Alabama, one of most conservative corners of America, suffered this Tuesday night a political earthquake. Doug Jones became, against forecast, first Democratic senator elected by this state in 25 years by defeating Judge Roy Moore, a religious fanatic who received several accusations of sexual abuse in full campaign. Party leaders in Washington had asked him to retire, but Moore, alias The Rock, defended his innocence and refused. Donald Trump supported him and Republicans ended up closing ranks around candidate. Now y have lost a key place in upper house and received a warning for legislative elections of 2018: The fidelity of ir electoral base has a limit, even in old South.
It wasn't a very loose victory. With 99% counted, Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, slashed 50% of votes, compared to 48% of Moore. Some 20,000 votes of difference were enough to alter American Senate: The Republican majority contracted from 52 to 51 legislators, while Democrats became 49. That one senator of more seems fragile to Trump, a president with bad relationship with many of his senators and has already tasted failure to approve one of his star promises, repeal of health reform of Barack Obama.
The mobilization of African-American vote, which was overturned in Jones, proved decisive. The new Alabama man in Washington is a notorious prosecutor who indicted Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a Birmingham Baptist church in 1963, killing four black girls. The position he will occupy in Senate is one that belonged to now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a conservative Falcon with a good record of accusations of racism and homophobia on back. But Republican who aspired to relieve him, Moore, goes far beyond.Learn More
- Trump supports Senate candidate accused of sexual abuse of minors
- A sexual scandal with a minor strikes an ultraconservative candidate for U.S. Senate
The judge believes that Constitution of United States emanates from Bible and legality must be adapted to what sacred scriptures dictate. In this line, it not only rejects same-sex marriage, but believes that homosexuality should again be banned in itself, a condition that equates bestiality. In his view, 11-S attacks had something to do with estrangement of God from American society, and time when he believed that America was "great" was that "in which families were united, even if re were slavery."
With se wickers, investigation published by Washington Post at beginning of November, on alleged sexual contacts that Moore, when he was 32 years old, had maintained with a girl of 14, it assumed a gale. Three more women accused him after y were harassed as teenagers. The judge, now 70 years old, always denied facts and many of his followers believed m, but this Tuesday a good number of Republicans stayed at home and ors followed advice of Senator Richard C. Shelby, who bet to put on ballot name D E Any or candidate, even if he did not show up.The ' Me too ' arrives at polls
The U.S. movement against sexual harassment, that gale known as Me too (me too) that has knocked out journalists, executives and legislators, has shown in Alabama that it now also has effects on ballot box. It was reflected in case of Sonni, a 24-year-old girl from Montgomery who declared herself centrist, but said that that afternoon she would put a ballot for Democrat. "I think it is my duty to society, here people vote for ir party and y don't care who candidate is, but this man does not separate state church and accusations of those women seem true, y are several, not just one."
The Republican leader in House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, and that of Senate, Mitch McConnell, had shown ir confidence in stories of women who pointed to Moore and asked him to leave candidacy, fearing this outcome. But when Trump supported him, y shut up. The judge gared, like Trump a year ago, necessary ingredients for electoral failure: accusations of abuse, an incendiary mood, and Republican Party's heavyweights against. The difference, in case of judge, is that polls did have him as most likely winner. But as it happened a year ago, with presidentials, y failed.
The exultant Doug Jones was leaving in Birmingham after 10 pm to celebrate one day, he said, "historic." "I feel overwhelmed." "We have shown, not only in state of Alabama but throughout country, that we can remain united," he cried. But a few minutes later, in Montgomery, Roy Moore resisted recognizing result. "When number of votes is so tight, thing is not over," he said to his followers, "What we must do is wait for God." The rock in a pure state. Trump, however, accepted Democratic victory. "Congratulations to Doug Jones for his fight victory." The null votes [with name of candidates not presented] have played an important role but a victory is a victory, he wrote in his Twitter account.
Moore's party in Montgomery became a funeral. Brenda Calloway defended her candidate fervently before she knew outcome. "Those women are a lie, judge has 40 years in public life and if any of that were true would have gone before," he stressed. He also defended him in his ideological and religious extremism. "When you're on right side, you never get too radical." "I have followed Moore for 40 years, has always been consistent with my ideas, is pro-life, defends marriage between man and woman and Ten Commandments," he riveted.
In 2000, when he was president of Alabama Supreme Court, Moore installed a granite monument in lobby in homage to those Ten Commandments. The courts forced him to retire and Republican, true to himself, chose to give up post. Today re is in that same lobby of capital of Alabama a colorful Christmas tree. And on third floor of building, where portraits of judges are exhibited, no one has hung any of rock.