Monday, December 11, 2017

Tomorrow Is Election Day In Alabama. Would Moore Be The Most Vile Man Ever Elected To The Senate? We Already Have the Most Vile President


Tomorrow is election day in Alabama. I'm rooting for Doug Jones. He doesn't just seem better than Roy Moore-- now there's a low bar-- but better than Jon Ossoff too. I bought into Ossoff, contributed some monet to him personally and Blue America endorsed him and raised him some money. So I was pretty disappointed as the race proceeded from when I first talked to him and the guy who persuaded me he was a progressive came increasingly under the sway of Beltway money-men, consultants and strategists who persuaded him to change his tone and going in a less progressive direction-- away from the energy and more towards the conventionally safe ground the DCCC always gravitates to in red districts: Republican-lite. It sickened me that Ossoff raised and spent $29,544,195 (to Karen Handel's $6,163,039), while the DCCC spent another $5,065,390 on him (and Pelosi's House Majority PAC threw in $650,571). In all, outside groups spent around $8 million bolstering Ossoff and outside Republican groups spent over $18 bolstering Handel. Handel beat him 134,799 (51.8%) to 48.2%-- in line with Trump's 48.3% to 46.8% winnower Hillary a few months earlier. Handel did about 3 and a half points better than Trump had and Ossoff, despite all that money, did about a point and a half worse than Hillary (who didn't campaign in GA-06 at all. He was a weak candidate. And Jones, down in Alabama is better-- and far more authentic.

Alabama's senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, won't be having a very collegial relationship with Roy Moore if Moore wins tomorrow. On State of the Union yesterday, Shelby told Jake Tapper that he voted already-- but not for Moore. "We call it a tipping point. I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip-- when it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me. I said I can't vote for Roy Moore." He added that if Moore is elected, the Senate "will have to seat him, and we'll see what happens after that... The Senate has to look at who's fit to serve in the Senate."

Still, Jones very well may win tomorrow. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Moore at 49.1% and Jones at 45.3%, too close to call. The only one of the 7 most recent polls Jones was ahead in was from the Washington Post November 30 that showed Jones leading 50-47%. All the others show Jones winning by between 3 and 7%. But... you know how in normal states, people are often embarrassed to say they plan to vote for a Republican and often lie to pollsters? In Alabama it may be the opposite: people are embarrassed to say they'll vote for a Democrat and lie to the pollsters. We'll see; Republicans could be embarrassed-- should be embarrassed-- to admit they're voting for a child molester.

As of September 22, the last FEC reporting deadline, Jones had spent $9,034,232 and still had $2,543,090 in his campaign warchest and the child molester had spent $4,455,952 and had $636,046 left. Over $7 million has been spent against Moore (mostly by Luther Strange allies in the primary) and $1,529,978 had been spent opposing Jones. A ton of right-wing money has poured into the race in the form of independent expenditures in the last 10 days and we have no figures on that yet.

But if you look on the Blue America Senate endorsement page, you won't find a slot for Jones. We reached out to him the day he announced but he never got back. We reached out a week later and a week after that. People from his campaign even told me at one point they'd get us on the phone together. It never happened. And even though nearly everything I've read about Jones indicated he would be a good candidate, without an interview, I couldn't ask Blue America donors, who expect a degree of vetting, to contribute their money to him (instead of, say, to Tammy Baldwin's reelection campaign or even Beto O'Rourke's race against Ted Cruz). So, like I said, I'm rooting for Jones tomorrow and I'll probably pray for him when I wake up at 4am. But... I didn't contribute my own money, we didn't endorse him and I never asked Blue America donors to send him any money.

That said, I was pretty surprised when I read a critique of Jones from a North Alabama DSA member: Doug Jones is a Terrible Candidate. The DSA member seems to think Jones is not much more than the lesser evil compared to, in her words, the candidate who "is a wretched, disgusting, pedophilic rapist who deserves absolutely no place in any leadership position." Then the big "but." She wrote that "The problem with Doug Jones is revealed not when you point out what he hasn’t done that Roy Moore has, but rather when you look at what Doug Jones says he plans to do, or, as is often the case, not do. At a time when the already abysmal American healthcare system is at threat of being outright gutted by congress, Doug Jones has repeatedly shied away from supporting Bernie Sanders’s Medicare For All plan, and has not backed single-payer healthcare (an immensely popular policy proposal) despite the fact that his very own website states that he believes “Health care is a right, not a privilege limited to the wealthy and those with jobs that provide coverage.” Jones has also shied away from dedicating himself to supporting a $15 livable wage, again, despite the fact that his own website says that he “strongly support[s] ensuring working Alabamians receive a living wage for their hard work.” And, in a time when the college debt crisis is racking up in the trillions of dollars, he has not endorsed any sort of tuition-free college education program, despite--  and I know this is getting tiresome--  his own website stating that “Providing a quality education to all children is the key to a long-term thriving economy.”
[L]ooking at Doug Jones’s campaign website is an enlightening look into the extent of his tiptoeing mediocrity. Clicking the “Priorities” section immediately greets you with a phrase that thrusts into your face Jones’s nauseating fetishization of respectability politics: “Bring integrity back to Washington.” Moving on from the meaningless blurb that is that sentiment is the “Economy” section of this page which starts out with the very telling phrase “Small businesses are truly the backbone of the American economy.” This, despite the fact that workers, not businesses, are the backbone of any economy, and that American workers are continually laboring longer and harder for less and less pay while the capitalists who own these businesses are making more and more, is what Doug Jones feels is most important to state first in his campaign website’s “Economy” section.

Going back to respectability politics; Doug Jones loves it. A lot. It is difficult to hear Jones speak for more than thirty seconds without him mentioning “bipartisanship” or “reaching across the aisle.” Jones cares so much about respecting the “other side of the issues” that his campaign put out an ad that described the Civil War as “two sides believing so strongly in their cause that they were willing to die for it”, and citing the example of a Confederate and a Union General coming together as a virtuous act that should be encouraged. One must think hard about what exactly Jones is willing to compromise on if he sees shaking hands with a General who fought for the preservation of chattel slavery as even a possibility.

The Civil War ad is not the Jones campaign’s only advertising misstep. In a move that garnered some national headlines, the Jones campaign decided it appropriate to mail out fliers that read “Think if a black man went after high school girls anyone would try to make him a senator?” with the picture of a black man underneath. Being that it was a flier that was clearly indicative of some racialized thinking of its creator, there was justified backlash to it--  many calling blatantly racist.

It would seem as if the Democratic Party of Alabama decided to back not only one of the most mediocre and uninspiring candidates possible in a time of strong populist sentiments, but also a candidate who is too racially insensitive to run ads that don’t glowingly reference Civil War “compromise” or spit directly in the face of the black community.

Come election day, Alabamians will have the sacred honor of participating in the democratic process by voting for either a child rapist or a weak-kneed white blob in a suit to go work on Capitol Hill for some unknown corporate donor. Personally, I can’t say that I will be taking part.
OK, since she brought up "sacred," I'll definitely pray when I wake up tomorrow morning and ask Jesus to grant Alex the wisdom to do the right thing and vote to help the guy who prosecuted the KKK terrorists get into the Senate instead of the deranged Trumpist who would be working to harm her every single day in every single way. But... a nice new poll from, of all places, Fox News. This looks like a very wide margin-- and is at odds with all the other polls we've looked at. Fingers crossed! We'll see how accurate they were mañana, won't we?

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At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you think the Fox poll is a ploy to get the voters in Alabama to assume Jones will win and decide not to bother to vote at all?

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt that many lefty voters watch fox. So.. no. It might be their way to jolt the right into a panic so as to get THEM all to show.

Hey, it's fucking Alabama. I expect the rapist to beat the milquetoast and I don't expect it to be that close. You forget that an old white man of some means chasing underage tail is ADMIRED down there. If he had several illegitimate kids from those dalliances, it would actually help him.

IT'S FUCKING ALABAMA. The ALABAMA of... well, you get it.

Oh, and the republican senate will welcome him with open arms. If you think those old white motherfuckers don't admire a man like that, you've never met an old white republican man before. $hillbillary made one truthful statement during her campaign calling them "deplorables". That they truly are.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I share the DSA member's policy goals, but don't agree with the voting strategy. e.g. Moore is a huge step backwards in every policy area. Even if the goals are single-payer, free college tuition, etc, my sense is it will be easier to achieve those goals with someone like Jones who at least won't destroy the existing programs, than it will be with Moore who is clearly more committed to Trump's economic redistribution programs (to the super-wealthy). It's a lot easier to build out a single-payer system with Medicare in its current form, than it will be if more of the program is privatized in the way that Ryan et al want it to be.

As a side note, Jones online fundraisers are the notorious Mothership Strategies (also did Ossoff and Quist e-mail campaigns -- former DCCC people). They have the panicked e-mails hitting people up for money multiple times during the course of a day, and they treat small donors like garbage. It's not good for party building. It also sounds like Jones team finally discovered grass-roots organizing and GOTV late in the race. I was reading that they did 80,000 door-to-door contacts this past weekend, even with a $10 million+ budget in a state with nearly 5 million people. In VA this past Nov, in HD-50 (Lee Carter's district), volunteers knocked on 20,000 doors in the final weekend, in a district of 80,000. Jones people should have been pouring money into voter contact and outreach a month ago when dollars really started. Jones has made himself available and done a lot of public events, which is great. But this reliance on paid media, rather than a more organizing focused model represents a missed opportunity. These races offer the opportunity to actually strengthen long-neglected state and county parties; instead, most of the money is going into the pockets of DC-based consultants.

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote for most vile senator ever is strom Thurmond, who sexually harassed (at the very least) other senators. He was also a boastful racist and a total asshole.

Moore could compete, but he'd have to be a senator doing trumpian shit for a decade before he could even approach how vile Thurmond was.

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

He won congratulations to newly Senator Elect Doug Jones.


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