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Alabama Saves The Day. But Not Much Else.

| December 13, 2017

My home's in Alabama: the back of the tour bus long used by Alabama, the country band. (© FlaglerLive)

My home’s in Alabama: the back of the tour bus long used by Alabama, the country band. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s an odd day when Democrats have Alabama to thank for their better fortune. Winning a U.S. senate seat in the state that gave Donald Trump a 62 percent victory margin, narrowing the Republican-Democratic split in the Senate to one and scoring a victory for minorities, women’s dignity and gay rights, in Alabama, is no small thing. I dusted off my old Alabama Greatest Hits CD this morning and listened to “My Home’s In Alabama” with freakish pride. But Democrats are overstating the victory.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive Doug Jones should have won by 30 points. He won by one and a half percentage points, a difference of 21,000 votes out of 1.35 million cast in a state with 3.33 million registered voters. Moore won 42 of Alabama’s 67 counties, winning 17 of them with 70 percent of the vote or more. In two of them, he won with 80 percent or more. (That would be Blount and Winston counties, where whites make up 87 and 89 percent of the electorate.) Turnout was 40 percent, about right for an off-year election two weeks from Christmas. Calling it a harbinger of next year’s mid-terms is wishful at this point.

And look at what it took to beat a Republican. Moore is no ordinary barbarian, even for Alabama. Before you get to his teen-addled and mall-rat lechery there were the more civil scandals of his tenure posing as a judge but acting like Mullah Omar’s Christian doppelganger. This is the judge who defied several state and federal court rulings with his Ten Commandment displays and illegally used proceeds from films about the controversy to pay his legal expenses. He was twice removed from the bench for breaking the law, the second time for ordering Alabama’s equivalent of our clerks of court not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  

He was–he is–not just a bigot, but a cliché of bigotry. Think of anything or anyone non-white, non-evangelical and you’re pretty much on his shit list, though Muslims, gays and transgender people get him particularly excited. He thinks homosexuality is an American export, like Boeing jets and George Lucas movies. His idea of women is stuck somewhere in the backwoods of Winston County, predators being predisposed misogynists. Of course he thought Barack Obama was an East African Muslim impostor. Still does. Confederate monuments are his civic centerfolds, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin his post-Confederate heroes.

That was before the allegations of his pedophiliac interests. And until then, he was cruising to victory in his Senate race.

So that’s what it takes for a Democrat to defeat a Republican anymore. A Republican opponent’s racism, love of violence, hatred of anything not hetero, predatory pussy-grabbing and inability to tell the truth isn’t enough, as Trump triumphantly reminds us. The opponent must also have lusted after children. That crosses the line, if barely so, at least in an off-year election not too many days removed from the arrival of Baby Jesus. That’s a pretty damn low bar to clear for Republicans. It essentially adds up to this: Be breathing and keep your hands out of the knickers of kids and you should be fine. If you have any doubts, look to the White House as every Republican wiseguy’s North Star.

roy moode daily news cover screw you

How New York’s Daily News sees it this morning.

Not that Republicans should give up on pedophiles just yet. There were a couple of twists in this race that could have saved Moore’s candidacy. Trump miscalculated when he went ahead with another one of his white-man’s-burden rallies, that one in Pensacola a few days ago, not fooling anyone that it was a big ad for Moore smack in the middle of one of Alabama’s most important media markets. (Ron DeSantis, allegedly the congressman who represents Flagler County, lent his face and contralto voice to the pro-Moore orgy but managed not to mention the guy’s name. The appearance was message enough.) It was a shove too far. And Democrats, in a rare flash of strategic savvy–it reminded me of those parts of “Awakenings” when Robert DeNiro’s character comes out of his catatonic state for a while–managed to get Sen. Al Franken and his wandering hands booted off just in time to make it count against Moorland. Discount those two factors and we might have had a sequel to Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally in the guise of Moore’s victory party.

His loss may also be Democrats’ bigger loss in the long run. In Jones they win an additional but still irrelevant seat in the Senate, where Republicans still control the majority. In not having Moore to kick around, they lose what would have been the most potent demolition charge under Trump’s rickety Republican Party in the run-up to the mid-terms. The fact that congressional Republicans are celebrating Moore’s loss at least as much as Democrats should tell you all you need to know.

Sanity won the day. It may even have won Alabama, that old cradle of civil rights and prophet of the occasional mockingbird song. Sanity is not winning elsewhere. Not by any measure.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam.

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31 Responses for “Alabama Saves The Day. But Not Much Else.”

  1. mark101 says:

    I really don’t see this as some democrat republican event, but whats the right thing to do as a voter in Al. or a vote for common decency to not have some child teen luster/molester/pervert in office. Like you noted ” Sanity won the day”, and that’s a good thing. as people are sick of this sexual abuse of women. FYI: Fifty-eight percent of Alabama women voted for the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, including 35 percent of white women. While that latter figure might not sound like much, it’s more than twice the 16 percent of white Alabama women who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012. Sexual misconduct by men in Hollywood and Politics and around the workplace needs to cease. I really don’t know if they can get slick Donald but hopefully his time is coming,.

  2. Pogo says:

    @Pierre Tristam

    “…But Democrats are overstating the victory…”

    Any specifics?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      For example, ABC reports that “For Democrats, Jones’ win validates the “play everywhere” strategy being advocated by the DNC and other national entities. The win is likely to help recruiting efforts in other deep-red states with Senate races that – for now, at least – seem like longshots: Nebraska, Wyoming, and Mississippi – Alabama’s neighbor.” Or this from the Birmingham News: “Today, there is a movement that’s ALIVE – a burning movement fueled by those who seek an America that says no more to sexual abuse girls and women, of denial of the fundamental human rights of gay Americans, Muslims and immigrants, and of the continued systemic racism that plagues our nation.”

      There’s a movement, but whether it can really translate into substantive change in 2018 is still doubtful.

  3. Pogo says:

    @Pierre Tristam

    Thank you for the courtesy of your reply.

    “For example, ABC reports that “For Democrats, Jones’ win validates the “play everywhere” strategy being advocated by the DNC and other national entities. The win is likely to help recruiting efforts in other deep-red states with Senate races that – for now, at least – seem like longshots: Nebraska, Wyoming, and Mississippi – Alabama’s neighbor.”…”

    I still don’t see the name of an individual, at ABC, the DNC, or the national entities. Moreover, what’s the overstatement? Ford dealers usually do better on Monday after a Ford wins on Sunday – no? If one wants to point to an overstatement – look no further than the mutt exclaiming he’s making America great again.

    Anyway, thanks again for responding – and for your heroic reporting and opinions. And I don’t think that is an overstatement.

  4. USA Lover says:

    It’s a sad day when a mere accusation without any proof can change the course of a person’s life forever. I saw this in Georgia many years ago. A young and up-coming family man and Sunday School teacher was running for the State Senate and a young attractive blonde told a local paper that he was stalking her and the voters spoke at the polls. He was a defeated and later she recanted and apologized.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      By the same token Anita Hill never recanted but Thomas was, unfortunately, confirmed, and his 26 years on the bench have been a judicial horror show: we can disagree about judicial philosophy. We should disagree less about the degree of cruelty and zealotry he’s brought to decisions, characteristics that I think were anticipated by some of the revelations during the 1991 hearings, as 48 senators who voted against him well knew.

  5. MrG says:

    TRUMP 2020…..

  6. palmcoaster says:

    The results in Alabama…rebuild my confidence if our election system in AL and our fellow Americans standing for what is right and out with evil. Judge Moore’s credentials no longer, suitable for our senate same as POTUS lack of presidential protocol while referring with innuendos to Senator Hilldebrand and all his accusers that endured his sexual liberties and abuse. Our two Democrat Senators for much less that that were asked and resigned. Not is POTUS turn.

  7. palmcoaster says:

    Now is Potus turn.

  8. Veteran says:

    Hope the Dems enjoy this because in 2020 Alabama will elect a Republican.

  9. Crusty Old Salt says:

    At least Trump didn’t call the election results fake news!

  10. Fredrick says:

    Yep you are right Pierre. Liberals should not celebrate too much. They through all they had, including the media, looking like the FBI and others, but up such a bad candidate and have ZERO message for the masses, that they could not beet a buffoon like Trump and they can only squeak by with the thinnest of margins to win against a potential pedophile? What does that say about your party? You got problems man. Big problems.
    You still don’t get or will not admit that you understand why Trump won. Nor will the mainstream Republicans in congress for that matter. People are tired of being called racist because they do not agree with you, they are tired of being called deplorable, tired of being told they are anti immigration, tired of being told they are anti gay. Just stop it. We could really careless about a person’s sexual orientation, careless about the “dreamers”, others are welcome to join us in our country but do it legally… blah blah blah. They are tired of being lied to by politicians. Lied to about a healthcare program that could only be passed because the president lied about it and tired of being lied to by politicians that said they will fix it if you give them both houses and the presidency… They are tired of people not taking responsibility for themselves and when they speak up about it they are called racist, not sympathetic, racist…
    Sanity did ring in Alabama by not electing a potential pedophile, but the Republicans screwed up by not nipping it and putting someone else up before it was too late, but the timing of the Liberals plan of exposing Moores issues was perfect. Go Figure. And now that the BS Russia Russia has lost it’s team you will go after Trump with his accusers. Of course you will have to continue to toss more of your own under the bus. More Repubs and Dems will slink away…. And the libs will never be able to walk away from the Rapist and Chief Clinton who you put back in office and his lying wife. They are both corrupt, are thieves and should be locked up.
    Just stop. Both sides just stop the BS. Shut down all the “news” organizations because I cannot find one that just reports the news and lets me draw my own opinion anymore. Just follow the constitution, enforce the laws on the books, take responsibility for yourself and your actions, be kind to others and help your neighbor…. It really is that simple.

  11. Really says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    If you think about it, this election was similar to the 2016 presidential election in that Trump beat the Democrat by a large margin in the rural more white/conservative areas and the same is true here, except where Trump’s candidate Moore won bigger in those conservative areas than Trump did in the 2016 presidential elections. This says to me that there was a bigger liberal, woman, black, and minority turnout because of Moore’s sketchy past. Turnout was fairly lower than a Presidential election, so more Trump white/conservatives, who would have been out in strength to vote for the conservative, were showing apathy because of Moore’s history and just didn’t vote. If it were a normal election, with normal turnout, Jones would have been smeared. It also tells me Trump is gaining popularity with white more middle of the road conservatives, so look out in 2020 presidential race.

  13. a tiny manatee says:

    Don’t vote democrat, vote DSA democrat.

  14. knightwatch says:

    Frederick, your head must be spinning and your brain frying. We’re not calling you racist just because we disagree. We’re calling you racist because you want the right to discriminate against people who do not look like you. We call you anti-immigration because you support Trump’s Muslim ban and you think immigrants from our southern border are rapists and murders. We call you anti-gay because you think gays are sick, perverted and anti-(your) god. I agree you’ve been lied to by politicians, but they’re your politicians, led by the most prolific liar ever to occupy the White House. Seems you still can’t get over the Clintons, but they’ve been investigated over and over and the only criminals going to prison are Republicans. You don’t accept Russian interference in our election even though our very own F.B.I. reports that there was. And you don’t believe that the news media is fair because it reports the facts which confirm that we have a very ill-prepared, infantile and dangerous man sitting in the White House.

    Take a break and get some rest because you’re going to really hate November 2018.

  15. Pogo says:


    Yes indeed – well said.

    The goons who marched with torches and shields chanting about not being replaced have had one of their heroes replaced – in large part because women matter, and Black lives matter – and voted like it too. They persisted. Thanks Mitch M, thanks Paul R, thanks Steve B, – thanks Russian sponsored spray tanned tiny handed creep.

    Starting right now, the Democratic party needs to register their voters. Not next year – now. People who need assistance to obtain a required ID should be provided every assistance possible. Turn out the vote. And fight against the redmap strategy that Republicans have used to cheat the rest of us.

    redmap strategy….0…1c..64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.OerFAIbBy8s

  16. gmath55 says:

    Great comment Fredrick! You nailed it.

  17. rick stevens says:

    What he said.

  18. George says:

    @USA Lover,
    “It’s a sad day when a mere accusation without any proof can change the course of a person’s life forever.”
    So when multitudes of women bring forth accusations towards someone, we should just dismiss their claims because Roy Moore and Donald Trump or any other man weren’t caught red handed? I think not. Just like with Trump, there isn’t just one woman coming forward against an alleged sexual predator, there’s many. Just because the event wasn’t caught on camera doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  19. capt says:

    I see these acts against women on TV read the papers but I think back watching TV and Bill Clinton President and married telling America he didn’t have sex with that woman, and its ” ok’ ! , He stayed in office. Something was and still is broken in America. Trump needs to go not because of his women issues, Clinton had those while GOV of Arkansas before he was president but Trump is NO Bill Clinton when it comes to running a country. But that still doesn’t make it right to have a double standard.

  20. Pogo says:


    Better late than never. Karma, time and fortune – call it what you will – came for Bill and Hill. Now its calling for the rest of us.

    The ship of state is captained by the most unqualified and unfit creep ever elected – with a crew that would make the most shameless hustlers in history blush. This accidental president, his cabinet, his political party (yes you are – he has the receipts to prove it) make the most over the top Bond villain look like a dry understatement.

    The Republican’s tax bill is being rammed through by people who are behaving like drug dealers stuffing their pockets with everything they’re able to grab while jumping out a window from a knock on their door. While that music fills the air, the defense budget is becoming 2 blimps instead of 1, Baroness DeVos is screwing the victims of scammers like Trump University; the EPA is changing its name by replacing the word protection with poisoning, the State Department is being shrunk to a card table at the front door to a Walmart, etc, etc.

    Don’t be surprised when you meet today’s Republican leaders standing in a bread line (google it kiddies) with you – when their sins come home to roost.

  21. Eric Hollis says:

    And just like that Roy Moore accusers have gone away.

  22. Sherry says:

    The times they are a changin’!

    As a woman who often was the only woman in a manager’s meeting or on a board of directors, I have powerful memories of what it meant. . . and still means. . . to live as a “second class citizen” in a MAN’S world. Perhaps that’s why I can . . . just a tiny bit. . . relate to what it must be like to be a person of color in the USA.

    I was very fortunate to be married at age 18 . . . and, still I had close calls. I always had my guard up, wore pants or long skirts and blouses buttoned to the chin, and still was often solicited. I did OK in my business, but I some times long for what I could have accomplished if I had EQUAL status to the men that surrounded me.

    Regarding Bill Clinton,let’s remember he was shamed, he was impeached. . . even all these years later, he is still held up to ridicule. However, even after trump bragged about being a sexual predator on the Access Hollywood tape and on the Howard Stern show. . . with massive Russian propaganda influence. . . millions of American voters elected trump president.

    Now that many trump supporters are realizing that they were manipulated by the Russians, and that trump’s words and actions are proving that he really is a dangerous narcissistic megalomaniac, many are opening their minds to the sexual accusations against him.

    The defeat of horrific Roy Moore was only a “tiny” step towards sanity and moral standards because the margin should have been much, much greater. We still have a VERY long way to go before regaining our moral footing. I pray that more and more of us are beginning to move away from the despicable gutter of the Alt Right!

  23. Eric Hollis says:

    He Bill, was never impeached, sorry to inform you.

  24. a tiny manatee says:

    The lesson here is that if you’re a GOP candidate screw as many kids as you want but do not I REPEAT do not mention that you have a jewish lawyer.

  25. gmath55 says:

    Maybe the voting was close because of Doug Jones beliefs.

    1. Murder of unborn children.
    2. Sanctuary cities.
    3. Open borders.
    4. Gay agenda

    So, just like the Presidency the worst of two evils lost.

  26. Sherry says:

    Eric Hollis. . . I’m happy to help keep you informed:

    You, too gmath55:

    Doug Jones:

    1. Agrees with the Supreme Court and the Law of the Land that women should have control of their own bodies= PRO CHOICE

    2. Understands that unless you are a full blooded “native American” you/ your ancestors are/were IMMIGRANTS. The current USA is a nation of immigrants. The earliest settlers of our nation did not immigrate legally. Even those who came through Ellis Island were NOT thoroughly vetted at all:

    3. Doug Jones prefers using technology to keep our borders safe. . . instead of a billion dollar, ineffective wall:

    4. Doug Jones agrees with the Supreme Court of the United States on marriage and gender equality:

  27. Sherry says:

    Sorry Eric. . . I forgot to include this about the “defamation” law suit against Roy Moore. . . happy to help you:

  28. knightwatch says:

    No, Frederick, what does that say about YOUR party?

  29. gmath55 says:

    Voter Fraud Press Conference (Full Video)

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