So Roy Moore lost a safe Republican Senate seat in Alabama last night.
I went onto Twitter after the race had been called for Doug Jones (or Doug Moore as the always brilliant Sheila Jackson-Lee called him).
(Yeah. I took a screen-cap for when she deletes it).
Any old how. As I was saying.
I went onto Twitter after the race was called. And the reactions were all over the map.
Some Moore supporters became nearly indistinguishable from the way Hillary supporters acted in the wee hours of November 9, 2016.
Others were less surprised.
But I’m not one to scream helplessly at the sky.
Mostly because we’re not helpless little snowflakes.
Let’s suck it up, accept the loss and figure out the best way forward.
And, yeah. Many on social media are already accusing the Democrats of fraud and other underhanded tactics to get this win.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they’re right.
But here’s the thing. When Democrats run in an election, the best you can say about them is they skirt the very edges of propriety. More often than not, they find ways to outright cheat.
That’s not news.
Meaning, we should always figure that into our strategy.
The bottom line is Alabama is a solid Republican state that just elected a Democrat because the Republican was not a particularly good candidate.
This wasn’t the Democrats scoring a win so much as it was the Republicans fumbling the ball in the end zone.
On the plus side, it has taught me to pay more attention to Donald Trump’s political instincts.
As the Daily Wire pointed out, this is what Donald Trump had to say about Roy Moore before the September primary:
“I have to say this, and you understand this and just look at the polls. Luther will definitely win. Roy has a very good chance of not winning in the general election. It’s all about the general. Don’t forget, we don’t stop here. You have an election coming up the day this is over. So this is over on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, the new race begins. You’ve got to beat a Democrat. Luther is going to win easily and Roy’s going to have a hard time winning.”
At the time Trump endorsed Luther Strange, I found it puzzling, and I said so.
And I was wrong.
How could I forget the cardinal rule that Trump is always proven right in the end?
I doubted my gut instincts about Donald Trump and I shouldn’t have.
It’s like when you take a multiple-choice test and you settle quickly on choice B. But then you second-guess yourself and go with choice D – only to discover your gut instinct was right, and B was the answer.
I should have trusted my gut about Trump’s political savvy, and I didn’t.
The other thing I’ve learned from this Alabama race is the brains behind the Trump 2016 campaign was Donald J. Trump, not Steve Bannon.
And Bannon without Trump is like sour cream without the baked potato.
Or, in keeping with current events: Bannon without Trump is like Diet Coke without the carbonation.
Bannon tried to recreate the irreverent, no-holds-barred attitude of Donald Trump for the Moore campaign.
But without Trump, it just doesn’t work.
And not just because Roy Moore is no Donald Trump.
Where Trump can get away with hurling over-the-top insults at his opponents, Bannon can’t.
Trump is unique – he’s one-of-a-kind.
And trying to use the Trump technique without Trump clearly didn’t work in Alabama.
Hopefully Bannon figures out a way to be a benefit to the Trump agenda in the 2018 midterms.
Because in Alabama, Bannon too doubted Trump’s instincts and backed the wrong horse.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with running against the entrenched political establishment that is standing in the way of Trump’s agenda.
But I can’t help but feel like Bannon’s ego is standing in the way too.
In the short term, Moore’s defeat hurts us.
But it also hurts the Democrat Party.
Make no mistake, they were eagerly hoping that Moore would be elected and they could use him as the latest distraction to monkey-wrench Trump’s agenda.
And by losing the race, Moore deprived them of that.
He won’t be a millstone around the necks of Senate Republicans. And the wishy/washy members of the GOP Senate can’t use his presence as a reason to go limp on Trump’s agenda.
(Or limper as the case may be)
The good news is Jones didn’t win a full six-year term.
So if Alabama Republicans are smart, they’ll already be laying out the groundwork to win that seat back.
Here’s the bottom line for me.
The Alabama Senate race was the Kobayashi Maru of elections.
Once Alabama chose to listen to Steve Bannon instead of President Trump, it really became a no-win scenario.
Sure, there is an outside chance that we could have won if Roy Moore had dropped out the moment the Washington Post story erupted.
We’ll never know.
But one thing’s for sure. Whether the allegations against Moore are true or not, those allegations eclipsed this race completely.
And they didn’t just hurt Moore’s chances.
Those allegations also hurt President Trump and the Republican Party in general.
Is it fair?
Is it right?
But we don’t live in a perfect world. And sometimes life isn’t fair.
We have to play the cards we’re dealt.
And the “should’a, would’a, could’a” and finger-pointing over who’s to blame is a waste of time.
Let’s take what we can from this race, learn from it, develop a winning strategy and move on.
Look, I know that the Democrats and the media will be more insufferable than usual for a while because of this. And I know you dread having to hear it today.
Let’s face it. Democrats may be ugly, angry and horrible in defeat. But they’re even more so when they win.
But never forget this: Democrats always push too hard and too far.
And in the throes of victory, they lose their heads.
As the old saying goes, when your enemy is making a mistake, stay out of the way and let them.
In the meantime, the Democrats may have won a battle, but the war rages on. Let’s move ahead and plan our next attack.
I’ll let President Trump have the last word:
If last night’s election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
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Books by Dianny:
RANT 2.0: Even More Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
Liberals Gone WILD!!! The Not-So-Silent Conquering of America,
RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
and two novels: Sliding Home Feet First and Under the Cloud