As I commence writing this article the networks are characterizing the Alabama special Senate election as “Too Close To Call”. I prefer the term inconclusive. That only applies to who got elected, Democrat Doug Jones or Republican Roy Moore. As to winners, regardless of the ultimate outcome, (which I may or may not know by posting), there are many and most of them will be temporary. Let’s explore.
If Doug Jones wins:
Obviously Doug Jones is a winner. He goes to the Senate sometime in early January and will serve out the remainder of Jeff Sessions’ unexpired term. By extension the Democrats win. They cut the Republicans down to a one seat margin, meaning that if two Senators defect from the pack on any vote the Democrats (and their two independents) carry the issue. The reality is that in all likelihood the Republicans will run a non-nutcase in 2020 against Jones and beat him.
Another winner that almost nobody will note would be Charles Barkley. Yes, the former Auburn and NBA basketball star. Charles has long expressed a desire to someday run for public office in Alabama and appears to have been very instrumental in helping get an unexpectedly large African-American voter turnout in this election. A Jones win would certainly make him a factor, if not a player, in Alabama politics. Perhaps the Democrats will run him statewide soon.
In the short run Mitch McConnell is a winner despite losing a seat in the Senate. McConnell also doesn’t have to deal with the controversy that comes with Moore nor does he have to deal with another loose cannon in his caucus. Moore makes Ted Cruz and Rand Paul look like predictable, reliable guys.
If Roy Moore wins:
If Moore wins he obviously is a winner. The Republicans get to hold their margin and don’t lose a seat that never should have been in play in the first place. Disregard the rhetoric, if elected Roy Moore will be seated. He will end up with undesirable committee assignments, there may be an ethics investigation that will go on forever and never reach a conclusion or at least never result in expulsion.
The Democrats may well end up being huge winners if Moore takes the seat. That is not a typo! Moore is a nutcase that keeps on giving if you are running against him. He also has significant baggage. Almost every Democratic candidate in 2018 will paint their Republican opponent as a Donald Trump – Roy Moore clone.
If Moore wins Donald Trump and Steve Bannon can claim victory; they both supported Moore. In Trump’s case it means he is not poison, at least in a deep red state in the short run. In Bannon’s case it will raise his stock with Bubba and he will continue to recruit and support candidates. Bannon actually envisions himself as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. With his extremism that may actually be good for the Democrats. I can see him recruiting a lot of Christine O’Donnells, Todd Akins and Sharon Angles.
Well, I’m about to conclude. The networks have yet to call it, but I will. Doug Jones wins.
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