Don’t laugh. Read. In my article last night, I posited that a politician didn’t even have to be intelligent in order to get elected. A certain charisma, a certain appearance, a certain reputation, and a few canned phrases can do the trick. Remember that?
Ladies and gentlemen, as my case in point, allow me to present for your consideration, Alabama US GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville. M’man Tommy here is a passably functional imbecile. For Gods sake, he doesn’t even have a high school sophomore’s understanding of civil rights history in his own home state. But he had statewide name recognition, won a couple of college football national championships for a popular state university, and he wasn’t a Democrat. And that was enough.
But it might not be quite that simple in 2022. Because as we learned from my dear friend and coworker Ursula Faw, enter one uber right wing nut congressman Mo Brooks. And since slobs like Brooks can’t find their way to the bathroom without GPS assistance, he’ll be dragging along Trump arch racist Stephen Miller with him.
Personally, I think that Brooks is in over his head. My sincere hope is that he hangs around in the primary long enough for him to no longer qualify for his House seat in the general election. Loke most of GOP House members, Brooks is in a safely gerrymandered district. As long as he isn’t caught in public chasing sheep in fishnet stockings, he’s golden, And even then, boys will be boys. But Brooks doesn’t have widespread statewide name recognition, and the kind of shit he is going to spew isn’t going to play well in a lot of places.
Jones already has statewide name recognition, as well as US Senate experience. And from everything I have read coming out of the election in 2020, there was no personal animus aimed at Jones, it’s just that Alabama is a red state. Sorry, dude. But the important thing is that he didn’t make any enemies in the state in his time in the Senate.
There are two things to remember if the general election in 2022 comes down to Jones vs Brooks. First, Donald Trump is absolutely toxic to Democratic Alabama voters, especially voters of color. Not only that, but he’s toxic to white middle class, suburban GOP women as well. Trump went all in in 2019 for de-robed pedophile judge Roy Moore, and the combination of urban African American voters, along with suburban and exurban white women GOP voters was enough to put Jones over the top, and into the Senate.
Brooks is a Trombie to his toes, and as he struggles to remain relevant in the US electoral process in any way he can, I cannot see Trump doing anything but going all in for Brooks, which will infuriate African American voters, as well as GOP white women who thought they had washed their hands of Trump. And Jones has an ace in his pocket. Jones can point to the Black Farms Reparations Payments portion of the Covid relief bill to fire up the rural African American base.
But there is another dynamic at play here that is particular to Alabama. Brooks is a dyed in the wool racist, and as such, especially considering his big-fish-in-a-small-pond status in a safe district, he is not going to be able to resist engaging in china bashing, especially with El Pendejo President egging him on at every opportunity. Which is bad.
Because Alabama already has a large, and growing Asian American Pacific Islander population. There are a lot of citizens of Guam, a US protectorate, and the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth, that emigrated to Alabama to work in the large and growing coastal seafood industry. These are American citizens. And nothing is going to motivate them to rock the boat more than the brain dead bigotry of Mo Brooks.
Obviously there are miles to go until the 2022 general election. But as I’ll outline in my next article, this figures to be the last hurrah election of the Trump era, and the wingnuts are largely gong to prevail. And if that happens, there is going to be space for known entity Democrats like Doug Jones to swoop in and steal a seat. Don’t touch that dial.
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