Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama: Best Bad Thing for the GOP?


Personally, I was surprised that Republican Roy Moore lost Alabama's election for US Senate to Democrat Doug Jones last night. In fact, I didn't really expect to be especially close. I guess I didn't give Alabamians enough credit for having basic good sense and morals. So, given that this was a race that I didn't predict well, feel free to take my further opinions with a grain of salt (as if you wouldn't anyway). But here are those opinions:

Once Moore won the Republican primary, Moore losing the general election was the best outcome the GOP could hope for.

The party organization could have gone all-in behind a write-in Republican alternative, but that would likely have handed the race to Jones anyway, while enraging the Trump base and making other prospective Republican candidates around the country doubt their party's commitment to their success. Their only viable option was to offer tepid, back-and-forth party support while some individual party leaders tried to get out a "Roy Moore is not us" message.

If he had won the race, he would have spent the next 11 months making the Republican Party look like a raging bunch of assholes (which, in fairness, they are), and the Democrats would have joyously assisted him in promoting that image (if for no other reason than to deflect attention from their own raging assholishness). Holding the one Senate seat in Alabama would almost certainly have cost the GOP one or more Senate seats and a number of House seats in competitive elections next November.

Of course, he's still threatening to spend some time making Republicans look like a raging bunch of  assholes. He's refused to concede the election and is jabbering about a recount. But now that he's lost, the party organization has an excuse to wash its hands of him, and has already started making a show of doing so.

He lost, and the Democrats have gained one Senate seat, but they lost a horse's ass they could have beat through 2018. The horse's ass went down with a broken leg last night. Unless Moore shows some epic "rigged election" whining chops (and, assisted by media who hate him, hey, maybe he will), the horse will shortly die, and beating a dead horse isn't nearly as effective as beating a live horse's ass.

Cold comfort to the Republican Party, I'm guessing, but like I said, it was the best they could hope for.

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