Tag Archives: Doug Jones

Trump’s campaign record is, um, not so good

Donald John Trump ventured to western Pennsylvania this weekend to campaign on behalf of Rick Saccone, a Republican candidate for Congress.

The election is set for Tuesday.

The president seems to think his presence on the campaign podium will help Saccone defeat his Democratic opponent, Conor Lamb.

Hmm. Let’s ponder that for a moment. Oh, how about this?

Trump campaigned in Alabama in 2017 on behalf of U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was running for election in the Republican primary. Strange had been appointed to the Senate after Jeff Sessions left to become attorney general.

Strange didn’t win. He lost to Roy Moore, the highly controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice.

Trump then endorsed Moore and campaigned — more or less — for the embattled former judge. Moore, remember, had those accusations of sexual misconduct hanging over his candidacy.

Moore ended up losing the special election to Doug Jones, a Democrat who became the first senator from his party to represent Alabama in 25 years.

The president’s “popularity” in Alabama didn’t take either of his preferred candidates over the finish line ahead of their foes.

Will he find the magic in Pennsylvania?

Hah!

No more Moore

Roy Moore is distinguishing himself in a dubious manner.

He has emerged as the most ungracious loser in modern U.S. political history.

Moore lost a special election on Dec. 12 to U.S. Sen.-elect Doug Jones, who won by about 20,000 votes in Alabama, or by roughly 1.5 percent.

Moore, the Republican, refused to concede to Jones, the Democrat, on election night. Not only that, he refused to do so the next day, or the next week.

Here we are, three weeks later and Moore still hasn’t conceded. Ohh, no. Instead, he sought to overturn the results by declaring — without proof — that there was widespread voter fraud in Alabama. The Alabama secretary of state, also a Republican, certified Jones’s victory; the new senator will take office after being sworn in next month by Vice President Pence.

Moore was a deeply flawed candidate from the get-go. The Alabama judicial conduct commission removed him twice from the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to follow federal court orders. He is an extreme religious zealot.

Then came allegations of sexual misconduct by several women, one of whom accused Moore of seeking to seduce her when she was just 14 years of age. Hmm. Pedophilia — allegedly — anyone?

Well, this clown isn’t going away. He might run for Alabama governor. Oh, brother.

Just go away.

Just … go away, Roy Moore

Don’t you wish Roy Moore would simply just vanish? I do.

The combative, zealous and allegedly perverted Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama lost an election to Democratic nominee Doug Jones earlier this month.

Moore hasn’t yet conceded defeat to the man who beat him by 1.5 percentage points. Ohhh, no. Instead, this goofball former judge has alleged “massive voter fraud” in Alabama cost him the election to Sen.-elect Jones.

To his credit, Republican Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill dismissed Moore’s bogus claim of voter fraud. There was none found, Merrill said. A judge tossed Moore’s complaint into the crapper. Game over, judge.

Merrill certified Jones’s victory and the new senator will be sworn in next month by Vice President Mike Pence.

But Moore — the former two-time Alabama chief justice and a man accused by women of sexual misconduct — isn’t going quietly away. He’s continuing to raise holy hell with non-existent controversies.

Moore is making a spectacle of himself by seeking some sort of redress while in effect defaming local election officials by contending fraud where none exists.

You know, it’s interesting in one way that Donald J. Trump would have endorsed this guy for election to the Senate, albeit belatedly. Moore is showing the same lack of grace and class as his chief political benefactor, the president of the United States.

Peaceful transitions of power are supposed to be one of the many hallmarks of this great country. Alabama had an election. It produced a clear winner. It’s now time for the loser to bow out.

If only this guy would simply go away. Never to be heard from again.

GOP ‘wins’ while their guy loses

Republicans far and wide are breathing more easily today than they were a week ago.

Last week they were worrying that one of their own, Roy Moore of Alabama, was going to win a special election to a U.S. Senate seat. He didn’t. Moore lost that contest to Doug Jones, a Democratic former federal prosecutor.

I’ll leave it to my old pal Tom Taschinger — who succeeded me more than 20 years ago as editorial page editor of the Beaumont Enterprise — to explain in detail how Republicans won while losing an election.

Read Taschinger’s essay¬†here.

Moore was a damaged candidate even before allegations surfaced from women who accused him of sexual misconduct. He is a religious zealot who doesn’t work well with so-called “establishment” Republicans, many of whom cringed at the idea of him joining the ranks of the U.S. Senate.

Moreover, other GOP candidates would have had to run under the banner of a party that elected someone accused of the hideous acts that Moore is alleged to have committed. That’s if he won.

Since he didn’t, Republicans now have been spared the misery of campaigning under the specter of a “Sen. Roy Moore.”

Does this put the Republicans in the clear? Does it make a forgone conclusion that they’ll hold onto their slim Senate majority after the 2018 midterm election?

Hardly. The fight has just begun.

It’s over, Roy Moore; concede, will ya?

I must be feeling all Christmas-y or something. I’m about to agree with Donald John Trump.

The president is calling on Roy Moore, the defeated Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alabama to concede to Democratic Sen.-elect Doug Jones.

Moore was Trump’s guy. He endorsed him, despite the allegations of sexual misconduct that several women had leveled against the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. The president recorded some phone messages that were sent to ‘Bama voters prior to the special election earlier this week.

Jones won by about 1.5 percentage points. No need for a recount.

Moore is hanging on to some delusion that the result might change if they recounted the ballots. Um, no, judge. It won’t happen.

As Politico reported:¬† “I think he should. He tried. I want to support, always, I want to support the person running. We need the seat, we’d like to have the seat,” the president said … “As far as Roy Moore, yeah, it’s — I would certainly say he should” concede.

There you go, judge. Your main political proponent says you ought to give it up. It’s time for you to move on. Make the call, congratulate the guy who beat you.

It’s damn sure time for Moore to retire … and remove himself permanently from the public stage.

Many of us out here have had enough of this guy.

Speaker Straus, would you reconsider quitting the House?

Joe Straus has declared that “decency trumped tribalism” in Alabama.

Yes, it did. The election of U.S. Sen.-elect Doug Jones over his fiery and deeply flawed foe, Roy Moore, suggests a potential turning of the tide in deeply red, Republican-leaning states.

Straus, the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, issued a stern warning to his fellow Texans in a talk to the Greater Austin Crime Commission. “If more mainstream voters participate in primaries, there will be fewer Roy Moores in position to hold important offices,” Straus said.

Straus is on point

“Mainstream voters” are opting out of the primary process these days, Straus fears. I share his fear. I also want Straus to rethink his decision to retire from public life after the 2018 midterm election.

He is stepping down as speaker of the House. Indeed, he represents the very type of “mainstream politician” that states such as Texas need as government faces a frontal assault by political zealots. In Texas, that assault is coming from within the Republican Party.

Straus is a mainstream Republican who led the fight to kill the ridiculous Bathroom Bill that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate wanted to enact. That bill would have required transgender folks to use public restrooms according to the gender assigned on their birth certificate. Straus made damn sure the House wouldn’t follow suit and, in his mind, discriminate against Texans.

Mainstream politics, anyone? There you have it. Speaker Straus embodied it quite nicely during the special legislative session that Gov. Greg Abbott called earlier this year.

When someone such as Straus declares that “decency” must win the day, he speaks from intense personal experience.

I know he won’t reconsider his decision to step aside at the end of next year. He likely would face a Republican primary challenge in San Antonio.

But still … I want to make the plea just one time for the record. Stay in the fight, Mr. Speaker. The state needs you.

One fear is coming true

I expressed some concern that the loser of the Alabama U.S. Senate race wouldn’t concede gracefully to the winner. The fight got seriously nasty, you know?

Sadly, it’s proving to be the case.

Roy Moore lost to Doug Jones by about 1.5 percent, which is outside Alabama’s mandated recount margin of .5 percent. Moore, the Republican nominee, was supposed to beat the Democrat Jones.

He didn’t.

Moore said Tuesday night he would “sleep on it.” I hope he got a night’s 40 winks. Except he awoke today and still hasn’t done what he ought to do: Place a call to Jones, tell him congratulations and pledge to “work with” as he transitions to the U.S. Senate.

At least, the president of the United States — who had endorsed Moore — managed to fire of a congratulatory tweet late last night.

But … this is what we can expect I suppose from the guy accused by several women of sexual misconduct.

Here’s the good news, though: Doug Jones won. The senator-elect will take office with or without a concession from the guy who lost.

GOP about to engage in un-civil war

Intraparty conflicts aren’t pretty. Just ask any Democrat who got caught in the 1960s-70s battle that damn near destroyed that party in the wake of the Vietnam War.

I am thinking the Republican Party is about to launch a rhetorical bombardment on its own in the aftermath of that stunning loss in Alabama, where Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in the race for that state’s U.S. Senate seat.

Let’s re-trace a few steps for a brief moment.

  • Moore challenged U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, the Republican appointed to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who became U.S. attorney general. Donald Trump endorsed Strange, campaigned for him and then watched him lose the GOP runoff race to Moore, who had been backed by Trump’s former senior White House strategist, Stephen Bannon.
  • Then came the allegations against Moore from several women who accused him of sexual misconduct. “Establishment Republicans” began fleeing Moore. They withdrew their previous endorsement. Senate GOP leaders said he was unfit for a Senate seat. Then the president decided belatedly to endorse Moore, meaning that Trump and Bannon were back on the same team.
  • Moore then lost the election to Jones, a former federal prosecutor. The race was close but it falls outside the margin that triggers an automatic recount. Moore hasn’t yet conceded to Jones. Trump congratulated Jones. Then he tweeted something about how he knew all along that Moore couldn’t win, that the “deck was stacked against him.” What utter crap! The deck was stacked in Moore’s favor, given Alabama’s tradition of backing Republicans over Democrats.

So, what does the Republican Party do now? Does it continue to fight among itself? Bannon considers himself to be a “kingmaker.” His latest candidate for U.S. political royalty has been toppled.

As for Trump? Well, his instincts aren’t so great either. No surprise, given that the president had zero political experience prior to being elected to the highest, most exalted office on Earth.

I sense an un-civil war is about to commence.

The sun shines a bit more brightly today … in Alabama

I awoke this morning. The sun came out and is shining quite brightly here on the Texas High Plains.

This is an unproven notion, but my sense is that it likely is shining a bit more brightly today over yonder in Alabama, where voters did something few of us thought possible. They rejected a deeply flawed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and elected a moderate, mainstream Democrat.

Who knew, yes?

Sen.-elect Doug Jones is likely beginning his preparation to join the Club of 100 on Capitol Hill. He will be the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in 25 years. This was supposed to be GOP nominee Roy Moore’s election to lose and by golly he found a way to do it.

He campaigned badly, particularly in the final days when he disappeared from the campaign trail. He left the field wide open for Jones, who took full advantage down the stretch.

But … that’s side-show stuff. The real flaws in Moore’s candidacy stemmed from his outrageous notion that only evangelical Christians were fit to serve in public office and, oh yes, those allegations about sexual misconduct.

The stunning aspect of Jones’s victory is being felt in the White House, where Donald Trump staked a great deal of his political capital on a Moore victory. Some analysts are calling this defeat the worst of Trump’s tenure as president. Jones cuts the Senate GOP’s already thin margin by a single seat. It now opens the door to a possible Democratic takeover of the Senate in 2018, not to mention possibly puts control of the House of Representatives in play.

And all this happened in Dixie, in a state Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016.

It’s been said that a week, a month — let alone a year — can be a “lifetime in politics.” The stunning result that occurred in Alabama last night drives the point home.

Boy, howdy!

Let the sun shine brightly.

There really is political justice, yes, Sen.-elect Jones?

My dear ol’ Dad used to declare “I’ll be dipped in sesame seeds” when something surprised him.

Tonight I am up to my armpits in sesame seeds with news that Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in a race for the U.S. Senate from Alabama.

Jones becomes the first Democrat elected in blood-red ‘Bama in 25 years. To win the seat, though, he had to defeat a Republican opponent who faced accusations from several women who alleged that Moore sexually abused them; one of the women said Moore did so when she was 14 years of age and he was a 32-year-old deputy district attorney.

One cannot overestimate the political fallout this is going to create all over Washington, D.C.

Sen.-elect Jones’s victory cuts the Republican margin in the Senate to one vote. It comes after Donald John Trump endorsed Moore, recorded a phone message on his behalf and declared wrongly that Jones was “soft on crime.” Moreover, Stephen Bannon — Trump’s former political strategist and the godfather of the GOP’s rebel wing — had campaigned hard for Moore.

Even if we set aside the allegations of pedophilia and assorted sexual abuse accusations against Moore, my own view is that the Republican candidate was unfit for service in the Senate. He was removed twice as chief justice of Alabama’s top court over his refusal to obey federal law: one involved the removal of a Ten Commandments monument on public property, the other dealt with his refusal to obey a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.

He is a religious zealot who doesn’t understand that the U.S. Constitution established a secular government.

And yet, Alabama voters have declared that they don’t want to be represented in the U.S. Senate by someone so wholly unqualified.

Good for them. Thank you for restoring many Americans’ faith in the political process.