The Alabama voters tossed one guy out of office and brought a newbie into that office last evening. The press wants to liken this to the crash of the Hindenburg so far as Republicans are concerned. I was surprised that voter turn-out wasn’t higher (30-some percent is not good) but I was not surprised that the Dems picked up another seat in the U.S. Senate.
The Democrats are patting themselves on the back today and that is as it should be. The U.S. Senate votes just tightened up for Republicans, and party loyalty/unity is more important today by one Senator. The Senate votes from this point forward until a new Senate is seated are going to be watched very carefully by pundits and political soothsayers alike.
Can firm conclusions be drawn based on this vote? We can be certain that people, even in the deep South, will not go along with these kinds of shenanigans. They are showing that they will only go so far in such situations. That is healthy.
I believe this was, or at least should be, very healthy for both Democrats and Republicans. There are lessons to be learned and they can be learned before the next nationwide Senate election IF the political parties will get real serious about doing so. If the Republicans do not recognize what the message to them was yesterday, they will be hurting worse after the next national election. If the Democrats do not learn that shoddy and tawdry candidates are not going to be tolerated as the result of this lesson to Republicans yesterday, I suspect the Dems will hurt themselves. I think the lesser of evils was elected yesterday.
I believe this might well have been a wake-up signal to the political insiders who think they can control the voters and sneak ill-prepared or repugnant candidates in and expect them to get elected because they have a “D” or an “R” behind their names. The geniuses who got their butts whipped last night ought to take particular notice and learn some new tricks, and I’ll wager that the party bigwigs in both parties will insist on that. This was an embarrassing loss for the Republicans. The low voter turn-out was a strong message to both parties.
The national press thinks it was given a ‘high five’ due to the way it followed this situation, but I do not believe that was the case. I expect the press will hurt itself significantly more than it already has if it continues to play its game of favorites while claiming it doesn’t play that game.
I don’t see much of a message to President Trump in this result. He obviously was expected to support the Republican party candidate but that is seen at the national level while this Republican loss was far more directed at the state party. I would expect Republicans in every state will be studying this situation heavily in the weeks and months to come lest it gets sideswiped again on a national platform as it did in this state race.
So, a new day dawns and the players have some pieces to pick up and put back together again. There are lessons for every state party on both sides of the aisle, and there are certainly lessons for the national parties to take seriously. This didn’t go as I thought it would but there were things in this picture that tended to forewarn of outcomes not going quite as they’d been painted pre-election day.