Tag Archives: US Senate

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.

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.

Here’s why Senate votes are so important

A lot of Americans are awaiting the results of a statewide election that has nothing to do with their own state.

Alabama voters have cast their ballots. Democrat Doug Jones or Republican Roy Moore will become that state’s next U.S. senator.

Why is that important to, say, Texans, or those who live in California, Wisconsin, Delaware or the Dakotas?

Two reasons.

One is that the Senate right now comprises 52 Republicans and 46 Democrats (with two independents who caucus with the Democrats). That means the balance of power is tenuous, indeed.

If Jones wins, the narrow margin is made even more narrow, which is why Donald Trump has campaigned (sort of) for Moore.

The second reason speaks to why all Senate — and House — elections are important for the entire country. These individuals make laws that affect all Americans. With the Senate balance hanging so tenuously, that makes this particular contest so noteworthy — even without the sexual allegations that have swirled around Roy Moore.

This federal system of government of ours puts a lot of power in the 100 men and women of the Senate and the 435 individuals who comprise the House of Representatives. A single senator can block a presidential nomination. House members initiate all tax legislation.

House members can impeach the president; the Senate then can conduct a trial.

These elections in every state and congressional district have a direct impact on Americans who live far beyond that state or congressional district’s borders.

You know how I want this Alabama election to turn out.

This one matters, it seems, more than many other states’ elections.

Then again, they’re all important.

Some of my best friends are … you know

Kayla Moore, wife of that guy — Roy Moore — sought to dispel suggestions that she and her husband hold anti-Jewish sentiments.

She said — and this is kind of funny if you’re in the right frame of mind — “One of our attorneys is a Jew. ” Then she said she has “many good friends that are Jewish.”

It’s come to this, dear reader. A candidate for the U.S. Senate is now defending himself, via his wife, that he has friends who are Jewish.

Does it remind you of how some folks will say “I am not racist. Some of my best friends are black”?

Kayla Moore’s comments came just a few days after her husband said of George Soros, the noted left-leaning political mega-donor — who happens to be Jewish: Soros “is going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept salvation are going. And that’s not a good place.”

I guess Roy Moore means hell. He means that non-Christians are going straight to purgatory. Isn’t that right?

They’ve gone to the polls today in Alabama, where Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones to fill the U.S. Senate vacated when Jeff Sessions became attorney general.

How do suppose non-Christians in Alabama — or anywhere else in this widely diverse nation — feel about a candidate for the Senate saying they’re going to hell?

This is the kind of thing — apart from the sexual abuse allegations — that creeps me out about Roy Moore.

Oh, yeah, there’s also the Clinton matter

I feel the need to launch a bit of a preemptive strike at those who are inclined to take issue with an earlier item I posted on High Plains Blogger.

It wonders whether Donald John Trump should consider resigning the presidency in the wake of resignations of three key members of Congress: Democratic Sen. Al Franken, Democratic Rep. John Conyers and Republican Rep. Trent Franks — all of whom quit over allegations of sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

As long as we’re insisting on resignation …

Critics of this blog might be inclined to remind me that President Bill Clinton should have quit, too, when allegations surfaced about women with whom he had sexual relations. One woman accused him of rape; another accused him of sexual harassment; yet another was revealed to have engaged in some dalliance with the president while she was working as a White House intern.

I’ll answer any such response this way: President Clinton went through a serious round of “due process.”

The House of Representatives impeached him for lying to a grand jury about his relationship with the White House intern. Republicans who ran the House at the time were looking for a reason to impeach Clinton; the president gave them one by lying under oath.

Then came the trial in the Senate, presided over by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Senators heard the evidence, heard the rebuttal to the evidence and then acquitted the president on all the charges brought by the House.

Due process, man. That is what transpired in 1998.  We haven’t been through anything of the sort as it regards the current president.

So, please spare me the “Clinton should have quit, too” mantra. He went through hell by being impeached. He paid a price. Whether it was a sufficient price for what he did depends on whether you agree or disagree with the Senate verdict.

I happen to agree with it.

Moore’s unfitness for Senate pre-dates sex abuse allegations

Let me be crystal clear.

Roy Moore gave me the heebie-jeebies the moment he won the Alabama Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat that’s about to be filled. That was before the allegations of sexual abuse/predation surfaced about the former two-time Alabama Supreme Court chief justice.

Even if these allegations hadn’t been leveled against, I would be frightened beyond measure about the prospect of this guy joining the Club of 100, the so-called World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.

This fellow doesn’t deliberate over anything. He’s a man of strong opinions about religion, the U.S. Constitution and whether elected officials should obey the Constitution or follow their own religious beliefs.

Moore does not seem to understand that the U.S. government is framed by a secular document.

He was kicked off the Alabama high court the first time for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the court grounds. The state’s judicial ethics commission said the Commandments’ presence violated the Constitution’s implied separation of church and state. Out he went.

Then he returned. What did he do the second time? He said that county clerks did not have to obey the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized gay marriage throughout the nation. The judicial ethics panel weighed in again. It determined he was unfit to serves as chief justice. He hit the road … again.

Now he’s running for the U.S. Senate in the midst of the allegations against him. His fellow Republicans say they want no part of him, although some of them are backtracking on that declaration as the election draws closer; Alabama voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

What’s more, Moore now has the full backing of Donald John “Groper in Chief” Trump. These guys deserve each other.

Why am I interested in this, given that I live out here in Texas and don’t have a vote in Alabama? Because this fellow could be empowered to make federal law that affects all Americans — of whom I am one.

I don’t want this guy anywhere near the Senate chamber. I don’t want him on Capitol Hill. He scares the bejabbers out of me.

It has nothing to do with the notion that women have accused him preying on them when they were underage.

As Sen. Richard Shelby, another Alabama Republican, said: “I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip — when it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me. I said I can’t vote for Roy Moore.”

Those allegations just have poured gasoline on the fire.

That did it! Moore equates ‘slavery’ with U.S. ‘greatness’

Roy Moore shouldn’t have said it. But he did. Now it’s out there.

The controversial Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama fielded a question earlier this year about American greatness. Someone asked Moore when he thought this country was truly great. He said:

“I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another … our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

Even though we had slavery? Is this fellow suggesting that slavery was part of the formula for greatness?

Moore does it again

Why in the name of rhetorical clumsiness did he have to add that qualifier?

As I look at his statement, the candidate — who’s also been accused of sexual misconduct with children — could have omitted the slavery reference altogether. He didn’t. He tossed it out there.

From my standpoint, the notion that this nation would allow the level of human bondage and captivity that it did prior to the Civil War is a mark of supreme condemnation. It never — ever! — should be included in a discussion of American “greatness.”

American greatness effectively began when African-Americans were emancipated, freed from the hideous bondage of slavery.

This is yet another reason why Alabama voters should reject this man’s candidacy for an important public office.

Politics, just like life, sometimes ain’t fair

My mother and father more than likely told me a time or two when I was a kid that “Life isn’t fair.”

I’ve passed that bit of wisdom on to my sons. Perhaps I’ll tell my granddaughter the same thing in due course.

It can be said, too, that politics falls into that category of unfairness. People say things about politicians and we tend to think the worst of them.

The political world is reeling at this moment as a prominent U.S. senator appears ready to call it quits over allegations that have come forward from women who have accused him of sexual misbehavior. One of the women produced photographic evidence of it. Sen. Al Franken acknowledged complicity in what she alleged — more or less.

More women have come forward. The word is swirling that Franken is going to announce his resignation from the Senate.

Is the senator entitled to what’s been called “due process”? Yes, to a point. But let’s remember that Franken isn’t charged with a crime. He has been accused of making a serious political mistake. If he doesn’t quit the Senate soon, he damn sure should leave that body. He’s damaged beyond repair.

Now, about that fairness matter.

Franken is likely toast as a national political leader. Why? Because women came forward and accused him of misbehaving.

Franken’s career, reputation destroyed

Meanwhile, the president of the United States has actually acknowledged that he has grabbed women by their genitals, he has kissed them against their will. He said he could do that because he’s a “celebrity,” which he said gives him license to act like a boor.

These revelations came forward in the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, while the candidate — Donald Trump — was seeking the presidency.

What kind of price did that politician pay? None. He got elected president. 

Oh, there’s more. Another politician has been accused of sexual misbehavior. Women have said that a Senate candidate, Roy Moore, sought an improper relationship with them when they were underage; one woman said Moore made advances on her when she was 14 years of age.

Roy Moore, an archconservative, God-fearing, “family values” Republican, is now expected to win the Senate seat in Alabama. He denies doing anything wrong.

So, a sitting U.S. senator is likely to leave public service because he has been accused of misbehaving badly. Another politician gets elected to the highest, most exalted office in the nation — if not the world — after telling the world he did hideous things to women. And yet another man is likely to win election to an important Senate seat after being accused of pedophilia.

How is any of this fair? It’s not. We’re talking about politics.

Watch this intraparty battle get real hot

Mitt Romney wants to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah.

His candidacy will depend on whether Orrin Hatch seeks re-election next year. Hatch, the Senate’s longest-tenured Republican, hasn’t yet made his decision.

But, oh my, this fight is getting nasty before it’s even started.

You see, Mitt is no fan or friend of Donald John Trump. He has called the president a “fraud” and a “phony.” The president’s wing man, former White House strategist Stephen Bannon, has decided to suggest that Mitt was a draft dodger, that his religious mission work in France during the Vietnam War was a tactic to keep him from serving in the military.

Romney’s allies in Utah are coming to his defense. They have blasted Bannon for questioning Romney’s love of country, his patriotism, his character; Bannon even took a swipe at Mitt’s entire family.

Hatch defends his friend

There has been some speculation that Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, might run even if Hatch decides to seek another term. I would doubt that will occur.

My hope is that Mitt goes for it. I also hope Hatch decides to retire. He’s been on the job for decades. Hatch, at times, has shown an ability and willingness to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats; my guess is that Romney could do the same if he gets elected.

As for Bannon — the guy that Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly fired — he ought to tone down the tough talk. It’s unbecoming.

What’s more, Romney has done more in service to his country than Bannon ever thought of doing.

Finally, Romney happens to be right about the president, someone I consider to be the phoniest fraud ever to occupy the office. A U.S. Senate seat would give him a wonderful platform to hold the president accountable for his words and deeds.