack the groveling, self-abnegating gene.

    I’m not you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. James Pearce says:

    @Tony W: Three better words: Lack of interest.

    Maybe the Dems need to run a black candidate. There’s a small percentage of AL voters who are reluctant to vote for white candidates of either party. They just stay home.

    Not voter suppression necessary. Just lack of interest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  24. wr says:

    @MBunge: POP QUIZ: How many times did you vote for Trump?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “There’s a small percentage of AL voters who are reluctant to vote for white candidates of either party. They just stay home. Not voter suppression necessary. Just lack of interest.”

    Yep, you got it. It’s them lazy black folk who are just too busy eating watermelon and dancing to go to the polls. Sure, some city slickers like to say that just because we pass laws making it incredibly difficult for the coloreds to vote, it’s our fault. But if they had any git-up-and-go, well, damn, they’d be voting all over the place.

    You really put your finger on it this time. No wonder you’re so darn convinced white guys are better than everyone else — you just look at yourself and you know! You just be sure not to let anyone ever call you a racist. They’re all just a pack of greedy Jews, anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  26. JohnMcC says:

    “…(W)e have reds and yellows fighting…” Am I the only person here who remembers the Fireside Theater. “They’re out in the jungle, sarge, shooting reds and yellows” “Good!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    It’s them lazy black folk who are just too busy eating watermelon and dancing to go to the polls.

    Three upvotes for a bunch of embarrassing racial stereotypes?

    The south is perma-red not because the white people are so good at keeping the black people down. (They kinda suck at it, to be honest.) It’s perma-red because the tens of millions of black people living down there have no choice but to vote for white Dems saddle them with, and there’s just enough of an enthusiasm gap, that it’s the white dude from the GOP who gets to win.

    I see how it is, though: Suggest Dems run more black candidates to win in the south, you get slimed. But perpetuate a bunch of nasty stereotypes, thumbs up!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  28. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    Three upvotes for a bunch of embarrassing racial stereotypes?

    You’re telling me you’ve never heard of sarcasm now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. Tony W says:

    @James Pearce: I don’t know who you think is running things for the Democratic party down south, but I guarantee that if you were right – if Southern states simply failed to run any black candidates – they probably would have caught on by now.

    Black votes are suppressed. Centuries of misery due to everything from redlining to literacy tests to outright thievery. Crack possession is a felony, powdered cocaine, a misdemeanor. Felons are permanently disenfranchised. Poor black neighborhoods are given a fraction of the number of polling places with shorter voting hours than middle-class white neighborhoods. Lines are long, voting happens on a workday – Tuesday.

    Voting is the most optimistic thing we do in a democracy – optimism is for those who think there’s a chance somebody cares. African Americans have a lot of evidence that nobody does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  30. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    You’re telling me you’ve never heard of sarcasm now?

    Oh, so that’s what that was….
    Reply to Tony W:

    Poor black neighborhoods are given a fraction of the number of polling places with shorter voting hours than middle-class white neighborhoods. Lines are long, voting happens on a workday – Tuesday.

    See, Tony, when they’ll go the limited polling places with shorter hours and stand in long Tuesday lines to vote for Obama, but won’t do that for Clinton it’s not voter suppression. It’s an enthusiasm gap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  31. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Tony W: And probably more so in places where blacks are used to the idea that whites not only don’t care but are overtly hostile to the idea that they should.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Tyrell says:

    @Andre Kenji: Most of the people around here where I am at are Democrats: members of the southern wing. A Republican wouldn’t even win an election for assistant dog catcher.
    The Democrat leaders are going to have to make some course changes. The national party is so far over in left field they are in foul territory!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  33. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Am I the only person here who remembers the Fireside Theater.

    I think you mean Firesign Theater. Very inconsistent, but at their best there was never anyone funnier.

    “Want some fire water, Injun?”

    “No, our elders taught us not to consume anything that would make us sick or stupid.”

    “Heh. [Aside:] Put it in their well.”

    “That’s not a well; it’s the Eye of the Sacred Serpent Mound.”

    “It’s a beaut.”

    “No, it’s a mound.”

    “And right purty, too.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “See, Tony, when they’ll go the limited polling places with shorter hours and stand in long Tuesday lines to vote for Obama, but won’t do that for Clinton it’s not voter suppression. It’s an enthusiasm gap.”

    See, James, when they go to the limited polling places and stand in line for eight or twelve hours to vote for Obama, that is an extraordinary expression of huge enthusiasm. And yeah, maybe they don’t have that about Hillary.

    But funny thing — the white voters? They don’t have to stand in line for eight or ten or twelve hours. They can go in and vote for just a regular candidate who isn’t someone they’ve been waiting for all their lives.

    So clearly you’re right. Black votes are lazy and Democrats suck because they can’t regularly find candidates for whom voters are willing to stand in line for eight or ten or twelve hours, even missing a day of work to do so. While Republicans are peachy keen, because they can put up any creep that no one gives a damn about, and their voters will stand in line for two or three minutes to vote for him.

    Thank you so much for explaining that voter suppression has nothing to do with it. You’ve really cleared it up for us. If only Democrats run a long series of once-in-a-generation politicians, then they can win, and if they don’t, they’re losers.

    Funny thing — there’s an old saying about how a black guy or a woman has to be twice as good as a white man to get the same job. Thanks for demonstrating how that works! Please pass this along to all your minority neighbors — I’m sure they’ll agree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  35. Scott O says:

    @James Pearce:

    See, Tony, when they’ll go the limited polling places with shorter hours and stand in long Tuesday lines to vote for Obama, but won’t do that for Clinton it’s not voter suppression. It’s an enthusiasm gap.

    According to Wikipedia, these are the presidential election results in Alabama since 2000

    Bush 56.5, Gore 41.6
    Bush 62.46, Kerry 36.84
    McCain 60.32, Obama 38.74
    Romney 60.55, Obama 38.36
    Trump 62.08, Clinton 34.36

    There is no way in the world a black candidate could win in Alabama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    POP QUIZ: How many times has Mitch McConnell publicly criticized Roy Moore?

    ANSWER:
    Mitch is an experienced political professional, there really was no need to criticize either candidate. Mitch spent little time weighing in on Luther Strange or Roy Moore because both are conservative who will vote straight party-line Republican no matter what.

    REAL POP QUIZ:
    Which president of the United States was the loser in this instance?

    REAL ANSWER:
    The loser in this one was President ‘Butt Hurt’ Trump, who wasted political capital on Luther, and decided to pitch ultra-patriotism to his Alabama base (white guys) while at the same time SOB’ing those NFL anthem protesters (black guys). Great for his base (lwhites), not so great for for the rest of the majority of voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    See, Tony, when they’ll go the limited polling places with shorter hours and stand in long Tuesday lines to vote for Obama, but won’t do that for Clinton it’s not voter suppression.

    White people don’t HAVE to stand in line for hours and miss a day of work, because the racists who populate the state board of elections make goddamn sure WHITE neighborhoods have plenty of polling places while they reduce the number of polling places in BLACK neighborhoods.

    THAT. IS. VOTER. SUPPRESSION.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    The Democrat leaders are going to have to make some course changes. The national party is so far over in left field they are in foul territory!

    Here we go again … “far over in left field” ? How so?
    You may not have heard but, since the 2008 crash, Obama and Democrats presided over nearly 7 consecutive years of steady positive economic growth, increased employment, low inflation, strong equity markets, a revived housing markets, and recovery of $18 trillion in our wealth lost in the 2008 crash.

    So, what exactly is “far out in left field”? I can think of nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. JohnMcC says:

    @DrDaveT: Indeed. Thanx for the link and the reminder that memory is imprecise. And there are a few lines from their albums that still crack me up: “I spell my name DANGER!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Tony W says:

    @James Pearce: Obama didn’t win Alabama

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    So clearly you’re right. Black votes are lazy

    I said they were disinterested in voting for white candidates. I didn’t say they were lazy. Democrats are lazy. And yes, I realize there is some overlap there. How awfully tone deaf of me.

    @Mikey:

    the racists who populate the state board of elections make goddamn sure WHITE neighborhoods have plenty of polling places

    A) Jump through the hoops. B) Vote the “racists who populate the state board of elections” out.

    @Scott O:

    There is no way in the world a black candidate could win in Alabama.

    A black conservative would find that task easier.

    @Tony W:

    Obama didn’t win Alabama

    But he did win both of his elections. Black turnout in 2012 was higher than white turn out. It was down 7 points last year.

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  42. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    A) Jump through the hoops. B) Vote the “racists who populate the state board of elections” out.

    I’m glad you’ve acknowledged the reality of voter suppression.

    Still, why should they have to do any of these things? When “jump through the hoops” means losing half a day’s pay when you’re already having to decide between a new pair of shoes and a trip to the grocery store, why do you believe they should have to settle for “hey, just suck it up and take it, and if you don’t it’s your own damn fault the racist candidate wins.”

    Like @wr said…the black person has to do twice the work for the same result, simply because they’re black. “Jump through the hoops” is not a solution.

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  43. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    When “jump through the hoops” means losing half a day’s pay when you’re already having to decide between a new pair of shoes and a trip to the grocery store, why do you believe they should have to settle for “hey, just suck it up and take it, and if you don’t it’s your own damn fault the racist candidate wins.”

    Um, I clearly don’t. I am arguing that black people will endure what they have to endure in order to vote for black candidates, but they will not go through the same nonsense to vote for white candidates. This is not an argument FOR voting restrictions.

    It’s an argument for more black candidates, fewer “white savior” ones.

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  44. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    I am arguing that black people will endure what they have to endure in order to vote for black candidates, but they will not go through the same nonsense to vote for white candidates.

    They’ll go through the nonsense to vote for the first black President in American history. But that’s a one-time thing by definition. There shouldn’t be any “nonsense,” no additional obstacles for minorities to clear. Minority voters should find it just as easy to vote as white voters, even in “normal” elections. But they don’t, and they don’t because of directed suppression efforts.

    It’s an argument for more black candidates

    That would be ideal, certainly. We in Virginia have the opportunity to vote for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor, and it will be interesting to see how his candidacy affects minority turnout compared to 2013.

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  45. Mikey says:

    @Mikey: To add to my first point above: there shouldn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime or once-in-a-generation candidate to get minority voters motivated so they come out and clear the additional hurdles. White voters vote for mediocre candidates all the time because we can just go vote. Why must there be some extra set of expectations for minorities?

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  46. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    Minority voters should find it just as easy to vote as white voters, even in “normal” elections.

    In the land of Voter ID laws, white people have to acquire government-issued IDs and show them, too. It’s assumed that this is burdensome to black people, and maybe so, but let’s not assume it’s burdensome only to black people.

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  47. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    Why must there be some extra set of expectations for minorities?

    You tell me. I believe that the only thing that separates white people from black people are some superficial appearance-based differences.

    I don’t believe in fundamental differences between the races.

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  48. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    It’s assumed that this is burdensome to black people, and maybe so, but let’s not assume it’s burdensome only to black people.

    Some white people get caught up in it too, but don’t kid yourself. It’s intended to be specifically burdensome to minorities.

    You tell me.

    I’m asking you because you seem to be fine with them, placing the blame on the minorities for insufficient motivation if they decide–as most people would in similar circumstances–the requirements are too onerous to make casting a vote worth the lost time and wages.

    They’re not acting any differently than white people would given the same obstacles. They’re just directly targeted in ways white people aren’t.

    I don’t believe in fundamental differences between the races.

    Other people certainly do, and those in power do all they can to ensure people of color have additional difficulty getting to the polls and voting.

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  49. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    placing the blame on the minorities for insufficient motivation

    To be clear: I don’t blame the minorities for being insufficiently motivated to vote for Democrats.

    I blame the Democrats themselves.

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  50. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “It’s assumed that this is burdensome to black people, and maybe so, but let’s not assume it’s burdensome only to black people.”

    Right. It’s a coincidence that there’s at most one place to get an ID in areas where poor blacks live… and that place is open two hours a week in the middle of a work day… but there are plenty of ways to get ID in wealthy areas.

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  51. James Pearce says:

    @wr: Who cares what it is? Go get an ID, then vote the bums out.

    Listen to Chumbawumba:

    I get knocked down, but I get up again
    You are never gonna keep me down

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  52. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “That’s right, Mrs. Smith. You need to travel 35 miles on a Tuesday morning even though you don’t have a car and you’ll need to spend several hours transferring to multiple buses. This does mean you’ll miss a day of work, so either you’ll lose a day’s pay or you’ll be fired. And when you actually get to the office, the odds are they’re going to reject your documentation and come back another day — or three. But that’s okay. Mr. Pearce has a nifty lyric from a decades-old pop song, so you should take onto yourself this long, painful and expensive fight simply for the right to vote which white people are given freely. Oh, and if you don’t you deserve to be governed by racists who will pass laws making your live even harder.”

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  53. James Pearce says:

    @wr: What else are you going to do about it?

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  54. Mikey says:

    Reads this @James Pearce comment, facepalms, slowly shakes head, gets up from seat, as all hope for humanity slowly drains away

    Fvck this, I’m going to watch The Orville.

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  55. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey: The Orville? Get it while you can. You know how Fox is. Me, I’m smoking that PBS Vietnam documentary like it’s crack.

    What part made you face palm? The part about putting forth black candidates for black people to get excited about? The part where vote suppression laws can be overcome by more voting, no matter how hard it is? Maybe it’s the part about getting up nine times after being knocked down eight.

    I don’t see what’s so controversial about that. Yeah, I reject the usual progressive pablum about white privilege. So what?

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    the blackest state of the union

    I didn’t catch this at first, and I’m surprised no else did. Alabama is not “the blackest state of the union.” It is not even second place. It is not even third place. Here is the breakdown, per the 2010 census:

    1. Mississippi
    2. Louisiana
    3. Georgia
    4. Maryland
    5. South Carolina
    6. Alabama

    So there are five states with a larger percentage of African Americans than Alabama, including one solid-blue state (MD). The only state on the entire list that could be remotely described as a swing state is Georgia. And guess what? Clinton outperformed Obama in Georgia. So much for your theory.

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  57. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    Alabama is not “the blackest state of the union.” It is not even second place.

    Well…you’re technically right, I suppose. (AL actually has more black people living in it than MS, though.)

    So I revise it to read “one of the blackest states.” Doesn’t change much, really.

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  58. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    What part made you face palm?

    Dude, if you have to ask, all the Internet’s bandwidth won’t be sufficient for me trying to explain.

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  59. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “What else are you going to do about it?”

    Guess I’ll call all Democrats a bunch of losers, whine that white men are the world’s true victims, and then claim that only I know how to fix all the country’s problems, but will never suggest a single solution to any issue. Seems to work for you!

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  60. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    all the Internet’s bandwidth won’t be sufficient for me trying to explain.

    Try anyway.

    @wr:

    Guess I’ll call all Democrats a bunch of losers, whine that white men are the world’s true victims, and then claim that only I know how to fix all the country’s problems, but will never suggest a single solution to any issue. Seems to work for you!

    A) The Democrats are a bunch of losers. They’ve been getting shellacked for years and it’s always something external that’s to blame: voter suppression, racism, sexism, white privilege. They’re lost at sea and clinging to the only thing they can: a raft of excuses.

    B) White man are not the world’s true victims, despite the pathetic attempts by the progressive left tries to victimize us. Anti-white male animus is just racism, pure and simple and just as pathetic and stupid as it always is; It’s not “social justice.”

    C) I’ve proposed my “solutions” but no one wants to hear them because they’re hard. The progressive left wants to protest and they want to mood affiliate (subscribe to the Times!), but they don’t want to sweat or blister their hands. I’m beyond NOT being impressed by that. No wonder so many problems persist!

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  61. wr says:

    @James Pearce: And… the nation faces a disastrous straw shortage, and the entire harvest has been used to make straw men for Pearce to fight against…

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  62. James Pearce says:

    @wr: Ah, I love it when the exchange of ideas devolves into the exchange of insults…

    I guess that means I win, right?

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  63. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    Why do you always blame every single group for every single thing with the exception of white men?

    To your Alabama being (one of) blackest state(s) argument:
    There are still about twice as many non-hispanic white people as there are African Americans in Alabama. Growing up there and still having family there I can tell you that means that there as many or more white racists in Alabama as there are black people. Here I’m talking about unmistakably racist folk, not just I don’t understand or recognize white privilege folk, but “I’m not a racist, but…” folk. Couple this with a long history of disenfranchisement that has most of the African American deeply distrustful of state institutions and a raft of voter suppression efforts on behalf of the white population and it is easy for most to see why your “just pick a black candidate” suggestion won’t work. It is beyond not being able to see the forest for the trees, it is not being able to see the forest for the bark that you are repeatedly jamming into your own eyes.

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  64. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    Try anyway.

    It’s pointless, James, because you reject one of the fundamental realities.

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  65. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    it is easy for most to see why your “just pick a black candidate” suggestion won’t work.

    But football players taking a knee during the anthem will? Stopping traffic on the highway has a better chance for success?

    Wait, wait, I know. We can lecture every white man on privilege. That’ll work, right?

    I say, dispense with ALL of that, focus on the goal of getting black people elected in the places where black people live, but you guys says, no, it won’t work?

    @Mikey

    you reject one of the fundamental realities

    “White privilege” is not a “reality.” It’s an idea. It’s an argument (as in, “a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong”)

    As such, it can be challenged. It can be argued against. It can be revised and amended and even perfected….provided, that is, that you acknowledge it’s only an argument.

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  66. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:

    I say, dispense with ALL of that,

    Yes, you go on about how people should shut up and not protest ad nauseum. You seem to care about people protesting more than you care about what they are protesting about. While I (and pretty much everyone) understands that protest, particularly any one protest, alone won’t be world changing.it is part of a process that does change people’s minds over time. You know what really doesn’t change anything for the better? Nagging protesters because you don’t like how they choose to fight for the change you are doing nothing to advance.

    focus on the goal of getting black people elected in the places where black people live, but you guys says, no, it won’t work?

    Nobody has argued against getting minorities elected where we can, including but not limited to minority neighborhoods. One of the more important initial steps in that process is getting people excited and motivated to participate in the political process. One of the places people get motivated to get involved is at these protests. If you ever went to one you would see organizers there signing people up to do the hard work that follows. They don’t tend to show that on tv to the people that stay home and bellyache about how people try to effect change.

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  67. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    Yes, you go on about how people should shut up and not protest ad nauseum.

    I don’t tell people to shut up. I ask them questions.

    I doubt the efficacy of protest and question whether those efforts can be channeled in a more productive manner. It’s nice that protest gets people “motivated,” but a different set of skills is needed for enacting political change than those that are needed at the protest. Those skills have atrophied in the “protest everything” era.

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