Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, 4:50 p.m. CST: A few minutes ago, I cast my ballot for Doug Jones to fill the Senate seat left empty when Jefferson Beauregard Sessions joined the Trump administration to become America’s chief
of police beatings and marijuana arrests law enforcement officer.
Even though the Doug Jones vs. Roy Moore race is the No. 1 political story in the country right now, I don’t think media reports have adequately explained the importance of this election as it relates to the immediate future of the Republican Party and the country as a whole.
The Republican Party currently holds a 52-48 majority in the Senate. If Alabama’s Senate seat switches parties, that will effectively give the GOP a slim one-vote margin in the nation’s highest legislative chamber. Sen. John McCain’s last-minute return to the Senate to doom the American Health Care Act demonstrated how fragile the margin is because convincing two Republicans to defect from the party line is much easier than it is to convince three.
For these reasons, and the fact that—with Donald Trump and Al Franken still in our nation’s capital—Roy Moore could push Washington, D.C.’s per capita vagina-grabbing numbers over the legal limit, there are four things you should know about why it is important that Alabama selects Doug Jones over the allegedly child-molesting constitutional cowboy.
1. It is all about the SCOTUS, baby: Much has been said about Roy Moore’s love for tenth-graders and Doug Jones’ prosecution of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers. But this election will affect a bigger dream of Republicans across the country: the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In April, Republicans changed the Senate rules to allow a simple majority instead of 60 votes to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominees. This “nuclear option” means that the minority party can’t reject a nominee unless it convinces at least three Republicans to join its dissent. It is much easier to convince two Republicans than three.
Many of Alabama’s Republicans claim to find Moore despicable, but they are willing to cast a vote for him because they desperately want to outlaw abortion. Now, Republican senators know that Roe v. Wade will probably never be overturned, but the ability to appoint a conservative justice could affect their stranglehold on power. The court will soon hear two cases about the legality of political gerrymandering, a ruling that will affect how party lines are drawn nationwide.
2. White Jesus vs. Black Jesus: This is an existential battle of White Jesus vs. Black Jesus. Die-hard Republicans in Alabama actually believe that God wants Moore to go to Washington to save their country. Apparently, Moore is teaming up with Jesus Chadwick Christ to make the Ten Commandments law, cure homosexuality and stop the “gay agenda” from turning our boys transgender by rubbing up against them in bathrooms.
Black Jesus, on the other hand, simply hates when people use his name in vain. Oh ... and the whole molestation thing.
Black Jesus hates that, too.
3. 2018 elections: The GOP stands to lose a few seats in next year’s elections because of the dumpster fire that is the Trump administration. The only way Republicans could possibly save themselves is to pass legislation that appeals to their current base, and one less Republican senator makes that increasingly difficult.
Roy Moore is basically a hillbilly version of Donald Trump. His presence in the Senate would mean that the White House would have another advocate in the Senate to push Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, Mike Pence’s religious freedom wet dreams and Jeff Sessions’ history of disenfranchising voters.
4. The first “alt-right” senator: There are Roy Moore-like politicians in the House of Representatives, like Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), but senators tend to be more moderate because they have to rally the support of their respective state. Moore would be the first senator backed by Steve Bannon, effectively giving legitimacy to the perception that the alt-right whisperer is the next kingmaker of the Republican Party.
If Moore wins, it will send a signal to Republicans that the Trump-Bannon base of their party has enough political clout to get them elected, and that could likely shift Republican ideology further right. I know that doesn’t seem possible, but when you hear about bills outlawing Shariah law, speaking “Mexican,” sex in any position other than missionary and the White Lives Matter Protection Act of 2018, just remember I told you so.
I will be updating this post throughout the evening, so check in with us for results, on-the-ground coverage and intermittent hymns begging Black Jesus, the voting gods and Beyoncé for grace, mercy and non-pedophile-related blessings.