Moore Loses

Right now, the AP and other organizations are projecting Doug Jones to win the Alabama Senate race. While I have my issues with Jones (and the Democratic Party), I can’t help but be relieved. Having that Constitution-shredding theocrat in Washington would have been a nightmare.

It will be interesting to see what happens now. This was a clear rejection of Trump, Bannon and the radical wing of the GOP. They managed to blow a Senate seat they should have taken by 30 points. If the GOP doesn’t shape up, they are looking at losing the whole shebang next year.

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  1. Aussiesmurf

    I accept that I am thousand of kilometres away, but I take the (practical) message from this result is that turnout is MASSIVELY important, particularly in off-year elections.

    The US Democratic party (led by middle-aged white men) has spent waaaay too much time appealing to unicorn-esque moderates, rather than turning out their base, particularly African Americans.

    When you say the GOP ‘should’ have won by 30 points I disagree, because the actions of both the party and candidate are so repugnant that no-one with an income of under $1m per year ‘should’ have voted for them.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    What I mean by the GOP “should have” won is that this is a very safe seat.  The last few elections were won by the GOP by 30 points.  They lost it because the nominated a candidate so repulsive the voters couldn’t stomach him.  That, and the Democrats got massive turnout from black people, who made their voices heard.

    Honestly, I agree with several commentators that the GOP dodged a bullet here.  Moore would have been an albatross for them and would have only encouraged the Bannonites.

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  3. ilovecress

    An actual conservative, is someone who wants to actually Govern with conservative principles. Moore was only nominated to piss off liberals – and while fun, pissing off liberals isn’t the same as being a conservative. But that’s where the right wing are right now.

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  4. Tripper

    OK, but then the question just shifts to: What are conservative principles?

    I hear a lot of contradictory ideas being thrown about as “conservative principles”, and a lot of people with very differing points of view calling themselves real conservatives and pointing at each other calling them RINOs. (I’m sure this has been happening for decades, I started noticing it during W’s administration.)

    I’m pretty sure every candidate in the 2016 Republican primary touted themselves as the most conservative, or at least an actual conservative guided by conservative principles, and all had plenty to say about how at least some, and often all, of their opponents were not sufficiently conservative.

    So the first task is to define an actual set of conservative principles, or point to a clear definition that already exists. The second task is to get sufficient people to agree with you.

    The first part might be hard, the second might be impossible. If most people understood what conservative principles were, and wanted to be governed by them, Trump certainly wouldn’t have been elected, and probably most of the 2016 field wouldn’t have been either. A few credible definitions of conservatism I’ve read would score Hillary more of an actual conservative than a lot of the Republican 2016 field.

    I think the problem is that the word “Conservative” has lost any real meaning these days, in the minds of most people, at least as much as they can agree on anything. It’s just become a really loose concept, a sticker people slap on themselves whatever their actual values are. It’s like “I am a conservative, because I’ve told myself I am, and I’m sure as shit not a liberal. I believe X, Y, and Z, therefore, X, Y, & Z are conservative principles and anybody who disagrees with X, Y, & Z is a liberal, elitist, RINO, cuck ”

    Then one day they wake up and find that they like what Trump is selling. Sure, anybody who actually knows the definition of the word knows he’s not conservative, but to a lot of people, conservative is whatever they like, and as you rightly point out, whatever liberals hate, ergo, he’s their guy.

    So, until people can agree on what conservatism is, you are unlikely to elect an actual conservative.

    But keep in mind, it’s also fairly possible that even if everybody did understand and agree on a shared definition, you wouldn’t elect an actual conservative. A lot of people knew exactly what Trump was promising (even if he isn’t delivering) and they voted for exactly that. Not conservatism.

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  5. Tripper

    “Conservatives in 1964 opposed civil-rights laws. Conservatives in 1974 opposed tax cuts unless paid for by spending cuts. Conservatives in 1984 opposed same-sex marriage. Conservatives in 1994 opposed trade protectionism. Conservatives in 2004 opposed people who equated the FBI and Soviet Union’s KGB. All those statements of conservative ideology have gone by the boards, and one could easily write a similar list of amended views for liberals.

    Conservatism is what conservatives think, say, and do. As conservatives change—as much through the harsh fact of death and birth as by the fluctuations of opinion—so does what it means to be a conservative.

    The Trump presidency is a huge political fact. He may not be the leader of American conservatism, but he is its most spectacular and vulnerable asset. The project of defending him against his coming political travails—or at least of assailing those who doubt and oppose him—is already changing what it means to be a conservative. The word conservative will of course continue in use. But its meaning is being rewritten each day by the actions of those who lay claim to the word. It is their commitment to Trump that etches Trumpism into them. And while Trump may indeed pass, that self-etching will not soon be effaced.”

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