Alabama, Senate race, Doug Jones, No Moore, Trump, Bannon, Republicans

The People of Alabama Said “No Moore”

By Susan Kuebler

In a stunning rebuke to both Donald Trump and his prophet crying in the wilderness Steve Bannon, the people of Alabama went to the polls yesterday and, putting decency ahead of expediency, country ahead of party, to elect the Democrat candidate Doug Jones to replace Jeff Sessions in the United States Senate. Elected Republicans across the country should wake up this morning to the dawning realization that the “Trump Brand” is toxic.

This is the third time in recent months that a candidate endorsed by Trump has lost.  First it was Ed Gillespie who was running for governor of Virginia.  By all accounts Gillespie was not a bad person, but he made a bad decision when he decided to embrace Trump’s rhetoric regarding the dangers of immigrants from Latin Americans and “sanctuary” cities.  The irony here being that there are no sanctuary cities in Virginia.

Next, Trump managed to endorse not one, but two losing candidates in the Alabama Senate race.  Both of them, of course, were Republicans.  It’s hard to imagine a state any redder than Alabama, so it would need a truly godawful candidate to lose to a Democrat there.  But Trump and his buddy Steve Bannon managed to find him.  And that was Judge Roy Moore.  Enough has been written about what a truly terrible person this man is.  But we owe the people of Alabama a debt of gratitude for recognizing that he was unfit to serve any longer in public office.

Some people are scratching their heads and wondering “How could this guy who was so popular that he won the Presidency last year become the “kiss of death” for other Republicans running for office in less than a year?” Let’s be honest.  A lot of people weren’t really paying attention to Donald Trump during the election and they had never had a candidate or a president so willing to flat-out lie to their faces.  Many tried to brush it off with the “take him seriously, not literally” excuse.  The Democrats bear some of the blame as well because Hillary Clinton was possibly the only candidate he could beat.  Nevertheless, she still got over 3 million more votes than he did.

But Trump has now been in the public eye for over a year now.  Especially on Twitter.  People have seen his out-and-out lies, some of them laughably bad.  They have seen him say that there “were some good people” marching with the Nazis in Charlottesville.  They have seen his petty, vindictive attacks including his war of words with the father of an NCAA player who did not “thank him enough” when the players were released by China.  The people have seen all of this and they don’t like what they see.

Trump naturally weighed in on the election results.  His first tweet must have been written by a staff member, as it was dignified and measured.  But the second one was pure Trump.

Nope, his numbers did not go up “mightily” after you endorsed him.  And he lost to Roy Moore.  Please tell us Mr. Trump when and where you said that Roy Moore would not be able to win the General Election.  Was it during the rally you held for him in Pensacola?  Did you slip that into the robo calls you made just days before the election?  And “the deck was stacked against him!”?  Seriously, what deck?  He was running as the Republican nominee in a state that had not elected a Democrat since 1992.  If anyone had the deck stacked against him, it was Doug Jones.

The excuse-making and blame-sharing has already started, and will no doubt continue on Fox News in the days and weeks to come.  Roy Moore has refused to concede the election (not a legal requirement) and says he will call for a recount, but in Alabama his margin of defeat does not meet the requirement for a recount.

But it’s not just in high-level elections the “Trump” effect is dragging candidates down.  Democats have been quietly winning in state and local elections winning seats from Georgia to Kansas.  And many, many more are registering to run against Republican incumbents, from Congress to Mayor.

Voters are waking up to the fact that Trump is what happens when you’re not paying attention.  Despite his claims of a “landslide” victory, only 26 percent of the eligible voters in the United States cast their ballots for Donald Trump.

Turnout was doubtless a key factor in Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama last night.  Some of that credit goes to Trump.  He has motivated voters to get out and support people who oppose him.  Trump and McConnell both said that the people of Alabama should say who should represent them.  Well last night they did.  And it was a big, fat NO to Roy Moore and Donald Trump.

Trump did make one good point in another tweet this morning:

Sadly, thanks to Donald Trump and his followers, there are no longer any GREAT Republican candidates willing to run.  In fact, we have seen a large number of Republican incumbents resigning from Congress rather than run in a Trump-led Republican Party.  And a recent Gallup poll shows that the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans has dropped from 42 percent last November to 37 percent this November, while the number of Democrats has remained steady at 44 percent.

These trends have led many to question if the Republican Party itself can survive much longer, or if a viable, moderate third party has a chance to make its presence felt on the national landscape.  Next year could see some major shifts in American politics.

"All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well". Julian of Norwich.

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