Before Democrats and Republicans draw too many conclusions about what the Virginia and New Jersey races for governor tell us about the state of play in American politics, let’s cast our gaze down yonder to Alabama.
Republican nominee Roy Moore is running against Democratic nominee Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat left open when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.
Moore is drawing the bulk of national attention. Why? Because he’s built a controversial career as an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. He was ousted not once, but twice from the bench for failing to follow the rules. He refused to follow an order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from public property; then he said county clerks didn’t have to obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage throughout the nation.
Judge Moore has been called the “Ayatollah of Alabama.” Nice nickname, eh?
Jones is the state’s attorney general. To be honest, I know damn little about Jones, other than he’s running as the non-Roy Moore. He is a former U.S. attorney who has prosecuted KKK members and has fought to enforce civil rights laws. He lacks the, um, color of Roy Moore. He also lacks Moore’s nutty views about whether Barack Obama was constitutionally qualified to serve as president and whether Muslims should be barred from serving in public office.
I am going to pull for Jones to win the Senate election next month.
If he does and the Republicans’ vise grip on this seat is pried loose, then I believe the Grand Old Party should start sweating bullets.