The special Senate election in Alabama to replace Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was won by the Democrat Dave Jones last night [This was started Wednesday] turning the world upside down once again. No Dem has won a Senate seat in Alabam for ages, and it was widely thought impossible for Jones to win even against an accused child molester and Biblical freak like Roy Moore.
After all, everyone knows that norms were shattered with the election of Trump last year, and there can be no going back -- right?
I noticed the news coverage was all about Moore, almost nothing about Jones, and I thought it must be strategic that way. By focusing almost exclusively on Moore and his supporters in Alabama and elsewhere, including the White House (ie: Trump) and Breitbart (ie: Steve Bannon) the freakishness of Mr. ("Judge") Moore was spread around. The Moore Taint as it were.
Of course, the video of Moore attempting to ride his horse "Sassy" pretty much sealed the deal. What a maroon! You'd think if he were so incompetent a horseman, he'd have the good sense NOT to ride in such a public setting.
This is hilarious, his form sucks & that horse was thinking about bucking him pic.twitter.com/NLWfm8QtlY— Molly (@Molly_Kats) December 12, 2017
Note: I haven't been on a horse in decades, and I'm not sure I can get on one anymore because of a bum left leg, but were I to try, I'd make it a point to do it out back where only selected individuals could see -- and I could watch them point and laugh.
In other words, Roy Moore's very public horsing around (the poor horse!) was a major judgment fail.
As much as "norms" were overturned by the presidential election last year, and a New Normal was initiated, apparently even notoriously reactionary Alabama wasn't ready to throw all sense of sanity and decency to the winds in order to stick it to somebody they believe is inferior -- like the Libtards and Nigrahs.
Sticking it to somebody has been one of the consistent (new) norms since the advent of Trumpism, and the whole point of putting up freaks like Roy Moore is to be able to nyah-nyah at the hated Other.
Norms of the Bygone Era say that's impolite.
But being strategically impolite is one of the hallmarks of the New Reactionaries. Moore, Trump, Bannon, the White House personnel in general (oh my, Sarah, Stephen Miller, Kellyanne, and many more, though some have been dismissed or replaced...) are impolite a a matter of course, daily hurling their anathemas and insults at their many enemies, demanding their outbursts be accepted by the masses as "normal." It's what they do. It's who they are. And if there's a problem it's yours, not theirs.
Of course this is what arrogant bullies have done for time immemorial, and all these people are doing is showing us who and what they are -- as if we didn't already know.
Believe me, we do.
Know, that is.
Moore became a kind of red line for the Norms of BeforeTrump, beyond the which the Good People of Alabama would not go -- apparently. In California, we had a good friend who was from Alabama. She was black, and she'd moved to California to go to college back in the '60s, and she got her degrees and had a career, and she retired to do her art and enjoy herself.
Last time we saw her around the late '90s, she said: "I'm moving back to Mobile."
What? Are you insane, woman?
"Oh no," she said. "Far from it. I have a lot of friends who moved back South, and they've been saying 'you ought to come; it's better here.'"
"Better than what?"
"Than it used to be. There's still racism, of course there is, it's the South. But people are more honest with you."
"You mean than they are here?"
"Yah. So many white folks in California seem to have no idea how racist they are, how condescending, how cruel --and how much they really hate and fear black folk. At least in the South you know where you stand with them. And if they are so racist they don't want you around, they'll let you know. Here you don't find out until they stab you in the back. Or worse."
"Did something happen?"
"You bet. It's been going on for a long time, and I'm tired of it. At least if I go back home to Mobile, that kind of thing won't happen. At least I hope it won't."
She wouldn't tell us exactly what happened, but we knew she'd recently broken up with her white boyfriend, and we suspected that was a major factor in her decision.
She sold her condo and indeed moved to Mobile where we lost track of her, but Ms. Ché did an internet search a couple of years ago. She'd stayed in Mobile about 10 years and then moved back to California, She had set up her art studio in Mobile and taught art to young people of color, but for whatever reason she decided not to stay.
It may have been money. When she came back to California, she set up the same kind of program and apparently received a lot of grant money to fund it which I'm pretty sure she didn't get in Alabam.
Does money and at least the appearance of support cancel out the deep-rooted and often masked racism in California? We didn't have a chance to ask her because we didn't know she'd returned. And we left ourselves shortly afterwards. She passed away the same year we moved to New Mexico.
Roy Moore's campaign of course featured liberal doses of typical cracker racism, but the media focus was ever and always on the charges he'd been soliciting young girls for dates and more when he was a young-ish DA. A pedophile. A molester. A... well, somebody tried to explain his penchant for underage females in Biblical terms. Patriarchs in the Bible were always seeking young females. It was the only way to assure their "purity" and as long as the parents agreed, there was no problem. And too, in the South, at that time, the age of "consent" was lower, much lower. While he could still be criticized, there was a (sort of) rational explanation for Moore's behavior.
Never mind he was a freak even by Southern standards and his opponent wasn't.
Well, at least not that we know of.
There were many reasons not to vote for Moore. The violations of norms of behavior certainly figured into the reasons why the majority of those who voted in the special election voted against him, but I'm sure it's more complicated than it superficially appears.
Roy Moore's freakishness has been well documented for years, and it is very deeply ingrained in his character and behavior. Don't forget, he's been removed from the bench twice for defiance of judicial rules, norms and the constitution. He used his judgeship to promote his own particular version of Xtianity, the Devil take the hindmost. Like many Dominionists, he refuses -- even now -- to acknowledge the constitution's secular nature. He denies the validity of much constitutional law, and has even suggested the constitutional amendments beyond the first ten should be repealed.
His level of defiance of those norms in particular is off the charts, and his intent is clearly to stick it to anyone who disagrees.
While I'm not sure that should disqualify him or anyone from serving in public office, it is certainly reason to censure and remove a judge, and to vote against him for any office he chooses to stand for.
He's called on God to undo the election and put him in office no matter what the voters said.
Meanwhile, norms of the past are in jeopardy all over the place. Some of them are worth jettisoning, just as "Victorian Morality" once was. On the other hand, "sticking it" to opponents as the foundation of the New Normal is a Pandora's Box of grief.
Is this was what we really want or need?