The Resurrection Of Doug Jones?

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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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3 COMMENTS

  1. Does Jones intend to make a run for that Senate seat? I could see him taking a position in the DOJ now that Garland has finally been confirmed and can start rebuilding the place & Jones would make a great top official in the Civil Rights section. So there’s that. However, if he does decide to run and Brooks or some other obviously defective excuse for a human being gets the GOP nod Jones would be in position to make it a real race. At the very least it would force McConnell to invest a lot of resources in Alabama (which should be safely red) that could be badly needed elsewhere.

    If Jones runs and is up against Brooks the entire campaign theme will be pretty straightforward. As in:

    You had me for two years and I didn’t merely NOT embarrass Alabama, I was an effective and respected Senator. You could have had me the last two years but instead we’ve been stuck with Tommy Tuberville who has embarrassed our state over and over again! Think about it folks. You’re stuck with Tommy T for another four years. Do you really want someone like Brooks who will be an even worse embarrassment? I did you proud before and I’ll do so again, and with Democrats in control of government I’ll be able to more than do you proud. I’ll have clout that I can use to help our state!

    Still, as I said we first have to wait and see if Jones wants to run. If he’s going to do so then he should decide soon and spend the next year out and about in the state doing small events in even the reddest of places so that the folks can see he’s a good guy and not the demon the GOP will try to paint him as being. He won’t pull a lot of votes from the good ole boys & gals but even a small percentage of that group of white folks when combined with the women in the populated areas, white Democrats and blacks who will show up in force might well put him in the Senate for a full term. But he has to get started on it soon if he’s going to do it and quietly define himself before the GOP turns major attention his way after the primaries.

    • Denis, the only problem is that you didn’t see Doug’s ads last year. He was actually getting some dyed-in-the-wool GOP voters in the ads touting Doug’s achievements for veterans and active-duty military personnel as well as for the state’s farmers and others who are normally the groups that the GOP usually highlights as “their” people.

      And Doug still got trounced. Aside from his unexpected win (largely because Moore was so toxic to most GOP voters who couldn’t stomach the idea of voting for any Democrat that they stayed home rather than vote), Democrats in statewide Alabama contests usually can’t break the forty mark. Al Gore, in 2000, was the last Democratic Presidential candidate to break the forty percent mark (41.57%). Walt Maddox, who ran against Kay Ivey in 2018, won 40.39% of the vote in the Governor’s race (Ron Sparks, in 2010, was the last Democratic gubernatorial candidate to really break the 40–getting 42.1%). If Doug had faced Luther Strange or even Mo Brooks (who ended up in 3rd place in the 2017 special election GOP primary) in the 2017 election, he would NOT have won.

      I really do wish people would remember that Trump is NOT as toxic to Alabama Republican voters as they may think he is. Last year, although Trump dropped a little in terms of percentages from 2016, he increased his absolute numbers. In 2016, he got 1,318,255 votes (or 62.08%) while in 2020, he got 1,441,170 votes (or 62.03%). All votes not going to Democrats or Republicans went from 3.55% in 2016 to a mere 1.39%. The overall total vote increased by 199,910 votes from 2016 to 2020 with Trump’s numbers representing 122,915 of that increase. The Biden/Harris ticket wasn’t helped so much by a revulsion of Trump as much as there were fewer options (indeed, in 2016, Libertarian Gary Johnson alone pulled in more than 44,000 votes while, in 2020, the total votes going to someone other than Biden or Trump was just under 32,500 of which 77% went to the Libertarian candidate, Jo Jorgensen).

      And Tuberville didn’t even pull in Trump’s numbers. While there were some 7000 fewer votes cast in the Senate race, Tuberville attracted about 49,000 fewer votes than Trump. Conversely, Jones pulled in almost 71,000 more votes than Biden got (One could say that there were some GOP University of Alabama fans who just couldn’t make themselves vote for the former coach of their dreaded archrival.)

  2. I think Jones said he did’t plan to run again. I’m sure he’ll have anther act, just not in the Senate. But please God, spare us Mo Brooks!

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