The Thinker: Rich Galen


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The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Moore was Less

Rich Galen

Wednesday December 13, 2017

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  • Senator-elect Doug Jones has this in common with Donald Trump: They each ran against the only person they could have beaten.

  • Roy Moore and Hillary Clinton.

  • Doug Jones will cause the GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate major headaches for the next few years (as a Class II Senator, he doesn't run again until 2020) but not as many headaches Mitch McConnell et al. would have had to deal with had Roy Moore shown up, cowboy hat, pistol, horse, and all, on the doorstep of the Capitol building demanding his seat.

  • With Jones, a real-time Democrat, McConnell can do the arithmetic: 51 Rs - 49 Ds (including independents that caucus with the Dems). With Moore in that seat, Republicans could never be sure what he was going to do, how he was going to vote.

  • Roy Moore might well have made GOP Senate leaders long for the good-old days of Ted Cruz and the shut-down battles.

  • But, that is not to be. Doug Jones won by about 1.5 percentage points - well outside the half percentage point trigger for an automatic recount.

  • Turnout in special elections are typically small - sometimes so small as to raise questions about their legitimacy.

  • The Alabama Secretary of State, John Merrill, had predicted about 25% of Alabamians would participate (compared to about 62 percent in the 2016 election). As reporter Mike Cason wrote for
    "More than 1.3 million of Alabama's 3.3 million voters participated for a turnout of 40.4 percent, according to unofficial results from Merrill's office."

  • Of course, everyone on the D side is taking credit, and when the margin of victory is this thin they all have a claim. If Black turnout hadn't been at Presidential levels, if so many White women with college degrees hadn't voted, if Roy Moore were not the weirdest person to appear on a statewide ballot since Christine O'Donnell had to spend money on advertising the fact that she was not a witch, Moore probably would have won.

  • But, they were and he didn't.

  • The losers are easier to identify: Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.

  • Bannon has built himself up to be the Mad Genius of American Politics. Maybe he is, but as The Lad (@ReedGalen) Tweeted last night:
    I tell people two things when they talk about @realDonaldTrump:
    1. If you say, "if that guy can do it, so can I." You are wrong.

    2. If some consultant rolls in and says, "I have the Trump playbook and know how to run it," you're getting bad advice.

  • Moore was such an abysmally flawed candidate that it is doubtful Trump's (or Bannon's) interference made any difference in the outcome.

  • If you are looking for a peek behind the curtain of the 2018 mid-terms, the elections this past November are a better example of the scenery being constructed.

  • Ed Gillespie, running for Virginia Governor on the Republican line, was a great candidate. He got whipped by nine percentage points. Jill Vogel, the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor, was likewise a terrific candidate. She got closer but still lost by nearly six percentage points.

  • In addition, Republicans running for the State Legislature got hammered. The House of Delegates had been under GOP control, 66-34. The dust has not yet settled with three seats being recounted, but as of today the GOP majority has shrunk to one: 50-49 with one seat still too close to call.

  • If nothing else, the Alabama result will add to the confidence of Democrats across the country that if they were ever going to run for public office with the wind at their backs, 2018 is likely to provide at least a category 3.

  • Donald Trump probably wasn't harmed. He has the unwavering support of about a third of the U.S. Population. Among Republicans, according to Gallup, he remains the darling of some 82 percent of Republicans.

  • But, an early indicator of trouble for Roy Moore was exit poll data showing - in the reddest of red states - Trump's job approval was even at 48-48.

  • The Alabama election is finally behind us. Doug Jones will likely take his seat in early January when the Second Session of the 115th Congress convenes with one less Republican vote.

  • Thanks to Moore.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A explanation of Senate Classes, a link to the Washington Post's analysis, the Wikipedia link for Christine O'Donnell.

    The Mullfoto is of a pin that is a pretty good seasonal pun.

--END --

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Recent Issues of Mullings          Secret Decoder Ring for this Issue

December 2017

12/13/17 - Moore was Less
12/11/17 - The High Price of Being First
12/07/17 - We're In Like ...
12/04/17 - All Glory is Fleeting

November 2017

11/30/17 - Are They Nuts?
11/27/17 - Choose Wisely
11/23/17 - Thanksgiving 2017 - Rainbow Shiny
11/20/17 - Wish Old Abe Were Here
11/16/17 - Less is Moore
11/13/17 - What a Week for the GOP
11/09/17 - Second-Hand Smoke
11/06/17 - Re-Litigation
11/02/17 - Dollars. Taxes.

October 2017

10/30/17 - And, So it Begins
10/26/17 - Hanging In
10/23/17 - 45750
10/16/17 - Wildfires & Hurricanes
10/12/17 - Tillerson
10/09/17 - Trump's Twitter Tantrums
10/05/17 - Guns
10/03/17 - It's Not All Trump's Fault
10/02/17 - 2017 Subscription

September 2017

09/25/17 - I Will Defend to the Death
09/21/17 - Seized of the Matter
09/18/17 - Irritants
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09/11/17 - 9/11. Again.
09/07/17 - Dreamers
09/04/17 - Back to School - 2017
09/07/17 - Dreamers

August 2017

08/31/17 - Floods
08/28/17 - Whatta Weekend
08/24/17 - Hostile Witness
08/21/17 - Totality
08/17/17 - Micki, Isaac and Paul
08/14/17 - You've Got to be Carefully Taught
08/10/17 - Sound and Fury
08/07/17 - The WH Needs a Comms Director
08/03/17 - Phantom Phone Calls

July 2017

07/31/17 - Curating Nothingburgers
07/28/17 - McCain & the Class of '82
07/27/17 - A Session on Sessions
07/24/17 - Well, Pardon Me
07/20/17 - Shake Hands
07/17/17 - Congressional Elections
07/13/17 - Hooray for Hollywood
07/10/17 - What I Expected from Trump
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June 2017

06/29/17 - Cease Fire
06/26/17 - Strategy and Tactics
06/22/17 - That Special Election in Georgia
06/19/17 - The Nuclear Reactor Core of Politics
06/15/17 - A National Article 5
06/12/17 - Win-Win
06/08/17 - Comey Day
06/05/17 - Climate Change
06/01/17 - Pity the Ds

May 2017

05/25/17 - Stupidity is Not Illegal
05/22/17 - The Riyadh Speech
05/18/17 - The "I" Word
05/15/17 - Staff Changes
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05/08/17 - That Healthcare Vote
05/04/17 - Still Hillary
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April 2017

04/27/17 - Tax Plan?
04/24/17 - 100-Day Polls
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04/17/17 - Bluster and Bellow and Blowing Stuff Up
04/10/17 - Serious About Syria
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04/03/17 - Time for a Re-Set

March 2017

03/30/17 - GOP Needs to Find its Footing
03/27/17 - Everybody Lost
03/23/17 - Independent Investigation
03/20/17 - A Week in the Arts
03/16/17 - Spinning Plates
03/13/17 - Spring Training
03/09/17 - Trumpcare
03/06/17 - Courting FISA
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February 2017

02/27/17 - Flak Under Fire
02/23/17 - Dems in Disarray
02/20/17 - Quit Whining
02/16/17 - Shark Attack
02/13/17 - Approval Rating
02/09/17 - The Folks Back Home
02/06/17 - TRO
02/02/17 - How Trump Won

January 2017

01/30/17 - Trouble in Trump Town
01/26/17 - People Voting
01/23/17 - That Happened
01/19/17 - Dear Mr. President
01/16/17 - Inauguration
01/12/17 - The Last Presser
01/09/17 - The Яussians Were Here
The Яussians Were Here

01/05/ -17 Repeal and . . .

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