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Poor Al Franken. The Minnesota Democrat was kicked to the curb by a party that, until a few months ago, not only turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct but also lionized serial predators such as Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. So why was Franken a bridge too far for Democrats? Because he stood in the way of their effort to claim the moral high ground when Roy Moore was elected to the United States Senate.

Democrats were looking forward to spending the next year wrapping Moore around the necks of Republicans. They were gearing up for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation that would keep Moore in the spotlight and preparing to demand public hearings where his accusers could be paraded before the media. They were waiting for the cavalcade of bigoted gaffes Moore would have made. And they were ready to pummel Republicans when, in the end, the GOP-controlled Senate would fail to expel him, knowing full well there was no precedent for removing a senator from office for actions he allegedly committed decades before he was a senator, and that voters knew about before electing him.

But Moore isn't coming to Washington. The voters of conservative Republican Alabama decided that he was not worthy to represent them in the United States Senate.

The idea that Democrats could have claimed moral superiority when it comes to the sexual abuse of women was laughable to begin with. Just last year, Democrats gave Clinton, who faced credible allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct, a hero's welcome at their convention in Philadelphia. They nominated Hillary Clinton, who tood by her husband through the allegations, as their standard-bearer. And just a few years ago, they named a Senate caucus room for Ted and John F. Kennedy, both harassers as well.

Democrats will take the unexpected benefits of Doug Jones' victory, which narrows the GOP's Senate majority from 52 to 51, complicating President Donald Trump's ability to pass legislation and confirm judges (including a possible Supreme Court pick) next year. They will try to spin it as a repudiation of Trump, which it was not. (Trump maintains a 59 percent approval rating in Alabama.) And they know it means they have one less seat they need to win in order to regain control of the Senate in 2018.

But all that pales in comparison with what Moore would have done for the Democratic Party as a Republican senator. That is why so many conservatives in Alabama either wrote in another candidate or stayed home, giving Jones the victory. And it is why Alabama's senior senator, Richard C. Shelby--possibly the most astute political mind on the Republican side of the aisle--came out publicly against Moore the Sunday before the election. They knew that Moore is the Democrats' caricature of a Republican come to life. Democrats are glad to gain a Senate seat, but with a Moore victory they might have gained a whole lot more.

Editorial on 12/16/2017

Print Headline: A disappointment for Democrats

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  • BoudinMan
    December 16, 2017 at 7:21 a.m.

    Hey, Marc, you forgot to mention your hero, the pu**y-grabber-in-chief. But you didn't forget. You probably think if you, and Fox News, and and the rest of your ilk at the American Enterprise Institute don't mention it, it will go away. And that 59% approval rating in AL was down to 48% on election day according to the exit polling of actual voters. Nice try.

  • mozarky2
    December 16, 2017 at 8:57 a.m.

    To the aptly appelated BM, the truth hurts and the stupid stings.
    Point out ONE untruth in Thiessen's column. Just one!
    Polling doesn't matter much at this juncture. Trump is still president, Congress is still in GOP control, and Trump is still naming federal judges.
    Suck it, BM!

  • DoubleBlind
    December 16, 2017 at 9:17 a.m.

    moz - There are 23 Republitard House members - all in districts Hillary won in 2016 - who are up for re-election next year. They won’t all lose but it will only take a few to tip the balance of power. I suggest you practice puckering up because you, sir, will be the one ‘sucking it’ this time next year.

  • mozarky2
    December 16, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.

    GOP will pick up seats in House, 6-12 seats in Senate.
    "Progressivism" is dead.

  • drs01
    December 16, 2017 at 11:09 a.m.

    I thought I was dreaming...a Washington Post writer calling Clinton and Kennedy "serial predators". My contention is that if the moral compass of the country had been pointed differently in 1990's then the name of Clinton would just be on a sign maker on highway 65N. And Kennedy would have resigned long before after being charged with vehicular manslaughter. Now, the self righteous who praised Clinton and Kennedy are having to eat crow while they continue to deflect comments about these two slugs and the wife (Hillary) who was an enabler. It makes me gleeful.

  • WhododueDiligence
    December 16, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    "Point out ONE untruth in Thiessen's column. Just one!"
    Okay, mozarky, here's one: "Democrats were looking forward to spending the next year wrapping Moore around the necks of Republicans."
    Most people recognize that as an untruth. No Democrats would ever look forward to getting that close to Roy Moore.
    Another dubious statement from Thiessen: "They will try to spin it as a repudiation of Trump, which it was not."
    It was a repudiation of Moore, and since Trump bestowed his blessing upon Moore by heavily supporting Moore's campaign, it was also to some extent a repudiation of Trump.

  • TimberTopper
    December 16, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

    moz, there you go predicting again. The last one was that Moore would win. Then there's the one sometime back with me that you lost. Your record isn't good at all, so it might make those that are not familiar with you on here, think you might be smart if you were to stop your predictions. However, those of us that know your ways, and your record, already have a pretty good idea of your IQ.

  • BoudinMan
    December 16, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

    Pay attention, drs01, the man is from the AEI. You see, unlike your daily bible, Fox News, The WAPO is secure enough in its professionalism to allow a diversity of viewpoints. So wake up from your dream and expand your horizons a little. You'd be amazed at what you can learn.

  • skeptic1
    December 16, 2017 at 1:58 p.m.

    Poor Democrats not. They were taken over by academic far left elitists during the 1960s and 70s and have become the new Plantation for people of color and women. As long as minorities and women claim victim hood and don't try to actually be equal they will be supported. Step outside of the lines though by being successful or conservative and they will crucify you and make you the object of ridicule on Saturday Night Live and call you a misogynist and racist for voicing an independent thought. Trump's locker room braggadocio pales in comparison to Clinton and Ted Kennedy and let's not forget that icon of feminism Hillary destroying any woman that dared to complain about her husband's lechery. Oh and never mind the millions she acquired from Muslim countries that support "honor" killings for being raped or for merely speaking to a man.

  • Packman
    December 16, 2017 at 2:25 p.m.

    This article is spot on. Deep down D's wanted Moore to win. The Senate majority of 1 or 2 is irrelevant. Trump's judges will be confirmed and as a majority of 1 is as good as a majority of 20 as McConnell will not hesitate to invoke the " nuclear" option to halt filibusters.
    Hey moz - History is working against us. Don't be surprised if D's take back the House. The good news is the toxic Nancy Pelosi will lead them right back into the ditch. R's will pick up 5 - 6 Senate seats. The new tax cut package will greatly help R's and if D's run enough extremist candidates R's may retain control of the House. But the odds are against us.
    Hey skeptic - Better be careful speaking such truth. Some perpetually butthurt bedwetter like RBear will report you to the moderators.