Pro-Trump Moore loses Alabama Senate election

This 13 December 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Roy Moore Loses!!!

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks reports in on the Alabama senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

Corporate Democrat Doug Jones defeats far-right evangelical Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

13 December 2017

In a special election Wednesday to fill the US Senate seat from Alabama vacated by President Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions, conservative Democrat Doug Jones defeated ultra-right former state Supreme Court chief judge Roy Moore.

It was the first time a Democrat won a US Senate election in Alabama since the election in 1992 of Richard Shelby, who subsequently became a Republican and remains today the state’s senior senator.

The vote count as of this writing was 49.9 percent for Jones to 48.4 percent for Moore, a narrow but comfortable margin. Despite the fact that state law triggers an automatic recount only if the margin of difference is 0.5 percent or below, Moore refused to concede the election following Jones’ victory speech and indicated that he would contest the outcome.

The Democratic victory was the result of a higher-than expected turnout of about 37 percent, with turnout particularly high, compared to previous elections, among African Americans and young people. Voter turnout was especially heavy in the major urban centers of Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville and Montgomery. Moore won, as expected, in the rural largely white parts of the state, but he lost in the black rural areas, where turnout was much higher.

Jones had a big advantage among younger voters and won overwhelming majorities among African Americans.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In addition, in Alabama there are also many areas where black voters live who had stayed at home disillusioned at the presidential election last year. [NOS correspondent] Zwart: “They have now gone to the polls en masse and have issued a statement by almost all voting for Moore’s opponent”.

So, apparently, these black voters, though opposing Donald Trump, thought Hillary Clinton was not an inspiring alternative to Trump. Now, however, they saw an opportunity to hinder Trump’s right-wing policies. Things may have worked similarly for younger voters who did not vote in the Trump-Clinton election but who did vote this time.

The Barry Grey article continues:

He also won the independent vote by 9 points, an indication that Moore was abandoned by sections of affluent white voters who traditionally vote Republican. Some 22,000 voters cast write-in ballots, a higher number than Jones’ margin of victory. On Sunday, Senator Shelby had told CNN that he would not vote for Moore and he urged Alabama Republicans to write in the names of other Republicans.

The result is a serious blow to Trump, who intervened strongly in favor of Moore after the Senate Republican leadership withdrew its support following allegations that the 70-year-old former judge had made improper sexual advances to teenage girls when he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s.

Jones’ admission to the Senate will cut the Republicans’ majority to one, 51 to 49.

The election campaign itself was a spectacle of political reaction and mud-slinging. Moore is a fascistic evangelical who advocates the establishment of a theocracy in the United States. He supports making homosexuality a crime, glorifies the pre-Civil War South, has called for the deployment of US troops on the border with Mexico and promotes xenophobia as part of a pseudo-populist crusade against the “Eastern establishment.”

He was twice removed from the state Supreme Court for defying federal court rulings against his agenda of religious bigotry. The first occasion was his refusal to abide by a ruling that he take down a three-ton monument to the Ten Commandments which he had installed outside the Supreme Court building. The second was his issuing of instructions to probate court judges to continue enforcing a state law banning same-sex marriage that had been overturned by the federal courts.

In one campaign appearance, Moore was asked when he believed America was last “great.” He said one would have to go back to the period before the Civil War, i.e., during the period of slavery in the South. In 2011, he told a right-wing talk show host that getting rid of every amendment to the US Constitution after the 10th would “eliminate many problems.” That would mean overturning the amendments that freed the slaves, guaranteed the democratic rights of freedmen and granted them the right to vote.

In 2009 and 2010, Moore’s Foundation for Moral law hosted pro-Confederate Alabama “Secession Day” celebrations.

Jones and the Democratic Party virtually ignored Moore’s ultra-right policies and instead based their campaign almost entirely on playing up accusations of sexual misconduct against the Republican candidate. As Election Day approached, the national Democratic Party and its allied media sought to leverage the Moore allegations to revive charges of sexual harassment against Donald Trump that had first been raised by the media and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016. This will undoubtedly be intensified following Jones’ victory.

Indeed, USA Today published an editorial Wednesday night that cited a Trump tweet with sexual innuendos directed against Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who had called for his resignation over sexual allegations against him. The newspaper declared that Trump was unfit to remain president.

Apart from this sexual mud-slinging, Jones stressed his independence from the national Democratic Party, his support for increased military spending, his commitment to fiscal austerity and his backing for tax cuts to improve the business climate for corporations wishing to exploit the deeply impoverished working class in Alabama. He combined an appeal to black voters with an effort to win over disaffected Republicans.

Jones made no class appeal whatsoever in a state that is a byword for crushing poverty and exploitation, and offered no serious proposals to address unemployment, poverty wages or lack of decent education, housing and health care.

Nevertheless, he benefited from growing opposition to Trump and his administration’s attacks on health care and democratic rights, its push for a $1.5 trillion tax windfall for the rich and threats to unleash a nuclear war against North Korea. According to exit polls, Trump’s disapproval rating of 48 percent equaled his approval rating. This is in a state that he won last year by a margin of 63 percent to 35 percent.

In his victory speech, Jones reiterated his campaign themes of “unity” and bipartisan cooperation with the Republicans, declaring, “We tried to make sure this campaign was about finding common ground.” He said nothing about the pervasive poverty in Alabama, the fourth poorest state in the country, where household median income is nearly $11,000 less than the national figure. Nor did he mention, let alone criticize, Moore’s fascistic politics.

The Democratic victory, which clearly came as a shock to Jones himself, revealed the fragility of the hold of right-wing populist and nativist politics on states that have long been conceded by the Democrats to the Republicans. Alabama itself has undergone a significant development in recent years, with the entry of major firms such as Airbus, Mercedes Benz, Honda and Hyundai and the rapid growth of an industrial working class.

Manufacturing workers made up between 13 and 16 percent of the total workforce in 2015. That is the fifth highest concentration of all states, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, and a substantial increase from a decade ago.

Neither of the right-wing parties of US big business offers any policies to defend the interests of workers in Alabama or any other state. Nor was Wednesday’s election an indication of a surge in support for the Democrats. Exit polls showed that the majority of workers disapproved of both parties, and by similar margins.

Nearly three-quarters of Millennials in the US want a new party: here.

A United Nation team’s tour of Alabama last week exposed what many Alabama residents have known for decades: residents of the state’s Black Belt region are suffering in social conditions most frequently encountered in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Notably, Lowndes County, the home of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suffers from poor sewage disposal and resultant hookworm infection otherwise unknown in the United States: here.

LAST Wednesday night the Trump administration declared war on America’s public sector unions: here.

The Trump White House Monday issued a so-called “War Powers” letter addressed to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the president pro tempore of the Senate, Orin Hatch, to “keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat”: here.

7 thoughts on “Pro-Trump Moore loses Alabama Senate election

  1. Alabama votes

    VICTORY for Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the contest for Alabama’s Senate seat was a triumph for a coalition of decency against the forces of conservative bigotry.

    Defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore was backed strongly by Donald Trump, so his demise was equally a setback for the US president.

    Trump, who has brushed off repeated allegations of having assaulted women, showed similar contempt for the many women who have testified to having been pursued for sex by Moore when he was in his thirties and they were in their teens — one just 14.

    He urged his supporters to vote for Moore, portraying him as an evangelical conservative inspired by religion to deny abortion rights to women.

    The Moore camp claimed that Alabama’s African-American population shared his denial of a woman’s right to choose and would not oppose him. How did they get that one so wrong?

    No fewer than 92 per cent of black men backed Jones, while a stonking 97 per cent of black women did likewise.

    Add to them growing numbers of white people who, irrespective of personal conservatism or identification with Christianity, could not stomach the idea of lining up behind people who mouth religious pieties while treating women and girls as playthings to sate their egos.

    Alabama voters have delivered a rebuff to Trump, weakening his position in the Senate and undermining the prospects of driving through his anti-Mexican, Islamophobic, misogynist and anti-working-class agenda.


  2. Tuesday, December 19, 2017

    United States: Echoes of the Klan in Alabama ballot

    PETER FROST celebrates an election result for reason and progress in Alabama

    ON Christmas Eve 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, just a few miles from the Alabama state line, six white supremacists founded the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). For the next century-and-a-half this organisation would cut a channel through US politics like a stinking open sewer.

    Amazingly the Klan, and its far from proud history, is still influencing US elections like the one just held in Alabama last week.

    The winning candidate, Doug Jones, spent much of his early legal career ensuring that two Klan murderers were eventually brought to justice.

    Thomas Blanton Jnr and Bobby Cherry were two Klan members, part of a larger gang of murderous thugs who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

    Dr Martin Luther King described the church bombing as “one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.” The explosion at the church killed four young girls and injured 22 others.

    By 1965 the FBI and local police knew exactly who had committed the outrage. Four well-known Ku Klux Klansmen had planted sticks of dynamite in the church entrance.

    Neither local police nor the FBI did anything to bring Klansmen to justice until 1977 when when Robert Chambliss was tried and convicted of the first-degree murder of one of the victims — 11-year-old Carol Denise McNair. Herman Cash, who died in 1994, was never charged with his involvement in the bombing.

    Thomas Edwin Blanton Jnr and Bobby Cherry were finally each convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment but not until 2001 and 2002 respectively — nearly 40 years after the explosions.

    The only reason that Blanton and Cherry were finally brought to justice was the tenacious way public prosecutor Doug Jones — the man who has just won the Alabama election — would not let the matter rest.

    Blanton was finally found guilty in 2001, and Cherry in 2002. Both were sentenced to life in prison. Jones argued successfully against Blanton getting parole release last year. Cherry died in prison in 2004.

    Jones’s opponent in the election, Roy Moore, has a long history of sympathy and support for many of the white supremacist organisations of the US South.

    His supporter from the White House, President Donald Trump, also enjoyed support from the Klan during his campaign and after his election. Perhaps that is not surprising given his family history.

    Trump’s father Fred was arrested on a Memorial Day march in Queens, New York, when he joined a thousand Klansmen in white sheets and conical hoods. Seven Klansman were arrested that day and one was Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road in Jamaica.

    This was Donald Trump’s father.

    Moore has often said the last time the US was great was during the period of slavery — just before the Klan was born. During his election campaign, He said that the nation “was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery.”

    Moore served in the Vietnam war. After law school, he joined a district attorney’s office and in 1992 he was appointed as a circuit judge. In 2001 he became chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

    He was sacked from his position in November 2003 for refusing to remove a huge and heavy marble monument of the Ten Commandments which he had installed in the lobby of the Alabama Courts. The US constitution makes the linking of law and religion illegal.

    Moore had had this memorial made to replace a hand-painted wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments that he had illegally hung in his court for many years.

    He was was suspended in May 2016 for directing judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

    During the Senate race three women stated that he had sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. One was 14 at the time of the incident.

    Moore is considered a leading advocate of the Christian Bible Belt racist politics of the South. He voices strong homophobic, anti-semitic and Islamophobic views. He has long ties with many white nationalist neoconfederate far-right groups.

    Moore was a leading voice in the movement which promoted the nonsense that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

    He is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Moral Law, from which he collected more than $1 million over five years. In 2005, Moore’s Foundation accepted a $1,000 contribution from neonazi and Holocaust denier Willis Carto.

    Moore met his wife Kayla Kisor when she was a teenager dancer. He finally married her in 1985 when he was 38 and she was 24, divorced and a mother. The couple have four children.

    In March 1995, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against Judge Moore, stating that his pre-session prayers and his Ten Commandments displays were both unconstitutional.

    Moore vowed to defy the ruling, continuing illegal pre-court prayers and displaying the Ten Commandments in court.

    He is strongly anti-abortion. In 2014 he said that laws should protect life “from the moment of conception.” He also totally rejects the theory of evolution, claiming that teaching evolution in schools led to an increase in drive-by shootings.

    Moore holds virulently anti-gay beliefs. He supports laws to make homosexuality illegal and has argued that same-sex parents are unfit to raise children or serve in government.

    While presiding over a divorce case, Moore ruled that a mother who had had a lesbian affair would lose custody of her children to their abusive father.

    Moore says that transgender people “don’t have rights.” He suggested that the September 11 attacks were a punishment by God for US people’s lack of religion. He has called for banning Muslims from serving in Congress, describing Islam as a false religion.

    Now Trump’s man Moore has lost the Alabama election by 1.5 per cent and is still refusing to concede defeat. His arrival to vote on a horse clearly failed to impress voters enough.

    Jones has become the first Democrat to represent Alabama for 25 years. He has also reduced Trump’s Senate majority to a tiny 51 of 100 seats, making President Trump’s chances of introducing more racist and reactionary laws far less likely. I think we can all say amen to that.


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