The “Good News, No Gloating” Alabama Election Edition!

It’s the “No-Gloating, Good News From Alabama” edition of the podcast.

Legendary political pundit Michael Barone explains what happened in the Alabama special election last night.

Southern Political Report founder Hastings Wyman on the currents state of the GOP in Dixie

And a special long-distance dedication for a certain Minnesota politician.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    No gloating? You call this no gloating?

    There’s a lot of traffic in the Boston area isn’t there?

    Go play in some.

    • #1
    • December 13, 2017, at 5:35 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. rdowhower Inactive

    Michael Barone starts around 25 minutes into the podcast. He’s always worth listening to and actually looks at things objectively.

    • #2
    • December 13, 2017, at 5:36 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rdowhower (View Comment):
    Michael Barone starts around 25 minutes into the podcast. He’s always worth listening to and actually looks at things objectively.

    I didn’t get that far. Maybe I’ll try again.

    maybe.

    • #3
    • December 13, 2017, at 5:39 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. rdowhower Inactive

    Percival (View Comment):

    rdowhower (View Comment):
    Michael Barone starts around 25 minutes into the podcast. He’s always worth listening to and actually looks at things objectively.

    I didn’t get that far. Maybe I’ll try again.

    maybe.

    Turns it into a 5 minute podcast! :)

    • #4
    • December 13, 2017, at 5:48 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. contrarian Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    No gloating? You call this no gloating?

    I don’t understand how he thinks it makes sense for him to gloat about a defeat that: makes it less likely for him to get anything he wants in the next year AND makes it possible for the Democrats to win the house & the Senate next year. Woo hoo! Sorry, didn’t want to gloat.

    There’s good news though. The people who think the Republican brand is hot garbage now won’t be influenced by Moore’s presence in the Senate to downgrade their evaluation to… slimy garbage? Such good news. [eyeroll]

    Also, what happened to ‘elect & reject?’ That would have enabled the GOP to retain the seat, give a platform to his victims, condemn him AND establish a more reasonable standard than the left’s “listen and believe.”

    I guess that part of the story got thrown into the memory hole.

    The other good news is that the people responsible for Moore becoming the candidate will learn a lesson. Roy Moore was a terrible, awful, no good candidate and his nomination was all the fault of… stupid Republicans in Alabama.

    Wait. What? Is Michael drunk? Maybe he’s celebrating more than I thought.

    McConnell thought that the race would be Strange vs Brooks. He was going to make sure Brooks would not be the nominee. Mission Accomplished. Land a jet and unfurl the banner.

    Strange was a terrible candidate will McConnell needs to learn a lesson: don’t back awful candidates. Do you know how you can tell Strange was awful? Because even with the establishment backing him, he lost to Moore!

    This lesson learned – I think the establishment GOP is now MORE likely to put their thumb on the scale in the primary.

    There’s no good news here.

    • #5
    • December 13, 2017, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Michael Graham Contributor

    contrarian (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    No gloating? You call this no gloating?

    I don’t understand how he thinks it makes sense for him to gloat about a defeat that: makes it less likely for him to get anything the he wants AND makes it possible for the Democrats to win the house & the senate next year. Woo hoo! Sorry, ddn’t want to gloat.

    There’s good news though. The people who think the Republican brand is hot garbage now won’t be influenced by Moore’s presence in the senate to downgrade their evaluation to… slimy garbage? Such good news. [eyeroll]

    Also, what happened to ‘elect & reject?’ That would have enabled the GOP to retain the seat, give a platform to his victims, condemn him AND establish a more reasonable standard thn the left’s “listen and believe.”

    I guess that part of the story got thrown into the memory hole.

    The other good news is that the people responsible for Moore becoming the candidate will learn a lesson. Roy Moore was a terrible, awful, no good candidate and his nomination was all the fault of… stupid Republicans in Alabama.

    Wait. What? Is Michael drunk? Maybe he’s celebrating more than I thought.

    McConnell thought that the race would be Strange vs Brooks. He was going to make sure Brooks would not be the nominee. Mission Accomplished. Land a jet and unfurl the banner.

    Strange was a terrible candidate will McConnell needs to learn a lesson: don’t back awful candidates.

    Do you know how you can tell Strange was awful? Because even with the establishment backing him, he lost to Moore!

    EXCELLENT analysis from Contrarian! And yes– celebrating the silver lining on the dark cloud is NOT gloating. Telling the truth about the math isn’t, either.

    So unless you define everything other than “Oh, it’s terrible that Moore lost” as gloating, this is a gloat-free podcast.

    Can’t we all admit that there are upsides (along with the down sides) of Moore’s loss? Or are their really Republicans who think Moore is a good candidate/conservative/carbon-based life form, and his loss is a complete disaster?

    • #6
    • December 13, 2017, at 7:04 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent analysis. More from the older Southern gentleman whose name I missed. Just his accent is worth tuning in for.

    • #7
    • December 13, 2017, at 7:44 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. OwnedByDogs Coolidge

    contrarian (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    No gloating? You call this no gloating?

    I don’t understand how he thinks it makes sense for him to gloat about a defeat that: makes it less likely for him to get anything he wants in the next year AND makes it possible for the Democrats to win the house & the Senate next year. Woo hoo! Sorry, didn’t want to gloat.

    There’s good news though. The people who think the Republican brand is hot garbage now won’t be influenced by Moore’s presence in the Senate to downgrade their evaluation to… slimy garbage? Such good news. [eyeroll]

    Also, what happened to ‘elect & reject?’ That would have enabled the GOP to retain the seat, give a platform to his victims, condemn him AND establish a more reasonable standard than the left’s “listen and believe.”

    I guess that part of the story got thrown into the memory hole.

    The other good news is that the people responsible for Moore becoming the candidate will learn a lesson. Roy Moore was a terrible, awful, no good candidate and his nomination was all the fault of… stupid Republicans in Alabama.

    Wait. What? Is Michael drunk? Maybe he’s celebrating more than I thought.

    McConnell thought that the race would be Strange vs Brooks. He was going to make sure Brooks would not be the nominee. Mission Accomplished. Land a jet and unfurl the banner.

    Strange was a terrible candidate will McConnell needs to learn a lesson: don’t back awful candidates. Do you know how you can tell Strange was awful? Because even with the establishment backing him, he lost to Moore!

    This lesson learned – I think the establishment GOP is now MORE likely to put their thumb on the scale in the primary.

    There’s no good news here.

    I think you have it all wrong. Strange would have beaten Jones easily and Moore was the awful candidate. Once again primary voters chose very poorly. It is almost as though Bannon is working for the democrats and doing a fine job of getting them elected!

    • #8
    • December 13, 2017, at 7:51 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. contrarian Member

    Michael Graham (View Comment):
    EXCELLENT analysis from Contrarian! And yes– celebrating the silver lining on the dark cloud is NOT gloating.

    Thank you very much. Apologies if I was too abrasive.

    On the gloating, I remember NPR doing audience outreach to right of center listeners circa 2009. The listeners cited the broadcast in ’06 when the DEMs took the house as something that bothered them. The interviewer asked what the announcers said that was so bothersome.

    The reply: It wasn’t the words. We could hear the glee in peoples voices.

    .

    Michael Graham (View Comment):
    Can’t we all admit that there are upsides (along with the down sides) of Moore’s loss?

    You see an upside. I don’t.

    I think that if left to their own devices the voters would have picked Brooks. I believe Ben Shapiro shares that opinion. Don’t you think there’ll now be more people thinking, ‘we can’t just leave this up to dumb primary voters?’

    I think that the argument about the Republican brand is only sound if you assume the Senate GOP is so full of weasels that they wouldn’t kick him out. Otherwise, I think there was an opportunity to build the brand up a bit, rather than just preventing it from sinking further, and that’s a lost opportunity.

    I have a theory about why some people see an upside to this, although I may be judging people unfairly.

    You said something really interesting. You said, “Some of you are just mad because your identity got wrapped up in Judge Roy Moore… he was never worthy of your identity or support or emotional connection.”

    I’ve felt like that exactly once: when McCain gave his convention speech about duty and love of country. Every other occasion I’ve looked at it as no different than choosing a caterer.

    I’m not hiring someone who’ll make food I don’t like. I don’t care if you’re the best there is at making vegan and macrobiotic dishes. After the menu, skill and professionalism are what matters. At no point do I wonder if the caterer is guilty of infidelity.

    I want particular kinds of government action and reject other kinds. My second consideration is effectiveness and competetence. Being a good person is just a nice bonus.

    I think some Republicans invest some of their sense of self-worth in their party. They’re committed to preserving the conservative movement in the long term, and that means they need to be jealous of its reputation. They perceive dishonorable Republican politicians as something that can diminish their personal honor. They want to be able to see their party as the one with more integrity – even if they have to lose to do so.

    From my point of view, that’s all a bad thing. Accepting that the government will enact policies you regard as harmful, when it’s for these reasons is, by definition, putting party before country.

    • #9
    • December 13, 2017, at 9:04 AM PST
    • Like
  10. contrarian Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I think you have it all wrong. Strange would have beaten Jones easily and Moore was the awful candidate. Once again primary voters chose very poorly. It is almost as though Bannon is working for the democrats and doing a fine job of getting them elected!

    Obviously Strange would have beaten Jones. Jon Huntsman would’ve beaten Jones too. Heck, an old inner tube could have beaten Jones (assuming it wasn’t a rapist inner tube).

    You’ve missed the point. You’re a bad candidate if you can’t survive your own party’s primary. Strange was a terrible candidate regardless of whether he’d’ve beaten Jones.

    • #10
    • December 13, 2017, at 9:28 AM PST
    • Like
  11. katy Inactive

    Michael, I think it’s unfair to blame all Alabama primary voters for this, just as it would be unfair to blame all primary voters for the 2016 presidential election. As an Alabama voter (but native South Carolinian like you), it was the election from hell all over again. I voted for Brooks in the primary but was left with a terrible choice between Moore and Strange in the runoff. Strange was tainted by corruption scandals, and Moore was clearly an ignorant kook. Hillary and Trump all over again. I wrote in a candidate in 2016, but ended up not voting in the AL senate runoff or yesterday’s election.

    Most Alabama Republicans didn’t want Moore, just as most presidential voters preferred another candidate to Trump in the primary. I think Trump and the RNC deserve some of the blame for yesterday by supporting Moore. Bannon’s inconsequential, if anything, unless he wants to take credit for the Nick Saban write-ins, after insulting Scarborough’s alma mater. Just as I wished the delegates at the 2016 convention would’ve gotten rid of an unfit nominee, so I wish the state Republican Party would’ve intervened by blocking our unfit senate candidate.

    • #11
    • December 13, 2017, at 11:14 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. katy Inactive

    Barone’s analysis seems right. Although, I think it was more than just religiosity that drove the black vote. Moore surely mobilized those voters for Jones by his remarks about rosy life under slavery. And I don’t know how much of a factor outside groups were in turning out the vote, but I received a text on my cell phone Saturday from MoveOn. How my name/# ended up on their list of “persuadable voters,” I have no idea.

    • #12
    • December 13, 2017, at 11:40 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Arahant Member

    Don’t like the blame game much, Michael. I think if you just let the situation sink in a bit, the voters of Alabama will figure out the truth for themselves. On the other hand, pointing fingers might tend to get them to dig in their heels. It’s always more difficult to admit you were an idiot when someone is pointing and chanting, “Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!” That sort of thing just makes a fellow get his dander up.

    Liked the interview with Mr. Wyman. You were also very polite with him. Perhaps you should spend more time in the company of elderly Southern gentlemen. It seems to bring out the better angels of your nature.

    • #13
    • December 13, 2017, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Chris Member

    When I woke up this morning, I had the same thought as I did when I woke up and saw the Presidential results – wow, they really don’t like Moore in AL, just like people in the US really didn’t like HRC.

    I thought the episode was pretty funny, and even though I don’t agree with every take I generally find MG to bring a balanced perspective. E.g., bringing up the point that it was McConnell who worked against Brooks. I think Michael should have run a bit harder on this point, so that the “I blame the voters of AL” wouldn’t have sounded as harsh as it did. That set, I have to agree that there are two groups to blame: the establishment and their desire to fight off a challenger, and the voters who chose Moore over Strange. Strange might have been a bad choice, but I bet those who pulled the lever against him see things a bit differently now.

    My other thought was about the perceptions of the voters. When Obama voters pulled the lever for Trump, the blue wall states became bastions of various -ism’s hated by the left. Any sightings of the Left extolling virtues of the enlightened Southerners yet?

    • #14
    • December 13, 2017, at 11:44 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. LibertyDefender Member

    katy (View Comment):
    Michael, I think it’s unfair to blame all Alabama primary voters for this, just as it would be unfair to blame all primary voters for the 2016 presidential election. …

    Most Alabama Republicans didn’t want Moore, just as most presidential voters preferred another candidate to Trump in the primary.

    @katy, you can’t overlook the fact that the primary voters are to blame. They chose the awful candidates. Perhaps “most Alabama Republicans didn’t want Moore,” but they didn’t want any alternative well enough to defeat Moore – probably because too many of them didn’t vote in the primary. If you want to criticize the primary system – and it deserves plenty of criticism – fine. But the primary voters stuck the general election voters (which didn’t include you yesterday in Alabama) with an awful candidate.

    But that is a pretty shiny silver lining: there won’t be a radioactive, walking/talking anti-Republican attack ad sitting in the Senate.

    • #15
    • December 13, 2017, at 12:04 PM PST
    • Like
  16. OwnedByDogs Coolidge

    contrarian (View Comment):
    You’ve missed the point. You’re a bad candidate if you can’t survive your own party’s primary. Strange was a terrible candidate regardless of whether he’d’ve beaten Jones.

    I think it is the primary voters who are the problem. They are choosing the worst possible candidates far too often.

    • #16
    • December 13, 2017, at 12:49 PM PST
    • Like
  17. katy Inactive

    @libertydefender, I agree with your last point. It’s good there won’t be a radioactive, walking/talking anti-Republican attack ad walking around in the Senate. We’ve already elected one of those to the presidency, as much as I appreciate many of the things he’s done in office. But voters bear individual responsibility for voting for a particular candidate, not for “want[ing] any alternative well enough to defeat” a bad candidate. Are individual Rubio and Cruz voters to blame for a Trump victory? What more can you do when the primary vote splits three ways and your good candidate is eliminated?

    • #17
    • December 13, 2017, at 1:39 PM PST
    • Like
  18. Mrs. Ink Member

    Congratulations! You helped elect a lefty abortionist to the Senate, decreased a very slim Republican majority in the Senate, and allowed the Progs to succeed in their dirty tricks, thus encouraging them to do it again. Are you happy?

    You don’t seem to realize that if the left takes over completely, you are going to the gulag just like the rest of us.

    • #18
    • December 13, 2017, at 2:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mrs. Ink (View Comment):
    Congratulations! You helped elect a lefty abortionist to the Senate, decreased a very slim Republican majority in the Senate, and allowed the Progs to succeed in their dirty tricks, thus encouraging them to do it again. Are you happy?

    You don’t seem to realize that if the left takes over completely, you are going to the gulag just like the rest of us.

    Nevertheless, I’m going to write in a vote for Luther Strange for Senate wherever I’m living next year because Mitch McConnell is a genius!

    • #19
    • December 13, 2017, at 3:04 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. katy Inactive

    @Mrs. Ink, that seems a bit extreme. I in no way helped elect someone for whom I didn’t vote or campaign. By your logic, I must also have helped Moore, since I didn’t vote for Jones. Roy Moore deserves most of your congratulations for helping elect his opponent. He wasn’t entitled to my vote. But, no, I’m not happy about the result or any of the possible short term outcomes. Long term, this gives us a chance to elect a smart, principled conservative for a long time, hopefully. Check out Andrew Klavan’s and Ben Shapiro’s podcasts if things seem as dire to you as you claimed. Ben will give you hope for the next generation of conservatives, and Andrew will at least give you some laughs and inspire some optimism.

    • #20
    • December 13, 2017, at 6:33 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Mrs. Ink Member

    @katy, my comment was addressed to Michael Graham, and all the other talking heads who apparently agree with Mr. (excuse me, Senator) Jones’ idea that murdering babies is just fine.

    • #21
    • December 13, 2017, at 10:23 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. KarenZiminski Coolidge

    Doug Jones will be the Scott Brown of Alabama. Clever.

    • #22
    • December 14, 2017, at 11:05 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Michael Graham Contributor

    katy (View Comment):
    Michael, I think it’s unfair to blame all Alabama primary voters for this, just as it would be unfair to blame all primary voters for the 2016 presidential election. As an Alabama voter (but native South Carolinian like you), it was the election from hell all over again. I voted for Brooks in the primary but was left with a terrible choice between Moore and Strange in the runoff. Strange was tainted by corruption scandals, and Moore was clearly an ignorant kook. Hillary and Trump all over again. I wrote in a candidate in 2016, but ended up not voting in the AL senate runoff or yesterday’s election.

    Most Alabama Republicans didn’t want Moore, just as most presidential voters preferred another candidate to Trump in the primary. I think Trump and the RNC deserve some of the blame for yesterday by supporting Moore. Bannon’s inconsequential, if anything, unless he wants to take credit for the Nick Saban write-ins, after insulting Scarborough’s alma mater. Just as I wished the delegates at the 2016 convention would’ve gotten rid of an unfit nominee, so I wish the state Republican Party would’ve intervened by blocking our unfit senate candidate.

    Katy,

    I don’t get how your story doesn’t COMPLETELY put the blame on AL primary voters. As you noted, YOU voted for Mo Brooks. But most of your fellow GOPers chose the crappiest of options. Moore was no mystery to AL voters. They knew what they wanted and voted to get it–good and hard.

    • #23
    • December 15, 2017, at 5:36 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. FredGoodhue Coolidge

    It’s a moot point now, but I would have a problem with expelling a Senator for actions that did not happen while being a Senator, and who was elected by the voters knowing about the actions. The voters made their choice, good or bad.

    I assign blame in this order:

    1. Roy Moore
    2. Primary voters who voted for Moore
    3. The authorities in the 1970s who did not make the age of consent 18 and who did not thoroughly ostracize anyone who went after underage girls.
    4. Political operators in the primary.
    • #24
    • December 17, 2017, at 6:49 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Arahant Member

    FredGoodhue (View Comment):
    The authorities in the 1970s who did not make the age of consent 18 and who did not thoroughly ostracize anyone who went after underage girls.

    In several states, it still is not 18.

    • #25
    • December 17, 2017, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 4 likes