If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win.
The Democrats are ending 2017 in a much better position than anybody could’ve imagined a year or even six months ago. There were so many bitter feelings between the Bernie Bros and the Clinton political hacks on January 20th as Donald Trump was sworn into office that it seemed like all hope was lost. It didn’t help that Democrats lost 4 congressional special elections in 2017. They ran weak candidates with poor messaging in already tough districts. Tom Perez and Keith Ellison’s buddy cop duo was a cringe-worthy photo opp in party disunity. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without landing on a Bernie Bro crying foul. The Democratic Party seemed DOA in 2017 and possibly beyond. The Resistance movement started out with massive marches in mostly deep blue cities but seemed disconnected from the rural troubles of the country. With critical wins in VA and NJ last month, the Democrats are finally catching much-needed momentum headed into the 2018 midterms. Trump’s numbers are in the toilet, and the Republican party is right there in with him.
The biggest indicator for 2018 starts tonight in Alabama. The Republican Party has put forth a nightmare of a candidate in Steve Bannon’s hand-picked Judge Roy Moore. He’s a firebrand hack and alleged pedophile—sending a horrible message to the rest of the country. They would’ve been better off with the dull Luther Strange. He would’ve been a safe puppet for their agenda.
The Republicans want this tax reform bill done but at what cost? With Moore, they have a 24-7 headache on their hands. You know this guy is going to eat up the media spotlight—he’ll be an extreme-right media darling—but a national nightmare for the GOP. Regardless of the election’s outcome tonight, but they’ll start losing tomorrow morning. The Republican Party and the people of Alabama backed an alleged pedophile. Think about that. Does it go any lower than that? How on Earth can they defend this guy to voters around the rest of the country to Congressional races in NY and CA? How does any decent-minded Republican donor write another check once he’s officially Senator Roy Moore? The media will come after Moore so hard once he’s in office. It’s not going to be a smooth ride for the Republicans already tired of defending Trump. Moore is not the kind of guy that shuts up and does the work. He wants the drama. He craves the spotlight. He’s the spawn of Trump. Good luck trying to be the party of family values now. Moore’s victims won’t stay silent. Their voices will get louder.
Alabama is a deep red state in the Deep South that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate office in over 20 years—and the last time that happened the guy switched parties. That Senator is Richard Shelby, and he came out this week to say that he voted for a write-in candidate instead of Roy Moore. Ouch! An ugly road lies ahead for the GOP. Tonight’s results don’t matter all that much for the Democrats. If they win, they will have just picked up an unexpected seat and a bright path forward in 2018. If they lose, then it was no big surprise. They were expected to lose. Business as usual in Dixie.
The real win is that the Democrats just won the moral high ground over the sanctimonious Republicans. Doug Jones is a solid candidate and a former U.S. Attorney that prosecuted the KKK. An impressive guy to say the least. So far nothing terrible has come out of his past and seems like a nice enough guy on TV. He’d be respectable Senator if elected. Apparently being a former prosecutor that went up against the KKK doesn’t play well in Alabama, so the GOP has now backed a whackjob like Roy Moore—and a courtroom hero may lose to a total creep.
The Democrats on the other hand still have the high ground after getting rid of John Conyers and Al Franken. They cleaned house recently and will continue to do so. Hillary and Bill Clinton are now private citizens out of office. The GOP can’t use Bill’s past anymore. The Clinton’s run is over. Trump is still out there. Roy Moore is still out there. The Republican Party is now the party of Donald Trump and Roy Moore. Good luck selling that to female voters nationwide.
This whole “Drama in Bama” reminds me of that classic scene in Raging Bull when Joey La Motta’s explains to Jake La Motta his situation in fighting Tony Janiro:
Joey: Do you want a title shot?
Jake: What am I? What am I, a circus over here? What are ya doin’?
Joey: You’re killin’ yourself for three years now, right? There’s nobody left for you to fight. Everybody’s afraid to fight you. OK. Along comes this kid Janiro. He don’t know any better. He’s a young kid, up and coming, he’ll fight anybody. Good! You fight him. Let’s say you lose because of your weight. Are they gonna think you’re not as tough as you are, you’re not the same fighter? Good! They’ll match you with all those guys that were afraid of matchin’ with you before. What happens? You’ll kill ’em. And they gotta give you a title shot. Now let’s say you win, you beat Janiro. Which is, definitely, you should beat him. Right? Right? They still gotta give you a shot at the title. You know why?
Joey: Because the same thing as before: there’s nobody left. There ain’t nobody around. They gotta give you the shot. You understand? If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win. There’s no way you can lose. And you do it on your own, just the way you wanted to do, without any help from anybody. Do ya understand? Just get down to 155 pounds, you fat bastard. You stop eatin’!