It’s finally over and it’s decisive.

Alabama Republicans nominated the worst candidate they could think of–against the President’s stated wishes–and then declined to turn out for him–also against the President’s stated wishes.  You can be outspent by your opponent by 5 to 1, run as a candidate from a despised and failed state governor’s administration, or even beat up a journalist and still be reasonably assured of winning as a Republican candidate in a heavily Republican state or precinct; but you can’t win if you are accused of sexual assault and your own voters refuse to believe you.

I didn’t expect Moore to lose, honestly.  He was winning in the RCP average of polls up until Monday (for whatever that’s worth post-2016) but I doubted that Deep South Republicans would stay home and allow a pro-abortion senator to be voted in.  It’s not that I doubted the accusations against Moore.  Even in spite of the likelihood that the yearbook was forged and the severe skepticism I feel toward whatever Gloria Allred is pushing, my early gut feeling was that Moore had done something.  He wasn’t reacting to the accusations like an innocent man should.

If there was anything that gave me pause, it was Senator Shelby’s declaration that he did not vote for Moore that did it.  Many Trump Republicans are already howling for Shelby to be primaried.  I think that’s unfair.  Shelby has backed Trump more often than not and he’s a solid conservative.  He fully recognized that Moore was going to be a problem for the GOP from the day he set foot in the Capitol.

McConnell would have been under pressure to expel him from the Senate, as was threatened.  It would have been a “fuck you” to Republican voters if he did it and an ethics nightmare if he didn’t with all of the fresh accusations of sexual misconduct landing all over both parties with many more still to come.  Add to that the likelihood that Moore was probably going to wave a gun around on the Senate floor while introducing a Constitutional amendment to repeal everything after the 10th and you can imagine the donkey show the Senate GOP was going to have to endure.

I give Shelby credit and think he did the right thing.  Trump should have listened to the party and stayed out of it, as the party pretty much did until the last minute.  Trump could have had a win-win by declining to endorse Moore on the grounds that he had supported Strange and voters didn’t listen to him.  The result might have been that if Moore lost, he’d get “I told you so” credit and if Moore won, that’s another Senate seat on his side.  Ah, but who am I kidding?  Trump will still say “I told you so.”

Whatever he says, this is a clear moral defeat for Trump, although I don’t think it goes further than that.  It doesn’t change control of the Senate, though it does make John McCain a bit more powerful as the perpetual wild card.

There are other consequences, naturally.  Steve Bannon, the architect of this fiasco, might finally go hide under a rock for a while.  Al Franken will have no choice but to leave the Senate.  All other Congress-critters who have any sort of credible or even semi-credible sexual scandal now cannot point to a Senator Moore as an excuse to fight back.  Jones gets to be Senator until at least 2020, when I can only hope that Alabama Republicans make sure he doesn’t run against an eccentric horndog again.

The biggest winner of the night was #MeToo.  The message was that no politician is safe no matter how long ago he engaged in predatory sexual behavior.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing in principle, but I have a funny feeling that the Democrats are going to be able to find one or two accusers for each of the hundreds of Republican candidates on the ballots in 2018.  There will be many hoaxes among them, but we’ll have to see whether or not this trend holds until 2018.  The #MeToo movement has now been energized and its going to be as much of a bane to Democrats as Republicans between now and the midterms.  Their grand prize is to push for Trump to resign over it all (now that Mueller’s investigation is on the rocks).  He won’t, of course.

What about the Democratic Party?  Didn’t they really win too?  I don’t think so, in spite of the celebratory attitudes I’m seeing already.  Yeah, they can look ahead to 2018 and say, “If we can flip Alabama, we can do it anywhere!”  If they want to get that cocky, fine, but this election was still close and that’s with Moore having been effectively on his own with little support from the party as he was outspent by Jones by 7 to 1.  It came down to turnout and Moore gave Republicans enough reason to stay home all by himself, with no help from Allred’s forged yearbook.

So my message tonight to all Americans is this: first, be happy that Moore lost.  Whether or not you’re angry that he was taken down by 40 year old accusations based on no evidence, you have to accept that he was a problem.  His one Senate seat was not going to be worth the damage.  Second, show up for primary elections and vote for sane people.  Maybe it won’t do any good, but I’ve always believed it’s better to head off crazy shit before it gets too deep.  Believe me, we learned our lesson here in Missouri back in 2012 with Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin who managed to blow an easily winnable Senate race, Moore-style.

We all dodged a bullet from Alabama.  Only Democrats and Never Trump Republicans get to gloat about it tonight, but they may well find that Senator Moore would have shielded their own elected predators from #MeToo and they can’t count on it now.


  1. The message was that no politician is safe no matter how long ago he engaged in predatory sexual behavior.

    Does Bill Clinton still count as a politician?

  2. IMO the moral panic over predators is going to start causing a backlash and backfire as innocent people get caught up in this, like it has to an extent on college campuses. The GOP establishment will breath a sigh of relief over this, but a lot of voters still don’t like McConnell, Ryan, et al, and the fact that “their guy” lost without Party support won’t be forgotten.

  3. The messaging on this is very simple. Don’t take your voters/constituents for granted and don’t ignore vast numbers of zombie voters that can appear out of nowhere just when you least expect it. Hillary did it in 2016 and the Alabama GOP did it this year with Moore. Their “everyone’s a child molester in Alabama” defense probably pissed of plenty of people. He should never have been on the ballot.

  4. Trump doesn’t have a majority vote. He didn’t have it on Election Day and he doesn’t have it today. Not even in the state of Alabama:

    The beauty of this is I don’t really need to rebuke any of this fan fiction. Every day that passes just does it for me.

  5. if the state GOP had been smart they would have stuck with Strange, but there you go.

    Many conservatives are saying McConnell should have stayed out of it during the primaries. He’s widely hated in the AL. I disagree. This should be laid at Bannon’s feet.

    It was the damnedest thing to watch. Trump was endorsing Strange and Trump supporters still backed Moore because they thought Trump secretly wanted Moore in there for some bizarre reason. Like Trump was under duress or something and unaware that he was supporting a Swamp Creature and they had to save him.

    It seems to have been an attempt to stick a fork into the GOPe’s eye that ended with them unintentionally sticking it up their own asses.

  6. Hillary did it in 2016 and the Alabama GOP did it this year with Moore. Their “everyone’s a child molester in Alabama” defense probably pissed of plenty of people.

    You’re right. The GOP could profit from this lesson during the primaries for 2018. IF Bannon is discredited and can’t get anywhere trying to influence state primaries to run weirdos, future Moore’s can be prevented.

    I’m reminded of when Scott Brown agreed to run again, I think it was in NH, and he made the party promise as a precondition that they would take steps to ensure that he wouldn’t be running against any other nutbags like “Legitimate Rape” or “I’m Not A Witch” that year. They managed to keep the slate sane.

    He ended up losing his own race, but the GOP did manage to pick up seats. They have only a few months to relearn what Brown cautioned about.

    But if they take it for granted that red state voters will vote for anybody, ANYBODY, they’re mistaken. They’ll pay another price.

    This could be called the Moore Event Horizon. That moment when a candidate is so awful that even the safest of seats isn’t within reach. It has finally been discovered.

  7. TBH, I have always thought trump could overcome a sex scandal, almost anything Mueller would find (his supporters don’t want to be wrong more than they want justice), and the after effects of the tax bill on the middle class.

    However, I think the nail in the coffin is fucking over net neutrality. For some reason, that is the biggest issue to young voters from 18-24 all the way to the extreme ages of the millennials. It’s fucking huge and I think Dipshit Pai done goofed on something I doubt even trump cared about either way.

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