— I don’t understand what’s going on in Alabama.
— That’s okay. The people of Alabama don’t always understand what’s going on in Alabama.
— I mean, Roy Moore lost? Actually lost? A Republican lost to a Democrat? To a pro-life Democrat? In Alabama?
— These are the days of miracles and wonder, as the poet Simon said. And dude? This is like our third or fourth conversation about Roy Moore. And, it’s to be hoped, the last.
— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.
— Fair point.
— I mean, sure, Moore lost…but he hasn’t made a concession speech yet. He’s talking about fighting it.
— As far as that goes, Moore hasn’t conceded that the South lost in the Civil War. Hell, he didn’t concede to the fact that he was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court. Twice. Concession is not his strong point.
— Being an unrepentant racist, misogynistic fuckwit, that’s his strong point. And a pedophile.
— Well, not technically a pedophile. But yeah.
— But at least the people of Alabama have rejected him. Maybe now he’ll just disappear.
— Not all the people rejected him.
— Most of them.
— Actually most of the white folks who voted cast their votes for Moore.
— You’re joking. Tell me you’re joking. You’ve got to be totally fucking joking. Please say you’re joking. You’re not joking, are you.
— Nope. More than seventy percent of white men voted for Moore. More than sixty percent of white women voted for him.
— Jeebus fuck me with a chainsaw.
— Black folks, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Black women in particular. The NAACP and the volunteers that got folks out to vote, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Old school grassroots campaigning, that’s what kicked Roy Moore pale ass.
— I got to say, today I love me some Alabama. I’m starting to remember how to breathe again. I’m convinced that today will be all bluebirds and rainbows.
— You want to see this happen in other states, you might want to consider breathing a bit coin in the direction of the NAACP. What happened yesterday was great, but it’s still a long way to go.
— Okay, okay, but we can celebrate today, right? I mean, this is huge, right? We can take a day to relax and spread joy and all that, can’t we?
— Yes, but…
— But nothing. Dude, c’mon. Alabama!
— Alabama, yes sir. Alafuckingbama. Bring on the bluebirds.
As an Alabamian who has been following politics here for a long time, and as true progressive and not a NAFTACrat, let me hit folks with some hard reality here.
1. Jones beat Moore by exactly the number of write-in votes cast, and there was a spoiler in Lee Busby. This means, the spoiler effect for this election was tremendous. Without a spoiler, it’s anyone’s guess what would’ve happened.
2. Trump won Alabama with 1.3m votes. Clinton lost Alabama with 725k votes. If we assume that everyone who voted for Moore also voted for Trump, and that everyone who voted for Jones also voted for Clinton, then about 600k Trump supporters didn’t turn out and 100k Clinton supporters didn’t turn out.
3. If you take out the 10% of Jones’ base made up of white men, Moore wins by roughly 40k votes. Tribalism only tears apart the base, so let’s not do it.
In the end, Jones could only truly rely on Clinton’s supporters. Alabama didn’t so much embrace Jones as it rejected Moore. It rejected Moore because of allegations of child predation, not because Moore openly advocates murdering gay people in the streets.
And Jones faces reelection in 2020. If that Presidential election goes like that last one, and if people vote a straight ticket, the GOP will unseat Doug Jones.
Also, the national focus has not been on Alabama’s problems. There’s been no discussion of undoing the tragic loss of low-skilled textile jobs that devastated the south under Clinton’s NAFTA.
Don’t place too much stock in this. Alabama did not “flip blue.” Not by a million miles. Not by a million votes.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I don’t think anybody is so naive that they think Alabama turned blue. I do, though, think what happened there is a model for potential Democratic victories in other red states. Jones was helped by the fact that Moore was an astonishingly flawed candidate, but the way Jones and his supporters structured their victory — and in particular the steps they took to reach out to minority voters — is something other Dem candidates should consider.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Don’t bank on this being anything other than an off-year election aberration.
Also, the “reach out to minority voters” argument isn’t valid here. The Black Belt of Alabama is notoriously good for getting out the Democratic vote. This was no different.
This had very little to do with Doug Jones’ efforts and much more to do with the fact that Roy is a complete and utter cad.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I think you’re absolutely right, Victor. And as an independent progressive who votes for the “good guy” in every election, who demands quality of character in leadership (a rough road to tow, granted), I celebrate Roy Moore’s loss far more than Doug Jones’ victory. This was a celebration of the rejection of bad character. Bad character won the last election, whether you count the actual votes or the electoral ones. My hope isn’t that his is a sweep towards blue so much as a recognition that, from our leaders, we expect better.
Even up in Canada, we are seeing bluebirds. This is a good thing.
LikeLiked by 1 person
“Nope. More than seventy percent of white men voted for Moore. More than sixty percent of white women voted for him.”
Technically, more than seventy percent of the white men WHO VOTED, voted for Moore. More than sixty percent of the white women WHO VOTED, voted for him. Fortunately seventy percent of white men, and sixty percent of white women, in Alabama, didn’t vote for him… That’d be truly horrifying.
Another interesting demographic is that Moore won handily by the 65 and older crowd, and Jones won decisively by 44 and younger. We may be seeing a generational shift, as well.