The new Democratic Senator Doug Jones is a lawyer who helped convict 2 KKK members for killing 4 girls in attack on a black church. The defeated racist homophobic Trump-supported Republican is accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.
Alabama has often set the American benchmark for retro racism and backwardness. Now for the first time in 25 years a Democrat has won Alabama’s special Senate election, beating an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed the candidate Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations against him. Doug Jones’ was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama, one of the reddest of red states, and proved anew that party loyalty is anything but sure in the age of Mr Trump. Republican Roy Moore’s loss was a major embarrassment for the president and a fresh wound for the nation’s already divided Republican party.
And mine for people who travel thousands of miles to endorse a groper of young girls who also happens to be a racist homophobe. Time for a period of silence. https://t.co/5g1XS43nUI
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) December 13, 2017
“We have shown not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way – that we can be unified,” Mr Jones declared as supporters in a Birmingham ballroom cheered, danced and cried tears of joy.
Many black Alabamians voted for the first time to elect Democratic Senator Doug Jones.
Posted by AJ+ on Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Still in shock, the Democrat struggled for words: “I think that I have been waiting all my life, and now I just don’t know what the hell to say.” Mr Moore, meanwhile, refused to concede and raised the possibility of a recount during a brief appearance at a sombre campaign party in Montgomery. “It’s not over,” Mr Moore said. He added: “We know that God is still in control.”
From the White House, Mr Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mr Jones “on a hard-fought victory” – but added pointedly that “the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!” Mr Jones takes over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the term expires in January of 2021. The victory by Mr Jones, a former US attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for Birmingham’s infamous 1963 church bombing, narrows the Republican party’s advantage in the US Senate to 51-49. That imperils already-uncertain Republican tax, budget and health proposals and injects tremendous energy into the Democratic Party’s early push to reclaim House and Senate majorities in 2018. Still, many Washington Republicans viewed the defeat of Mr Moore as perhaps the best outcome for the party nationally despite the short-term sting.
The fiery Christian conservative’s positions have alienated women, racial minorities, gays and Muslims – in addition to the multiple allegations that he was guilty of sexual misconduct with teens, one only 14, when he was in his 30s. A number of Republicans declined to support him, including Alabama’s long-serving Senator Richard Shelby.
But Mr Trump lent his name and the national Republican Party’s resources to Mr Moore’s campaign in recent days. Had Mr Moore won, the Republican party would have been saddled with a colleague accused of sordid conduct as Republicans nationwide struggle with Mr Trump’s historically low popularity. Senate leaders had promised that Mr Moore would have faced an immediate ethics investigation. Mr Moore sidestepped questions about sexual misconduct as he arrived at his polling place on horseback earlier in the day.
We may disagree on Civil War monuments, but we agree that slavery wasn’t a time of American greatness because “families were united.” 20/https://t.co/XDr6liCUO2
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) December 11, 2017
Roy Moore also apparently believes America was a better place when slavery was still legal. At a campaign event earlier this year, an audience member asked Moore for his opinion on when the last time America was “great.” Moore responded: “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.” The individual who asked the question was among the only African-Americans in attendance at the rally. In stating this, Moore seemingly implied he’d be able to overlook the enslavement of other human beings as long as families are “united,” an interesting perspective from a man accused of repeatedly preying on young girls.
Beyond his views on slavery and allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore also has referred to Native Americans as “reds and yellows,” has questioned former President Barack Obama’s place of birth (following Trump’s example) and once suggested Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.
Republican Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby: “I want to reiterate again: I didn’t vote for Roy Moore, I wouldn’t vote for Roy Moore, I think the Republican Party can do better.” https://t.co/S0lqDy842a
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 10, 2017
At a campaign event earlier this year, an audience member asked Moore for his opinion on when the last time America was “great.” Moore responded: “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.” The individual who asked the question was among the only African-Americans in attendance at the rally.
This election result is important. Trump campaigned for a racist child molester and he lost. Women and Black people in Alabama turned a tiny margin into stunning victory.
They rejected a candidate who committed sexual assault and idealised an era of slavery. Now it’s time to reject Trump too.
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