Virginia voters stood up to Donald Trump and the Republican Party in November with the Democrats taking a clean sweep of the statewide elections. Alabama, on the other hand, was not looking to follow the same path yesterday. Doug Jones (D) was facing Roy Moore (R) for the United States Senators’ seat left open by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Roy Moore was the clear favorite over Jones in the Republican stranglehold of Alabama. The last time they elected a Democratic Senator was 1992, and then-candidate Trump obliterated Clinton in 2016 with a spread of +28.
It appeared that this wouldn’t even be a race to watch, that is until we learned that Roy Moore repeatedly tried to seduce underage girls when he was in his 30s – one of those girls being 14 years old. Republican leaders eventually pulled their support, subsequently asking Moore to step down. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) discussed not seating Moore if he won and the Ethics Committee investigation Moore would face. But Moore never budged and eventually, Trump endorsed Moore. Trump himself is facing accusations of sexual misconduct from 19 women – so is anyone surprised that he would still support a predator like Moore?
After Trump’s public support, Republicans began to reverse their position and threw support back behind Moore. The Republican National Committee decided to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Alabama GOP after initially refusing to give him any additional contributions or support. The return of major Republican players made Moore the contender that Democrats feared. Republicans decided that having a Republican vote in the Senate was more important than denouncing a pedophile and refusing him a seat.
Trump endorsed Moore for the final time on the morning of the election, when he tweeted:
The people of Alabama will do the right thing. Doug Jones is Pro-Abortion, weak on Crime, Military and Illegal Immigration, Bad for Gun Owners and Veterans and against the WALL. Jones is a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet. Roy Moore will always vote with us. VOTE ROY MOORE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
“The people of Alabama” did the “right things” and voted for Jones.
The Associated Press eventually called the race at 10:23 pm for the Democrat, Doug Jones. Why – when the leaders of his party repeatedly asked Moore to step down –would Trump stump for the embattled candidate? Trump has been accused by at least 19 women of sexual harassment. He faced that criticism heavily in the months leading up to the 2016 election.
But that was before Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Al Franken, Roy Moore, Glenn Thrush, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Mario Batali, Ryan Lizza, along with name after name began to drop like flies – and the carnage still hasn’t stopped.
The tidal wave of firings and resignation letters soon followed. Hosts of morning shows had to address the nation just hours after finding out their coworker and friend lost their job due to sexual improprieties. The wave began in the entertainment industry and private sector, but the waters started to shift towards D.C.
Multiple members of Congress have resigned, or are facing an Ethics Committee. Al Franken (D) resigned his seat in the Senate – John Conyers (D) and Trent Franks (R) have surrendered their seats in the House. Multiple other House members are facing accusations on their own and more accusations are expected. But Roy Moore was still fighting – his campaign was still alive – and he had an actual shot at winning.
That is until Alabama voted to send a Democrat to the Senate for the first time in 25 years. Enough people in Alabama believed that party affiliations don’t matter – being a moral and respectable human does. While the president can overlook all of the accusations made against Moore, the American people won’t allow it. Virginian’s displayed the same notion – just in more drastic contrast this November – when they refused to support the fear-mongering and race-baiting of Ed Gillespie’s campaign – one that was taken right out of Trump’s playbook.
The saving grace for the Democrats in this election was that if Moore would have won – they would have stuck him to every single Republican in the 2018 midterms. That, along with the rhetoric coming out of D.C. being so divisive and disruptive, would have given the Democrats something of a consolation prize. But in 2017, good people continue to prosper – and gain a voice in a world that is full of voices from every part of the spectrum – while questionable characters sputter and fail to see any real success.
Thank You, Alabama from Virginias everywhere.