Alabama rejects Roy Moore and elects Doug Jones, and it is a political earthquake

Alabama rejects Roy Moore and elects Doug Jones, and it is a political earthquake
Doug Jones and his wife at his victory celebration. Photo Credit: Doug Jones for Senate

The San Andreas Fault? Piffle that is nothing. The Pacific Ring of Fire? Don’t bother me with trivial seismic events. Not since the earthquake of 1812 along the New Madrid Fault that caused the Mississippi River to flow backward has their been a seismic event in America as significant as the political earthquake in Alabama yesterday.

In an anorexic margin, Democrat Doug Jones defeats Republican Roy Moore 49.92% to 48.38% of the vote. Moore is not conceding yet. The victory will drop the GOP majority in the US Senate to 51 to 49.

A margin that narrow will surely give Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sleepless nights. Senator-Elect Jones will not take his seat until after January 1, 2018. That will provide McConnell and the GOP some breathing room on the tax bill if they can vote before the end of the year on a final deal, and if The White House does not alienate more Republican Senators.

After January 1, McConnell will become Majority Babysitter for an infantile President who has no filters on twitter. The Twit-in-Chief has become a powerful tool of the Democrats in helping to defeat onerous Bills as they march through Congress.

As in all elections, there are winners and losers, and not all of them are candidates.

The Winners

Doug Jones. Senator-Elect Jones is a distinguished lawyer with a remarkable career. He ran a very tight campaign that was not about him directly. Mr. Jones kept the campaign focus on the rule of law and decency. From a campaign standpoint, he has a campaign manager’s dream resume. During his career, the Candidate stood up against the Klan in a Southern State for the murder of a young girl. He is a pillar of the community, well spoken, and in a manner that is so uniquely Southern, he is gracious.

African-Americans. One thing the GOP has counted on in the reddest of the red states is for the African-American vote to stay home. That did not happen in this election in now Purple-State Alabama. African-Americans had enough. The NAACP organized a ground game and delivered the vote.

Senator Charles Schumer and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The GOP used the Senator and Representative Pelosi as a pejorative during the campaign. In 2012, Democrats, and especially then Speaker-Pelosi became GOP smears for elitism and for excluding the average American in political decisions. They used the Affordable Care Act and the Speaker’s unfortunate comment that we have to pass the legislation so we can then read it and see what is in it as a weapon against Democrats. Ironically, the GOP is doing the same thing with the Tax Bill. Voters did not buy the line.

The Losers

Roy Moore. If Doug Jones is a campaign manager’s dream, Roy Moore is a campaign manager’s nightmare. His bigotry is thinly veiled; he has a history of immoral behavior and questionable legal decisions. Thrown off the bench for incompetence, one must wonder just what was going through the heads of voters when they chose him in the primary?

Steve Bannon. Moore was Bannon’s choice. Let’s put an end to the notion that Bannon is a conservative or even a Republican. He is neither. He is an ultra-nationalist and would-be neo-fascist who has done extreme damage to the GOP, and to the nation as a whole. It is hard to find quality candidates who are ultra-nationalists or neo-fascists since both movements are so anti-American and anti-Constitution that voters usually reject them.

The only way Bannon and his extremists can win is to hijack a major political party. Until yesterday, they had done precisely that. Is this the beginning of the end of America’s most recent flirtation with neo-fascism? It happened before, and with the GOP in the 1930s.

Donald Trump. President Trump ran against the establishment. Now, he is the establishment. He endorsed Moore’s opponent in the GOP primary and lost. He comes up the loser again. I hope he does not change. He helps Democrats get elected.

Fundamentalist Christianity. While Bannon has been intent on hijacking the GOP, the GOP has been working overtime to kidnap Jesus. It did not work yesterday. Fundamentalist ministers endorsed a man who has a past of soliciting sex from minors. A man who said Government is God, which is idolatry. A man who says that sex with children may not be by force, therefore not rape. A man who thinks a woman’s sexual history is fair game in a rape case.

What would Jesus do? That is a question faithful Christians often use as a litmus test to guide their behavior. I have a hard time believing Jesus would starve the poor, take away the healthcare of the poor who are sick, and put the elderly out in a pasture to die.

Continued political involvement by ministers will empty the pews one day. People come to religion to find spiritual food and not have political fodder shoved down their throats. How many people are the ministers turning away from Christianity with their screwy politics? If they do believe in God and think they will stand before God in judgment one day, they need to think about their political behavior and how they alienate people in the pews.

The Abortion Issue. I should say, the abortion non-issue. Some Southern GOP friends speak to me in spite of my leaving the party and becoming a Democrat. The still like me and think my departure from the GOP is due to a sunstroke or perhaps early onset of dementia. They told me they think Moore is a reprobate and immoral. They say the same thing about Trump. They believe the GOP is the party of the wealthy and create policies that harm them and harm America. They voted for Trump, and they were on the fence about Moore. The one and the only reason they vote Republican is abortion. It is their sincerely held religious belief that it is wrong.

For many years, the Democrats and the GOP have been using abortion to keep the faithful in line. It is hypocritical that they do. They know that as long as Roe v Wade is in effect, there is no law written that will overturn abortion.

When candidates tell you they are protecting a woman’s right to an abortion, when candidates say to you they will end abortion, they are not being truthful. The candidates are doing one of two things. First, they are lying to manipulate and use people’s beliefs and fears for political gain. Second, they may be merely speaking from rank ignorance, not recognizing there is something called the Supreme Court, and they have a say in things too.

Senators could tell constituents they will vote only to confirm judges who are pro-life or pro-choice. No judge that is willing to pre-judge a case based on their personal politics or religion has any business on the bench. Their jobs are to judge cases on the merits of law, and not religious or political merit. Leave the politics to the politicians.

Just ask Roy Moore what happens to judges who pre-judge cases. He will tell you.

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