Wednesday, December 13, 2017

1881 And the Horse You Rode In On

1881 And the Horse You Rode In On

Moonlight and magnolia, starlight in your hair
All the world a dream come true
Did it really happen, was I really there, was I really there with you?
We lived our little drama, we kissed in a field of white
And stars fell on Alabama last night
© Sony Music

Not exactly what Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish had in mind when they wrote the song in 1934. But a Star fell on Alabama last night. The Star was Roy Moore, the horseback riding, gun toting, mall prowling, teen pawing deposed judge who wanted to be the Republican Senator from the Republicanist state in the Confederacy.

It was a tiny victory and a huge one.  Tiny, because Democrat Doug Jones won by about one point. Huge because Alabama hasn’t sent a Democrat to Washington since the Dixiecrats moved into the Republican Party.

Huge because the voters defied the president they elected. Huge because Jones’ win will cut the republican majority in the senate to one vote, possibly ending the rubber stamping of everything the alt-right wants from the legislature it has bullied and bought into absolute power.  Huge because it sends a message to the Senate Insanity Caucus:

Turn out the lights
The party's over
They say that all
Good things must end
Call it a night
The party's over

Not exactly what Comden, Styne and Green had in mind when they wrote the song in ‘56.  But apt.

Both candidates came out of the courthouse.  Moore was the chief judge of the state court until he was ousted for refusing to remove a house-size lawn ornament with the ten commandments from the lawn.  And was then removed again for instructing his judglings from marrying gay couples.

Jones was the US Attorney who prosecuted klansmen for the Birmingham church bombing and other high profile cases. He’s everything you’d expect to lose in Alabama: Pro choice, pro integration, pro Obamacare. He believes in the dangers of climate change, the benefits of education, doesn’t wear his religion on his sleeve and is a fan of (shudder) the New York Yankees.

There are no stories that have him prowling shopping centers and stalking teenage girls.  There are no stories that have him touch-wooing 14-year olds.

He didn’t ride a horse on the campaign trail and to the voting booth.  

Did Jones win the election, or was Moore so bad in the eyes of enough voters he lost? Moore had plenty going for him.  The girls, the guns, the horse. Anti gay, white supremacist. How bad was all this? So bad that even Alabama’s most republican republican, Richard Shelby, now the state’s senior senator, couldn’t support him.

But maybe some good Americans have mischaracterized the people of Alabama, believing they’re all a bunch of red neck racist phonies.  What a relief to be so wrong about so many.  

This result was a surprise. But as the fictional Alabamian Forrest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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