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Opinion: In Defense of Alabama Republicans in Moore vs. Jones

12 Dec 2017

written by Valso


While there has been much gnashing of teeth over voting for Roy Moore, to be fair people should consider the really horrible position of reasonable Republicans in Alabama. It is easy to demonize them when you look at the antics of the hardcore Moore supporters, but for others they are in a real dilemma. Some reasons for voting for Moore are indeed completely inane, but there are some valid reasons not to vote at all.

We have repeatedly stressed, especially on Twitter, that all of Alabama should not be demonized if Moore is elected. Not all Alabamians support Moore . Especially in Mobile, where Jones has led by 7 to 13 points. But even among those, people should take a breath and consider why some might not vote at all.

It is a shame that genuine issues have become conflated with the Moore’s craziness. It makes it impossible to justify one’s vote on an actual issues, like the budget or healthcare, in a meaningful way. But before you judge all Republicans you should realize that spending and the budget are issues that are our country should have a serious debate over. The problem for Alabama Republicans is whether Moore’s insanity outweighs the serious issues.

On the other hand, Republicans voting for Jones are also criticized by both sides, despite the fact that there are equally valid reasons to do so. In fact, it’s easy to argue that these outweigh the policy issues.

Jones if elected, but likely only be in office for 18 months. To claim that Roe v. Wade will be repealed in that time is ridiculous. Jones is not stupid – he knows to get re-elected he will have to vote moderately with the majority of the Alabama electorate. His re-election would be a long shot, but he will not squander the opportunity. He is far more likely to be a moderate than Moore would be.

Some are predicting that if Moore wins then the Republicans will end up losing many more seats in the House & Senate in 2018 than is worth saving one vote now. Some Democrats even want Moore to win, however perversely.

And as many people have pointed out – regardless of the sexual accusations Moore was already unacceptable to begin with.  Not just for his bizarre statements and the fact he was kicked off the bench twice, but his “charity” The Foundation for Moral Law paid him and his family over $1 million!  He is nothing but a sleazy, televangelist shyster.

We should note that Republicans voting for Moore (even if you despise) him in hopes of getting another Republican in IS completely stupid.  You are going to let Mobile and Alabama take a huge hit to its reputation while we go through a (likely failed) expulsion effort and another election?  You are going to make us go through this whole thing again? Seriously??

Anyway, there are many, many people to blame for the current situation:

  • Former governor Robert Bentley, Luther Strange, and the whole corrupt deal they made and all of the Alabama Republicans that went along with them. (It is worth noting however that Bentley was not establishment – he ran as an Evangelical Baptist and against the establishment.)
  • Mitch McConnell for stupidly inserting himself into the race and backing Strange.
  • The mainstream media – which is biased and to deny that is silly. An obvious bias in supposedly neutral organizations can make one want to react against it, and lead one to disbelieve them when they try to be factual (see WaPo).
  • Gloria Allred, who’s incompetent and outright stupid handling of Beverly Young Nelson’s yearbook not only worked to discredit Young but all of Moore’s accusers (even though there was no evidence to discredit them), if not all victims of sexual assault.
  • The far left, which has gone as far off the deep end as the alt-right has, with insidious identity politics that is equally destructive.
  • The hypocrites that defend Bill Clinton, Al Franken, etc. etc.
  • The late night talk show hosts, SNL, and most everybody on social media who says Alabama is a terrible horrible place and all Alabamians are horrible, evil people. It’s easy to react against this by making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. As Kyle Whitmire said, ““Each ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch featuring Sessions and his possum, each Jimmy Kimmel prank, each op-ed browbeating — it might as well be a dare. If The Washington Post ran a banner headline tomorrow saying ‘Antifreeze is poison, don’t drink it,’ a sizable number of Alabamians would be dead tomorrow.”

You can’t blame people for being fed up and angry.  However, Alabamians should resist the urge to get back at these people by shooting themselves in the foot.

It has been rightly argued by Jones’ supporters that the main reason not to vote for Moore is the hit that Alabama will take to its reputation. Regardless if you personally believe the sexual allegations against Roy Moore, many (if not most) people do – including out-of-state Republicans. Yes, you may belittle a boycott but it definitely had an effect on the economy in other states like North Carolina. But beyond a boycott is the decision of young business people and professionals not to move to Alabama. Alabama desperately needs educated young people, and polls clearly show that educated millennials favor Jones and disapprove of Moore. We will suffer an even worse brain drain than we already do. Young educated people are what drives economies these days and if you can’t attract them you will be in big trouble.

That doesn’t mean that Carnival or Amazon or Airbus will pull out of Mobile tomorrow. And it doesn’t even mean that Mobile won’t see economic growth. But you won’t be able to measure the amount of businesses or people that never moved in because of Alabama’s reputation. When you’re at the bottom of the national economy any Improvement seems like a big deal, even if you stay at the bottom.

Another argument for Republicans not to vote for Moore is that both the Alabama and National Republican parties are quickly spinning out of control. They are getting increasingly wacky and moving away from sensible Reagan Republicanism. As one friend recently wrote, “One of the great ironies of our current political situation is that the Johnny-come-lately former Southern Democrat demagogues refer to the original fiscally conservative Reagan and Eisenhower Republicans as RINOs.” There is no way this is going to end well.

In fact, the entire Alabama and National GOP establishment should be fired just for the fact that there is even a possibility of a Democrat winning a senate seat in Alabama. That is ridiculous. (Of course, the state and National Democratic Party is even more screwed up, as evidenced by the fact that they gave Doug Jones little or no support until the very end). We need to reset and only way to do that is to have Moore lose and force the current ineffective leadership of the state and national political parties to take a hike so we can get some adults in the room.

We won’t argue that Alabama don’t deserve any criticism. There is absolutely an irrational, wingnut component to the electorate and everyone who doesn’t confront them – especially the local media, political and business leaders, but also regular people like you and us – does deserve some blame.

These include the usual ones:

  • “He is innocent until proven guilty”: This is an election, not a trial. That does not mean you have to elect him senator, you moron.  Also – please Google “STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.” There is not going to be a trial – before the election or ever.
  • “Jesus said to forgive.”: Agreed – but again NOT elect them Senator.

Not that you can reason with them, unfortunately. It has been noted by the famed political analyst Charles Barkley that “Alabamians have been brainwashed to support Moore.” And if you listen to local talk radio that seems to be the case. They are people that will defend Moore beyond any figment of reason.

This is closely associated with the fact that it is that less-educated and lower-class voters support Roy Moore. Among white non-college women, for instance, Moore led by 36 points. Among white women who graduated from college, Jones led by 15 points.

Why this is the case could be the subject of an entire library, but the most likely explanation goes back to what was best described by Wilbur J. Cash in “The Mind of the South.” The educated, ruling elite of the South have continually used both racial and political manipulation and forced cohesion to get the lower class to act against their own interests. The only way they could get them to fight and die for an economic institution that they had no stake in, like say slavery, was to stoke a fear and hatred of outsiders. This has been so deeply ingrained that the Southern lower class still has an absolute racial and political solidarity that goes beyond all reason, and they often end up acting against their own interests as a result. This is amplified by a blind obedience to evangelical and charismatic religious sects popular among the lower-classes, like those frequented by Roy Moore and whose pastors freely mix politics with religion.

The only way to fix this mess though is for good people to stand up.  Whether that means voting for Jones or even just not voting for Moore, hopefully people will understand that there are good people in Alabama trying to change it for the better.



Sessions was last elected in 2014 and took office in January 2015. Jones will be in office until January of 2020. By then, unlike now, he will have a voting record to defend. I hope the R leadership is smart enough to force him into either defying his Black base (58% of his votes were cast by Blacks) or ruin his chances for re-election when Whites show up in large numbers in 2020.

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