Saturday, December 16, 2017

Moore Down! Reflections on the Deep South Shocker

Editor's Note: The Latest Sedition would like to apologize in advance to the state of Alabama and all of its inhabitants, past, present and future. 

I was all gunned up to write a piece welcoming Roy Moore to the US Senate. An alleged teen-groper would fit in nicely with the current gang of geeks, con men and lizards--the missing piece of the puzzle, you could say. In a perverse way I was even looking forward to Moore's victory, which would vindicate my general perception that the state of Alabama was nothing but a source of bad news, and that the last good thing to come out of the Deep South was William Faulkner.

I was out picking up dinner when I saw the first returns on a TV in the restaurant, with Moore in a slight lead. I realized that it surely couldn't be a good sign for the lead to be that narrow already, but I figured he'd pull it off. Alabama electing a Democrat seemed like something too removed from modernity to be realistic. The Democrats that Alabama liked back in the day were mean bastards like George Wallace, and I knew nothing about Doug Jones but I doubted he'd stood in any schoolhouse doorways recently.

Moore was still in the lead by the time I got home, and his lead seemed to be getter wider if anything. I didn't keep the election coverage going while eating dinner. The thought of some deranged theocrat goblin like Moore getting elected did not help my appetite. It wasn't until maybe an hour later that I checked my phone and saw Moore's lead had narrowed to half a percentage point, with still a decent chunk of precincts left to report. The idea of some recount nightmare like Minnesota 2008 must have come into my head at that point, but nothing more. I got decidedly more interested and kept closer tabs until my phone died. I was occupied with other things so I decided to let the chips fall. But within maybe an hour, I was informed of the news: the New York Times had called the race for Jones. A quick check on CNN's website confirmed they had too.

Suddenly the night was much more interesting. The unhinged goon in the White House and the RNC had thrown their support behind that fanatic Moore, just to see it blow up in their faces. Doug Jones's name meant nothing to me, but the fact he'd embarrassed these miserable assholes and kept a mall-pervert fascist out of the Senate even in a state like Alabama made him a hero for the night in my book. I caught a few moments of his victory speech. Perhaps it would have struck me as platitudinous on another night, but the ecstasy of seeing Moore humiliated was too great for me to care right then.

Moore's speech was the one I was really interested in, anyway. I was unsurprised when I heard he wasn't conceding. The kind of arrogant self-appointed Grand Inquisitor who would try to implement God's Law from the bench of the Alabama Supreme Court wouldn't be deterred just because the voters didn't want him in the US Senate. I watched from the sofa in my living room as his campaign chairman (or someone like that) babbled incoherently about mandatory recounts when the margin was within 0.5%. Nevermind that Jones was in the lead by three times that much, as Jake Tapper pointed out right afterward. Christ, I thought, are the poor bastards too dumb for grade-school math? Had we really gotten to a point where the best and brightest minds in a senatorial campaign were unable to make a basic calculation? Or had the Republican denial of reality gone so far they would actually go full-on Orwellian and claim 2+2=5 with a straight face?

Moore's speech did not raise my hopes. "Judge" Moore--who has been suspended from the bench twice for trying to force the Will of God on the people--came onstage to assure everyone that It's Not Over, which the crowd of All-American bottom-feeders readily cheered and applauded. (Where do they find these people?) He prattled on for a bit about how God is in control, and even quoted the Scriptures. If Jesus had been there, even he wouldn't have hesitated to kick Moore straight in the nuts. Fuck turning the other cheek, even Messiahs have limits, and I don't know who could have stood having his name dragged through the mud by being associated with a creep like Roy Moore. 

Right. And the poor, sick SOB still hasn't conceded, even after the billionaire rich-kid president offered Jones a limp congratulations on his victory. Who cares? Let him prance around and pretend he's still got a chance. Meanwhile, Alabama's got a new senator that supports LGBT rights and prosecuted Klansmen for murdering black kids. Weird, especially at a time when the president is a bloated throwback to the worst and ugliest times in US history. But lest we start feeling too optimistic about the state of race relations in the Deep South, it's worth remembering that the vast majority of white Alabamians voted for Moore. As a white American myself, I'm starting to reach the regrettable conclusion that it would be better for the species if we could put strict limits on our reproduction rate to keep the amount of damage we do in check. Just until we figure out what the hell is going on, as Trump would say. 

In any case, we can certainly use as many Democrats in the Senate as we can get. The Democratic Party is a pretty sad spectacle for anyone who really wants to aggressively tackle the problems of the day--racism, poverty, and the reckless plunder of the environment--but they at least provide some amount of protection from the old-fashioned fascism Trump would readily usher in if he could. Especially with the Republicans ready to put the finishing touches on their monster of a "tax reform" plan, designed to shower their biggest donors in riches and shaft the rest of us. Not to mention how the FCC, led by corporate lackey Ajit Pai, just voted to deregulate the corporate behemoths that give us access to the Internet. 

We are still in some deep shit, but the Alabama senate race provides at least a little catharsis, and we can hope it means the Grand Old Party will get flogged at the polls next November. God knows the fiends deserve it. And on that note, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. 

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