The most odious candidate in the history of U.S. Politics was defeated by only about 1% point difference in the vote. This is hardly a cause for celebration.
The left-wing media, such as National People's Radio is crowing the victory in Alabama. But was this really a victory of any significance? Doug Jones will serve about two years before having to run again to defend his seat in 2020. If the GOP cleans up the primary process and prevents another Roy Moore from running, they will likely reclaim this seat.
In the meantime, the Republicans still hold a majority in the Senate - at least until the 2018 elections. A lot can happen between now and then, including this half-assed tax "reform" legislation being passed.
The media has been calling this a watershed moment, claiming that Alabama has turned into a blue State. They have been saying this vote was a referendum on Donald Trump and a sign that the country is turning against Trumpism.
We could hope that, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Our primary process tends to amplify the voices of extremists - which is why Bernie Sanders, a candidate who should never have come as close to being nominated as he was, generated such interest. Primaries bring out the far left and far right, but the centrists seem to stay home. If Luther Strange had won the primary, the end result would have been far different.
Roy Moore was a toxic candidate. You could not image a worse person to run for office. While not quite Hitler, his awfulness credentials run pretty long:
1. He was thrown off the Supreme Court of Alabama for putting a statue of the ten commandments in the courthouse - and then refusing to remove it under court order.
2. He was thrown off the Supreme Court of Alabama again for refusing to recognize the Supreme Court (of the US) decision about gay marriage. He went on record saying that States do not have to follow Federal law.
3. He stated in an interview on a conspiracy theory website that every amendment of the Constitution past the 10th was a mistake. This is to say the right to vote for women and abolishing slavery were mistakes.
4. On that same interview, he expressed his belief that 9/11 was an "inside job" as well as his belief in other conspiracy theories.
5. He dated and had sex with girls half his age - most barely of legal age, and one age 14 - which would be considered statutory rape in most States.
6. He told a black audience member at a recent political rally that the world was a better place when we had slavery.
The list goes on and on. This guy is a nutjob.
That people didn't turn out to vote for him, and that others wrote in other candidates' names isn't all that surprising.
What is surprising is exactly how much outrage a GOP candidate has to generate before black voters become energized enough to vote. And how much outrage a GOP candidate has to generate before Republicans - even in small numbers - turn against him. What exactly does it take to get peoples attention these days?
Oh, and this election isn't over by a long shot. I would not be surprised if a poll worker suddenly "finds" a box of ballots in the trunk of his car - all for Roy Moore, of course. Or the absentee ballots all trend Moore (Absentee ballots tend to be overwhelmingly Republican for many reasons - many are cast by military members. Also, the GOP has been accused of ballot-box stuffing with absentee ballots). Or they may have a drawn-out recount. Whatever. This is Alabama we're talking about.
And this presumes some redneck doesn't take a potshot at Doug Jones.
The GOP wins elections through chicanery. We just passed the anniversary of Bush v. Gore, where Gore won the popular vote, but lost in the electoral college (as did Trump). And of course, the GOP maintains a majority in the House and Senate by gerrymandering districts into tortured shapes such that Democratic and minority votes are under-represented. While a lot of Americans are indeed conservative, in both the House and Senate, they are arguably over-represented.
In 2018, we will have a mid-term election. Whether the Democrats will win back a majority in the House or Senate is up for debate. If you read the electoral blogs, you come away with the impression that more Democrats are at risk for losing their seats than Republicans. And I strongly doubt the GOP will let Alabama go blue a second time around, even if it means banishing Roy Moore to Antarctica - with a bevy of young girls.
Oh, and Roy Moore doesn't seem to have any plans of going away - in fact, he seems to relish this sort of "controversy" and nurtures it, as he knows it keeps him in the media spotlight. In fact, this pattern of behavior reminds me of another politician - one who courts controversy, knowing full well that is what the media loves. It sells clicks, it sells eyeballs.
Be prepared for a whole lot more Roy Moore's in the future!