Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ha ha ha ha ha wrong.

So screamed the headline at Yahoo: Doug Jones's victory in Alabama is an ominous sign for Republicans. Uh, no.
Democrat Doug Jones shocked this state, and the country, by defeating Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate special election Tuesday, a victory that sounds a loud warning to the White House and the Republican Party.

Jones’s victory is a shot in the arm for Democrats, who are hoping that anger at Trump and congressional Republicans will fuel a “wave” election in 2018, flipping the U.S. House of Representatives, and perhaps even the Senate, blue.
Nope. So much nope. Not shocking. No warning. Says nothing about other races.
Moore’s defeat means that Trump has now suffered three consecutive losses. He first backed Moore’s opponent, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary only to see him lose to Moore. Then, last month, voters in Virginia turned out in historic numbers to deliver a massive rebuke to Trump in the elections for governor and state legislature.
So Trump's first loss was within a Republican primary? How does that help Democrats? As for Virginia, it's a reliably blue state. Trump should lose there. Yet, it came down to the wire and the legislature wasn't decided for weeks after the election because it was that close. That's hardly "a massive rebuke." To the contrary, it should be freaking Democrats out.

As for this Roy Moore thing having meaning, that's obviously wrong. Moore is an historically detestable candidate. Moore is a fringer even among the fringe. He is a rotten grandstander and self-promoter who abused the state supreme court, flowed with hate, apparently liked to diddle teenage girls, and whose wife was oddly uncomfortable with Jews. He is exactly the type of man the GOP needs to be driving out of their ranks. And unless the GOP starts running guys like this in other states, then this election has no lesson attached except that even Alabama will vote against a frothy fringer when they become too embarrassing. Trying to read this as some sort of ominous sign for the GOP is a joke. It is idiocy in action. It is to misunderstand what has happened so fundamentally as to make the proponent grossly negligent in their analysis. Said differently, it makes them a Yahoo employee.

The only real takeaway from Moore is that some chunk of the GOP remains blind to reality and prefers to see themselves as martyrs rather than Americans. That's it.


LL said...

It's good that the Democrats mis-read the tea leaves.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I agree... and boy do they keep misreading them!

ArgentGale said...

That sounds about right to me. Moore was as fringe as it got so him losing wasn't a surprise. I figure Jones will get tossed out in the next election provided the Alabama GOP doesn't nominate another fringer. If he actually pushes the leftist platform he ran on it shouldn't take much to bring him down. Let's hope the GOP learned the right lessons from this.

Tennessee Jed said...

Still, I find is dis-comforting Republicans can't seem to really take aadvantage of a historic opportunity. Trump is, in many ways, a unique president. He shoots himself in the foot, but I'm not sure any of the "conventional" politicians would have pulled off the election last year. Not having a health care reform plan is unbelievable and a blot on congress. We got a decent Justice approved. The Dems are a mess as well, but they do have election anger on their side. I digress, though. Unbelievable Alabama could not have come up with better Republican choices

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I think he's doomed in the next cycle. He basically was elected as "not Moore." And the moment Moore is going, he will be gone. It was like what's his name in Massachusetts, who held the seat until the next election as a message to Obama.

In terms of learning the lesson, I doubt it. Most of the GOP already knows it. But there is a group who simply don't understand how rotten and out-of-touch with America a guy like Moore is.

Anonymous said...

Jed, what you said.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. I think it shows the blindness of the "political class," that they don't see how poisonous guys like Moore are. The GOP needs to purse them and get back to people like Reagan who could reach both left and right.

I also don't see a legitimate agenda from anyone on the right. Instead, they re just looking at how to undo Obama, which isn't an agenda.

Anthony said...


I initially didn't say anything because your thinking and mine were the same on this issue (I had posted thoughts about Moore in Bev's open thread). However I just read an interesting article by Rasmussen which changed my thinking.
His key point was that unless they start getting stuff done in Washington Republicans can expect more Moores to win primaries and lose winnable seats.

Since GOP voters have come to see little value in sending traditional Republicans to Washington, they have become more and more attracted to people who will fight the status quo. Occasionally, that leads to a quality Senator like Mike Lee from Utah. More often, however, it leads to candidates like Roy Moore, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who lose elections that Republicans should win.

Establishment leaders are correct to point out that a more careful vetting process and thoughtful candidate selection would lead to more Republican victories. But that doesn't mean they are blameless in the party's Civil War. Quite the opposite, in fact; a health leadership would seek out quality candidates who can truly represent their voters, run a successful campaign, and then deliver on their promises.

tryanmax said...

To my eye, the strongest evidence that nothing can be gleaned from the Alabama Senate special election is that there is zero agreement on what can be gleaned. I was howling during my commute listening to the radio guy sincerely rambling through every conceivable interpretation, concluding with conviction that it's Bannon's fault that McConnell tanked Brooks forcing Trump to back Strange which threw support to Moore which the derp state was counting on to elect Jones.

If anything, we should go back to the lesson repeated again and again in 2016: staying out of the news is good for poll numbers. All I know about Jones is that he is apparently wildly pro-abortion. Moore did what most of us would do, when the spotlight was shined on him, he swung it onto his accusers, who in turn swung it right back. When he had control of the spotlight, he should have swung it onto his political opponent, not with implications that Jones was behind the smear (though you do suggest it in passing), but with separate charges that Moore would not be a part of.

I'm finally beginning to understand what is meant by being on the offence politically. No one had ever explained it, probably because they didn't know what it meant themselves or, if they did, they took it so for granted that they couldn't do it anymore anyway.

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