GLENN: Doug Jones has 22,819 thank-you cards to send this Christmas.
Jones won Alabama’s special Senate election last night, becoming the first Democrat Senator from that state in 25 years.
Doug Jones won because there were over 22,000 Alabamians who used their votes to protest with write-in candidates. 22,000 people who were not willing to choose between the lesser of two evils. A better Republican candidate than Roy Moore would have received all those write-in votes and probably a lot more.
In his rambling victory speech, Doug Jones said, “This entire race has been about dignity and respect.” Uh, which race was he watching? Because the Alabama Senate race was only about Leigh Corfman, Beverly Young Nelson, and whether or not you believed their stories of abuse by Roy Moore 40 years ago.
Roy Moore beat himself. This election was a unique perfect storm of Moore’s questionable past, coupled with the #MeToo cultural momentum, which cast enough doubt about Moore that many voters were conflicted and he didn’t get the support he needed. This was a single-issue election in the end – the issue was Moore’s past, and he did not do nearly enough to convince voters of his innocence.
Even if none of the Moore allegations had ever surfaced, he was never a good candidate. The Republican Party is at a crossroads – are they going to continue supporting candidates endorsed by Steve Bannon, or aim much higher?
Doug Jones’ victory is a gift to the Republican Party, a blessing in disguise. The only question is whether the party will be smart enough to see it that way. Now they won’t have to deal with the added drama of whether or not to expel Roy Moore from the Senate. This is an opportunity to take stock and reset. To understand what went wrong (and why they should actually be thankful it did). To realize that they don’t want to be the party of Steve Bannon. To remember that character does matter.