Progressive Breakfast for December 13

Morning Message

The Grassroots Won Alabama’s Senate Race

Democrat Doug Jones won his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama Tuesday night against Republican Roy Moore in one of the most closely watched elections of the year. But the real winners of this election are the thousands of voters who came together to meet the challenge of keeping a homophobe, racist and accused pedophile out of the U.S. Senate. Making the most of Jones's victory will mean continuing to nurture the grassroots movement that is working to reclaim our politics from the clutches of nationalism and conservative extremists in Alabama and across our nation.

Black Vote Elects Jones In Alabama

African American voters made Doug Jones a U.S. Senator in Alabama. The Atlantic: “Election day defied the narrative and challenged traditional thinking about racial turnout in off-year elections and special elections. Precincts in the state’s ‘black belt,’ the swathe of dark, fertile soil where the African American population is concentrated, reported long lines throughout the day, and as the night waned and red counties dominated by rural white voters continued to report disappointing results for Moore, votes surged in from urban areas and the black belt. By all accounts, black turnout exceeded expectations, perhaps even passing previous off-year results. Energy was not a problem. Exit polls showed that black voters overall made a big splash. The Washington Post’s exit polls indicated that black voters would make up 28 percent of the voters, greater than their 26 percent share of the population, which would be a dramatic turnaround from previous statewide special elections in the South.”

Setback For Trump, Bannon In Alabama

Trump suffers ‘big black eye’ in Alabama. Politico: “Doug Jones didn’t just defeat Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race on Tuesday night — he administered the most crushing and embarrassing political blow of President Donald Trump’s young presidency. Jones’ win meant that Trump, who had endorsed Luther Strange in the Republican primary before backing Moore in the general election, threw his weight behind the losing candidate not once, but twice, in the Alabama race. It was an extraordinary outcome in a state that Trump carried by 28 points in last year’s presidential election. Jones’ victory, the first by a Democrat in Alabama in 25 years, exposed the limits of the president’s power in a party that is now frequently referred to as “the party of Trump.” Indeed, though rank-and-file Republicans have resisted, fought, and feared Trump’s influence over GOP voters, Tuesday’s election results suggested that, whatever the president’s power, he is incapable of boosting other anti-establishment candidates to office.”

Impact Of Jones’s Victory on Health Care Repeal

Doug Jones victory nearly closes the GOP doorway to Obamacare repeal. WaPo: “Moore’s defeat is surely a relief to many Republicans – he already faced a likely ethics investigation in the Senate had he won – but it also means the GOP is now down to a one-vote margin in the Senate when it comes to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a task at which the party failed miserably over the summer but is contemplating returning to in 2018. Up until now, the Senate GOP’s 52-seat majority allowed the party to lose two votes on a health-care bill, with tie-breaking help from Vice President Pence. That’s an important number, because the two most moderate Republicans – Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – have been regarded as nearly impossible to bring on board.”

More from OurFuture.org:

Bending the Arc of History Towards Justice in Alabama. Miles Mogulescu: “In his victory speech, Doug Jones recalled Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous words: ‘The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.’ And today in Alabama it did, thanks to the voters who came together to reject hate in their state and in our country.”

Democrats Need More Democracy, Not Less. Richard Eskow: “Two political scientists lament in a recent op-ed in the New York Times, that “the Democratic Party Becoming Too Democratic?” But their cherry-pick election data and anecdotes paint a misleading portrait of our politics and what this country needs now, which is more democracy, not less.”