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.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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Columbus
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High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for our Saturday. This will keep us filled with plenty of sunshine in our weather forecast for our Saturday.
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