The Corner

Politics & Policy

Drawing the Wrong Lessons from Moore’s Defeat

Let's not get carried away

I know the first flush of victory is a little dizzying, but on social media I’m seeing some crazy suggestions about what Roy Moore’s loss means going forward: If this can happen in Alabama Democrats can win anywhere. And Republicans can lose everywhere! Doug Jones is a true progressive on abortion, immigration and a host of other issue. Therefore, Democrats can use their unity and be uncompromising. 

My own impressions are more modest. Alabama Republicans spared their party the shame of electing this creep to Congress. In backing Moore, Steve Bannon made a very reasonable bet–most of us expected Moore to win even after the revelations–but he lost this one.  

Everything else is over-reading the data. Are Dems more energized than a normal out-of-power party? I think that’s unproven. Jones may turn out to be their Scott Brown. Have Dems solved the issue of turning out black voters in the post-Obama era? Or was it that the Republican nominee was the sort of man who rhetorically denigrated the Constitutional Amendments that ended slavery? Will 2018 be a Democratic tsunami? I don’t know yet. I also think it would be a mistake for anyone to take Jones’ performance in Alabama today as any indicator of how Trump will perform in 2020. 

I’m not happy Jones won. But I’m happy the causes I hold dear won’t be disgraced further by Roy Moore’s presence in the Senate. For that, I thank the judgment of the many Alabama voters who did what I would have done in their place: abstained. 

 

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