Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Some Alabama Election Takes

It's been a long time since I've done straight up "take" blogging in regards to politics. I guess Twitter sates my appetite for that. Anyway, I'm just as qualified as any of the pundits out there, so why the hell not?  Here are some takes.

1. Jones was a good candidate who has an obvious knowledge of and affection towards Alabama. He seemed to really understand how to appeal to the voters of that state. Dems have been able to win "red" and "purple" states with these kinds of candidates. See also Jon Tester in Montana and the recent race in Virginia.

2. Jones won by appealing to the base of the party, especially African American voters. He did not try to run from Democratic positions on issues like abortion and trans rights, something other Dems running in "red" areas have tried. The Democrats may hopefully learn a little from the Republicans, who understand that off-year elections are all about that base.

3. Trumpism does not work without Trump. Moore was the Trumpiest of candidates, and had the Orange One's support (and even robocalls), but to no avail. The governor's election in Virginia also showed this. The luster of strongmen never gets transferred to others. (Back in the 30s Germans would profess love for Hitler and dislike for "the Nazis.")

4. The Republican Party really made themselves look bad. They dropped support for Moore, then brought it back, and still lost. This means they lost in terms of the election as well as any moral high ground that they could have claimed.

5. BUT: let's be honest, a candidate like Strange would have probably beat Jones pretty handily.

6. That last point shows the Republican Party has a continuing problem of letting its base choose candidates in the primary who are repulsive to the general electorate. See Todd Aiken, Joe Miller, etc.

7. Which gets to my last point, which is that the Republican Party is in many respects a vehicle for an extreme ideology. They still get more moderate people to vote for them, thinking that it is merely a center-right party and a viable alternative to the Democrats. Yesterday's election is a sign that that benefit of the doubt by voters in the middle might be eroding. By supporting the lunatic fringe pedophile elected by their whacko primary voters even after the worst was revealed about him they made a large step towards killing what's left of their reputation as the "serious party."

8. Steve Bannon is a charlatan. He is like the pathetic addicted gambler who hit the trifecta once and spends the next twenty years chasing that one hit into bankruptcy.

9. The Republicans who rejected Jones and never went back on it will benefit greatly. I sense an attempt soon by some Republicans of the Romney persuasion to get control of the party. I think they know their party is about to get hammered in the next election and want to be there to fill the power vacuum.

10. This election showed Democrats the importance of getting out the vote and combatting voter suppression efforts, which have been aimed primary at African American voters. This needs to be a nation-wide, grassroots effort. Democrats need to provide the money and resources to get people registered. More importantly, they need to run on the promise to pass a new voting rights act to ensure that everyone's right to vote is protected.

1 comment:

Terry said...

Good précis. I keep wondering why someone doesn't point out how stupid the Republicans are about governing. They HATE government and I have gradually come to realize it's because they just don't fucking understand it. It's too hard *whine whine*. Also, it gets in the way of their grabbing all the goodies and crushing anybody weaker. But mainly, they don't understand government. Even people like McTurtle who have been there for decades seem to just not get it. I mean, they consistently flub things like deadlines, like not knowing what's written law and what isn't, just the logistics and mechanics of getting legislation done. Stupid. I don't understand or know all that stuff either, but I'm not a pig who's been bellied up to the trough for 30 years, either. I wish someone would make this situation clear to their voting base. "They don't know what they're doing."