I begin with an apology.
My son was in high school, and among his college considerations was the University of Alabama. I said then that my son, a bandsman, would make a good addition to that fine program and would probably be welcomed.
“You have all your own teeth, so they’ll love that,” I said, forgetting that my wife, seated next to me at the dinner table has lots of relatives in Alabama.
Anyway, I apologize. It was wrong of me to say that. Funny, but wrong.
But let’s all let bygones be bygones, at least until the next election, OK? There’s always another election, as you know.
Oh, and I might or might not have said the difference between Alabama’s rednecks and Georgia’s crackers is that the latter group moved up in the world and got snooty.
But let’s set up a few points of discussion in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election.
Does this Democratic victory lance the boil that is The Current President’s stain on the land? No. Most Alabamians are pretty sure that Doug Jones would not have beaten Roy Moore if there hadn’t been that whole child-molesting accusation. And the slavery statement. And the religious demagoguery.
Sadly they’re probably right. Another Republican might have beaten Senator-elect Jones. It’s a sure thing if all those allegations of the previous paragraph had been against Jones, then Moore’s numbers could have been in territory generally only known to Jeff Sessions, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-un.
That child-molesting stuff apparently made a lot of people queasy which is one of the nicest things I have ever said about Alabama.
The state isn’t really even in driving distance of the corner it needs to turn, friends. White women voted 65-32 for an apparent child molester whose specialty was teenage girls hanging out at the mall. Those women knew Mr. Moore would protect “innocent life.” Maybe they just figured they could protect their own daughters from Mr. Moore.
Perhaps Mr. Moore was more representative of the rural part of the state. And there are some really smart people in Alabama, so it’s possible they all voted for Mr. Jones.
Many Republicans did the write-in thing because they couldn’t stomach their nominee, so hey — whatever works. Thank goodness for Republicans who took a look at what was in front of them and said they just couldn’t do it. That requires some smarts I admit I didn’t know were there.
To think I had previously heard that what Alabama kids generally get on the SAT exam is drool. I’m glad to know now that that was only hyperbole.
One thing to keep in mind now is that Senator-elect Jones’ re-election will probably be tougher than Tuesday’s election.
Republicans are proclaiming that the seat WILL come back to them in the next election. It’s fairly certain that a child molester won’t make it onto the ballot again.
Sen. Jones will face enormous pressure to cross the aisle. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, admitted Tuesday that Alabama voters deemed Mr. Moore unfit for election, but also said he hopes the victor will vote with Republicans once he’s in the U.S. Senate.
“Tonight’s results are clear — the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate,” Sen. Gardner said in a statement. “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”
I’d say the chances of that are nil, but not unprecedented. The last time a Democrat was elected by Alabamians in 1992, it was Howell Heflin. Two years later, the guy switched parties.
By the way, do you know what is the most oft-repeated phrase is by an Alabama graduate? “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order, please.”
Oh, come on. I kid, I kid.
Let’s enjoy having won one for a change, but let’s remember that the best way for Democrats to hold that Senate seat is for Jones to serve all the people of Alabama, all the time. He should kick Steve Bannon to the curb and remind everyone that The Current President has put our country in a bad, bad position that allowed his Republican allies to abuse the poor and the middle class.
And he should try every day in Washington to fix it.
And that’s no joke.