The Corner

Politics & Policy

Alabama’s Doug Jones Votes for Removal . . . Surprising Almost No One

Doug Jones holds a press briefing in Birmingham, Alabama, December 13, 2017. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Alabama’s Democratic senator, Doug Jones, says he will vote to remove President Trump on both counts.

This is not that surprising; Jones has not deviated much from his party on the votes during this impeachment process.

In fact, Jones doesn’t deviate much from his party, considering he represents a Republican-leaning state. He votes with the Trump administration’s position about 36 percent of the time. Alabama’s other senator, Republican Richard Shelby, votes with the Trump administration about 93 percent of the time.

When Jones was elected, the New York Times wrote that he “offered himself chiefly as a figure of conciliation. He vowed to pursue traditional Democratic policy aims, in areas such as education and health care, but also pledged to cross party lines in Washington and partner with Senator Richard C. Shelby, the long-tenured Alabama Republican, to defend the state’s interests.”

Back in April 2019, Jones insisted he saw his job differently than a lot of other recently elected Democrats. “I am, by nature, a lot more moderate and a lot more centrist, and I’ve got a lot of experiences under my belt to know that it’s not always the loudest voices that get things done. I ran as someone who wanted to get things done, not somebody who wanted to shake things up. I appreciate those voices of people who want to shake things up, it’s just not where I am.”

The vote on removal is his choice to make. But the notion of Doug Jones as some sort of sensible centrist who was willing to break with his party and bring about “conciliation” in Washington was wildly oversold. If his time in the Senate teaches any valuable lessons, it may be simply, “run against Roy Moore.”

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