Psaki: Jones win is an earthquake that will echo into 2018

There is nothing like a political upset to energize the party out of power.And Tuesday night's election was a ...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 11:24 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 11:24 AM

There is nothing like a political upset to energize the party out of power.

And Tuesday night's election was a whopper of an upset -- a huge energizer for not just the Democratic Party, but also for women who have been victims of sexual assault.

Yes, Roy Moore was a deeply flawed candidate long before he was accused of sexual abuse, allegations he denies. But Alabama is a deep red state that has not elected a Democrat since 1992, and that Democrat, Richard Shelby, became a Republican just two years later.

Doug Jones ran a smart, Alabama-focused campaign, and stayed out of the national spotlight. He smartly focused on African-American turnout in the closing weeks and it worked.

As special elections go, this is an earthquake that will have repercussions far into 2018.

What will they be?

First, Democrats are going to feel emboldened to run in states and districts next year where traditionally they would have no business running. This carries some danger because Democrats are still behind Republicans in fundraising on the national level. Democrats' time, energy and money should be focused on an expanded list of races where they have the best chance of winning.

There is no doubt now that both the Senate and the House are in play for 2018. The Jones win will help Democrats with fundraising and candidate recruitment. And even in states, like Alabama, where the turnout wheels have been rusty, it is clear that the energy and the enthusiasm is there to be tapped into.

Second, this is a win for the establishment Republicans. And a loss for Steve Bannon -- and more importantly Donald Trump. Trump put himself out there for Roy Moore -- not just with presidential tweets, but with a trip to an adjoining media market. This loss is far worse for Trump's political power and for Steve Bannon's political wisdom than was the Republicans' loss in the Virginia governor's race last month.

But it is still a mixed bag for Mitch McConnell and Republican leaders. Yes, it weakens the insurgency they faced in the Republican Party, but leaves them down a Senate seat at a time when they can't afford it. It also weakens the wing of the party that was actually energizing Republicans, the Trump-Bannon wing.

Third, this is a win for the victims of sexual assault who bravely spoke out in Alabama. It will no doubt embolden other women to speak out against men in power who they say assaulted them. And on the political front, Democratic Senators like Kirsten Gillibrand, who have in the last week raised the stakes on Donald Trump and made clear that Democrats are going to have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and sexual assault, now have the wind at their backs.

Finally, it is a win for morality and human decency. The candidate accused of sexual abuse, who opposed gay marriage and consensual homosexual relationships, who questioned whether Muslims could serve in the United State Congress, lost.

And the candidate who talked not about Donald Trump, but about the importance of the CHIP program, a program that helps provide health insurance to tens of thousands of children every year that Congress has failed to fund, was the winner.

In a tough political year for morality, let's hope this is a sign of things to come next year.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds282449
DeSoto186519
Madison141936
Jones118549
Harrison109615
Rankin106315
Neshoba103976
Forrest97243
Lauderdale95481
Scott80915
Jackson74418
Washington70010
Copiah64215
Leake62120
Lee60022
Oktibbeha58928
Holmes57941
Warren57720
Grenada5698
Wayne56018
Yazoo5486
Lowndes53613
Leflore52856
Lamar5227
Lincoln51935
Pike48820
Sunflower4708
Lafayette4644
Monroe43935
Panola4326
Covington4295
Bolivar39418
Simpson3843
Attala38324
Newton36710
Adams34719
Pontotoc3396
Tate33313
Marion32412
Claiborne30011
Winston29611
Chickasaw29319
Pearl River28132
Noxubee2778
Marshall2763
Jasper2716
Clay25611
Walthall2497
Union24611
Smith23712
Coahoma2196
Clarke21725
Lawrence2022
Yalobusha2028
Kemper18314
Tallahatchie1784
Carroll17411
Humphreys16110
Calhoun1605
Montgomery1513
Itawamba1458
Tippah14411
Hancock14113
Webster13411
Jefferson1223
Tunica1213
Jefferson Davis1184
Prentiss1173
George1123
Greene11210
Amite1083
Quitman971
Tishomingo971
Wilkinson969
Alcorn942
Perry794
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin542
Sharkey470
Benton440
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
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